Take an al fresco jaunt with chilled drinking vessels to The Meadows. Get great views of the city skyline on raised grassy knolls where beer and good company can enjoy the respite in Scottish summer weather - welcome global warming (just kidding)!
It’s a popular and well-known area of green in the centre-south of the city - 5 minutes from the George IV Bridge and student area – a 10 minute walk from Princes Street.
Teuchter's is a fabulous, easy, cool and friendly spot in the heart of the busy West End area. It's close to local offices and yet it's full of a mixture of folk who gather for the old favourite tipples and and real ales. In colder climes the wide range of single malts pulls in those in need of warmth and welcome. It’s notable for its friendly feel and old dark wood furniture.
For a central bar, happily, the sport is not intrusively (always) shown as the place is a haven for girls wanting a house white as well as corporate boys and sporty beer folks. I won't stretch you to an appreciation of the Highland title - that can be something for you to find out.
26 William Street, EH3 7NH;
tel: 0131 226 1036
Fancy bank-turned-pub on George Street. An absolutely fantastic place on a Sunday afternoon - live jazz - and you cannot fail to be impressed by the main floor, and especially the domed ceiling from which it gets its name.
14 George Street, EH2 2PF;
tel: 0131 624 8624;
Leave the madness of Edinburgh Saturday afternoons behind, and catch one of the very frequent trains to Glasgow city centre. Have lunch, walk around, shop and drink to your heart's content, and get back to Edinburgh in time to freshen up for a good night out!
Trains are every 20 mins and take about 50 mins, from city centre to city centre;
To get a real flavour of the celebratory nature of the locals and the town, it is a good idea to visit just before or at Christmas time, when the Christmas fair is on in the city centre. It brings alive the kid in you with a ferris wheel, a very enchanting fortune teller and other rides. Besides, you can gorge on mulled wine every evening and eat scrumptuous street food while you browse through local knick knacks at the German market or empty your purse at the high street big brand sales. Very memorable!
Various locations in the centre of Edinburgh;
Set up by two Sudanese brothers, the Nile Valley Cafe may not have the best decor in Edinburgh, but the food is fantastic and the prices are cheap. Sudanese food includes a lot of Middle East staples such as falafel, hummus, babba ganoush etc as well as things you've probably never heard of or tried before but are really worth a try. And if you're in a hurry between shows they do great takeaway filled flatbreads and pittas.
9 Chapel Street
0131 667 8200
Down towards the Botanics and Stockbridge end of town, Circle is a welcome addition to Edinburgh's cafe scene. Located in a tall, cool, stone-walled, slate floored room, Circle offers great morning coffee and cakes, and good well-priced lunches - though be warned, it can be hard to get a table at lunchtime. Simple, well-cooked dishes at reasonable prices in great surroundings.
Circle, 1 Brandon Tce, Edinburgh
0131 624 4666
This small pub is a hidden gem. Head towards the back of the bar to find a cinema. Lay back on the matresses and cushions (there is no floor space) and enjoy a great selection of dvds. A list at the bar allows anyone to chose a film and chill out for a good couple of hours. The only rule is one drink per film. And with hot chocolate with whipped cream and maltesers on the menu this makes for a perfect Sunday afternoon during those bitter Edinburgh winters.
14 Drummond Street, off Nicholson Street.
Take the short but invigorating journey up the steps from Waterloo Place and climb Calton Hill for a truly panoramic view of the city’s sights, including the Castle, the New Town, Princes Street, Holyrood House and Arthur's Seat. At the top of the hill is a collection of monuments and sculptures, including Nelson's monument and an unfinished but magnificent Athenian Acropolis.
Calton Hill lies just behind Holyrood House and Arthurs Seat.
Set in a beautifully restored 16th century mansion, the Museum of Edinburgh is the city’s principal museum of local history. It has period rooms and reconstructions that depict Edinburgh's proud industrial heritage. The museum has important collections of glass and Scottish pottery.
142 Canongate, Royal Mile
Tel: 0131 529 4143
Edinburgh Dungeons is a macabre visitor attraction buried deep beneath Edinburgh. It depicts the darkest chapters of Scottish history in grisly detail. The Dungeon has a wonderfully interactive emphasis, with actors, rides and tableaux combining horror and humour to tell their tales of terror and torture, mutilation and mass murder, persecution and pestilence.
Please note: The Edinburgh Dungeon may not be suitable for very young children, or for those of a nervous (or squeamish) disposition.
31 Market Street
Tel: 0131 240 1000
This pub is always busy at weekends and full of football fans (the Hibernian stadium is just around the corner) and students. There's no food but the conversation, ales and malts add to a great atmosphere.
367 Leith Walk, Edinburgh
Tel: 0131 554 6850
This fantastic pub in Leith has spectacular views of the Firth of Forth (try and get an outside table for the best views) and the staff are really friendly. It is 'the' place in Leith to grab a drink or a quick meal (the lamb stew is the best dish). It's great for families as children are allowed in the conservatory upstairs.
Trinity Cres, Leith, Edinburgh
Tel: 0131 552 1233
St Giles' Cathedral is the historic City Church of Edinburgh with its famed crown spire on the Royal Mile between Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood House. The stained windows and quiet Chapel of the Order of the Thistle (Scotland's chivalric company of knights headed by the Queen) are spectacular.
St Giles’ is located on the historic Royal Mile in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town. Entrance is free but donations are welcome.
The Scott Monument is along with the Balmoral tower clock and Edinburgh Castle, the most important landmark in Edinburgh. It features a statue of Sir Walter Scott. Sometimes Scottish bagpipers play next to the monument - it is common courtesy to tip him. Go in the morning to avoid the crowds.
The views from this 200ft tower are breathtaking and really give you a perspective on the magnificent layout of Edinburgh and its sights. Be warned though - there is no lift just 287 steps to climb to the top.
The monument lies in Princes Street gardens.
Rosslyn Chapel is still famous for its history and beauty, but now it attracts thousands of Da Vinci Code followers as it is featured in the film (visit in the morning to avoid them). The stained windows and vaulted ceilings are a marvel - just watch out for the many ghosts who plague the chapel.
Rosslyn lies seven miles to the south of Edinburgh. Take the Lothian bus 15A or First bus 62 from Edinburgh city centre to Rosslyn. The chapel itself is a 3-4 min walk from the bus stop in Rosslyn village.
Although not the most beautiful castle, it is Scotland's no 1 attraction. The views from the hill top are superb with excellent vistas of Arthurs Seat, the Old & New Town and Leith.
You can't really miss the castle as it dominates Princes Street and the entire city. It is situated at the western end of Esplanade (the end of Lawnmarket).
The Royal Mile is actually made of several streets and it captures the old world atmosphere of the city and has specialised (expensive) shops, pubs, restaurants and hotels. It is quite steep though so sensible shoes are a must.
The Royal Mile connects the castle and Holyrood Palace and is in the heart of the Old Town (but beware as it does change its name 7 times).
The Vaults have a truly spooky atmosphere because of its gruesome past (it was alledgedly used by bodysnatchers as a storage place for their corpses). It was also where many of Edinburgh's poorer citizens lived in filthy squalor as they were evicted from the site of the New Town. Go on a guided tour to appreciate it fully.
The Vaults lie under South Niddry Street and Blair Street in the Old Town.
Send your feedback or queries to firstname.lastname@example.org