City Guide

Edinburgh is a charming, unique city and walking through it feels like a movie set. It was the last stop on our UK trip. We first arrived there from Marylebone on our way to the Scotland Highlands.We took a 5 hour train from London to Edinburgh and when Navy wasn’t falling asleep in Mad’s lap she was wide-eyed as she watched the animals and the rolling countryside outside the windows. 

With the pandemic in full swing the city was much quieter than normal so it was slower paced, which was actually really nice. After weeks of busyness we spent our first day in Edinburgh at the Airbnb and rested. I took advantage of the down time to fill out and send in my absentee ballot for the election, since we knew we would be traveling over Election Day. Mad and I wanted to get them in early to ensure that our votes counted!

It was rainy and overcast most days, which we didn’t mind. The weather fit the mood…the old buildings, beautiful architecture and cobblestone streets…it was such a dream. We didn’t get to adventure as much as we would have liked due to COVID, but of the places we did visit it made our trip worthwhile. Edinburgh is such a moody city to wander and get lost in all of the history and character!


This is one of the most famous dessert spots in the heart of the city and is such a great stop for tasty treats. You have to try the salted caramel gelato and their homemade chocolate. We may have come here multiple times during our trip just for the gelato, it was so amazing!

Such amazing food, but this restaurant is really known for the extravagantly beautiful architecture and interiors. I definitely recommend putting it on your list! 

This quaint cafe is a perfect spot for a quick brunch and coffee and they have vegetarian & vegan options too! They’re only open on the weekends and typically the lines are long so if you put this on your list, make a note to get there early! 

There are so many great coffee spots in Edinburgh but this one was my favorite. Very cozy and great seating right on the street. It’s also a good place to grab cookies and scones if you’re in the mood for something sweet. 

By far my favorite stop in Edinburgh! It’s such a quaint, beautiful village with water running through it in the heart of the city. Since it’s all residential it’s not overly touristy, which Mad and I liked. It’s really picturesque and there’s a beautiful walk along the water to take photos. 

To get there, have a taxi drop you off at the intersection of Dean Path and Damside, then walk down Hawthorne Lane which is a narrow sidewalk. It will head downhill along the Water of Leith. The best views will be at the bottom of Hawthrone Lane. If you walk right under the bridge you can get the views from the picture above!

This spot is simply a walk away from the famous grassmarket where you can see beautiful views of the Edinburgh Castle.

A famous street with a lot to do here, plus it is a really charming street to walk. Miss Katie Cupcakes is a uniquely shaped building in the middle of the winding street and would make for a great photo moment!

We grabbed a coffee from The Milkman…an amazing, famous stop on this street. 

This is such a stunning building and a can’t miss if you’re looking for beautiful architecture. With the grand buildings and stairs, it’s an iconic moment for photos. It is still a functioning school so be respectful of the students and their campus while you’re taking it all in.

Also, don’t get it confused with Old College. We went there first and had to walk all the way across town to the other building. 

Circus street is a quaint residential area of Edinburgh and the homes and streets are lined with florals. A really beautiful spot to add to your city walking tour. 

We loved how bright and spacious the interior of our AirBnB was and the location was perfect to walk around and be close to food, shopping and exploring. It was the perfectly cozy spot for our final stay in the UK!

The Balmoral is a beautiful hotel! We would have loved to stay here but wanted a more home-y spot to unwind for our last stop. The rooms are beautiful and really spacious and the food’s so good. Also in a great location since it’s in the middle of everything so there’s easy access to food, shopping and old town.  

Another really great option if you are more interested in staying in a hotel. Beautiful interiors and amazing rooms! It is right in the middle of Edinburgh so if you want to be at the center of the city, this is perfect!