Edinburgh travel guide

There’s so much to love about Edinburgh, for this city has a personality that burns bright all year round. From the portside suburb of Leith with its new craft ales, to the historic Royal Mile, the views of the city from Calton Hill (best at sunset), the galleries, the museums, the festivals, the whisky-tasting tours and on and on… it’s no wonder that Edinburgh has inspired writers for generations. Sit in the cafe where JK Rowling wrote much of the Harry Potter stories, wander the streets and immerse yourself in that Edinburgh charm. If you’re planning a visit, explore our Edinburgh travel guide and find out how to make the most of your time in the Scottish capital. We’ve collected the best tips from our travel experts, and have all sorts of suggestions for things to do, the best time to travel, where to stay in Edinburgh, getting around and more.

Where to stay

Choosing where to stay in Edinburgh is tricky. This attractive, historical city has so much to offer! If you’re looking to splash some holiday cash, then the New Town, close to shopping hot-spots like Princes Street and George Street, is a must. On the other hand, if you want to delve into the city’s past, put yourself close to the Royal Mile or Grassmarket. ...

Things to do

You’ll find things to do in Edinburgh that suit every holiday style. Edinburgh Castle dominates the skyline, but don’t let it distract you for too long. Look out for hidden alleyways – these often lead to historical treasures like Mary King’s Close and unique boutiques selling one-off souvenirs. Attractions span the city, so you’ll never be stuck for things to see in Edinburgh. 

Travel tips

Make sure your holiday goes smoothly by picking up some Edinburgh travel tips. While there are many similarities between Australia and the UK, there are also some subtle differences. Things like remembering to check plug adapters (you’ll definitely need one) or sorting out visas can slip your mind in all the holiday excitement....

Getting Around

From taxis to buses and trams, the Edinburgh transport system is modern and efficient.  If you’re looking to get around the main city sites, walking Edinburgh could be your best option. Attractions like Princes Street Gardens, the Scottish National Gallery and The Edinburgh Dungeon are close together. For further afield hot spots, like the Royal Yacht Britannia or Holyrood Park, you may prefer to catch a bus.  Fancy a day out of Edinburgh to explore nearby Glasgow or the many Scottish lochs? Not a problem. Edinburgh Waverly Train Station offers lots of options for easy trips out of the city.

Where to eat

The Edinburgh food and drink scene is a reflection of the city’s rich multiculturalism. Whether you’re in the mood for Italian, Indian or fresh seafood caught off the shores of Scotland, there are dining options to suit your palate.  Experience cheap and cheery pub grub along Rose Street, or enjoy celebrity-approved dining at The Witchery by the Castle. You’ll also find plenty of familiar restaurant chains in the city centre.    Wash your meal down with a wee dram of Scotch. Why not sign up for a tasting session at one of the many whisky dens across the Old and New Town?


It’s wise to set some of your holiday budget aside for Edinburgh shopping trips. The lure of Edinburgh fashion stores on Princes Street and one-off souvenir opportunities around Stockbridge and West End are difficult to resist. That’s even before you’ve hit the mighty Jenners department store! If you feel like you can’t leave Scotland without some authentic tartan, make sure you head up to the Royal Mile or over to Rose Street. Here you’ll find retailers specialising in traditional Scottish fashions. Treat yourself to a tartan scarf or some wonderfully soft and warm Scottish wool clothing.

Best time to travel

The weather in Edinburgh often gets a bad rap. It’s stereotyped as always being cold. The northern location and winds blowing off the North Sea mean this is (to some extent) unavoidably true. Use this to your advantage though – cold weather simply offers an excuse to have a wee dram of authentic Scotch whisky or cosy up in a cafe! ...


From the wilds of Holyrood Park to the carefully curated plants in the Royal Botanic Gardens, whiling away hours of your holiday in one of the Edinburgh parks is easy. Each green space has its own story to tell, so you’ll be uncovering another bit of Edinburgh’s past as well as spending time among nature. ...