5 Things: A Travel Guide to Edinburgh



In “5 Things,” I’ll ask some of my favorite bloggers in cities all over to share insider travel tips on where to eat, shop, stay, and play in their neighborhoods (plus, what to pack to make the adventure complete). This week, Malgosia Frej of The Fleeting Day guides us on a tour of Edinburgh’s best.

5 Things: Edinburgh
Malgosia Frej of The Fleeting Day

My husband and I moved to Edinburgh eight years ago for university, and we fell in love with its green parks, its sandstone houses, and the castle perched on top of an old volcano in the middle of the city. The Scottish capital has so much more to offer than just tartan, bagpipes, and haggis (a local delicacy). With its curious mix of medieval and classical architecture, rich cafe and restaurant culture, and its proximity to both mountains and the sea, Edinburgh is sure to please and surprise. A bonus: it can be easily explored on foot, so sightseers can take in the views and historic highlights at a strolling pace.



Nonna’s Kitchen, 45 Morningside Road, Edinburgh, EH10 4AZ, +44 131 466 6767
The Kitchin, 78 Commercial Street, Edinburgh EH6 6LX , +44 131 555 1755

My personal favorite for dinner in Edinburgh is Nonna’s Kitchen — a family-run Italian restaurant with a super fresh daily menu, a good range of local seafood, and an overall homey feel. Another to try is The Kitchin, a Michelin starred gem, whose chef is fanatical about seasonal fare. The lunch menu is very reasonably priced at £28.50 for three courses, and offers a great way to sample Scottish cuisine.

Other favorites include Peter’s Yard for breakfast and Swedish pastries; La Garrique for one of the best wine lists in Scotland; Affogato for Italian gelato; and The Gardener’s Cottage, which grows its own veggies and has the perfect al fresco atmosphere in the summertime. For coffee, try Artisan Roast or Brew Lab.



Walker Slater, 20 Victoria Street, Edinburgh EH1 2HG, +44 131 220 2636
The Red Door Gallery, Victoria Street, Edinburgh, Midlothian EH1 2JW, +44 131 477 3255
Hannah Zakari, 43 Candlemaker Row, Edinburgh EH1 2QB, +44 131 226 5433
Isle of Sky Candle Company, 93 West Bow, Edinburgh, Midlothian EH1 2JP, +44 131 629 2800
Mr Wood’s Fossils, 5 Cowgatehead, Edinburgh, Midlothian EH1 1JY, +44 131 220 1344

Victoria Street is one of my favorite places for gift shopping in Edinburgh. Walker Slater is the perfect place to get a Scottish Tweed jacket, coat, or woollen scarf. I also love The Red Door Gallery for local art and screen prints, Hannah Zakari for lovely jewelry, and Skye Candles, which are poured on one of the Inner Hebrides (the islands dotted on the West Coast of Scotland).

Whenever we have visitors with children we stop by the Mr Wood’s Fossils – a shop opened in the 80s by a fossil hunter, where you can buy whale bones, malachite stone, or even dinosaur’s poo. It’s invariably a big hit with young explorers!



Airbnb is always a good idea. My favorite neighborhoods are Stockbridge, which has plenty of family-friendly eateries, and Bruntsfield, which is located just by Edinburgh’s biggest park, The Meadows, with numerous cafes, restaurants and a great view of the Edinburgh Castle.



The National Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street, Edinburgh EH1 1JF, +44 300 123 6789

I could spend days wandering around the National Museum of Scotland. It was recently refurbished and its collection is absolutely amazing. It has everything, from  history to design, astronomy to art to animals — it makes for a perfect morning out, especially if the weather is typically Scottish (i.e. constant rain). Insider tip: go to the top floor roof terrace for a great view of the castle and Edinburgh skyline.

Other favorites are Calton Hill and Blackford Hill — both offer amazing panorama views of the city, especially at sunset.



Hunter Boots, since they were originally manufactured in Edinburgh, in a factory 100m from where we currently live!  They’ll keep your feet nice and warm as you explore Edinburgh’s cobbled streets.

Thank you so much, Malgosia! (Thank you to Shoko Wanger for her help with this series.)

P.S. All entries in the 5 Things travel series.

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