The Ultimate 5-Day Budget Adventure in Edinburgh

Discover the charm of Edinburgh without breaking the bank.

21 June 2023

Edinburgh is a great place to visit on a limited budget. You can enjoy free activities like hiking up Arthur's Seat or exploring the Royal Botanical Gardens. Additionally, there are plenty of affordable accommodation options and budget-friendly food choices throughout the city.

Travel plan

Getting latest place information
Day 1

Arrival and Orientation

  • Check into the Royal Mile Hotel, a charming boutique hotel located in the heart of Edinburgh's Old Town.
  • Walk down the iconic Royal Mile and take in the sights and sounds of the bustling street.
  • Stop at Edinburgh Castle, perched atop a volcanic rock, and marvel at the stunning views of the city.
  • Visit St Giles' Cathedral, a stunning example of Gothic architecture, and explore the many shops and restaurants in the surrounding area.
  • Relax with a hearty Scottish meal at The Royal McGregor, a cozy pub serving up delicious comfort food and local beers.
Day 2

Artistic Exploration

  • Start the day with a visit to the Scottish National Gallery, home to an impressive collection of Scottish and international art.
  • Take a stroll through Princes Street Gardens, a lush oasis in the heart of the city, and enjoy views of the Edinburgh skyline.
  • Visit the Scottish National Portrait Gallery and peruse the many portraits of famous Scots throughout history.
  • Stop at The Elephant House, a popular cafe where J.K. Rowling wrote the Harry Potter series, and indulge in a cup of hot cocoa.
  • End the day with a performance at The Edinburgh Playhouse, one of the city's premier theaters.
Day 3

Literary Tour

  • Begin with a visit to the Writers' Museum, a tribute to the literary greats of Scotland.
  • Take a guided tour of the city's many bookshops, including The Edinburgh Bookshop and Golden Hare Books.
  • Visit the Edinburgh International Book Festival, held every August in Charlotte Square Gardens.
  • Stop by The Bow Bar, a cozy pub frequented by some of Scotland's celebrated writers, for a dram of whisky.
  • End the day with a ghost tour of the city, exploring Edinburgh's darker side.
Day 4

Outdoors and Adventure

  • Take a hike up Arthur's Seat, an extinct volcano that offers stunning views of the city.
  • Rent a bike and cycle along the Water of Leith, a picturesque route that winds through the heart of Edinburgh.
  • Visit the Royal Botanic Garden and explore the many gardens and greenhouses.
  • Take a tour of the famous Edinburgh Vaults, a network of underground chambers and tunnels.
  • Indulge in a hearty meal of Haggis, Neeps and Tatties at The Last Drop, a traditional Scottish pub.
Day 5

Final Day in Edinburgh

  • Take a day trip to the seaside town of North Berwick, just a short train ride away.
  • Visit the ruins of Tantallon Castle or take a boat tour to the Bass Rock, a volcanic island home to thousands of seabirds.
  • Stop at the Lobster Shack for a seafood lunch, featuring fresh lobster and crab caught that morning.
  • Return to Edinburgh and visit the National Museum of Scotland, boasting fascinating exhibits on Scottish history and culture.
  • End the day with a pint at The Blue Blazer, a beloved Edinburgh pub with a rich history and friendly locals.
  • *Note: It is possible that certain attractions and restaurants may be closed or have limited hours due to COVID-19 restrictions. Please check ahead for up-to-date information.

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.

More travel plans

Discover the Magic of Edinburgh: A Fun Family Day Trip

Visiting Edinburgh with your family promises an unforgettable adventure. Explore the iconic Edinburgh Castle which stands proudly atop Castle Rock, offering spectacular panoramic views of the city. Kids will be enthralled by the interactive exhibits at the Camera Obscura and World of Illusions, while everyone can enjoy a stroll along the historic Royal Mile with its charming shops, street performers, and mouthwatering food options.

Experience Edinburgh's Magic on a Budget

Edinburgh is a city that truly encapsulates the magic of Scotland. Even on a limited budget, one can explore the historic Old Town and marvel at the stunning architecture of Edinburgh Castle. Take a stroll through the charming Princes Street Gardens and indulge in the many free museums and galleries. With affordable accommodation options and a plethora of cheap, traditional food options, Edinburgh is the perfect destination for budget-conscious travelers looking for an enriching cultural experience.

Discover Edinburgh's Best in 2 Days

Edinburgh is a stunningly beautiful and historic city that offers travelers a wealth of opportunities to explore its architecture, culture, and natural beauty. With world-renowned museums, galleries, and landmarks like Edinburgh Castle, visitors can immerse themselves in centuries of Scottish history and heritage. Whether it's hiking in the stunning Scottish highlands or sampling local cuisine and whiskey, a trip to Edinburgh is sure to be unforgettable for tourists of all ages and interests.

One Day of Romance in Edinburgh

A romantic trip to Edinburgh, United Kingdom would be an enchanting experience. From exploring the city's historical landmarks such as Edinburgh Castle and Royal Mile to admiring the breathtaking views from Arthur's Seat, Edinburgh offers the perfect destination for a romantic getaway. The city's cozy pubs and lively nightlife make it an ideal choice for couples looking to indulge in delicious food and drinks while enjoying each other's company.