Just before Christmas, myself and my boyfriend took a little 3 day break to Edinburgh instead of exchanging Christmas gifts. Sidenote: this is a great idea - memories > material thingy majingys.
We saw many a sight, ate ourselves silly, did the majority of our Christmas shopping and generally had a right hoot. There was lots of Christmassy things going on - the market, the ice skating and lots of lovely lights, so it was a lovely time to visit!
I thought I'd pop a few recommendations together if you were thinking of visiting any time soon, and you most definitely should.
When to go?
As I mentioned, we went around Christmas time, and it was a pretty magical city for a Christmassy break, as they go all out for the festive season. However, there are lots of lovely parks and outside spaces which mean it would be lovely to go in the Spring or Summer too, and also would mean that you don't have to seek solace in warm shops every few minutes. My sister went in the Springtime and loved it too.
Food, food, food.
The important bit. Firstly, it goes without saying that you obviously must try a battered Mars bar; they are both as delicious and debilitatingly unhealthy as one would imagine, but again, a must try.
My burger recommendation - and yes we did consume a fair few - would be Wannaburger. This place is amazing: reasonable, the most authentically American burger joint I've visited (apart from the Irn Bru offering) and importantly, is down-right delicious.
There are food outlets on every corner and street in Edinburgh, from the usual chain restaurants to lovely little coffee shops, cute cafes and wonderful bistros and brasseries with stunning views. I found that most places pride themselves on offering fresh Scottish produce no matter what their style of food, so you're pretty spoilt for choice in this city.
Princes Street is your go-to place, and also doubles as probably the most beautiful shopping street I've visited: on one half of the road (the side you shop on) it is completely modernised and a shopaholics haven, whilst the other side of the street looks over the gorgeous Princes Street Gardens. Simply beaut.
The Old Town (once you've suffered the walk up) is also worth a wander round for cutesy, vintage shops and one off purchases.
Sights I want to see again/you should definitely visit.
I adored the Scottish Museum, and would definitely recommend spending a rainy afternoon perusing around the place - it is enormous, interesting and beautiful.
The castle views are amazing and definitely worth a looky. We took a walk (read: hike) up and decided that £16 entry was a little steep for our student budget, so just took in the views instead, and walked along the Royal Mile and the Old Town. I've heard the castle is well worth the pennies though!
Obviously only a Christmas related affair, but if you're planning on going at that time of year, the German markets are beautiful and the ice skating is super fun (we went to the St James' Square rink).
Where we stayed.
We stared at the Apex Hotel in Haymarket (the first picture is in our hotel room), which is about a 10 minute walk from the centre of the city. It was really lovely, especially for the price, since they included little freebies like hot chocolate, amazing hair dryer and heat mat for hair appliances.
I absolutely love Edinburgh and would love to see more of the UK: What's your favourite city in the UK?