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Edinburgh Scotland in 3 days - Day 1

Edinburgh hosts the famous Royal Mile

Edinburgh (pronounced Edin-borough, not Edin-burrr), Scotland - the name for me conjures a mental image of a turbulent medieval history with stone fortresses, ancient battles and has it’s roots easily dating back to pre-Norse and Roman expansion. Kings, Queens and historic nobility have crowned Edinburgh as Scotland’s capital on the notable bay of the Firth of Forth and shops on the Royal Mile (click to enlarge)have made their mark evolving Edinburgh into a modern city rich in it’s arts, sciences, and cultural offerings.

The Royal Mile is Edinburgh’s tourist gem – the mile-long stretch of markets, shops and restaurants that tempt tourists as they explore grand Edinburgh Castle atop Castle Rock at one end and the Palace of Holyroodhouse aside majestic Arthurs Seat and the Salisbury Crags at the other end. To catch the flavor of what Scotland has to offer, Edinburgh is where you begin.

view from our Royal Mile flatSince Scotland is such a wonderous country offering spectacular scenic vistas, vibrant castle-icious lochs and Scottish clans and their kilts, Edinburgh wraps all of these up to give you just a taste of what’s in store across it’s moory lands. Here’s Edinburgh in a 3-day weekend …

How to Explore Edinburgh’s Royal Mile in 3 days

Book your accommodations (or an Airbnb on the Royal Mile) and get set to see the highlights in 3 days.

Day 1 – Get acquainted with the Royal Mile

Hop On, Hop Off Bus (Edinburgh Tours) – you’ve arrived in Edinburgh, stepped on to the cobble-stoned Royal Mile (almost being hit by a passing bus if you’re touring on the Royal Milefrom North America as you look the wrong way stepping off the curb!) and are overwhelmed with the options both right and left. Our recommendation is to head down to the Waverley Station bridge and get a ticket for one of Edinburgh’s Hop-On Hop-Off bus tours. For £15 (British Pounds) per adult you get a 24-hour pass and guided CitySightSeeing Tour of the Royal Mile’s highlights to get your bearings and determine what you want to include in your explorations. See something right away you want to explore, hop off at the next stop, explore and resume your CitySightSeeing Tour. If you’d like a broader view of greater Edinburgh, consider the Edinburgh Tour, the Majestic Tour or the 3 Bridges Tour.

shops and closes on the Royal MileRoyal Mile – as the approximate east/west link between Edinburgh Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh’s Royal Mile joins the two castles and offers shops, restaurants and pubs to tickle that Scottish fancy within. Want a kilt, aim to start at £60 for a basic kilt or upwards of £600 for a full ensemble. Have Scottish blood somewhere in the family history, visit one of the authentic Celtic Kiltmakers (like this one on Paisley Close) and have them look up your clan to get the ancient or the modern kilt pattern. Wool, scarves, scotch whisky, stuffed Highland coo’s … anything Scottish can be found in the shops on the Royal Mile.

Also, the Royal Mile pubs and restaurants are aplenty! Check out the varied menu’s for some authentic Scottish fare, or choose from lighter, or American, or fish n Arcade Haggis and Whisky Housechips shops to nosh your fill. Pleasantly, vegetarian options are easily found, although a simple salad is sometimes hard to find. Haggis – it’s pretty much everywhere and it’s really good! Surprisingly, vegetarian haggis is a thing – it’s scrumptious and it’s also everywhere! The best haggis (both my meaty and Ms. GoGirlfriend’s vegetarian haggis’) we found was at the Arcade Bar, Haggis and Whisky House on Cockburn St – really great with potatoes, turnips and haggis served in a whisky gravy … mmmm!     

colorful shops in the GrassMarketDon’t just stick to the Royal Mile proper – walk the Grassmarket Square area (just south from Edinburgh Castle end), take any side street for a block or two, or head north across the Waverley platform to the Victorian George Street District for it’s 18th century shops and restaurants.

Day 1 is about the overview of the Royal Mile and the highlights that make it a historic gem to explore. Wander the shops and pubs to soak up the flavor of the area. The next 2 days drill into the major experiences in the area in deeper detail.

Click here for Day 2 – Edinburgh Castle & Tours and Day 3 - Palace of Holyroodhouse and Arthur’s Seat details …

Have you been to Scotland ? Enjoyed the moors and highlands, or the lush hillsides of the southern regions? We’d love to hear your stories … connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

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