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Edinburgh in 1 Day

Map tips: click a marker to learn more about the spot, and click the star in the map header to save the entire map under Your Places in Google Maps. 
  • Scott Monument
  • Princes Street Gardens
  • Edinburgh Castle
  • Royal Mile
  • Calton Hill

Booked a day trip to Edinburgh, Scotland (from Dublin) on Ryan Air and arrived around 8:30 in the morning. Took the Airlink 100 bus into town, to Waverly Station. That’s the cheapest way to get to/from the city and you buy your ticket and get on/off right outside the main airport doors. 30 minutes each way.

We walked down to Princes Street (the very next block from where you’re dropped off) and admired the Scott Monument – very cool, medieval monument. Definitely worth some pictures – you can go up it but it wasn’t open when we were there.

Scott Monument

Walked down to the Princes Street Gardens and had some great views of Edinburgh Castle. The gardens are very nice, lots of benches and worth walking through.

Edinburgh Castle above the Princes Street Gardens

We wrapped around the castle and went in, honestly not worth the hefty 16 Pound price of admission. We were there during the Fringe Festival so there were a ton of people, but even if it was empty I’d have a hard time saying it’s worth about $50 (US) for a couple to get in. Spent a few hours there, went pretty slowly as we were tired. If I could do it over, would probably take the bus to Craigmillar Castle as I’ve heard that’s wonderful.

We walked down the Royal Mile which was crazy busy with people soliciting for their shows, street performers, and the thousands of other tourists. Cut down a random Close (alley) and found a quieter café that advertised haggis as their specialty. Had to try it, wouldn’t get it again but it wasn’t terrible. Walked to Calton Hill which was our favorite part of Edinburgh. The views are great, the monuments are unique, and we liked it so much we took a nap on the grass and then read for a bit.

The view from Calton Hill

We had considered trying to fit in a climb to Arthur’s Seat but were much more than content to just relax where we were. Walked back down to Royal Mile and explored more of the alleys/city center and then took the bus back to the airport for our 9 PM flight back to Dublin.

I know there were a lot more people there than normal, but I don’t think Edinburgh would be a place we would want to spend more than a couple of days. The gardens and Calton Hill alone were worth the trip though, and it’s a very walkable city. I’ve heard the botanical gardens are impressive but they’re further out than we wanted to go.

Year traveled: August 2015

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