Falling in Love with Edinburgh

Hello world,

I spent a couple of days in beautiful, spooky Edinburgh after spontaneously booking a trip to Scotland, because I had been binge-watching Outlander. 

I did not come to Scotland for Edinburgh. In fact, I had heard it was a rather dark and dodgy city. It certainly was, but it was also one of the most captivating cities I have been to.

Let me just say: On the third day I went to look at the university and googled possible postgraduate degrees I might pursue in the Scottish capitol. Edinburgh blew me away.

Edinburgh, Scotland

Population: 464,990
Correct pronunciation: Edinbura (u very short, roll the r)
Big-Mac-Index: U$ 3.73
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  1. Visit Calton Hill by sunset or sunrise. It is not a big hike, but I guarantee you that most postcards and pictures you have seen of Edinburgh were taken there. You have a good view over the whole city and some fancy neoclassic building as your foreground. The sunset I witnessed there, was not even clear, however, the light was beau-ti-ful. 
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  2. Walk a lot. It is the best way to explore this city’s closes, courts, and alleys.
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  3. Go to museums. There are so many in Edinburgh, and they are almost all for free! I visited the Writers’ Museum, the National Museum, and the Museum of the People. All of them were great. I also heard good things about the Museum of Edinburgh and the Museum of Childhood. If you can only do one: Visit the National Museum; it is overwhelming and fascinating.
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  4. Stay at the Castle Rock Hostel. It is cheap, a great social hotspot, offers a lot of activities and free wifi, and it has received a ton of awards. Plus, the receptionists (24 hours a day!) are super nice. I loved it there.
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  5. Do the Harry Potter Trail. It is for free and a must for every Potterhead. They start every Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at 3pm at the Greyfriar’s Bobby statue. The enthusiastic guide will tell you all about the inspiration J.K. Rowling got from Edinburgh.
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  6. Try Haggis just once. Or if not, have some other Scottish food. We went to the Royal Mile Tavern, which was actually pretty good. Plus, you get a discount if you are staying at the Castle Rock.
    If you are not into really unhealthy food, there is also a lot of good and cheap places in Edinburgh, such as Hendersons in the New Town or El Torre Loco at Grassmarket. Other than that, Marks & Spencer always has good takeaway options. 
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  7. Visit St. Giles Cathedral. It is breathtakingly beautiful. Now I want a blue ceiling with stars in my bedroom.
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  8. Hike up Arthur’s Seat to see the sunrise. Arthur’s Seat is a hill located just below the Royal Mile. It is an actual hike to get up there (300 meters of elevation) and you will have to get up at 5 am, but it is definitely worth it. Although it is not very touristy, it would recommend sunrise instead of sunset, since it does get a bit crowded for the latter.

Edinburg is not only a great place for affordable (solo) travel, it is also packed with friendly locals (who love their country), a bloody and Game of Thrones reminiscent history, a fantastic nightlife, many North Americans (they are very easy to make friends with), and a rugged atmosphere.

I absolutely loved it there. Who knows when I might come back. Hopefully, it will be for a bit longer.

xo

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