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37 Ways To Have A Perfect Weekend In Edinburgh

Auld Reekie all wrapped up.

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Get some Josef K on and buckle up.

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They're local heroes. The Rezillos, or The Proclaimers if you must, are alternatives.

1. Friday afternoon: Get your bearings.

Creative Commons / Flickr: swalophoto

Whether you come by train or plane (via the tram to the centre), you'll probably start out by Waverley Station and Princes Street Gardens.

2. Head to the Gardens and look around.

Creative Commons / Flickr: graeme_pow

Face north to spy Princes Street, with the New Town visible behind; head south to reach the Royal Mile, which stretches from the castle to Holyrood Palace. A great deal of what you'll discover is within about a half-a-mile radius of this point.

3. Start to get your head around the city's 3D maze of streets.

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Edinburgh is a disorienting stack of cobbled alleys on top of cobbled alleys, buildings that you enter on one level and exit on another, and more multi-dimensional problems. It's part of the fun.

6. Check into Robert Louis Stevenson’s gaff.

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The childhood home of the Treasure Island author is an imposing Georgian New Town house, and offers several rooms for bed and breakfast. Prices at Stevenson House range between £110 and £130.

7. Or somewhere really spectacular.

Creative Commons / Flickr: keltanen

Prestonfield House is one of Edinburgh's most ostentatious piles, a 17th-century mansion amid eight hectares of parkland stuffed full of tapestries and other antiques as well as the mod cons – Bose stereos, massive TVs – you'd expect from somewhere of this stature.

10. Head for a pint.

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Edinburgh is home to an embarrassment of pub riches, but The Regent is worth a special visit. A gay-friendly real-ale boozer, it's won the Edinburgh branch of CAMRA's Pub of the Year award twice. Deuchars and Old Rosie cider are among the choices on tap.

12. Drop into one of Edinburgh's best cocktail bars.

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The Bon Vivant on Thistle Street has just been crowned the first ever Scottish winner of the Tales of the Cocktail 2014 Spirited Awards. Panda & Sons and Bramble (pictured) are also good choices.

14. Saturday morning: Coffee...

Creative Commons / Flickr: zachinglis

The Elephant House might be known as the spot J.K. Rowling dreamt up Harry Potter, but it's a favourite of numerous other writers, from Ian Rankin to Alexander McCall Smith.

16. Pop over and see Abraham Lincoln.

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Old Calton Cemetery is home to a number of esteemed corpses, including philosopher David Hume, and in 1893 became the site of the first Lincoln statue outside the US.

18. Visit Greyfriars Kirk.

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The church has been a place of worship for over four centuries and was home to Greyfriars Bobby, a dog who supposedly guarded his owner's grave for 14 years in the 19th century and is now immortalised in a statue of his own.

20. In fact, while we're on the subject of whisky...

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Naturally, the city has endless places to taste a dram. Bennets, which has more than 100 on offer, and Canny Man's are two to start off with. Download a whisky map and see how many you can tick off.

26. Go to the beach (yes, really).

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A short bus-ride away, Portobello is a sandy beach on the coast of the Firth of Forth. You rarely catch rays, but it's great for walks all year round.

27. Go on a pub crawl back in town.

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Craft beer is big here. The Hanging Bat, Red Squirrel, Holyrood 9A, Stockbridge Tap, and locals BrewDog are among the finest spots to sup.

28. A literary pub tour combines history with drinking.

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Clart and McBrain are two oddball characters from the Edinburgh Literary Pub tour who will take you to the various haunts of Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott et al.

33. Head out to Leith.

Creative Commons / Flickr: michaelduxbury

A quick bus-ride away. The area has always been a top excursion from the city centre, and now it's evolving faster than ever, with a bunch of new bars to try out.

36. See William Burke's skeleton.

Creative Commons / Flickr: ejbaurdo

This bloke went around with his mate William Hare murdering people then selling their corpses to a doctor. He was executed, and his skeleton stands in the Anatomical Museum as a reminder to not kill and sell people.

37. Finish up at The Witchery.

Creative Commons / Flickr: clocky

Treat yourself to some Aberdeen Angus steak tartare at the city's most famous restaurant. Alternatively, dive into one of Edinburgh's five Michelin-starred establishments.

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