Edinburgh, the capital city of dreamland Scotland and have some must-visit places. Whenever we think of a country’s capital, high-rise buildings, traffic stuck streets and fast-paced lifestyles are the first that comes to our mind. At least that’s what I thought. Well, I turned out to be wrong as Edinburgh is nothing like that. Though it is not completely untouched by modernization but it has the soul of an ancient town.
You may find it crowded with tourists during summers, the best time to visit Edinburgh but that doesn’t affect the peace that this city offers. The city has so much culture and beauty that it captivates your soul. Each street has a story, every corner has a history to tell. I visited Edinburgh in August 2020 and all the pictures are that time only. The weather was decent though there were some unpredictable showers now and then but overall not that bad.
The castle is the main icon of the city which makes it one of the must-visit places in Edinburgh. The moment you arrive in the city center, the Castle will be the first thing your eyes will find. The height of the castle makes it impossible to miss. It is one of the oldest fortified palaces in Europe. As you walk inside this place, you will be walking over the footsteps of brave shoulders and the kings and the queens of Scotland. The castle stands at the top of a volcanic crag called the Castle Rock. Edinburgh castle is 433 feet above the sea level and offers an amazing view of the city.
In 1566, Mary Queen of Scot gave birth to her son James VI in the very same castle. The final monarch to reside at the castle was Charles I in 1633 before his coronation as King of the Scots. During the past, Edinburgh castle has served as a royal residence, fortress, prison, and military garrison. The castle is also the house of Honours of Scotland, the country’s Crown Jewels, and the Stone of Destiny.
The Elephant House
Another must-visit place in Edinburgh is the Elephant House Cafe. The café is known to be the birthplace of the famous Happy Potter books. Every year, the cafe attracts thousands of Harry Potter fans from all over the world. This is the place where the popular author, J.K. Rowling sat and wrote Harry Potter. You can find pictures of J.K. Rowling seating and working in the café. There are also some framed newspaper articles hanging on the wall about J.K.Rowling. Some of these articles are signed by the author herself.
The most amusing part of the café is its toilets. Yes, you read it right. The toilets in the elephant house are covered in colorful messages and scribbles from floor to ceiling. The fans have expressed their gratitude and love for Harry Potter and the author.
The elephant cafe is located on a beautiful street and offers stunning views from its windows. The café serves amazing food and beverages which make the visit even more worthy. I treated myself to their tasty hazelnut cake and a cappuccino as you can see in the picture above. You can also buy some beautiful ‘the elephant café’ merchandise including mugs, pens, handbags and much more.
The Real Mary King’s Close
Visiting the Real Mary King’s Close will be definitely an unforgettable experience. Here you get to step into the houses and roads that were built hundreds of years ago. You don’t just see a structure but get to know so much about the lives of the people who lived there. From stories about their fights with the deadly plagues to the lack of basic sanitation facilities such as a toilet. Do you know people living in the real Mary king close use to pay window taxes? The more window you have in your home, the more window tax you have to pay. I really found this fact very astonishing.
The place stayed in human use until 1902. It turned into a tourist attraction in the 1990s. the close was also used as a bomb shelter during World War II. For every tour, you will get a dedicated guide dressed as a person from the past to make it more exciting. Interactive scenes, innovative narrative ways, and amazing history about the place makes it a must-visit. The Real Mary King’s close is also the place where Mary Queen of Scot stayed for her last night in Edinburgh. The next day she left Scotland forever for England where she served 20 years of prison before her public execution.
Though you are not allowed to click pictures inside this place, they have their own camera in place. You get to pose for a picture at the end of the tour. You can get that picture frames, on a fridge magnet or in a keychain at a very minimal cost.
If you are a fan of beautiful sunsets and sunrises, this is the place for you. If clicking pictures of breath-taking landscapes is your thing, it is the place to be. Calton Hill offers one of the most phenomenal views of Edinburgh old town and is definitely one of the must-visit places in Edinburgh. Even with my average photograph, I managed to click so nice pictures as you can see above and below.
Calton Hill is also the resident of some iconic Scottish monuments and buildings. Monuments include the National Monument, Dugald Stewart Monument, Nelson’s Monument, the Old Royal High School, Robert Burns Monument, Political Martyrs’ Monument, and also the City Observatory.
So whenever you plan to travel to Edinburgh, make sure you go to these must-visit places. Apart from these places, Edinburg also has so much more to offer. The best way to explore the city is to walk around. Take a walk every now and then and enjoy every alley, every road. Take a walk of the royal mile starting outside the Castle Esplanade, descends Castle Hill, the crest of rock linking the castle with the Palace of Holyrood house to the east. Can’t wait to be there? Then don’t. Book your trip to Edinburgh today.