Last night we returned from our first trip of 2017! We had the pleasure of going to the wonderful city of Edinburgh and even though it was a short break of just two days we had an amazing time on our first trip to Scotland. Read about what we got up to below.
We arrived in Edinburgh at 7.30am from Dublin. We flew with Ryanair and the flight was only 50 minutes from Dublin so it was not long at all. We got the airlink bus from the airport to the city and it only took approx. 25-30 minutes. The bus dropped us off at Prince Street and we walked down to castle street to get some breakfast in Badger and Co.
I found Badger and Co online before we left Dublin and as they got great reviews I had booked a table for breakfast and the restaurant did not disappoint. The service, the decor and the food of course, were amazing and we found ourselves sitting there for almost two hours enjoying the relaxed atmosphere, from our experience here we would definitely recommend it. www.badgerandco.com
After breakfast we headed to Edinburgh Castle! Perched on high hills, the castle is a fantastic sight! We decided to hike up the hills to the castle and enjoy the views of the city on the way up. It is a little tough even though it doesn’t take long but if hiking is not for you then you can of course walk up the royal mile to the castle too.
After taking many pictures outside we decided to go in. We were not queuing for long and it was £38 pound for the two of us that included a guide book, without the guidebook it was £33 for two people.
The inside of the castle was very interesting and included museums, old war prison cells as well as Scotland’s Crown Jewels. Unfortunately you cannot take photos of the Crown Jewels, but they are amazing!!
After the castle we decided to walk down the Royal Mile and we came across many boutiques selling bespoke cashmere and lambswool scarves. Price varies in each store and we saw beautiful cashmere scarves ranging from prices of £40-£60 with some stores doing a deal if you bought two. Of course, myself and Bryan opted to buy one each as we wanted to take something bespoke and made in Scotland home from our trip.
After our look around, we went to Calton Hill to get amazing views of the city. The walk up many steps was worth it as we got great views of the city.
We then went to check into our hotel. We were staying in the wonderful Principal Hotel on George Street. The hotel was beautifully decorated, clean and the room was a perfect size with a lovely view from the window. If we were returning to Edinburgh we would definitely stay there again and highly recommend it for anyone considering a trip to the city as we had a lovely experience there. The hotel is also very central with about a two minute walk to Prince Street. You can check them out here www.phcompany.com
We had a quick nap and then got ready for dinner. As you know from previous posts we love the Hard Rock Cafe so it was a must for us on our trip. The great thing was, the Hard Rock was right across the street from our hotel! We had a wonderful meal there and the service was excellent and the staff were very friendly which is something we love about the Hard Rock Cafe whenever we go in any city.
The next day we got up early and had breakfast in the Printing Press. This restaurant is connected to the hotel so if you are staying in the Principal and opt for a bed and breakfast package, this is where you will most likely have your breakfast. The restaurant is beautiful and the food was delicious. They do a buffet style breakfast but also have a menu for made to order items aswell. If you are not staying in the hotel you can still have food here as it does have its own entrance.
We then headed out to Edinburgh Zoo as we wanted to see the Giant Panda! If you want to do the same we recommend to book your tickets online like us as you get to pick a free panda viewing. You can book your tickets at edinburghzoo.org.uk. If you wait until the day to do this there might be no spaces left depending on the time of year. The website also gives information on exhibit closures and the panda viewing does close during a certain time period for breeding season. The zoo also has Koalas but unfortunately this enclosure was closed during our visit. We understand zoos are not to everyone’s liking but if you do want to see the Giant Panda, Edinburgh Zoo is an excellent choice. The panda was sleeping when we arrived but we felt very lucky to see one because as I mentioned before you are not guaranteed to see the panda.
We spent about two hours in the zoo and then we went back to the city centre for some lunch. We had the pleasure of having lunch in the Dome, which we highly recommend. The food is absolutely amazing like all of the food we had on the trip. The Dome is very elegant and has the most beautiful ornate ceiling. You may want to book ahead as it’s very popular. You can book online at Thedomeedinburgh.com
After lunch we took a walk through Prince Street Gardens and then on to Victoria street. Victoria street is beautiful with coloured buildings and the street also leads down to Grassmarket which is an area with a lot of pubs and restaurants.
It was then time for us to head to the airport for our flight home. Edinburgh airport is great and one of the nicest airports we have been in. We had dinner while there in the All Bar One and the food was amazing there.
As Edinburgh is quite a small city we feel you could definitely see a lot in 48 hours but if you do want to venture outside of the city or also go up to Arthur’s Seat we would recommend another day there so you don’t feel rushed.
Other things you can do while on your trip are:
- Holyrood Palace
- Mary Kings Close
- The Scottish Wiskey Experience
- Camera Obscura
It’s not that we didn’t have time to do these things we just opted out during our trip.
Edinburgh is a very hilly city so do bring sensible walking shoes for your visit.
To get from the airport and into the city you can take the tram or the Airlink bus. We opted for the bus as it took us straight to Prince Street and cost us £4.50 each for a single ticket. The stop for the bus was also right outside the arrival gate.
If going to the zoo you can use the public transport but be aware that you need the exact change! If not the airlink does stop outside the zoo or a taxi will take ten minutes and costs about £9.
If you have any questions about our trip do drop us an email and we are also interested in hearing about your trip to the city!
Don’t forget to follow us so you receive all of our new posts straight to your email!
Nicole and Bryan