Edinburgh is one of my favorite cities in the world. There’s fantastic fine dining, great live music almost daily, a beautiful art scene, incredible architecture, impressive castles, a dynamic skyline, great hiking and sumptuous gardens all waiting to be explored. I hope this travel guide featuring the most luxurious spots in Edinburgh help discerning travelers make the most of their time in this incredible city full on wondrous adventures.
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Much like its gorgeous counterpart in London’s Chelsea neighborhood that I wrote about here, The Ivy on the Square in Edinburgh carries on the elegant yet relaxed tradition of elevated café dining made accessible to all. Located within walking distance from Edinburgh’s chicest hotel, The Scotsman, The Ivy Edinburgh is sophisticated fine dining with a cozy café feel, making it the perfect choice for a delicious breakfast, lunch, or brunch any time of year.
During our time in Edinburgh, we selected the historic The Scotsman hotel’s Headline Suite to enjoy during our time in Scotland’s capital. Situated inside the former headquarters of the The Scotsman, Edinburgh’s newspaper, this luxury hotel has distilled unique Scottish hospitality and charm down to a science inside of a gorgeous Baroque building built in 1905. Everything from the room itself to the service we received throughout our stay made our experience here a wonderful one. Directly across from the train station and only 15 minutes from Edinburgh Castle, The Scotsman hotel is one of Scotland’s most welcoming and indulgent hotels.
Greyfriars Kirkyard, or church graveyard, which is at the southern edge of Edinburgh Old Town, is a beautiful realm of contradictions. Filled with the dead and visited frequently by the living, we strolled through and admiring the fantastically ornate, weathered headstones and mausoleums that were covered in verdant, plush moss, creeping ivy, and gorgeous wild flowers growing in abundance. The motifs of the tombstones was eerie, covered in a blend of cherubs, skulls and cross bones, and worn statues of the interred, as was common the 1500s to 1800s. Allegedly one of the most haunted places in the world, this graveyard was the site of a rash of university sanctioned grave robbings, murders, and also served as inspiration for much of the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling.
Edinburgh Castle is one of Scotland’s most popular and celebrated castles. Set upon the remnants of an ancient volcano, the castle’s striking strategic significance made it a hotly contested stronghold all throughout its nearly 1,000 year history. The site of the birth of Mary Queen of Scots’ son, James the VI, as well as numerous historical battles as recent as WWII makes this castle one of the most fascinating and storied places in all of Europe. Learn more about its history, cultural significance, and the fascinating reason why this castle was fought for so passionately throughout the ages in this post.
Enjoy some of the finest fine dining in all of Edinburgh at Angels with Bagpipes, located on historic Royal Mile in Edinburgh’s Old Town. Rumored to soon be receiving a Michelin Star for culinary excellence, this delightful eatery has mastered flavor in a way few places around the world have.
Founded in 1670, the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh, Scotland was my favorite place in all of Edinburgh, which is saying a lot because Edinburgh is one of my favorite places I’ve ever been. In fact, my husband and I both agree that we’d love to live here someday. Boasting more than 100,000 plants on 70 acres, some of are more than 350 years old, as well as 10 glasshouses, and 10 different climate zones, this garden is a work of art and an incredible feat of engineering. If ever you find yourself in the Scottish capital, you would be remiss to skip a visit to this gorgeous garden complex.
These are some of the very best meals and my favorite fine dining experiences that I’ve ever had from around the world, including dining in a tree house overlooking the jungle of Tulum, eating inside of an old samurai house, and many more. This is one of my most requested round-up posts, so I hope you enjoy reading it as much I enjoyed eating all of this!
This guide will teach you how to select the perfect hotel every time, no matter what city you’re in, with specific advice on what to consider before hitting “reserve now”. Here’s how I pick the best available hotel every single time, thereby ensuring we have a fantastic place to return to each night of our adventures.
Blair Castle Hercules Garden in Blair Atholl, Scotland was one of the most beautiful gardens we saw in the United Kingdom. Take the time to stroll through the lush garden’s winding walkways, admire hundred year old sculptures, and take in the grand simplicity of this luxuriously tranquil slice of Scottish countryside after a tour of Blair Castle.
Traveling to a new or unsafe place, particularly if you’re alone, can be nerve wracking or even downright scary, but it doesn’t have to be. These tips will give you the tools and awareness you need to be able to check your room for hidden cameras, secure doors to adjoining rooms occupied by another guest, make sure no one else can access your room, and help you keep an eye on your belongings and rented space, even when you’re out and about. I hope these tips help you travel more confidently and fearlessly.