A wonderful place in itself
  1. Walks
  2. Calton Hill
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    Arguably the best views in town and an easier climb than Arthur's Seat. Plus it has an amazing assortment of rather imposing monuments and the City Observatory.
  3. Water of Leith
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    A lovely meandering walk along the river, passing through some of Edinburgh's prettiest neighbourhoods.
  4. Blackford Hill
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    A rather steeper climb than Calton Hill, but worth it for the amazing views of the city and Arthur's Seat.
  5. Museums
  6. National Museum of Scotland
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    Renovated a few years ago - a beautiful, light building housing collections covering Scottish history, science and technology, natural history and world cultures. Admission is free.
  7. Scottish National Galleries
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    Three separate museums - the National Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery, and the National Gallery of Modern Art. Wonderful art collections housed in absolutely beautiful buildings.
  8. University of Edinburgh Anatomy Museum and Surgeons' Hall Museums
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    A bit of a nerdy one, but the items in these museums are fascinating, if a little (/very) grizzly. Exhibitions include antiquated surgical tools, lots of skeletons and the death mask of executed grave-robber and serial killer William Burke (as well as a wallet made from his skin).
  9. Coffee
  10. Kilimanjaro Coffee
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    If you're in the mood for a great cup of coffee and an enormous scone, this is the place for you.
  11. Black Medicine
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    Good coffee, great hot chocolate. Excellent selection of cookies, too. The branch on Nicolson St in particular is a wonderfully cozy place to hide away for a while on a cold, wet day.
  12. Valvona and Crolla VinCaffè
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    Great spot for an espresso, Italian pastry and a spot of people-watching when the weather's fine. Valvona and Crolla is an old, established Edinburgh company and also has a great Italian deli on Elm Row and food halls in Jenner's and House of Fraser.
  13. Pubs
  14. The Jolly Judge
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    Semi-hidden little underground pub just off the Royal Mile. They make amazing hot toddies in the winter and have a devilishly difficult pub quiz.
  15. The Cumberland Bar
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    Cozy, old-school pub on a New Town corner. Nice place to have a quiet drink or meal and another great pub quiz destination.
  16. The Pear Tree
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    This is probably nostalgia talking, as this was our standard post-exam destination when I was at university, but on a warm Edinburgh summer's day (yes, they do happen), there's no finer place to enjoy a cold drink in the sun.
  17. Eating and Sleeping
  18. Café St. Honoré
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    French restaurant on a tiny lane off Thistle St. Lovely, intimate setting and consistently wonderful food. On the pricey side, yet not above making an off-menu omelette and chips for a tired and grumpy child.
  19. Dusit
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    Delightful Thai restaurant on Thistle St. The staff are always friendly and accommodating and the food is fantastic.
  20. The Balmoral Hotel
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    An obvious choice, but for a reason. Unfailingly wonderful. I stayed there the night before my wedding and when I called down to the desk to ask if it would be possible to get something sent up to my room, the response was, "Anything is possible at the Balmoral." I genuinely believe that to be true. If you want to treat yourself, tea in their Palm Court is fantastic, too.
  21. And so many more...
    Remind me what I've forgotten!