Edinburgh on a Budget: 2 Days of Fun & Culture

Experience the enchanting city of Edinburgh without breaking the bank.

21 June 2023

Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland, offers a rich cultural experience even for those on a limited budget. Start with a free guided walking tour of the city that covers famous landmarks like Edinburgh Castle and the Royal Mile. Accommodation costs can be kept low by opting for budget-friendly hostels and guesthouses, and affordable local eateries are plentiful, offering traditional Scottish dishes like haggis and fish and chips.

Travel plan

Getting latest place information
  • Begin your day with a hearty Scottish breakfast at The Edinburgh Larder, a cozy café that serves locally sourced ingredients.
  • Walk down the Royal Mile, a charming street that stretches from Edinburgh Castle to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, stopping at St Giles' Cathedral and the Scottish Parliament Building along the way.
  • Visit the ancient Edinburgh Castle and take in the stunning views of the city from the top of the castle walls.
  • For lunch, try some haggis (a traditional Scottish dish made of sheep organs and oatmeal) at The Royal McGregor, a small pub on the Royal Mile.
  • Spend the afternoon at the National Museum of Scotland, which has a diverse collection of artifacts from Scottish history, from prehistoric times to the present day.
  • End the day with dinner at Oink, a local Scottish restaurant that specializes in pulled pork filled buns.
  • Hotel Recommendation: The Royal Mile Backpackers Hostel is a budget-friendly option that's located right on the Royal Mile.
  • Take a morning hike up Arthur’s Seat, the highest hill in Edinburgh that offers stunning views of the city.
  • For breakfast, check out The Pantry, a cozy brunch spot that serves up delicious pancakes, eggs, and bacon.
  • Explore the Scottish National Gallery that features works from artists such as Botticelli, Van Gogh, and Rembrandt.
  • Visit the Georgian House, a beautifully restored 18th-century house that provides a glimpse into Edinburgh’s past.
  • For lunch, grab some fish and chips at The Tailend, a popular local spot.
  • End the day at The Stand Comedy Club, where you can catch some live comedy performances and finish off with drinks.
  • Hotel Recommendation: The Ritz Hotel is a great budget-friendly choice that's located close to both Arthur's Seat and the city center.

How to get there

Plane

The best way to get to Edinburgh by plane is to fly into Edinburgh Airport, which is located approximately 8 miles from the city center, with many major airlines such as British Airways, EasyJet, and Ryanair offering direct flights from a range of cities around the world.

Car

Driving to Edinburgh is a great option for those who prefer to travel at their own pace or are traveling with a lot of luggage. You can reach Edinburgh by taking the M8 motorway, which connects the city to Glasgow and other major cities in the region.

Train

The most convenient way to travel to Edinburgh by train is to catch a train to Edinburgh Waverley station, which is located in the heart of the city center and is well connected to the rest of the UK. Trains are available from a range of cities including London, Manchester, and Birmingham.

Boat

If you're traveling from Europe, taking a ferry to Rosyth in Fife is a great option. From there, you can easily reach Edinburgh by car, bus, or train. DFDS Seaways operates a direct ferry service from Zeebrugge, Belgium to Rosyth.

Bus

The best way to get to Edinburgh by bus is to take a coach from Edinburgh Bus Station, which is located just a short walk from the city center. A variety of coach companies, including National Express and Scottish Citylink, provide direct services from various cities across the UK.

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