Visit what was recently named ‘the best city in the world’, with its history and vibrant culture, says Lifestyle Editor Emma Ledger.
Get a history lesson
One of Europe’s most beautiful cities, Edinburgh’s classical and medieval architecture, narrow streets, winding walkways and stairs mean it’s best explored on foot.
At the top everything is Edinburgh Castleoffers great views of the entire city, along with verdant hills and a bit of azure sea beyond.
The castle complex is a live history lesson that doesn’t disappoint.
You could spend a whole day here – don’t miss St Margaret’s Chapel, the oldest part, built around 11:30 and the daily salute at 1pm.
Admission fee £18 for adults, £11 for children under 15, and minors are free (Edinburghcastle.scot).
Refuel with a cuppa and perfect bacon, £5.75, from nearby sister cafes Edinburgh Larder and Little Larder – the latter operates only on a go-to basis the set (Edinburghlarder.co.uk).
Drinking tea on the yacht
Pamper your feet by hop on a sightseeing bus – tickets are valid for 24 hours and cost £16 (Edinburghtour.com/majestic-tour).
The route will take you to the coastal area of Leith, where the Royal Yacht Britannia is moored.
In her 44-year career, the yacht has sailed more than a million nautical miles and the Queen has hosted celebrities and world leaders, from Nelson Mandela to Winston Churchill, on board.
Check out the royal bedroom and glittering engine room, before heading to the Royal Deck Tea Room for a giant slice of carrot cake, worth £2.50.
Tickets cost £18 for adults, £9 for children under 17 and underage kids are free (Royalyachtbritannia.co.uk)
Take a short nap
In a popular city that doesn’t mind partying, finding a central yet soundproof hotel is a must.
The Novotel Edinburgh Center is just a block from the pub-filled Royal Mile and Princes Street, but offers a sanctuary of quiet, complete with an indoor pool and spa to relax in after a day of sightseeing.
Breakfast is a piled up fresh buffet, and don’t leave without stopping by the restaurant for the legendary haggis croquette with mashed potatoes and Drambuie sauce, £7.
A double room costs from £90 a night, including breakfast (Novotel.accor.com).
Eat like a scot
Dunstane Houses is a large boutique hotel, set on two Victorian townhouses facing each other and serving the best of Scotland’s food.
Enjoy the Orkney scallops to start, crispy pork belly for the main course and finish with local cheese served with traditional oatcakes and chutneys, £35 for three.
Wash it all down with an obligatory whiskey (or two) in a sophisticated and relaxed environment.
Make the most of any nice weather – Edinburgh often experiences all four seasons in one day – with dinner in the garden.
A double room costs from £194 a night, including breakfast (Thedunstane.com).
keep your chin up
With an abundance of plants from around the world, the Royal Botanic Gardens have a richly diverse collection dating back to the 17th century.
Set on more than 70 acres, Botanics – as it is known by locals – offers stunning city views and offers a quiet moment from the cobbled streets.
Free admission (Rbge.org.uk). Feeling more adventurous?
Arthur’s Seat, a grassy volcanic hill that rises from the urban area of Edinburgh, offers the best views of the city – if you can make the two-hour climb!
A round trip train from London to Edinburgh takes just over 4 and a half hours and costs from £39.80 each way with Lumo (Lumo.co.uk).