After spending eight days in Scotland, I'm certainly not an expert, but I can share some suggestions on what to do (but mostly what to eat... SO. MUCH. FOOD.) if you ever head to this ridiculously friendly (and beautiful) country. Our trip started in Edinburgh (check out my posts on Islay - hello, whiskey! - and Glasgow, too), so here's a rundown of what I can recommend in said city.
Traditional pub feel with a nice selection of beer and whiskey, plus a great location for snagging an outdoor seat if the weather is nice.
Places to eat:
We were lucky to grab a table at this adorably decorated restaurant sans reservation. 3/4 of us had the Leith-al Egg, a spin on the traditional Scotch egg with haggis (the first of many welcome run-ins with haggis).
If there is a must-eat spot in Edinburgh, this is it. Make a reservation in advance. The "menu" is a monthly rotating ingredient list, rather than a traditional menu. This was easily the best meal we had in Scotland. If I lived in Edinburgh, I'd have a monthly reservation, no question.
The Queens Arms
We ate way too much at The Queens Arms...and it was all delicious. After a failed attempt at visiting another restaurant on our list (which we didn't have reservations for), we "settled" for dinner here and feasted on possibly the best fish and chips we had in Scotland after likely terrifying our server with how much food we ordered.
We popped into Relish looking for a cup of coffee and got a damn good one. Add to that their ridiculously tasty sweets (think gooey caramel brownies) and this is a must-stop for a caffeine fix.
If only we had time to eat breakfast here...if you go, have some breakfast for me. We didn't have time to eat here, but we did have time to grab a flat white and have some friendly banter with the staff while they made it. 10/10, would visit again.
Must visit sights:
Hiking to the top of Arthur's Seat was amazing. Do it. The end.
Princes Street Gardens
Everyone can use some green therapy in their life and this gorgeous park in the center of Edinburgh has tons of it + killer views of the city. Go there and pack a picnic.