A (very) Budget Friendly Edinburgh Evening
Further along in our journey, one of the most picturesque urban destinations in the world awaited: Edinburgh, Scotland. Home to many Harry Potter themed stores, lore of the days of yore, and just flat out beautiful classical architecture, this place is a must-do for your UK visit. Our days in Edinburgh happened to be filled with toiling errands like visa paperwork and unforseen garage visits to ready ourselves for the road ahead, but with our nights, we explored. There is much too much to find in Edinburgh to fit it into a weekend visit, but we hope this lovely, budget-friendly guide will help you out for a short stint.
Take a walk.
Edinburgh is truly breathtaking, you never know what lies around a bend or over a hill. Take the longer route to your dinner reservations, explore each alleyway or “close” you come across, don’t google your next coffee shop. Actually - this is a good tip for anywhere, but especially true here, let serendipity take over and don’t be afraid to wander where something smells good.
As far as views go, we loved the sights around the Edinburgh Castle that sits atop the aptly named Royal Mile. This stretch spans the central promenade of the city, so start your journey at the top. You can pay entrance to the castle, which is stunning, or just soak in the views from the peak and then begin your walk down. As you pass by all the stores filled to the brim with “Scottish” wares and Harris Tweed everything, you’ll pass by the Scottish parliament and eventually end up in the sights of Calton Hill. Resting just on the other side of the north bridge, this perch has arguably the best view of the city within easy access. But honestly, everywhere has a beautiful sight to be seen. Take a stroll and and see for yourself.
Have a drink.
While there are pubs on every corner that are sure to fit your needs, we have two recommendations that provide very different, yet entirely authentic Edinburgh experiences. The first, Teuchter’s Landing. This riverside pub is in Leith, technically a city separate from Edinburgh, that has grown to become a trendy “neighborhood” home to many natives and two newly crowned Michelin starred restaurants. This pub offers a plethora of both traditional Scottish fare and outdoor, waterfront seating - perfect for spending the evening.
The second is Juniper Cocktail Bar, housed in the Hotel Indigo on Princes Street (the heart of New Town). With a modern lounge interior and a menu featuring things like spicy apricot aioli and boozy ice cream floats, this spot makes for a less than traditional sort of afternoon. BUT!! A drink of some of Scotland’s finest whiskey, of which they have plenty, costs just 3-4 quid, with snacks ranging about the same. Add that to their spectacular views of the Scott Monument and Edinburgh Castle, and you have yourself a very indulgent spot.
Grab a bite.
If you haven’t filled up on bar snacks (as we did on more than one night), head out to either Oink or 10 to 10 in Delhi. The former is a tiny pit stop, serving the same fall-of-the-bone pig sandwich in three sizes, starting from just 3ish pound sterling. Simplistic and tasty, trust us on this one... we’re from America’s pork BBQ capital (shoutout to Nashville!), a pork sandwich here is perfect any time of day. The later is a very sweet little Indian joint with tapestries covering every wall, pillows lining every chair, and every delicious meal under 5 quid. Usually buzzing with some of the local university students, this place has perfected a well-portioned meal for a budget price and has left us - even Sarah the indian connoisseur - satisfactorily stuffed.
Stick to your neighborhood.
Check out the few closest pubs or restaurants closest to your crib. Likely, at least one will be full-to-the-brim and housing live music. Check out your hotel bar or the windows of your target for student/traveler/any kind of discounts to be had, we found 25% off in more than a couple joints.