Welcome to Edinburgh

In a rather late effort, I would like to welcome you all to my city!

I know a lot of you have come here from afar, England for example, so I have decided to give you a proper welcome and a locals guide to the town. Trés cliché it may sound, but Edinburgh is my ultimate favorite city in the world. I have travelled many places, but my heart will always belong in Auld Reekie.

There are many reasons for me being in love with your new hometown, il try to break it down into a list-

1. The old town
During the day you can have a wander round the quirky shops of the grassmarket and grab a crêpe or have lunch in one of the many small cafes. Cowgate is good for nightlife; from alternative to burlesque. Another great place is  The Royal Mile. The stretch has so many interesting places, you could spend a whole day walking down it. The Castle, the Hub, Mary Kings Close, St Giles, the best Starbucks in town, Bank Hotel, the Museum of Childhood and the Scottish Parliament. This isn’t even including all the great pubs, cafes and restaurants. Apart from all the attractions, the old town in general is a really pretty place packed to the stone walls with history.

2. The architecture
I am a great believer in old architecture. The way it looks, how intricate it is, how a lot of it was made without machinery and how well it has lasted the test of time. Have a look at Jenners and The Balmoral on Princes St, buildings on  the Royal Mile and Calton Hill. There is of course plenty for the modern architecture lover, just take a trip to The Scottish Parliament…

3. The Fringe
You might have heard a lot about the Edinburgh International Arts Festival, AKA The Fringe. It’s the biggest arts festival in the world! I always work for a comedy company promoting shows and it’s the most fun job ever! You get to bump into celebrities walking down the street, see loads of great shows and as if this isn’t reason enough – clubs are open till 5am!

4. Nightlife
Now, I do realise that many people flee to Glasgow for a good night out, however, I doubt in Glasgow you would get a rave club and a folk bar on the same street. Edinburgh really does have something to offer everyone for nightlife. From cosy little bars, jazz clubs and terrace cafe bars to clubs, student bars and some of the best music venues you’ll never be stuck for somewhere to go.

5. The Meadows
This one mainly applies to summer. But it’s so good in summer that it makes up for the other 3 seasons. Get up early to avoid a shady space beneath a tree, pack a picnic, grab a box of wine and head to the meadows, guaranteed best times ever.

My 5 recommended pubs and clubs –

1. The Tron
Hunters Square, near the Bank Hotel. They do a great pub quiz on Mondays, its a great pub to meet for lunch with the £3.75 deal for a Beer n Burger. Also, lovely comfy sofas.

2. The Liquid Rooms
Victoria Street, just off Grassmarket. It burned down but now its back! I LOVE Indigo on Wednesdays, cheap drinks, brilliant Indie/pop tunes and £1 entry all night for students.

3. Opium
West end of the Cowgate. Downstairs has nice booths to sit in and a jukebox (usually rock music), upstairs has DJs and a Monday ‘Rockioke’, usually playing a selection of heavy rock and metal. During the week its only £1 for most drinks, and the drinks arent horrible like most cheap places.

4. Banshee Labyrinth
Niddry Street (just down from the Hive). Edinburgh’s most haunted pub! Prices aren’t too bad, it has loads of wee rooms to get cosy and have a drink in. It also has a room with a pole in for all you dancers out there. The best thing about this pub has to be the cinema! They play loads of legendary movies such as Ghost Busters.

5. Rush
East Cowgate.  A good place to start the night. Very cheap drinks and cocktails, they also have games nights and pool tournaments etc.

5 things to know about Edinburgh

1. No matter where you walk, it will be uphill
You have to have calfs of steel to walk around the city. Every road seems to be uphill, I usually plan my routes to avoid these. The Mound is probably one of the most deceptive in town, don’t be fooled!

2. We aren’t really bad drivers
We just have no idea where we are going! There are always tram works, diversions and closed roads. The council seems to change these every day just to fool drivers. So if we seem like we have no idea what lane we want, it’s because it wasnt the same yesterday.

3. The Heart of Midlothian
Not to be mistaken with the football team. This is a cobbled patch of ground in the shape of a heart on the Royal Mile, next to St Giles cathedral. Be very carefull not to fall on this when drunk, as it is a local custom to spit on it whenever you pass.

4. Ghost Tours
The ghost tours in Edinburgh can be great, or can be a bit of a rip off! Some are rather gimmicky and have people jumping out on you, these ones tend to be more expensive. I prefer tours like Mercat Tours or Auld Reekie that offer trips into the underground streets of Edinburgh and have quite a lot of historical value too. These both leave from the Royal Mile, Tron Kirk.

5. Just say “Gouranga!”
If you encounter a lady in a headscarf trying to sell you ‘Monk Rock’ albums and chat to you about God, just shout Gouranga as loud and cheery as possible and they will leave you alone. This means good health or something similar and it makes them very happy.

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7 Responses

  1. This is a fantastically sufficient “mini-guide” to the capital – I look forward to checking some of these places out. Is there anywhere you would advise anyone to stay away from though?

    • Haha, places to keep away from, that could be a whole blog in itself.
      No where is too bad, I keep away from George St cause its expensive. And I don’t go to Base anymore because people kept getting glassed!

  2. Wonderful advice here! Can’t wait to try shouting ‘Gouranga’ should the opportunity arise!

  3. Wow. Will need to explore more of Edinburgh! And hopefully not get too lost this time!

  4. many thanks, i feel like I have just been on a mini history tour of Edinburgh

  5. love this blog! i couldn’t have put it better myself!

  6. Ah, a guide to Edinburgh with a personal touch, thank you! I’ve been wondering which ghost tour to go for and you even helped me out with that.

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