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If you only have a limited period of time to enjoy the city of Edinburgh, and you want to ensure some unforgetable memories, then why not try our suggested 2 day itinerary
Read more on this destination in the AA Citypack Guide & Foldout Map For Edinburgh.
Suggested Edinburgh itinerary
The most popular choice is to stroll down streets that make the Royal Mile but if you don't fancy walking you could opt for the hop-on-hop-off bus. Start at Edinburgh Castle and close by discover the Tartan Weaving Mill and the Camera Obscura, which projects a fascinating panorama of the city onto a viewing table. Remember, as you walk down Castlehill, to explore the many vennels and wynds (alleyways) that sneak away from the main causeway.
Take a look on the right at Victoria Street, with its specialist shops and if you want to walk further continue onto West Bow and out into the attractive Grassmarket, where you will find lots of opportunities to stop for a warming cup of coffee. Retrace your steps to continue along the Royal Mile into Lawnmarket and along to the High Street. Here you can take a look at the imposing St Giles Cathedral.
Just past the cathedral you could stop for lunch at Wee Windaes (see eating out), a restaurant that allows you to gaze out over the Royal Mile while tucking into a fine and truly Scottish fare.
Continue on the High Street, where you will find the Museum of Childhood and John Knox House opposite. Further on into Canongate and on the right you will see the Museum of Edinburgh and to your left the Canongate Tolbooth. As you near the end of the road you will see the dramatic Scottish Parliament Building to your right and shortly afterwards the Palace of Holyroodhouse
For old-fashioned charm at a price try the Witchery by the Castle (see eating out), an enchanting candlelit restaurant, the perfect place for a special night out.
Just to the west of the old town you will find Usher Hall (see entertainment), where you can take in a classical concert. On the other hand, if clubbing is more your thing, then why not try Espionage (see entertainment).
Start at the Waverley Station end of Princes Street. You can then decide if you want to explore the shops along the famous street itself or those behind it. Those prefering art can visit the National Gallery of Scotland and just beyond the Scott Monument, if you wish you could take a free link bus to other galleries.
You can have a coffee at the gallery or your could try the Fourth Floor Restaurant (see eating out) with spectacular views, at Harvey Nichols, on Multrees Walk, just to the north of Princes Street. From here you can spend the rest of the morning exploring the other reknowned designer shops on The Walk.
Take a pub lunch on Rose Street, which once boasted the most pubs of any street in Edinburgh. A good choice for seafood lovers would be the Mussel Inn (see eating out).
If the weather is being kind this would be an ideal opportunity to head out to either Arthurs Seat or Calton Hill to catch a glimpse of spectacular views that Edinburgh has to offer. On the other hand you could choose to head into the Scotch Whiskey Experience.
Back in town you could eat on the popular George Street. Try the Italian Gusto or for smart dining you would try the Dome, housed in a converted bank with a magnificent glass dome as the focal point.
Still on George Street, try the most fashionable clubs of the Lulu or Shanghai (see entertainment) in the boutique hotels of the Tigerlily and Le Monde. If you prefer, head to the Omni Centre at Greenside Place on Leith Street for a comedy show or the Edinburgh Playhouse (see entertainment) for musical, dance or rock concerts. Also keep your eye out for the Picture House (see entertainment)which sees performances from some of the UK's top bands.