According to research by Airbnb, Edinburgh is the second most visited city in the UK, with over 163,600 guests taking in the city in the summer of 2016 alone. But what is it that makes this historical city so popular? Let’s find out.
Edinburgh is a hub of excitement no matter what season you visit. With a dramatic setting, you’ll find the world’s biggest performing arts festival, a 1,000-year-old castle and a mountain – Arthur’s Seat – right in the middle of the city. From morning to night, you’ll find the vibrant city full of stimulating activities, both modern and historic. Trace Edinburgh’s rich historical links, experience the Scottish culture and discover the city’s hidden gems – there are always adventures to be found in here!
To help you make the most of your next visit to Edinburgh, Quingo Scooters is heading to the Scottish capital to rediscover all of our favourite spots. Whether you’re a lover of art, a fan of history or simply want to sample the local whisky, we’ve got recommendations for every type of trip. Let’s have a look what this incredible city has to offer…
Where to go
While you’re in Edinburgh, you’ll find so many things to see and do. Here are our top picks.
- If you’re a keen gardener, you’ll love the Royal Botanic Gardens. Founded in 1670, this beautiful site is now a world-renowned centre for science, education and horticulture. With 4 different gardens making up the experience, this the perfect place to learn all about plants and their relationships, evolution, conservation and biology. Each garden has a different use:
Edinburgh: Here you’ll find the world-famous Rock Garden, peat and woodland gardens. Whether you’re marvelling at the well-stocked glasshouses or exploring the colourful herbaceous borders, this garden is an idyllic break from the hustle and bustle of Edinburgh. The specialist collections are not to be missed!
Benmore: Set in a milder oceanic climate, come face to face with plant life found in high rainfall areas. The conifers and rhododendrons are particularly incredible natural beauties!
Logan: Scotland’s most exotic garden! With an almost sub-tropical climate, these ideal growing conditions are home to southern hemisphere plants. As an added bonus, these warmer temperatures are a perfect break on cold days!
Dawyck: Hardy plants from the colder and drier areas of the world find their home here. You’ll be fascinated by how these tough plants overcome the adversity of their environment and have adapted to survive.
When you’re here, make sure to meet the edible gardening team! This is available on Mondays and Tuesdays between 1pm and 2.30pm. While you’re looking around the productive garden with members of the Edible Gardening Project volunteers, you’ll be able to pick up helpful tips to make your garden the best it can be. With advice on what jobs need doing in your garden and answers to your vegetable growing questions, your garden will be blooming in no time!
- Art fans – we’ve got the perfect place for you! Set in the historic and beautiful official Scottish residence of the Queen, The Queen’s Gallery at the Palace of Holyroodhouse is home to a rotating series of art. Make sure to check out their page before you visit, to see what exciting events are on now. Here are some of our recommendations for what to catch.
Shadows of War: This is the first exhibition to focus exclusively on Roger Fenton’s pioneering photographs of the Crimean War, taken in 1855. This moving insight into war captures the human and emotional impact of war. This thought-provoking exhibit will stay with you long after you’ve left.
Charles II- Art & Power: After over a decade of austere rule in England under Cromwell, the restoration of the monarchy in 1660 led to a resurgence of the arts in England. This exhibit brings together the monumental works of art that re-established the monarchy within Britain. A stunningly decadent look into British history!
- When we think of Scotland, whisky undoubtedly comes to mind. While you’re in Edinburgh, why not learn all about one of the world’s most popular spirits at The Scotch Whisky Experience. Find out all about the production and craft of whisky, all while taking a ride through a replica distillery. With 5 tours to choose from, ranging from first-time drinkers to whisky fanatics, there’s something to suit you:
The Gold Tour: For absolute pros! This package includes a tasting tray of four single malt Scotch whiskies, membership to the Scotch Whisky Appreciation Society and discounts at the bar, restaurant and shop within the membership year. If you love whisky, there’s no better way to spend an Edinburgh day!
Morning Masterclass: Taking a behind-the-scenes look at the creation, here you’ll see a private viewing of the world’s largest collection of Scotch Whisky, experience a sensory perception test and even try nosing a new-make spirit and boxed crystal whisky tasting glass!
The Platinum Tour: If you like whisky, but aren’t ready to be classified as a connoisseur, you’ll find this tour your perfect speed. This includes a whisky barrel ride through the production of Scotch whisky, guided nosing and tasting of four contrasting single malt whiskies and an extended viewing of the collection of Scotch Whisky.
The Taste of Scotland: If you’ve brought your appetite, come along to this tour! This not only offers the features from the Platinum tour but also includes a three-course Scottish food experience menu and a dram of Scotch whisky with dessert. Delicious!
The Silver Tour: If you’re travelling with kids under 18, this is the tour for you. With a whisky barrel ride through the production of Scotch Whisky, a dram of Scotch Whisky – Irn Bru for under 18s – and a viewing of the Scotch whisky collection, this is a fun and informative tour for all ages!
Where to eat
Eating in Edinburgh is always a treat! With so many restaurants and bars to discover, you’ll be sure to find a delicious meal. We’ve gathered some of our favourite accessible places to make sure you’re finding the best places to eat!
For brunch, there’s no better place than Southpour. Serving up classics like avocado on toast and eggs benedict, this wide-ranging menu offers so many options. Make sure to save room for pudding!
Pizza lovers will enjoy La Favorita. Locals claim that this is home to the best pizza in Edinburgh – and for good reason! Its famous crisp thin log fired pizza are served in a large and spacious setting and are always tasty.
If its traditional Scottish food you’re after, we recommend Norn. Tucked away in Leith, this restaurant offers a creative dining experience with a difference! Using the best Scottish produce, you’ll be treated to fresh takes on the Scottish classics.
Why not try exploring the city to find your new favourite place? There’s a wide range of offerings to sample in the city!
For getting around Edinburgh, we recommend taking public transport. With such a busy city, finding parking spaces can be difficult. Throughout the area, you’ll find frequent trams and buses. As these have now been made accessible for mobility scooters, they’re the perfect way to navigate the city with ease.
Alternatively, why not discover more about the city while you travel. The Edinburgh bus tours offer this and so much more. There’s a reason they’re Scotland’s third most popular paid-for attraction! Once you’re on board, you’ll spend an hour being taken around all the monumental locations of Edinburgh’s history and culture. With three tours on offer, they’re the perfect way to see more of the city in a short time.
How to get there
As a major city, Edinburgh is accessible by all major forms of transport. If you are travelling by train, the nearest stop is in Edinburgh Waverley train station, located in the heart of the city. Edinburgh airport is also a short journey away from the centre.
If you’re travelling by car, there are around 90 Blue Badge spaces available in the centre of the city. These locations can be found on this map. Alternatively, there are 6 Blue Badge bays in the Edinburgh Castle NCP car park, which is conveniently located next to Edinburgh castle.
For more information and updates on what there is to do in Edinburgh, take a look at our other recommendations for the city here. More information on the accessibility of all places recommended can be found through the provided links.
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