A Weekend in Edinburgh: The Perfect 2-Day Itinerary

14 min

A Weekend in Edinburgh: The Perfect 2-Day Itinerary

Trying to spend a weekend in Edinburgh however do not know the place to go or what to do? Wish to go to probably the most historic websites but in addition have time to chill out and benefit from the metropolis? Don’t fear! Edinburgh is a small metropolis that’s simply traveled and stuffed with exercise. There’s all the time one thing superb behind each twist and switch of cobbled road facet corners and hidden alleyways. That is the right itinerary for everybody intent on seeing all {that a} weekend in Edinburgh has to supply whereas leaving time for individuals to discover this glorious and necessary metropolis all on their very own!

It’s no secret that staying a weekend in Edinburgh is likely one of the finest issues you are able to do whereas within the UK. This itinerary will cowl two days and may be modified to suit your schedule and site on arrival day. You’ll uncover the huge and wealthy historical past of royalty within the metropolis, and see with your personal eyes how this metropolis labored and functioned a whole bunch of years in the past. Additionally, you will step out into the brisk air and climb well-known trails that embody the gorgeous Edinburgh surroundings that’s famend all through the world.

Able to learn how to spend a weekend in Edinburgh?

Edinburgh is one of the best sights during a weekend in Edinburgh!


Day 1: Edinburgh Citadel, St. Giles’ Cathedral, and the Nationwide Museum of Scotland

Cease 1: Edinburgh Citadel 

Begin off a weekend in Edinburgh with the magnificent Edinburgh Citadel. A weekend in Edinburgh is incomplete with out this iconic historic landmark! Constructed excessive on a hilltop, you possibly can see the citadel from many spots within the metropolis, sitting tall and grand, simply ready so that you can see what it has in retailer. Edinburgh Citadel is steeped in momentous historical past, house to Scottish and English monarchs, many battles (it’s the most besieged space in Britain), and even the occasional ghost or two. As a royal residence, navy stronghold, and jail, this constructing has seen the span of centuries. When you enter via the principle gates, you may be strolling within the footsteps of legendary figures in European historical past.

The citadel itself is made up of a number of constructions and courtyards, all linked collectively. Earlier than you enter the citadel, you will want to purchase an entry ticket, which incorporates entry to an optionally available guided tour. You should buy an audio information if you want, or be at liberty to discover the citadel by yourself with none information in any respect. When you cross via the gates, you can begin delving into the exhibitions within the citadel. One well-known attraction you possibly can see is the Honours of Scotland, a compound that holds the crown jewels of Scotland. After marveling on the glittering crowns and coronation objects, head over to the Nice Corridor, the center of the citadel the place nice banquets and occasions befell, accomplished for King James IV in 1511.

Different notable areas embody the Royal Palace, the dwelling quarters for important monarchs like Mary Queen of Scots (you possibly can see the room the place she gave beginning in 1566 to King James VI, who later united Scotland and England underneath one crown for the primary time in 1603), and St. Margaret’s Chapel, the oldest constructing in Edinburgh.

You’ll positively need to take an hour or two to expertise Edinburgh Citadel. It will get extra crowded in the course of the afternoon, particularly within the summertime, so try to get there earlier to have the citadel extra to your self. Be happy to eat lunch or get a snack on the citadel cafes. Don’t neglect to look out over the town on the unimaginable lookouts scattered all through the citadel and take an image of the beautiful view! You possibly can’t miss this legendary location on a weekend in Edinburgh.

Edinburgh Castle is the number one sight to see on a weekend in Edinburgh

Cease 2: St. Giles’ Cathedral 

This can be a spot that you just completely gained’t need to miss throughout a weekend in Edinburgh. Positioned close to Edinburgh Citadel, this cathedral is as lovely on the skin as it’s on the within. Often known as the Excessive Kirk of Edinburgh, St. Giles’ was based in 1124 by King David I. It started as a Catholic church, then ultimately morphed into Protestantism across the begin of the 1560s when John Knox was appointed minister of St. Giles’. Scotland was declared an official Protestant nation in 1560 by Scottish Parliament, regardless of Mary Queen of Scots, their monarch, being Catholic on the time. Thus started a protracted historical past of spiritual battle at St. Giles’, with offended riots and requires peace all through the years. Right now the cathedral is named the Mom Church of World Presbyterianism, however is open to all guests around the globe.

St. Giles’ is exclusive as a consequence of its vintage clock tower and Thistle Chapel. You possibly can climb up the clock tower and luxuriate in views of the town on a guided rooftop tour for £6 an individual. Thistle Chapel is so named for the Order of the Thistle, a Scottish order of chivalry. The chapel options gorgeous neo-gothic art work and structure. Entry to the cathedral is free, so you possibly can stroll proper in and benefit from the spectacular inside of the church. Massive stained glass home windows illuminate the principle area, which is marked by excessive stone columns and noteworthy vaulted ceilings. Drop by and admire the beautiful structural particulars in St. Giles’ and benefit from the extra relaxed environment within the cathedral as you proceed a weekend in Edinburgh.

You can't miss beautiful St. Giles' Cathedral in a weekend in Edinburgh

Cease 3: Nationwide Museum of Scotland

The Nationwide Museum of Scotland is a improbable method to immerse your self within the historical past of Scotland and to have enjoyable on a weekend in Edinburgh. The museum has free entry and free guided excursions if desired, which is a plus for vacationers on a funds. It homes loads of thrilling and fascinating reveals from a variety of time durations and cultural areas.

From T-Rex skeletons and Iron Age golden torcs to Enigma machines from World Battle II and a Mercedes-Benz coffin from Ghana, you’ll not be disillusioned at what this museum holds. Shows are organized by classes, reminiscent of artwork and design, the pure world, Scottish historical past, science and expertise, and world cultures. There are nice actions to attempt, together with working on a human hamster wheel to generate power and watching the big Millennium Clock chime the hour with its transferring collectible figurines, flashing lights, and rousing music from inside.

The Nationwide Museum of Scotland is legendary for sure reveals, reminiscent of Dolly the sheep, the primary efficiently cloned mammal, and the Lewis chess items, probably the most well-known archeological discovery in Scotland. You gained’t need to miss these superb objects and shows which have made necessary contributions and impacts all through historical past. This museum is nice for all ages and is straightforward to navigate via so you possibly can discover at your personal tempo. A weekend in Edinburgh can be incomplete with out a journey to this pleasant museum!

This brings your first day of a weekend in Edinburgh to an in depth. Take to the streets and discover a good restaurant or café close by for dinner (The Elephant Home, the café the place creator J.Okay. Rowling wrote a lot of the primary beloved Harry Potter e-book, is barely a 2 minute stroll away from The Nationwide Museum of Scotland!) and get some relaxation for the brand new day forward.

The National Museum of Scotland is a fun place for a weekend in Edinburgh

Day 2: Holyrood Palace, Arthur’s Seat, and the Royal Mile

Cease 1: Holyrood Palace

Begin the second day of a weekend in Edinburgh with a go to to Holyrood Palace. Holyrood Palace has been the official royal residence of the monarchy in Edinburgh for greater than 500 years. When the Queen is at the moment not in residence, the palace is open to the general public 12 months spherical. The Palace of Holyroodhouse, its official title, was based by King David I in 1128. The title Holyrood, or “holy cross,” comes from a legend about David I. He was stated to be looking within the woods and was abruptly attacked by a big white stag. Nevertheless, earlier than the stag might kill him, a cross abruptly appeared between the animal’s antlers and the stag vanished, so David I used to be saved. In thanks, he declared he would construct an abbey on the very spot that his life was spared, and so Holyroodhouse was born.

In time, the realm grew to become a favourite spot for the monarchs of Scotland. James IV constructed a palace subsequent to the abbey in 1501, which he and his successors typically most well-liked over Edinburgh Citadel, which was deemed chilly and drafty as a consequence of its place on a hill, uncovered to harsher climate situations. Additions to the palace carried on for hundreds of years, beginning with constructing extra towers and higher flooring, and ultimately progressed to putting in electrical energy and fashionable loos. With so many exceptional inhabitants and adjustments over time, Holyroodhouse is an unimaginable sight to behold.

Holyrood Palace has totally different sights to see, all of that are extraordinary. As soon as admitted, you possibly can delve into the wonders of Holyroodhouse by touring the grand State Flats, the private rooms of Mary Queen of Scots, and the ruins of the unique abbey based by David I. For a particular restricted time from June 14 to October 6, the marriage outfits of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex shall be on show and the exhibition is included in normal admission tickets.

If you wish to pay just a little further, you possibly can see the Queen’s Gallery and go on a particular backyard historical past tour. Visits to Holyrood Palace normally final about 2-Three hours and it will get particularly crowded round lunchtime, so get there early to benefit from the grounds with much less individuals round you! That is positively one of the memorable spots on a weekend in Edinburgh.

Historic Holyrood Palace is an iconic building to visit on a weekend in Edinburgh

Cease 2: Arthur’s Seat in Holyrood Park

A weekend in Edinburgh requires some contemporary air and exquisite surroundings, so it’s time to go to Arthur’s Seat! Subsequent to Holyrood Palace is Holyrood Park, which holds an incredible extinct volcano known as Arthur’s Seat. You possibly can climb up a protracted hill to achieve the highest of Arthur’s Seat, the best level within the park, which stands round 251 meters (823 toes) above sea degree and provides individuals a fabulous view of the town of Edinburgh. The location of this volcano can also be recognized to have its origins from over 2000 years in the past, as considered one of 4 hilltop forts believed to be within the space.

Mountaineering to Arthur’s Seat could seem intimidating at first, because the climb is steep, however there are totally different trails for all ranges of climbing potential so everybody can attain the summit. Most individuals can hike as much as Arthur’s Seat inside half an hour, however it by no means hurts to take mini breaks to take a look at the plush inexperienced rolling hills of the dormant volcano that you just’re strolling on. When you get to the highest, be sure you get an image of the sensible view and admire the peaceable environment round you. You’ll be capable to spot Edinburgh Citadel within the distance. Within the summertime, beautiful (and typically very uncommon) wildflowers dot the hills. Be sure you have a jacket or sweater readily available, although—Arthur’s Seat may be fairly windy!

If you happen to don’t have the power to hike all the best way to Arthur’s Seat, there’s a much less strenuous historic web site so that you can go to throughout the park. One of many trails on the best way to Arthur’s Seat holds the ruins of St. Anthony’s Chapel, constructed no later than the 15th century. If you happen to begin from Holyrood Palace, you possibly can take the trail main out from the parking zone and discover the chapel in about 10-15 minutes on foot. Its precise origins are unknown, however the stone ruins are an excellent backdrop towards the town panorama and overlook the river known as St. Margaret’s Loch. Better of all, the ruins are free to be examined by guests and are the probably space to not have vacationers swarming round it! Holyrood Park is an unforgettable space for a weekend in Edinburgh.

A weekend in Edinburgh is incomplete without hiking up to Arthur's Seat!

Cease 3: The Royal Mile

After seeing all of the historic websites and locations on a weekend in Edinburgh, it’s good to soak up the native life and stroll the Royal Mile. The Royal Mile consists of the principle stretch of highway that makes up the center of the town: Castlehill, Lawnmarket, Excessive Road, and Canongate. Edinburgh Citadel, St. Giles’ Cathedral, and Holyrood Palace are all landmarks on the Royal Mile, as they’re all linked by this one highway, however that’s not all you will discover on this road. Right here is the place you possibly can discover extra by yourself and profit from the top of a weekend in Edinburgh.

The Royal Mile is full of eating places and outlets, every distinctive and in contrast to something you will discover elsewhere. This can be a nice alternative to eat dinner or seize a fast snack and take a look at native Scottish creations. Identified for its prime quality cashmere and tartan, Edinburgh has a plethora of outfitters alongside the Royal Mile, the place you will discover something from vintage jewellery to the softest cashmere blankets. Take time to walk alongside and pop inside a number of shops to speak to and assist native artisans and store keepers. You by no means know what you’ll discover in these shops and you’ll positively need to take some superb issues house with you!

If you wish to go off the Royal Mile and enterprise out additional into Edinburgh’s metropolis life, attempt visiting the Grassmarket space in Edinburgh’s Outdated City and search for Victoria Road. Vibrant, colourful storefronts instantly seize the attention, in addition to the totally different window shows. Victoria Road is filled with odds and ends. There are hat shops and cookware outlets with an limitless provide of shortbread out so that you can attempt, in addition to a joke and prankster store and shops stuffed with artwork and stationary. There actually is one thing for everybody alongside this winding cobblestone highway and you’ll linger in no matter retailer that catches your eye for so long as you want. Purchase your self an superior memento so you possibly can keep in mind the great instances you had on a weekend in Edinburgh.

Walk the Royal Mile and shop on Victoria Street during a weekend in Edinburgh

This concludes a weekend in Edinburgh itinerary! This picturesque metropolis is filled with life and historical past and it is likely one of the finest cities in the UK. There’s a lot to discover and enjoyable actions to attempt, so don’t miss out on this magnificent place. A weekend in Edinburgh awaits!

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