48 Hours In Edinburgh: How To Enjoy The City’s Best Quickly

Thu Nov 02 2023

48 Hours In Edinburgh

Are you planning on visiting Edinburgh but have limited time? Did you know that the city can be explored in just 48 hours? Whether you’re looking for top attractions or unique hidden gems, this blog post will provide advice and tips to help you make the most of a short stay in Edinburgh.

With enough smart planning and clever recommendations, experience an unforgettable 48 hours Tour of Scotland's illustrious capital city!

Key Takeaways

  • Plan your itinerary and set a budget in advance for the best 48 hours experience in Edinburgh.
  • Consider staying in a central location to make the most of your limited time by having easy acccess to attractions within walking distance.
  • Use public transportation or walk around town to save money instead of hiring a car hire service/taxis.
  • Make reservations for popular attractions & activities like Royal Yacht Britannia, restaurants, theateres & museum tickets ahead of time to ensure availability and avoid long queues

Tips for a Successful 48 Hours in Edinburgh

To get the most out of your 48-hour Edinburgh experience, be sure to plan ahead with an itinerary incorporating activities and attractions that suit your budget, make reservations when required, and consider staying in a central location for convenience.


Plan your itinerary in advance

To make the most of your 48 hours in Edinburgh and create a unique experience, planning should be at the forefront. Having an organized itinerary will help you to prioritize what needs to be done with your limited time in this beautiful city.

Doing research on the places you want to visit is crucial; look up opening times, entry fees and activities available in advance so that you can have everything ready as soon as arrive.

Prioritizing which attractions are a must-see is important too - if there’s something that gets moved down the list because it’s further out or takes longer than expected – no problem! You also need to consider how close each location is from one another – taking public transportation or walking may save money and give you more time inside actual attractions then outside waiting for buses/trains.

Consider staying in a central location

If you're looking to make the most of your 48-hour stay in Edinburgh, choosing a place to stay that's centrally located is recommended. Central locations are convenient and accessible, allowing for easy navigation around the city without having to understand complex public transportation systems.

It also means more time spent sightseeing and less commuting in between attractions. Staying in Dihedral Street or Princes street allows visitors to explore many of the city’s top attractions on foot such as Edinburgh Castle, The Royal Mile, The Palace of Holyroodhouse, Calton Hill and Dean Village—all within walking distance from each other.

Plus, being able to get back quickly at night means saving money from late-night transport fares and taking advantage of daytime deals at restaurants often missed when travelling further out of town.

Ultimately staying in central Edinburgh will help make any 48 hour trip more enjoyable while getting you closer.

Set a budget

It is essential to set a budget for your 48-hour trip in Edinburgh. Creating an itinerary with predetermined costs and planning ahead can help you stay within your budget and make the most of your short time in the city.

By setting out goals and sticking to them, it will ensure that you don’t overspend on activities or attractions while visiting Edinburgh. When preparing for a short visit to any new destination, research should be done so travelers have a good idea of what prices look like before arriving - accommodation, transport costs and attraction price entries can easily add up if not planned properly.

Booking taxi rides ahead or taking advantage of public transportation options such as buses and trams are often more cost effective than relying on car hire services or taxis on demand; especially when traveling solo! Planning meals at restaurants from beforehand can also save money by avoiding expensive eateries as well as making sure you’re always eating something healthy after walking around seeing all the beautiful sights that Edinburgh has to offer!

Make reservations for popular attractions/activities

It is important for first-time travelers to Edinburgh to plan ahead and book popular attractions and activities in advance. Pre-booking can offer a number of advantages, such as avoiding long queues or ensuring availability with highly sought-after experiences.

For example, the Royal Yacht Britannia is one experience that can be booked up weeks in advance due to its popularity, so making a reservation prior to visiting will guarantee you access on your desired day and time.

Certain theaters may also require reservations where necessary. Additionally, many of Edinburgh's top restaurants are extremely popular and can fill up quickly; reserving a table in advance guarantees you won't end up having to wait around for hours without somewhere to eat! Allocating an hour or two over the course of your visit into researching what spots require reservations will ensure you make the most out of every minute while exploring this historic city – don’t let it go wasted waiting in line!

Use public transportation or walk

Scotland’s capital, Edinburgh is a vibrant city rich in history and culture. Fortunately, visitors can experience the best of what the city has to offer without breaking their travel budget – public transportation or walking around town offer convenient ways to get around while saving some money.

Public transport such as buses and trams are widely available, allowing you to quickly reach attractions within easy walking distance from each other; alternatively, with its flat terrain and well-laid out streets., Exploring by foot allows travelers to see more of the local sights on narrow alleyways which wouldn't be possible via bus or tram.

The hop-on hop-off tour buses give tourists an opportunity visit another part of town without having to hassle about getting lost – it's like having your own private chauffeur service! Plus, many of the larger attractions come with audio guides so visitors can learn more about Edinburgh’s important sites as they explor it.

Day 1: Top Attractions and Activities

Begin your adventure by grabbing an energizing breakfast at Urban Angel before embarking on a fascinating tour of Edinburgh Castle.


Breakfast at Urban Angel

Urban Angel is a popular café located on Hanover Street in Edinburgh, beloved by travelers for its delicious food and relaxed atmosphere. The café offers breakfast and brunch dishes such as the Full Scottish breakfast, traditional-style porridge, joe grant kedgeree (smoked fish with spinach), eggs benedict, and pancakes with toppings.

There's also an array of healthy options like super greens salad or vegan croissants. For lunch you can try numerous sandwiches, pastas salads and toasted focaccia as well as coffee drinks made from specialty beans roasted at nearby ROASTIT craft roastery.

Urban Angel has gained fame across Scotland due to their amazing breakfast selection! It's one of the recommended cafes for a good breakfast in New Town area according to reviews on Tripadvisor so it’s the perfect option for anyone starting off their 48 hours in Edinburgh looking for a trip that will be truly unforgettable.

Visit Edinburgh Castle

Embark on a journey through history as you visit the famous Edinburgh Castle. One of Scotland's main tourist attractions, this historic fortress stands atop an extinct volcano known as Castle Rock and offers spectacular views of the city from its terraces and towers.

Whether it's taking a self-guided tour exploring the various castles' monuments and museums, or using an audio guide to explore at your own pace - there are plenty of ways to experience everything that Edinburgh Castle has to offer.

Inside you'll find three amazing museums featuring artifacts dating back centuries; two prisons accompanying Medieval dungeons; Class Six listed buildings including St Margaret's Chapel; The Great Hall which houses memorials to fallen soldiers alongside statutes from historical figures such as William Wallace & Robert Burns; plus much more! Tour around the castle alone or opt for one of their organized tours for an even bigger insight into one Scotland’s most iconic locations.

Explore the Royal Mile

The Royal Mile in Edinburgh is a historical 1.3-mile stretch of cobbled streets packed with iconic attractions, making it one of the most popular sites for visitors to explore. This stunning street consists of several parts, including Castle Hill, Lawnmarket, High Street, Canon-gate and Abbey Strand - each brimming with architectural gems and awe-inspiring sights.

On any given day you'll find buskers performing from every corner, locals getting their shopping done along the roadside markets or tourists looking to take pictures of many famous landmarks such as St Giles’ Cathedral and City Hall, which can all be viewed at once by climbing Calton Hill for an amazing panoramic view.

There are also unique experiences like Camera Obscura or World of Illusions on this route offering its visitors interactive exhibits that provide hours of fun entertainment! Whether you seek out history or art , the Royal Mile has something for everyone!

Have lunch at the Witchery

The Witchery by the Castle is a classic destination for travelers looking to experience traditional Scottish hospitality in Edinburgh. Located in an historic sixteenth-century building at the gates of Edinburgh Castle, it offers visitors a delectable and magical dining experience.

The restaurant is renowned for its unique atmosphere, with dark walls draped with lush velvet curtains and candlelit tables setting just the right tone for intimate conversations between friends or special occasions such as anniversaries and birthdays.

Guests can also appreciate the deep roots that inspired its name - "Witchery" paying homage to those witches who were burned at the stake nearby centuries ago. With delicious food served up daily, lunch at the Witchery is definitely a must-visit when enjoying 48 hours in Edinburgh!

Visit the Palace of Holyroodhouse

The Palace of Holyroodhouse is an iconic part of Edinburgh, located at the heart of the Royal Mile. It’s one of the top attractions in Edinburgh and a must-visit for anyone looking to get a glimpse into Scotland's royal history.

Explore 14 grand historic and state apartments that were used by members of British royalty over centuries past. The palace also has magnificent gardens as well as 12th-century ruins from Holyrood Abbey.

For those wanting to experience everything this palace has to offer, there is a complimentary multimedia guide available which lasts approximately 1 hour long—with audio guides available in 11 languages! Access to this breathtakingly beautiful destination may be included in your tour package with Edinburgh Castle or Royal Yacht Britannia, so don't miss out on seeing something truly remarkable during your stay in Scotland's capital city.

Enjoy dinner at Noto

If you’re looking for a great spot to enjoy dinner in Edinburgh during your 48 hour stay, look no further than Noto. This independent restaurant focuses on food for sharing, as well as small domaine wine producers and bespoke cocktails.

It's the perfect spot for a romantic date night or celebrating with friends. With intimate and friendly service plus delicious culinary delights prepared by chef-owner Stuart, it's an experience you won't soon forget.

Thanks to its central location within the city of Edinburgh, Noto is conveniently located near many of top attractions and activities allowing travelers to make the most out of their time in this historical capital city.

Day 2: Hidden Gems and Unique Experiences

Start off the day with a hearty breakfast at Loudons before exploring Dean Village and having lunch at the Painted Rooster.


Start the day with breakfast at Loudons

Loudons is a café and bar, located in the Stockbridge neighborhood of Edinburgh. It's an ideal spot to grab a bite and get your day off to a great start. This cozy local favorite has been serving happy diners since 2016, making it one of Edinburgh’s most beloved breakfast spots.

Plus, its selection of organic Scottish produce ensures that you can expect only the highest quality ingredients here all-day long. Their menu offers something for everyone – from full cooked breakfasts and fluffy pancakes to hot porridge or scrambled eggs with smoked salmon - as well as vegetarian and vegan options also available.

The relaxed atmosphere makes Loudons perfect for those looking for a leisurely morning meal where they can sit back, enjoy fresh coffee, tea and homemade scones while reading the paper or chatting with friends before starting their exploration of this wonderful city.

Spend the morning in Dean Village

Experience the unique charm of Dean Village - a hidden gem located in Edinburgh. Surrounded by greenery and picturesque buildings, it’s a perfect spot for photography enthusiasts, historians and sightseers alike.

Declared as a World Heritage Site since 1995, this area is rich with fascinating history and cultural significance to explore. It usually takes just an hour to enjoy the beauty of Dean Village so make sure you add it to your 48-hour itinerary for Edinburgh! Additionally there are several spectacular viewpoints nearby such as North Castle Rock Viewpoint and Queen Street Gardens which will give you incredible views of the city skyline that are definitely worth exploring during your visit.

So take no time in heading over to experience this secluded village where ancient tales meet modern attractions!

Have lunch at the Painted Rooster

The Painted Rooster in Edinburgh's West End is a popular restaurant that offers breakfast, lunch, and coffee. With an impressive 4.5 rating on Tripadvisor based on 414 unbiased reviews and the highly-raved homemade Pierogi dumplings for main course offerings, it’s no surprise why The Painted Rooster has gained a great reputation among visitors of all ages.

Plus, situated conveniently along the edge of the city center loop, guests exploring this beautful capital can easily drop in to fill their tummies with delicious food or simply find respite from walking in between destinations!

Visit the Royal Botanic Garden

The Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh is a 70-acre oasis of natural beauty right in the heart of the city. Established in 1670, this national treasure creates an idyllic retreat from the hustle and bustle of urban life.

Take a stroll along winding paths lined by lush flower beds and exotic plants from around the world or simply admire panoramic views of Edinburgh’s vibrant skyline. 660,000 visitors are drawn to these grounds each year for its tranquility, serenity and awe-inspiring beauty - often overlooked by guidebooks despite being just one mile north of the City Centre.

The extensive collections displayed among the picturesque gardens house outstanding specimens including rhododendrons, azaleas and even some ancient tree species! Enjoy peaceful moments away from city noise while exploring one of Scotland's greatest horticultural legacies - there's no better way to explore Scotland's capital quickly than with 48 hours here!

Catch the sunset at Calton Hill

For stunning views of the entire Edinburgh, Calton Hill is an ideal location. This hill provides a panoramic vista of historic buildings, clocktowers, spires of churches and even Edinburgh Castle - offering a unique perspective of the city.

To experience its beauty best it lingers on in memory; visiting at sunset is recommended; it's popular among families and tourists looking to capture gorgeous photos indeed! It truly has something for everyone – breath-taking views that should not to be missed during your 48 hours in Edinburgh!

End the day with dinner at Dishoom

For travelers, Dishoom Edinburgh is the perfect way to wrap up a 48 hour trip in Edinburgh. This renowned restaurant is located on St Andrew Square and offers a unique curated menu of Bombay comfort food with first-class drinks.

Dishes include vegan options, traditional starters, family sharing platters and indulgeable desserts such as pavlova ice cream sundae! Whether you’re looking for an afternoon snack or a gourmet dinner experience – Head to Dishoom for an unforgettable night of indulgence.

The restaurant serves food and drinks all day long so visitors can get their fill whenever they wish! An experiential time awaits at this popular eatery where patrons are taken on a culinary journey to backstreets of Bombay without leaving Scotland.

Optional: Visit the Real Mary King's Close for a spooky experience

For travelers looking to experience Edinburgh’s haunted side, the Real Mary King’s Close is an absolute must-see. Located beneath the Royal Mile, it is the only preserved 17th-century street in all of Scotland and provides a unique window into both Edinburgh's chilling past and mysterious supernatural elements.

Guests can embark on a 1-hour guided tour with one of the former residents and uncover dark historical secrets while also exploring eerie tales that stretch back hundreds of years.

The tour focuses heavily on history but there are plenty of opportunities to learn about various hauntings as well - making for an unforgettable experience for thrill seekers! Nearby attractions include The Bloody Past Haunted Edinburgh Outdoor Escape Game as well as Scotland's most famous haunted pub - The Banshee Labyrinth - to truly round out your 48hrs in this captivating city.

Where to Stay and Useful Links

From boutique stays in the heart of the city to luxury accommodations, find your ideal base when planning a 48-hour getaway to Edinburgh with The Dunstane Houses, Eden Locke and The Witchery by the Castle.

Get easy access to information on transportation and attractions websites too!

The Dunstane Houses

The Dunstane Houses in Edinburgh is a unique holiday destination for travelers looking for a luxury getaway. This hotel offers accommodation with amazing amenities including roll top copper baths, four-poster beds, and city views in all suites.

Additionally the hotels are meticulously designed with both period featuresEden Locke and modern design to provide guests with an luxurious atmosphere.

What sets apart The Dunstane Houses from other options available in Edinburgh is its special connection to the Orkney Islands through Norse mythology and folklore decorating each room along with premium reception rooms decorated by celebrated Scottish Artistsharp reference Mary Ralston CBEs artwork.

Eden Locke

Located minutes from Edinburgh's top attractions, Eden Locke is a design-savvy 4-star aparthotel that offers 72 chic rooms for travelers with the comforts of home. Enjoy convenient location right on George Street and be near shops, eateries and popular sights like Edinburgh Castle and Royal Mile in mere minutes.

Each of the luxurious guest rooms come with high quality amenities as well as plenty of space to spread out during your stay. Ideal for families (or those who want extra room) there spacious studios provide all you need - from kitchenettes, super king beds to Nespresso coffee machines.

Treat yourself to some fine Scottish hospitality at its best! Whether you're here for work or leisure, enliven your experience by booking directly at this centrally located oasis in Scotland’s largest capital city.

The Witchery by the Castle

is a luxurious boutique hotel and restaurant located at the gates of Edinburgh Castle. It offers nine unique suites for guests to stay in, each with captivating decor and outstanding amenities providing a truly romantic and unforgettable experience.

The Witchery's critically acclaimed restaurant provides a delectable culinary journey through carefully crafted dishes from award-winning Chef Domenico Sannino. Its legendary food, combined with cozy corners lined by candlelight, make it an ideal spot for special occasions or just an intimate dinner out.

At nightfall visitors can enjoy music on Wednesdays sets dinners during their enchanted Secret Garden evenings - perfect to come closer as a couple or simply have some extraordinary time together!

Links to transportation and attraction websites

are an essential part of planning a successful 48-hour stay in Edinburgh. From getting around using the tram to finding out where to go and what to do, these links are invaluable resources for travelers.

On public transport websites, visitors can find information on routes, stops and fares; while attraction sites provide up-to-date guides on opening times and tickets. Furthermore, booking last minute activities is now easier with online ticketing options that insure seamless access into popular attractions like Edinburgh Castle or The Palace of Holyroodhouse.

Ultimately, there’s no better way for travelers to get their bearings quickly in the Scottish capital than through reading up on transportation and sightseeing tips first in order to make every second count!

Conclusion: Experience the Best of Edinburgh in Just 48 Hours.

From starting the day with a full Scottish breakfast to watching the sunset at Calton Hill, 48 hours in Edinburgh is more than enough time to explore its stunning attractions and experience its best-known activities.

From visiting historic sites like Edinburgh Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse to indulging in a unique culinary scene featuring acclaimed restaurants like Urban Angel and Dishoom, there's something for everyone to enjoy.

Additionally, lively atmosphere created by theatres, galleries and vibrant street life mean that even if you’re only spending two days in Edinburgh you can find yourself immersed in the culture of this majestic city.

Plan your itinerary carefully using these tips or take advantage of audio guides available which provide an efficient way to experience all that Scotland's capital has offer over just two days!

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