"If London were an alien city, Edinburgh was another planet" - Jess Walter, Beautiful Ruins.
And yes, Edinburgh is a wonderful city so get ready to see how I packed everything in 2 days.
Edinburgh airport is super well connected to the city. You can hop on the AirLink bus which will get you till Princess Street right in the heart of the city. It's 7.5 pounds the return ticket (4.5 pounds one way).
As you can expect Edi is not cheap for accommodation but I was happy with booking my stay at Motel One on Princess street. Even my sister who is quite picky liked the place. The room was about 100 Euros per night for 2 people.
I love to walk a lot and sometimes people that join me do hate me at start a little bit as i end up walking for about 20k a day ... and that's only because I love food and coffee so much andI take a lot of breaks :P otherwise it would be much more.
Let's start with the beginning: BREAKFAST :)
they say that if in Edinburgh you have to try the cheese toasties at Cairngorm Coffee, and so i did. I have to admit it, they are the best of what I tried and honestly I had more than I would have expected in different places. And next to it, have a try to their flat white.
With so many calories in one go, we collected enough energy to conquer the city.
Direction Victoria Street
My first note is about PITT's statue who apparently was the first Prime Minister of Britain back in late 1700. You can find his statue in the roundabout between George & Frederick streets. He looks like he is keeping an eye on the whole street.
Following Frederick street you end up in Princess Street... pay attention on your right side you can find Hotel Chocolate. I was not familiar with this chocolate shop and since I live in Belgium I became a bit picky with chocolate but loved this one and they have some very nice cosmetics as well, could not leave without getting a hand cream. Arriving on Princess street in front of you are quite a few things to see. If not in a hurry take a walk through Princess Gardens, right in front of you. You can enter via the gate in front of the Royal Scots Greys Monument. "This equestrian bronze depicts a Royal Scots Dragoon Guard (Carabinier and Greys) in uniform with bearskin hat, sword and rifle, it is by William Birnie Rhind (1853 - 1933) and was unveiled by the Earl of Rosebery on the 16th November 1906." (Source)
Follow the road on the right side of The Royal Scottish Academy (free) which I did not get to visit, but here a look of the outside's architecture
walking all the way up the street leaving the Scottish National Gallery (free) on your left side you reach the New Collage Building. "The University of Edinburgh is one of the largest and most renowned centres for (post)graduate studies in Theology and Religious Studies in the UK" (Source)
Take Milne's Court and you end up in LawnMarket which is part of the Royal Mile, I come later on back here
If you sort of go straight after you get out from Millen's Court, you end up on Upper Bow Street.
Before taking the stairs down to Victoria Street, walk on Victoria Terrace, it gives you a super nice view of Victoria Street
Take the stairs, finally you made it Victoria Street is here :)
From here head towards George IV Bridge and check out The Elephant House, or "the birthplace of Harry Potter". You can go inside for a coffee if you feel like it.
Or continue your walk towards the most famous dog of Scotland, Greyfriars Bobby. He has his own statue!
"was a Skye Terrier which became known in 19th - century Edinburgh for spending 14 years guarding the grave of its owner until he died himself on 14 January 1872. The story continues to be well known in Scotland, through several books and films." (Source)
Deepening on the time you can stop for lunch at Cafe Andaluz. I can't say it was the best place for Spanish food out there, but it's very beautiful decorated and has a quite big variety of tapas. You can find the restaurant also in Glasgow or Aberdeen.
It's time for exploring more of the Royal Mile
The Royal Mile is the name given to a succession of streets forming the main thoroughfare of the Old Town of the city of Edinburgh in Scotland. [...] The streets which make up the Royal Mile are (west to east) Castlehill, the Lawnmarket, the High Street, the Canongate and Abbey Strand" (Source)
On High Street you have the impressive St. Gills Cathedral "also known as the High Kirk of Edinburgh, it is the Mother Church of Presbyterianism and contains the Chapel of the Order of the Thistle." (Source)
and right next to it you can find the Mercat Cross. "A mercat cross is the Scots name for the market cross found frequently in Scottish cities. [...] [The current one is] an 1885 replacement of the original cross removed in 1756." (Source) I must say I find the unicorn shape ultra funny.
all around this area there are a lot of small streets called Close and some of them offer super nice views over the city, you can check them out. For one of them, Mary Close you need to pay as it is a underground tour. I did not take that, as not necessary into this type of visits. But here the ones I checked out.
my favorite one is
In the Royal Mile everything is special and loos super charming. Here some of my favorites
Deacon Boddie's Tavern
Gladstones Land or the oldest building on the Royal Mile
Mirrors outside Camera Obscura
Whiskey souvenir shops
I pondered between going inside or not, but in the end and considering the nice weather i decide to only look around from the outside this time. Have a look
We did enter in the Museum of the Mound which was free and it takes you 15 min to visit
And yes, I dragged my sister till the Leigh district only to see a bit of streetart. I am sure that she complained to everyone she knows about it, but here one of the walls we found around the area
Go for a Theater Play
We caught The Little Mermaid, but I am sure there are always nice ballets performed
Dinner if you still can
We went out for a snack next to some margaritas at Wahaca
if your feet are not yet killing you start with Breakfast this time we tried Tani Modi so that you can collect energy for the day, we are going hiking!
if you like hiking and great views, this is the place to go in Edi. It's not a heavy hike so anyone can do it. Just go in your rhythm and breath
"The Scott Monument is a Victorian Gothic monument to Scottish author Sir Walter Scott. It is the second largest monument to a writer in the world after the Jose Marti monument in Havana" (Source)
"The tower is 200 feet 6 inches (61.11 m) high, and has a series of viewing platforms reached by a series of narrow spiral staircases giving panoramic views of central Edinburgh and its surroundings. The highest platform is reached by a total of 288 steps. It is built from Binny sandstone quarried near Ecclesmachan in West Lothian." (Source)
We stopped for pizza at Vappiano, maybe not the best in the world, but perfect for a short break. From here we visited the Scottish National Gallery I have no pictures to share, but it's nice to see. And at the end with our 20k we decided to go to the hotel and call it off early, next day it was time for an early train to Glasgow.