This is all you need!

Travelling to Edinburgh soon? Not sure what to do while you’re there? You will be amazed by the vast amount of activities available whilst staying at the best hostel in Edinburgh!

All the places we’ve selected for the Ultimate Edinburgh Local Travel Guide aren’t far from the hostel in Edinburgh so you’re in for a fun-packed trip.

Things to do in Edinburgh

Whether you are a food fanatic or a sight seeker if you’re looking for the best travel guide for your stay in Edinburgh then here it is.

You can also check out our videos on Instagram or Facebook of Abi our reception manager at Safestay Edinburgh, who shares her local advice on what to do at Edinburgh.

Places to Drink - @blackmedicinecoffee

1) Black Medicine Coffee Company

  • Location 2 Nicolson St, Edinburgh EH8 9DH
  • Hours Mon-Sat: 08:00-20:00, Sun: 09:00-20:00
  • Phone +44 (0)131 557 6269
  • Website
  • Social I: @blackmedicinecoffee ; F: @Black Medicine Coffee Co.

When you can’t start your day without a coffee, Black Medicine Coffee is the place to go! Firstly, what a name! And secondly, this is perfect for all you ‘coffeeholics.’ Fill up your caffeine prescription in the morning so that you are ready for your day of exploring.

Places to Drink: @pandaandsons

2) Panda & Sons

  • Location 79 Queen St, Edinburgh EH2 4NF
  • Hours Mon-Fri: 16:00-00:30, Sat/Sun: 15:00-00:30
  • Phone +44 (0)131 220 0443
  • Website
  • Social I: @pandaandsons ; F: @pandaandsons

If you are looking for something quite unique then check out Panda & Sons. They delicately combine the look and feel of a speakeasy with a vintage style barbershop. That’s not all! They have cleverly disguised it making it very interesting to get to. The idea is that it looks like a barbershop, where you then walk down some stairs and are confronted by a door disguised as a bookcase. Pulling a book reveals the speakeasy. How mysterious!!!

Also look at how they serve their cocktails!

Places to Drink:

3) The Halfway House

  • Location 24 Fleshmarket Cl, Edinburgh EH1 1BX
  • Hours Everyday: 11:00 – 23:00
  • Phone +44 (0)131 225 7101

If you are seeking to experience like a local then make sure you go to the Halfway House. A traditional Scottish pub located in the old town is full of tradition and the staff are so friendly they will make you feel right at home.

Places to Eat: @whiskibar

1) The Whiski Bar and Restaurant

  • Location 119 High St, Edinburgh EH1 1SG
  • Hours Mon-Thu: 11:00-00:00, Fri-Sun: 10:00-01:00
  • Phone +44 (0)131 556 3095
  • Website
  • Social T: @Whiskibar ; F: @Whiskibar

This multi-award winning whisky bar and restaurant is full of character and has a friendly atmosphere. It offers traditional Scottish cuisine to anyone who is adventurous and enjoys trying new things. Here are a few things you must try!

  • Haggis, Scotland’s traditional meal,
  • Cullen skink (fish soup)
  • Steak pie
  • Cranachan (whiskey oats cream raspberry strawberries)

Scotland is very popular for its whisky, which is why they offer a wide range of different whiskies. To add icing to the cake, they currently hold daily live music events (check out their website for more detail) that will get you singing along with them.

Places to Eat: @Harmonium

2) Harmonium

  • Location 60 Henderson St, Edinburgh EH6 6DE
  • Hours Mon-Fri: 12:00-00:00, Sat-Sun: 10:00-00:00
  • Phone +44 (0)131 555-3160
  • Website
  • Social I: @harmoniumbar ; F: @harmoniumbar

Harmonium is a new bar and restaurant that is completely animal free! You read that right! Everything from the food to the wine is completely free of animal produce. You will also notice on their menu that they have added their own twist to develop vegan quarter pounders, stone baked pizzas and desserts.

Places to Eat: @grassmktedinburgh

3) Food markets

  • Location Grassmarket, below Edinburgh Castle
  • Hours Saturday 10:00 – 17:00

Your Saturday will be sorted in Edinburgh with this food market. This vibrant and colourful market has a variety of stalls that sell local produce ranging from fruit and veg and bread. With plenty of restaurants ranging from modern Scottish fine dining to French and Italian, you will be spoilt for choice. There are also loads of arts and crafts places as well as stalls selling handmade gifts.

Places to See

1) Edinburgh castle

  • Location Castlehill, Edinburgh EH1 2NG
  • Hours Everyday – 09:30-17:00 (16:00 last entry)
  • Phone +44(0)131 225 9846
  • Wesbite

Of course, this has to be the first thing you have to see. If you don’t go to Edinburgh’s Castle, then you didn’t really go to Edinburgh. Located on top of a dormant volcano the views you get from the castle are indescribable. Explore the castle yourself or book a guided tour. One thing is for sure, you will never forget what you see!

Places to See: @surgeonshall

2) Surgeon’s Hall

  • Location Nicolson Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9DW
  • Hours Everyday 10:00- 17:00
  • Phone +44(0)131 527 1711/1600
  • Website
  • Social I: @surgeonshall ; F: @surgeonshallmuseam ; T: @surgeonshall

This is not one for someone with a weak stomach. Surgeon’s Hall is a museum that takes you back in time to show you all the surgical procedures they used to do and how things are done differently.

Places to See: @afwh15

3) Greyfriars Graveyard

  • Location 26A Candlemaker Row, Edinburgh EH1 2QE
  • Hours Apr to Oct.: Mon-Fri 10.30am until 4.30pm; Sat 11am until 2pm
  • Phone +44(0)0131 664 4314
  • Website

Edinburgh is a very historical city that it is so interesting to learn some while you are there. Purchase a tour to learn how the worship has developed over the years and discover some of the famous figures that rest within in the kirkyard.

Best Instagram spots: @matthewkeohane

1) Calton Hill

  • Location Set right in the city centre, Waterloo-place, 5 minutes from the Hostel
  • Time Open all the time

You get amazing views of the whole city, the castle and the ocean, imagine how many different pictures you can take! Your Instagram will be going through the roof!

Local Tip – look out for the monument on top of the hill, that’s where you can take the best pics

Best Instagram spots: @princess_street_gardens

2) Princess Street Gardens

  • Location Princes St, Edinburgh EH2 2HG
  • Hours Open 24 hours

Does your Instagram need some colour? Well, Princess Street Gardens is the best place to get some natural colour into your Instagram feed. Located in the centre of town, you can get some amazing shots of the park, animals and scenery.

Best Instagram spots: @waverleymallsc

3) Waverly mall

  • Location 3 Waverley Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1BQ
  • Time Everyday - 07:00-23:00

Fancy taking some pics of history? Well, Waverly Mall is located in the old town. Being located in the old town you can get some quality pictures of the old architecture and buildings. This will definitely give your Instagram a new dimension.

Don’t forget to hashtag us your pics with #Safestay

There you have it, your local travel guide to Edinburgh! Want more? Here are 5 free things you can do as well!