5. Walk through Greyfriars Kirk
This one is for the diehard Harry Potter fans that can spend a fun hour looking for the tombstones that inspired the names of several characters from... (continue reading J. K. Rowling's universe - including the much-beloved McGonagall and the once-feared Riddle.
6. Trek up to Arthur's SeatAccording to locals, the trek up Arthur's Seat - the main peak of the hills near Holyrood Park - is well worth the astounding view of Edinburgh. Popular among locals and tourists alike, the Arthur's Seat was formed by an extinct volcano system. This is also the site where excavators found a set of miniature coffins in a cave. As per urban legend, the miniature wooden figures in each of the coffins were made for witchcraft. Another popular belief was that the coffins represented victims of a pair of serial murderers. You can view the coffins at the National Museum of Scotland.
7. Stroll Along the Royal MileWith Edinburgh Castle at one end and Palace of Holyroodhouse at the other, the Royal Mile is a network of streets with some striking examples of architecture and culture. From some of the oldest pubs to new ones, stores selling handmade jewellery to tartans, whisky tasting places and sweet stores, the Royal Mile is the one-street answer for the eat-drink-shop part of your trip. A set of streets in the heart of the Old Town of Edinburgh - Castlehill, the Lawnmarket, the High Street, the Canongate and Abbey Strand - the Royal Mile is a must visit for all tourists, irrespective of age. Disembark at Castlehill and stroll up the Royal Mile towards Edinburgh Castle.
8. Have a Meal at GrassmarketWalk through the square that is Grassmarket, you would not realise it was the place for public executions between 1661 and 1668 - look down when you walk on the Grassmarket square and you will spot the memorial dedicated to over 100 Covenanters who met their deaths here. Spend some time here - indulge your taste buds. If you are spoiled for choice, I would recommend walking into Maggie Dickinson's Pub for a drink and some food - the father opted for a local whiskey while I went for an elderflower-flavoured gin from the Edinburgh Gin Distillery. Round it all off with gelato at Mary's Milk Bar.
9. Eat, Drink and Be Merry - the Scottish way!Begin your day with a hefty traditional Scottish breakfast of black pudding, Lorne sausage, bacon, tattie scones with grilled tomatoes and oatcakes. If you prefer to travel light, then have a quick brekkie of the traditional Scottish porridge. Let lunch be a meal of the haggis, a savoury pudding containing sheep's pluck (heart, liver, and lungs); minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock, and cooked while traditionally encased in the animal's stomach (Wikipedia). Wash it down with a smooth scotch or local gin, followed by cranachan that soft, soul-satisfying traditional dessert made of fresh whipped cream, whisky, honey, oatmeal and served with berries. Alternatively, you can have the sticky toffee pudding, a gorgeous cake served with warm toffee sauce and lush vanilla ice-cream.
10. Hop Onboard a Tour Bus One of the easiest and most comfortable ways to cover all these places (and more) when in Edinburgh is to book yourself a trip onboard a tour bus. Called the hop on-hop off buses, these guided tours ply on three different routes that overlap at select points. Take a look at the route maps to decide your choice of bus and hop on for a comfortable way to explore the city.
I always make a checklist on my phone and keep ticking off things to do and places to see at the end of the day. The checklist also helps me plan the next day of travel and exploring. If you are up to trying this method, feel free to download this list I've made. Do let me know whether it helped you. Just click on the list below to open, right click and download.
If you are interested in knowing more about Edinburgh, read my previous posts about the eminently crushable city.Scotland - Why, When and How (click here)Crushing on Edinburgh #Chapter1 ()Crushing on Edinburgh #Chapter2 (click here)