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    21 Useful Edinburgh Tips From A Local

    A travel guide from a local perspective.

    1. Scale the heights.

    As it's built across seven hills, Edinburgh boasts some of the most beautiful views in the world. The city also has a number of viewpoints in the form of towers, Sky Bars, castles, monuments and even a volcano! Don’t be lazy, climb the peaks.

    Climbing Scott’s Monument costs £4 and its different viewing platforms on each level will not disappoint.

    2. Ditch the map.

    Instagram: @caoilfhionnrose

    Parts of Edinburgh are built on top of the city's vaults which were the housing for the lower class in the 18th century. Therefore, the maps of Edinburgh are pretty confusing unless they’re 3D. The best thing to do is dump the map that you’ve found in the Tourist Information office because your curiosity will overpower your sense of direction and the map will only act as a lining to the inside of your handbag.

    3. Take the stairs.

    Real Edinburgh / Via Facebook: RealEdinburgh

    The city is dotted with staircases, and no matter how many steps you have to climb, it’s always worth it at the other end. Secret courtyards, 18th century cul-de-sac’s, winding streets and even astronomy towers – it’s worth the bun burn!

    4. Go to the seaside.

    Newhaven Harbour - Grant Ritchie @ Real Edinburgh

    Take yourself out of the bustling city centre and take a short bus ride to the neighbouring seaside village of Portobello (on the right) for some traditional fish and chips, and a walk along the beach. If you fancy something a little closer to town, take a stroll to The Shore in Leith or to Newhaven Harbour (on the left).

    5. Take a boat trip.

    The Union Canal in Edinburgh is a definite must-see. Perfect for evening strolls, afternoon picnics, and of course, canal boat rides. You can take a trip down the narrow river on a Rosie and Jim-style boat, or if you fancy channeling your inner-Bridget Jones, take a bottle of wine and your Hugh Grant equivalent and rent a rowing boat from the Boat House across from Harrison Park. (Late Spring – the end of summer)

    6. Visit the University, but don't get in the way.


    Staying clear of Edinburgh University students is quite difficult when in Edinburgh, as the campus is practically on the Royal Mile. But don't stop and block the pavement at the statue of Greyfriar's Bobby, or The Elephant House coffee shop ('The Birthplace of Harry Potter')… It's really annoying. Like seriously, don't do it.

    7. Leave the dug alone!

    Facebook: RealEdinburgh

    We locals plead that you do not rub Greyfriar’s Bobby’s nose. The myth is not true, you will not be inundated with good luck if you veraciously rub his now golden snout. You’d might as well go and find a leprechaun. Please don’t do it, his concealer is expensive.

    8. Geek out in a graveyard.

    Instagram: @caoilfhionnrose

    While up beside Greyfriar's Bobby you'll see Greyfriar's Kirkyard. If you fancy a challenge - go in search of Tom Riddle's grave.

    9. Enjoy a taste of Brazil.

    10. Dodge tourist bars.

    Do yourself a favour and avoid the Grassmarket and Rose Street bars if you’re hoping for a quiet drink, to meet a local, or to even get a drink at all. Great fun during the sporting seasons and the Fringe Festival, but like a cattle herding the rest of the year. Head to Sandy Bells on Forrest Road for live Scottish Folk music every night. I can’t promise that you’ll get a seat, but you’ll definitely get a drink.

    11. Visit Stockbridge Market.

    Caoilfhionn Rose

    Don’t miss out on the Stockbridge Market every Sunday from 10am-4pm for local produce, exotic foods, sweet treats and handmade gifts.

    12. Seek out Golden Hour in the city.

    Facebook: RealEdinburgh

    Edinburgh’s sunsets are one of a kind, and if the weather plays game then they’re not to be missed. So take a blanket, a flask of hot whisky and your thermals to the top of Calton Hill and relish in the wondrous golden hour views.

    13. Step down a side street.

    14. Indulge in chip shop dining.

    15. Visit the Cameo Picturehouse.

    One of my favourite things to do in Edinburgh is to visit the Cameo Picturehouse. The art house cinema shows incredible films that you may not find at your local Cineworld, as well as showing some absolute classics every now and then. (I saw the Lion King on the big screen for the first time a few months ago at the Cameo. What made it better is that I could drink while watching the movie! That’s what dreams are made of.)

    16. Or go for punch and pictures.

    Instagram: @caoilfhionnrose

    If you’re titillated by the sound of drinking while watching a movie, the Brass Monkey on Drummond Street is where you need to spend your day from 3pm onwards. Beers, movies and beanbags all for free… well, not the former.

    17. Don't discuss the trams.

    18. And carry change for the bus.

    19. Give yourself a nightmare on a Ghost Tour.

    20. Embrace the weird.

    Facebook: RealEdinburgh

    You will most definitely see the pierced lady if you’re strolling down the Royal Mile, or perhaps a ginger bloke in a straight-jacket. Maybe even a lady with a cryptic sign in front of her reading ‘Photo’s £1’, or perhaps just a guy who’s looking to chat. Whatever the weird, don’t walk on. Take it all in because it’s people like this that give Edinburgh its charm.

    21. Explore!

    Real Edinburgh / Via Facebook: RealEdinburgh

    You can never have too much time in Edinburgh, and you’ll certainly never have enough. While on your trip to our gorgeous city, take your time while exploring the streets, and don’t forget to look all around you, you never know what you might see.

    A special thanks to Real Edinburgh and Stockbridge Edinburgh for providing such beautiful images.

    An earlier version of this post stated that the bus cost £1.30. This has since been corrected.