Photo: Richie Chan/Shutterstock

13 Iconic Images That Will Inspire Your Next Trip to Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh Insider Guides Galleries
by Katie Scott Aiton Jun 13, 2017

The city is a blend of a medieval Old Town and elegant Georgian New Town, with gardens and neoclassical buildings. A historical guide to Edinburgh is a good introduction to the history of the entire nation. It’s home to the Scottish Parliament, some of the best restaurants and bars in the UK, dramatic architecture and vast green spaces. As an Edinburgh local, when I think of Edinburgh, I think of Tollcross, Bruntsfield Links, The Cow Gate, Murrayfield, Waverly Station. Here are a few more must-see places.

Carlton Hill

Photo: Susanne Pommer/Shutterstock

Calton Hill is a great place to get a view of the city skyline, and also a wonderful spot to watch the night sky on a clear evening.

Sunset over Old Town

Photo: f11photo/Shutterstock

The University of Edinburgh

Photo: andreyspb21/Shutterstock

The University of Edinburgh is one of the oldest universities in the world. The campus is scattered over the city and is part of its historic architecture.

The Devil’s Advocate, Old Town

This is one of my favourite bars in the city. The venue, converted from an old Victorian pump house, is hidden down Advocate’s close, off the Royal Mile. They have a huge collection of Scottish whiskies and a pretty mean menu.

Arthur’s Seat

Photo: Connorwrich/Shutterstock

You can hike to the top of Arthur’s seat, an 823′ peak, in a couple of hours where you’ll be rewarded with views of the entire city to the eastern coast of Scotland.


Photo: pio3/Shutterstock

Princes Street

Photo: Ulmus Media/Shutterstock

Cross The North Bridge from The Old Town and you’ll come onto Princes Street, the main shopping street of the city. Don’t hurry over the bridge, the view is magic.

Middle Meadow Walk

Photo: Serge Bertasius Photography/Shutterstock

Middle Meadow Walk is a common route for commuters strolling from Bruntsfield and Morningside to the city. Be sure to walk in the correct lane, or you will feel the wrath of many of the local cyclists.

Edinburgh Castle

Photo: godrick/Shutterstock

The inhabited fortress looms over the city. The dungeons at Edinburgh Castle held a wide variety of kooky personalities, including Lady Janet Douglas, an accused witch who was later burned at the stake (along with around 300 other women over the castle’s history), and Duke Alexander Stewart of Albany, who escaped by killing his guards and burning their bodies. When visiting, expect to see their ghosts, plus the spirits of a headless drummer, a phantom piper, a dog wandering the dog cemetery, and many other departed prisoners roaming the halls. Visitors also report a creepy feeling of being watched, unnatural temperature fluctuations, sounds of breathing coming from who-knows-where, and, worst of all, unseen things touching their faces.

Stockbridge, Westend

Photo: Doubleclix/Shutterstock

Stockbridge used to be a village on the outskirts of Edinburgh. It’s cobbled streets and pretty houses have made it a popular gentrified city suburb, neighbored by New Town and Comely Bank. There is a distinctive split between this part of the city and The Old Town. From the days of the 18th-century city planning to today, there has been a significant investment in this part of the city. This has resulted in grand parks, gardens, upscale shopping, swanky bars and restaurants.

The Kitchin, Commercial Quay

Tom Kitchin, renowned Scottish chef, converted this old whisky warehouse into his flagship Edinburgh restaurant, The Kitchin. It’s one of the finest places to eat in the country with a blend of French cooking techniques with Scottish produce and ingredients. It’s not unusual to see Tom ambling around the restaurant floor, chatting with customers.

The Meadows at the beginning of Autumn

Photo: woolver/Shutterstock

I am often asked by friends when the best time of year to visit Edinburgh is. I struggle to choose a season. This is mainly due to my love of the Meadows. During spring the blossoming trees hug the paths. In summer, you’ll see groups of friends having picnics and playing sports. The autumn colors are magnificent and although winter might be harsh, it covers the landscape in a gleaming blanket of frost and snow.

The Royal Mile

Photo: Richie Chan/Shutterstock

The Royal Mile can get madly crowded during the summer and The Fringe Festival. That said, there’s live music and entertainment year-round and well worth a stroll. 

Discover Matador