UK Travel Guide: 24 Hours In Edinburgh Itinerary
Planning a 1 day trip to Edinburgh? Good choice! Edinburgh is one of our favourite cities to explore and is a must do if you're visiting the UK. In this 1 day itinerary, we'll be hitting the most popular attractions, exploring some of the quieter corners of Edinburgh and tasting some of the best food this incredible city has to offer. So let's get started.
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Start Your Day With Breakfast At Tani Modi
We're going to start our day in Edinburgh with breakfast at the popular Tani Modi. Tani Modi is a family run café located in Edinburgh's New Town and specialises in breakfast and brunch. The extensive menu has something for everyone, with dishes for those on a vegan, vegetarian or gluten free diet as well serving up hearty full Scottish cooked breakfasts. This popular brunch spot is small, so we recommend booking a table.
Location: 103 Hanover St, Edinburgh EH2 1DJ
Walk In The Steps Of Kings & Queens At Edinburgh Castle
Take the short but steep walk up the hill to visit Edinburgh's most popular attraction. Edinburgh Castle sits proudly at one of the highest points in the city, dominating the city's skyline and is easily the most recognisable landmark in Edinburgh.
Spend a couple of hours learning about the dramatic events that have unfolded on this site over the centuries. Discover the story that inspired George R.R. Martin's infamous Red Wedding from Game of Thrones, see what life was like for the castle's prisoners and even get up close to the beautiful Scottish crown jewels. Make sure to spend some time on the castle's terrace to enjoy spectacular views across the city and beyond.
There are plenty of information boards around the castle, but if you have visited the castle before, we would recommend buying an audio guide for your visit.
For guaranteed entry to the castle, make sure to book your tickets in advance.
Location: Castlehill, Edinburgh EH1 2NG
Get Up Close To Masterpieces By Some Of History's Most Famous Artists.
Did you know Edinburgh is home to a thriving art scene? There are a number of different galleries across the city, but if this is your first visit to Edinburgh, we recommend visiting The Scottish National Gallery. Visiting this gallery is one of our favourite things to do in the city. Situated just a short walk from Edinburgh Castle, the gallery boasts an impressive collection of art including works from Monet, Van Gogh, Cezanne and Raphael. The Scottish National Gallery is also home to one of Scotland's most well known pieces of art - The Monarch of the Glen. The gallery is free to visit, but small charges may apply to special exhibitions.
Location: The Mound, Edinburgh EH2 2EL
Time For Some Lunch.
After spending a full morning on your feet, you should be ready for some lunch. Depending on what time of year you're visiting we have a couple of different options.
If you're visiting on a cold winter's day (although we would eat here in a heat wave!) we recommend enjoying a hearty lunch at Makars Gourmet Mash Bar. Generous portions of mash potato are served with a choice of toppings including lamb shank, gammon and haggis, as well as different plant based options. They also have a wide selection of drinks, including Scottish whiskies to enjoy. It's the perfect place to warm up and enjoy some incredible food. Makars is one of our all time favourite places to eat and is one of Edinburgh's most popular food spots, so make sure to book a table in advance and save yourself the wait.
Location: 9 & 12 Bank St, Edinburgh EH1 2LN
If you're visiting on a warm, sunny day, grab a few bits from one of the city's best bakeries, La Barantine and enjoy a picnic in the beautiful Princes Street Gardens. The Princes Street Gardens sit in the shadow of the castle and offers incredible towering views of Edinburgh's beautiful architecture. If you're in the gardens at 1pm, listen out for the one o'clock gun, one of Edinburgh's most famous traditions.
Even if the weather is not conducive to a picnic, still visit La Barantine and pick up a dessert or 2 (the lemon tart is our personal favourite)
Location (La Barantine): 89 W Bow, Edinburgh EH1 2JP
Location (Gardens): Princes St, Edinburgh EH2 2HG
Enjoy A Whisky Tasting Experience.
After lunch, take a short walk along the Royal Mile, back towards the castle, to enjoy a educational drink experience. The Scotch Whisky Experience offers a range of tours to suit everyone (including families) where you can learn more about how whisky is produced as well as a nosing and tasting session with an opportunity to explore the world's largest collection of Scotch whiskies.
Location: 354 Castlehill, Edinburgh EH1 2NE
Or Spend An Afternoon Eating & Creating Your Own Chocolate.
If whisky is not your thing, The Chocolatorium may offer the perfect food & drink alternative. Learn about the history and production of chocolate on this popular 90 minute tour of a chocolate micro-factory. The tour also includes a trip to the tasting room as well as a hands-on experience making your own bar to take away with you.
Location: 3-5 Cranston St, Edinburgh EH8 8BE
Explore The National Museum Of Scotland.
The National Museum of Scotland is one of Edinburgh's most popular attractions and is a must do for first time visitors. The museum offers something for everyone, including Dolly the sheep (the first mammal to be cloned from an adult cell), the famous Lewis chess set, a full fashion gallery and of course a giant T-Rex skeleton! The museum is huge and there is so much to see, so we would recommend making a list of things you'd like to see and picking up a map when you arrive.
Location: Chambers St, Edinburgh EH1 1JF
Watch The Sun Set At Calton Hill
If you enjoy a city view at sunset, Calton Hill is the place to go. The walk up the hill is worth it for the incredible views across the city and beyond. Explore the different monuments or take the weight off your feet as you enjoy the sunset glow over the incredible city you've spent the day exploring.
(What time the sun sets will depend on the time of year you're visiting, so you may need to make some adjustments to this itinerary to catch the sunset)
Location: Calton Hill, Edinburgh EH1 3BJ
Dinner & Drinks At The Multi Award Winning Dine
If you're after a great spot for dinner and drinks, look no further than the multi award winning Dine. Beautiful interiors paired with high quality food and creative cocktails makes this a great way to end your sightseeing day. As one of Edinburgh's most popular restaurants, we highly recommend booking a table to avoid missing out.
Location: 1st floor, 10 Cambridge St, Edinburgh EH1 2ED
We hope you enjoyed reading our 1 day in Edinburgh itinerary and that it has given you some good ideas of what to see and do in this incredible city. What's your favourite thing to do in Edinburgh? Let us know below!
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