Heading to the land of the Scots for the original Fringe Festival? Firstly, jealous. Secondly, mmmm that’s about it. From 4 August 2017, Scotland’s capital city will be overthrown with up and coming performers, tourists from around the world and all of the good vibes.
But between all the shows, your overpriced Airbnb apartment and the madness that is the Royal Mile, one’s gotta eat, drink and explore. After all, you are in one of the most beautiful cities in the world… and whisky territory. Prepare for that hangover and a bank balance you won't like the look of.
Here’s our guide to having the ultimate weekend in Edinburgh.
Walk The Free City
Get your bearings from day one by starting your morning with the Edinburgh Free Tour. Leaving from The Royal Mile every day at 11am, this is a sure fire way to tick off just about everything on TripAdvisor (without having to actually do any of it!) For those keen on continuing the daily step count, the nightly Free Ghost Tour will get you up to speed on the darker side of the city, and it’s actually way more fun and interesting than it sounds!
Order An Earl Grey Tea At The Dome On George Street
It’s 50/50 as to whether we love The Dome for its 1775 opulent splendour or if we just love hearing a Scot pronounce ‘earl grey tea’, so we’ll just go with both please. Spend the afternoon resting your feet and soaking up the chandeliers, gold walls, fine china and toasting the Queen (and George and Charlotte).
Soak Up The “Sun” at The Meadows
As long as you lower your expectations of what a sunny day should look like, The Meadows is the place to relax, people watch, play sport, have a nap…well really any of the above. Located in the city centre and surrounded by wildflowers and castles as far as the eye can see, this is a little piece of serenity before you hit Old Town. If you’re feeling peckish for a picnic, Victor Hugo Deli is right nearby and has your cheese and nibble cravings sorted.
Taste The Local Ale At Brew Dog In Old Town
Beer snobs are all over this one. Brew Dog is the team behind Punk IPA and Dead Pony Club (to name a couple) and it’s these beers that kickstarted the craft beer movement in the city…if not in the UK. Even if you’re not into beers, head here anyway for the cosy atmosphere and board games on offer.
Eat A Bucket Of Wings On Old Fishmarket Close
Ninja level chicken wings with cheap beer, Jurassic Park video games and walls covered in Star Wars, Dr Who and Where’s Wally paraphernalia. Do we need to elaborate? This is where the cool kids of Edinburgh are drinking tonight and we insist you do the same.
See A Show…Or Ten
Topping the must-sees for this year’s Fringe Festival is Locker Room Talk, DollyWould, Sam Simmons, Last Clown on Earth, The Humours of Bandon, Cirk La Putka, Chortle, How to Win Against History, Al Porter, Monkey See Monkey Do, Zoe Coombs, Sue Perkins, Humans etc etc etc. Summerhall is our fave venue with a great bar and cafe that’s full of contemporary art and music for free. Download the Fringe app to get you on your way.
Party On At Paradise Palms
A tiki bar, an eclectic mix of verge furniture, a cabaret set and a garden, Paradise Palms is full of creative cocktail concoctions and all the shenanigans you’ll need for a post-show party.
Hangover Brunch At The Voyage Of Buck
You’ll be sold on the Full Scottish at The Voyage Of Buck and you’ll be glad for it. Loaded with all the usual suspects and of course, haggis, black pudding and a potato scone, this is Scotland on a plate (and all for ten quid!) The dark and stormy mahogany atmosphere will nurse the hangover but it’s likely the Guinness that lingers in the air won’t. Soz.
Marvel At Everything In And Around Edinburgh Castle
If you’re anything like us and have a slight addiction to Outlander, then you’ll love everything in and around Edinburgh Castle. Make sure to buy your ticket in advance to avoid the heinous queue (which is full of uncertainty and selfie sticks) and soak up all the broody marvels.
Get Your Takeaway Flat White At The Pantry
Two things are certain: 1) Australian’s are disappointed by coffee everywhere outside of Australia. 2) Anywhere with ‘flat white’ on the menu is a sure fire way to our hearts. The Pantry is a lovely little spot of delightfulness that you’ll want to pocket up and take home with you.
Hike Arthur’s Seat In Holyrood Park
Plan to do this on a clear day, and you won’t regret it. Standing at the top of the city's extinct volcano, you’ll get a full view of its beauty. If you can handle the endless GoPros and selfie sticks in sight, then head straight to the top of Arthur's Seat and breathe in the dewy fresh air that’ll knock any hangover on its head.
Grab A Sunday Roast At The Printing Press On George Street
Home to some important Scottish people back in the 1780’s, The Printing Press is a spot of historic elegance on George Street serving up nothing but homely larder and a wee tipple of whisky of course. Choose between the bird, beast or garden, all served with all the trimming and finished with dessert and bloody marys, the whole thing makes for a pretty darn perfect Sunday.
Listen To The Local Folk At Sandy Bells
It doesn’t get more Scottish than sipping an ale on a Sunday afternoon listening to traditional folk music before you head back to the mundane realities of adulthood—AKA the airport. Sandy Bells invites anyone with an instrument to join in the music session, but be warned, the standard is (gratefully) very high!
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Image credit: Andrew Colin