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What To Really See In Edinburgh

So you're planning on going to Edinburgh. There's a big castle, there's some lovely old stuff beside it and a few shops you can get a good deal on a tartan site in. If you haven't had time to do research though, you may find yourself being dragged along to tourist trap after tourist trap and wondering if there's really more to Edinburgh than a lot of confused looking tourists and shops selling ginger haired hats. Here's some tips on what to really see in Edinburgh.

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What To Learn

Via museum.rcsed.ac.uk

Pretty much every great thing to explore in Edinburgh is always just a street or two away from somewhere really popular. The first stop on this mini tour is on Nicholson Street just around the corner form Festival Theatre. A quick at a review site and you'll see that the The Suregon's Hall Museum has arguably some of the weirdest review tags ever. "strong stomach" "specimens" "gruesome" and "surgical instruments" are just some of the words used to describe this unique museum.

The building is home to a collections of preserved body parts and medical discoveries from the 18th century. You'll be able to see the old tools used for amputation, deformed skulls and preserved lungs and muscles in jars.

If you can't stand the site of a cut or blood maybe this isn't the place for you. But if you want to see why Edinburgh was one of the pioneers in medicine and learning how the human body works, you'll love it.

What To Watch

So for most of the summer Edinburgh becomes the world's biggest theatre attraction with the Fringe festival taking over and basically making every free space possible in to some sort of play.

What you never really hear about though are some of the cinemas dotted around the capital. And while the Dominian out in Morningside is a lovely matinee spot, the best cinema in town is the Cameo. Now it might sound a bit silly to tell you that going to a cinema is a great thing to do when on a holiday, but this old school building has been in operation since 1914 and the inside has remained mostly untouched.

When you've been watching an old film and seen someone sitting in one of those ornate looking cinema screens with big red seats and decorated moulds around the corner of the screen, this is exactly what sitting in Cameo looks like.

They are mainly an art-house cinema but do put on special screenings of Hollywood classics that feel like you've jumped in a time machine.

What To Buy

Via armstrongsvintage.co.uk

While Princes Street pretty much makes up the retail area of town, Edinburgh has a lot of theatres, which means that is has a hell of a lit of vintage shops too.

There is one name that synonymous with vintage gear in town and that's Armstrongs. They're so well known for being the best vintage in town that they actually have three stores.

The first store in Grassmarket is quite close to the castle and can be cramped sometimes during the day as people mostly go in to look at novelty items; it's quite a good place to whip up a costume for a facny dress party in a hurry.

I'd recommend you visit the second store over on Clerk Street. It's a little smaller but it has the best vintage finds of the three. In fact it's so popular that they actually have their own section at Topshop Edinburgh (right across the road from Edinburgh Waverley) if you can't make it across town.

What To Eat For Lunch

There are two things that Edinburgh does really well: tatties & burgers.

If you have no clue what a tattie (and shame on you for not knowing) it is simply a baked potato. There are two tattie shops around town that let you pick your own topping for the potato, much like a sandwich deli, and provide the type of meal that will fuel anyone for a day of traipsing around the Scottish capital.

For anyone strictly staying within city limits, The Tempting Tattie on Jeffrey Street (not to be confused with the Baked Potato Shop on Cockburn Street) is right off the Royal Mile and great if you want something in a hurry. It does have limited seating so you might find yourself bumping elbows with someone else tucking in to a haggis or bean covered tattie. If you're arriving in town from Waverley station, take a left out of Market Street away from hotels near the Edinburgh Dungeon, and just keep walking straight until you see the nice big red sign.

The best tattie shop in my opinion is up in Bruntsfield on Viewforth Gardens. The Tattie Shop has perfectly roasted spuds (another term for potatoes) that you can cover in tuna, cheese, egg mayo and whatever other filling they have really.

What To Eat For Dinner

As I mentioned, burgers are king in Edinburgh and locals will scoff at the slightest suggestion you visit those all too familiar golden arches when they have local spots that make ridiculously tasty burgers.

You can easily count on two hands just some of the top spots around town with BURGER, Burgers and Beers Grillhouse, Wannaburger and Diner7 all firm favourites.

The best in town for my money though is Bread Meats Bread on Lothian Road. Originally from Glasgow, this eatery specialises in using the best locally grown beef to make everything from the Scotalian (a burger with Marscapone and Basil) to the Luther (a burger with a donut for a bun)

They also serve that bowl of heaven you can see above. It's their signature Poutine; something you don't usually get over here in the UK.

What To Drink

Almost every corner in Old Town has a quaint looking bar serving up the usual, but there are some great bars tucked away out of sight.

One such bar, which is close to Grassmarkets on West Port Street is Dragonfly.

A popular haunt for students and anyone looking to unwind after a long day, this cocktail bar can get quite cramped as its small, but it does serve arguably the best mixed drinks in the city.

They have a really extensive menu that suits every taste, but a favourite of mine is the Triple H; a cognac based drink with honey liqueur and an egg white, because it's important to get that protein!

  1. So which place would you like to visit the most?

    Now that I've shown you the hidden highlights, which will be on your diary?

    Correct
    Incorrect
    Surgeons Hall
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Cameo
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Armstrongs
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Tattie Shop
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Bread Meats Bread
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Dragonfly
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So which place would you like to visit the most?
  1. Surgeons Hall
     
    vote votes
    Surgeons Hall
  2. Cameo
     
    vote votes
    Cameo
  3. Armstrongs
     
    vote votes
    Armstrongs
  4. Tattie Shop
     
    vote votes
    Tattie Shop
  5. Bread Meats Bread
     
    vote votes
    Bread Meats Bread
  6. Dragonfly
     
    vote votes
    Dragonfly
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