Edinburgh is one of Scotland’s oldest and most popular cities. Featuring a long history of excellence in Scottish arts and science, it’s no surprise that Edinburgh is the second-most visited city in the entire United Kingdom, beaten only by London. Locals have a lot of pride in their city and are very welcoming towards visitors! If you only have 24 hours to explore this incredible city, make it count and see the best that Edinburgh has to offer.
Can’t Miss Spots
The dominant symbol of the city of Edinburgh has to be Edinburgh Castle, which towers over the city skyline perched on an extinct volcano. The earliest structures on the site date all the way back to the 11th century, although most of the structures were constructed after the Lang Siege in the 16th century. This castle served as the royal residence for the Scottish Monarchy until 1633, when the site began to be used for military purposes. Various restoration efforts through the years have preserved Edinburgh Castle and today it is the most visited tourist site in the city.
From here, you can also embark on the “Royal Mile”, a network of streets that connects Edinburgh Castle to Holyrood Palace (the official residence of the British monarchy in Scotland). These streets are jam packed with shops, historical sites, and statues of famous Scots – see how many you can recognize as you explore these streets!
Notable Sights to See
- Princes Street Gardens – under the shadow of Edinburgh Castle, the gardens are full of verdant greenery and divide Edinburgh’s Old Town and New Town.
- Victoria Street/Grass Market – with cobblestone roads and quaint Scottish architecture, this is the perfect place to get great photographs of Edinburgh at its finest.
- Greyfriars Kirkyard – especially recommended if you’re a Harry Potter fan, it is said that many of the names on the headstones at this graveyard inspired the names of some of the characters in the series. Don’t stay too long, though – the locals swear parts of the Kirkyard are haunted!
Food to Eat
In the morning, start your day off right with a Scottish breakfast – fried egg, baked beans, bacon, black pudding or haggis, fried tomatoes, toast, tea, and more! Get the energy to start your day off right – but be careful not to overindulge!
For lunch, a quick bite is recommended so you can get the most out of your 24 hours in the city. And many locals would recommend a stop at an Oink restaurant – featuring hog roast (better known in the US as pulled pork), ordering is easy and you can take your sandwich on the go!
If you can, try to get a reservation at The Dome in the evening, one of New Town’s most famous restaurants and arguably one of the best in the entire city. If you can’t get in, don’t fret! Many of Edinburgh’s restaurants feature fresh farm-to-table food that taste amazing. And don’t forget to take the opportunity and sample one of Scotland’s famed whiskies while you’re here!
Explore the World with AESU!
Are you ready to plan an adventure of a lifetime? AESU offers unique, thrilling travel programs for college students and young professionals at affordable rates. Each trip is action-packed and informal—designed just for people your own age. We are also able to design custom tours just for your group.
Experience an exhilarating adventure in 2022 on the Cosmopolitan, Great Escape, Greek Island Hopper tour, and more! 2022 tour dates are now available! If you have any questions or want help booking your next adventure, please contact AESU by calling 800-638-7640, or fill out the contact form found on our website. Follow AESU on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.