Travel journal: Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh photos and travel guide

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.

Edinburgh photos and travel guide
Edinburgh photos and travel guide

Friendly bars/pubs:

The Dagda Bar
Laid-back pub perfect for chatting with locals and trying a cask ale and/or whiskey.

Hoot the Redeemer
This carnival-themed underground bar has inventive drinks (a few of which feature candy garnishes) and alcoholic slushies.

Edinburgh travel guide photographer

Greenmantle
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.

Edinburgh photos and travel guide

Places to eat:

Roseleaf
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).

Edinburgh photos and travel guide

Aizle
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.

Edinburgh travel guide photographer

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. 

Edinburgh photos and travel guide

Coffee:

Relish
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.

Cult Espresso
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:

Arthur's Seat
Hiking to the top of Arthur's Seat was amazing. Do it. The end.

Edinburgh photos and travel guide
Edinburgh photos and travel guide
Edinburgh photos and travel guide
Edinburgh photos and travel guide

Edinburgh Castle
Don't be a goon. Buy your tickets for Edinburgh Castle ahead of time. The line is long, but you can skip it if you plan ahead.

Edinburgh photos and travel guide
Edinburgh photos and travel guide
Edinburgh photos and travel guide
Edinburgh photos and travel guide

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.

Edinburgh photos and travel guide
Edinburgh photos and travel guide

Ever been to Edinburgh? What were your favorite spots?

Check out Scotland parts two and three in my guides to Islay and Glasgow.