Visiting Edinburgh For First Timers!

Hello and welcome back! You might already know that I just returned from a trip to Edinburgh and I really fell in love with this city! When you are walking its streets you will feel as if it fell straight out of a Harry Potter movie. Arriving on the bus really took my breath away. My friend I went with instantly said “Let’s move here” (Later he took back what he said. But let’s talk about this later.) Visiting Edinburgh, therefore, was a true highlight for me.

So yes, let’s talk about how to plan a trip to Edinburgh, how to handle the logistics, and what to do to get the most out of your trip to Edinburgh!

The Logistics


Wherever you come from, you will possibly have to book a flight to Edinburgh airport. We flew with Flybe and I really enjoyed all three flights we had there.


Edinburgh, like all bigger European cities, can be quite expensive when it comes to central accommodation. As I love to be as close to all the sights as I can, we settled for an Airbnb in Bruntsfield. The area was super nice and safe for female solo travelers. It had a lot of nice cafés, restaurants, and shops as well.

Bruntsfield, Visiting Edinburgh - La Vie En Marine
Bruntsfield looks beautiful, doesn’t it?

Want to learn more about Edinburgh? Check out where to stay in Edinburgh with a baby!

Getting Around & Airport Transfer

Ok, so how do you get from the airport to the city? Edinburgh came with a wonderfully simple solution: the line 100 airport link. Just step outside the airport, follow the signs to bus 100, pay 8,5£ for the bus, and within 30 minutes, you will be at Waverley Station, directly in the middle of Edinburgh. Easy as pie. 

The Sights

Edinburgh is a city that I fell in love with at first sight. Everything looks so beautifully huge, a little bit dark but still friendly as if you fell straight into a Harry Potter movie (everything looks like Hogwarts there!)

Old Town

The most picturesque (but therefore also crowded) area of Edinburgh. My personal tip is to approach it via Cockburn St. and have a coffee there. You will find the cutest little shops there and the first Harry Potter Shop (one of the many to be honest. But I was still happy that I spotted it right there!). From there you will reach High St. which will lead you to Edinburgh Castle. Follow this street and be in awe of this beautiful architecture and impressive churches and monuments, until you will get to one of the most impressive sights.

Ross Fountain

Strolling through the Princes Street Garden is one of the best free things to do in Edinburgh and a beautiful park that is close to Edinburgh Castle. The place that I liked most was the Ross Fountain. Surrounded by flowers it offers beautiful motifs for pictures. My favorite Edinburgh Instagram spot!

Ross Fountain, Visiting Edinburgh - La VIe En Marine


The most monumental sight of Edinburgh is the castle. When walking down High St. you will get to see it quite soon. You can also see it from the Princes Street Garden and from a lot of other angles! For those who are willing to pay for it it is also open for a visit. But as I wasn’t willing to pay 20£, we skipped it, but I am pretty sure that it is amazing!

The Castle, Edinburgh - La Vie En Marine

Elephant House

There are so many must-see Harry Potter locations in Scotland! A must-do for every Harry Potter fan who is visiting Edinburgh. Did you know that J K Rowling started to first the first Harry Potter book in Edinburgh? To be accurate, she started to write it in the Elephant House! It is a small restaurant in the heart of Edinburgh where you can still have your lunch. But be aware that you need to be there early on, as the restaurant is quite crowded.

The Elephant House, Visiting Edinburgh - La Vie En Marine

Walking, Walking, Walking

For me, the best thing to do when visiting Edinburgh was just to walk around and enjoy all the wonderful buildings while taking a stroll around. There is so much to see and so many tweed shops to visit that walking around will take up most of your weekend!

Calton Hill

This is one of my favorite Edinburgh sights by far. Calton Hill is (what a surprise) a hill. On top of it there are some amazing buildings but what I enjoyed, even more, was the view that you get when you are up there. Seeing the city in a panoramic view like this is truly breathtaking. If you follow the path around Calton Hill you will also get a wonderful view of the rest of the city and the beautiful Holyrood Par. We really wanted to visit it too but in the end, we were lacking in time.

Edinburgh from Calton Hill - La Vie En Marine

Related: Visiting the Scottish Highlands!

What & Where to Eat when Visiting Edinburgh

As we had our dinners mostly at home, after long days of walking I don’t have a lot of food tips for you. And for lunch, we had a lot of fish and chips (still the biggest tip.) but nevertheless, I want to recommend a restaurant to you. And something that is clearly not suitable for anyone. We also loved to stroll around to see the best cafés of Edinburgh, which was a highlight itself!

Guildford Arms Pub

This pub is so incredible! I didn’t know what to expect when visiting a pub and it wasn’t really what Guildford Arms is but it is an amazing restaurant that serves a great menu and for us the best burger of Scotland. We would always return!

Guilford Arms Burger - La Vie En Marine
The Guildford Arms - La Vie En Marine

Have a Hog Roast or Oink

This is a tip that is really not very appealing to anyone. A hog roast is basically roasted hog meat in a bun with different sauces. You can also have Häggis on top of it if you like. There is no vegetable in sight, just pure meat, and white bread. Did I have it? Yes. Did I like it? Somehow. But I am still not totally convinced. If you are not a vegetarian, try it and have your own opinion. I clearly do not need to link you a map down below, as you can’t oversee it. There is a roasted hog in their window.

Additional Tips

Well well well, actually I only have one tip for you but please take this one seriously: bring a raincoat. Scottish weather is almost as unpredictable as English weather and I would have been completely drained without my lovely little raincoat. Despite the rain, we still loved to explore a foggy Edinburgh as it gives a moody look to your pictures and makes the city even more mysterious and beautiful!

And that’s it from my side! Have you been to Edinburgh? Did you like it? Did I miss something? Was this post helpful? Please let me know and get in touch with me!


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Hi There!

My name is Paula and I love to travel and explore our beautiful world. Stamps in my passport and adding countries to the list of places I have visited is what makes me truly happy. With this blog, I want to help you explore our world too.

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