Edinburgh is the perfect city; not too hectic but not too quiet either – with just the right mix of shopping, tourist attractions and restaurants with open outdoor spaces, hills to climb and places to explore.

However, a city is still a city and when visiting somewhere new, where do you start? Which eateries are the perfect places to dine, which museums are worth a visit, and which attractions should you go and see.

THE CUTEST CAFE TO EAT IN

Spoon

You’ll find Spoon easily when googling ‘cheap places to eat in Edinburgh’. And from the photos it looks lovely enough. But with its central location and a menu catering breakfast, lunch and dinner, it’s definitely worth a visit. Tucked away between two other shops and cafes, Spoon is easy to miss. It’s a tiny doorway, but it leads to a flight of stairs which take you to a lot bigger space on the second floor. Spoon is the cutest little place, with mismatch furniture and mix and match crockery giving the place a real shabby chic image. Oh, and the food is great too!

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THE MOST INCREDIBLE TAKEAWAY

Oink

When on the go, trying to fit in as much as possible, stopping for lunch isn’t always the best (or most time saving) idea. Quirky little cafes and restaurants are great, but sometimes takeaways are even better! Online, Oink has loads of great reviews. And why wouldn’t you want to visit? You make your own pulled pork sub, choose your bap, and then your sauce and stuffing. It has to be had to be believed, but if anyone can find a better pork hog roast, we’ll eat our hat (and then the hog roast too!)

THE BEST WAY TO LEARN ABOUT EDINBURGH’S HISTORY

The Real Mary King’s Close

In lots of cities there are the dungeons; The London Dungeons, The Amsterdam Dungeons, The Berlin Dungeons. In Bruges, there’s the Historium – an audio led, and virtual reality tour. And in Edinburgh? Well in Edinburgh there’s The Real Mary King’s Close. The Real Mary King’s Close is a tour, fully equipped with tour guide (from that time era), that will take you down into the old streets of Edinburgh, which are now fully underground due to more modern buildings being  built over top. The sarcastic wit and humor of the tour guides will be most enjoyed by the British, but for anyone, it puts a fun spin on learning something a bit different about the city.

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FOR THOSE WHO LOVE THE OUTDOORS

Climb to the top of Arthur’s Seat

For someone as active, and even for those who aren’t, climbing to the top of Arthur’s Seat is a must. It’ll take around an hour to walk from Princes Street (the main shopping street) to the peak of Arthur’s Seat (weather permitting) and just over an hour to work your way back down. This isn’t for the faint hearted. It’s a tough climb, its muddy and slippery when wet – and its always wet in Scotland  – and it takes a lot of cardiovascular endurance. But once at the top, the views are incredible, which definitely make all the effort worthwhile.

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FOR THOSE WHO ARE KIDS AT HEART

Edinburgh Zoo

How can you visit the Scottish capital without a visit to Edinburgh Zoo? Feed the goats, hold the creepy crawlies and, of course, see the pandas! You do have to book a slot to view the pandas – yes, they’re that popular – but where else are you likely to see one as close? Book your slot early to avoid disappointment as they are pretty incredible to see, even behind glass.

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