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Edinburgh and the Lothians

TRAVEL GUIDE

Edinburgh and the Lothians

TRAVEL GUIDE

The Fodor's Five

The five things you need to know before traveling to Edinburgh and the Lothians

# 1

Edinburgh is small, so get ready to walk.

This is a walking city; no need to hire a car! The center of the city is a short and easy tram, bus, or taxi ride from the airport. Edinburgh is small and compact; you can easily and pleasantly explore its central neighborhoods on foot in a few days. Strolling around the cobblestone streets and getting lost in the magical alleyways is the best way to absorb the moody atmosphere. The finest views in the city are free if you are willing and able to climb a few hills.

# 2

Scottish food is no longer a joke.

Perhaps you have heard of deep-fried Mars bars and plates of beige food and shuddered—but fear no more! There is a new wave of Scottish restaurants making genuinely innovative and vibrant food. From the secret haunts of chefs to Michelin-starred eateries to small contemporary gems, many independent restaurants are experimenting with local produce and international flavors. Your tastebuds will be pleasantly surprised.

# 3

This is a true city of literature.

There are so many bookshops! This is a city with a grand literary history and a famous academic university, so inevitably, there are many beautiful jewels of bookshops peppered throughout the city. Between rabbit warrens of second-hand bookstores and havens of contemporary works, there is somewhere for everyone to linger. Adorned with an oversized woolen jumper and a paperback tucked under your arm, you can easily pass for one of the many students who come to Edinburgh from all over the world to curl up in a cozy café and read.

# 4

It's easy to forget that Edinburgh is a coastal town.

Apart from some glimpses of faraway water on a clear day, it's easy to forget that Edinburgh is a coastal town—don’t miss the opportunity to catch some sea air. Portobello, Edinburgh’s delightful neighborhood with a sandy beach, and North Berwick, a picturesque seaside town a short train ride away, are both easily accessible. Charming choices for quaint shops, fish and chips on the beach, and maybe even a bracing lunge into the North Sea. It's the perfect place to dip your toe into the cold water swimming trend that you are sick of hearing about…

# 5

Scottish craft and design is everywhere.

From cozy wool and cashmere to small-batch perfume, Edinburgh is a haven of independent shops and makers who create magic with Scotland’s natural resources. In recent years, there has been a resurgence in Scottish craft among new brands and makers, joining the classic vintage shops and boutiques that have been part of Edinburgh’s fabric for many years. It all combines to make for an enchanting shopping experience. And of course, you can’t leave without sampling some Scottish whisky—or perhaps some local gin—from one of the many small craft brands that distill from Scottish soil.

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Language

English

Nearby Airports

EDI

Electrical Outlets

230v/50 cycles; plugs have three rectangular blades

Currency

British pound

Language

English

Electrical Outlets

230v/50 cycles; plugs have three rectangular blades

Currency

British pound

Nearby Airports

EDI

Scotland's reliably unreliable weather means that you could visit at the height of summer and be forced to wear a winter coat. Conversely, conditions...Read More

Discover the best neighborhoods in Edinburgh and the Lothians with curated recommendations from our editors.

Explore All

Scotland's reliably unreliable weather means that you could visit at the height of summer and be forced to wear a winter coat. Conversely, conditions...Read More

Discover the best neighborhoods in Edinburgh and the Lothians with curated recommendations from our editors.

Explore All

Scotland's reliably unreliable weather means that you could visit at the height of summer and be forced to wear a winter coat. Conversely, conditions...Read More

Discover the best neighborhoods in Edinburgh and the Lothians with curated recommendations from our editors.

Explore All

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Fodor's Essential Scotland
Whether you want to explore Edinburgh, sip Scottish whisky, or hike the Highlands, the...

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