While a trip Edinburgh Castle is must when you visit Scotland’s capital city, rest assured, a visit to the Palace of Holyrood House, will not disappoint either. For a little bit of eerie entertainment, check out the Edinburgh Dungeon on Market Street and enjoy an interactive experience that’s a little spooky and a lot of fun. Head to Old Town and take a peek into its interesting history and 17th century life with the Real Mary King’s Close tour.
Another must-do? Take a walk along the Royal Mile and explore the side streets for interesting places to eat and shop. There is a stop for the hop-on/hop-off nearby or explore one of the Close’s along the Mile; these are narrow little alleys which used to have tenement houses on either side.
Here’s Where We Stayed: Hilton Edinburgh Carlton
Hotel Review: The hotel was in a perfect location for exploring the city with great access to restaurants, shopping and sightseeing. The rooms were comfortable, and the facilities were modern, while the exterior was still old world. The hotel restaurant had a very good breakfast and there was a nice open bar area where you could grab a cocktail. It was walking distance to Edinburgh Castle and right in the heart of the Old Town.
Restaurant Recommendation: There are some great restaurants in every direction – The Inn on the Mile ($) does nice, casual Pub fare and Howies ($$) at Waterloo does a very nice dinner with an upscale, yet rustic local flare. While in Scotland, try the Haggis; many restaurants do versions that are very tasty. Also try the Cullen Skink; a hearty fish chowder.
Car Rental: If you do not plan on leaving the city then you do not need a car rental. If you are exploring outside the city, then rent a car for the day since most hotels have limited or expensive parking. There are day tours that will take you into the Highlands or Loch regions, but if you’re doing a short, city-stay then you shouldn’t need a car.