Edinburgh, Scotland is a great city that is often overlooked by many travelers. Aside from being a great destination in and of itself with some amazing sights, great restaurants and a history dating back thousands of years - it is also the gateway to so many other great attractions in Scotland; especially if you like scotch or golf!
If you’re in Edinburgh you cannot help but be constantly followed around by the imposing structure that is Edinburgh Castle. It reminds me a bit of the Acropolis in Athens or Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro in that you can see it from almost anywhere in the city, high above, looming like an overlord of the city. But make no mistake, Edinburgh Castle is a fantastic place to visit as well.
Inside the castle you will find artifacts dating back centuries and gothic architecture that you simply won’t find in other castles or cities in Europe. The price to enter Edinburgh Castle is a little steep but it’s worth having a look around-you won’t regret it.
Much like London, Edinburgh has long had a reputation for having bad food. I am here to tell you that is false. Edinburgh has many excellent modern restaurants with cuisines from all over the world. While Edinburgh has become much more modern in the last 15 years, it still holds on to its roots; which I love.
You can have a 5 star Japanese restaurant next to a hole in the wall potato or haggis stand. You can have a fancy $20 cocktail at an ultra-chic lounge located next to a pub with backpackers chugging $3 pints. That’s a great thing about Edinburgh: the contrasts of the old versus the modern, and the harmony in which they both exist.
My favorite things to do from Edinburgh are twofold: golf and scotch! Within a 60-90 minute drive you can play golf on some of the worlds most famous and renowned courses. St. Andrews, Carnoustie, Turnberry and so many others are there and yes you can play them. But those little towns are more than just golf, they are destinations themselves and well worth a visit during a trip to Scotland even if you’re not a golfer!
Another great thing to do is to take a distillery tour of your favorite Scotch. They’re all there and they all offer tours - with free samples! I’m a big scotch fan and an even bigger fan of visiting distilleries. I enjoy listening to the guide talk of the history and explain how things work at their distillery. The photos are also great and did I mention the free samples?!
So all in all, Edinburgh is a destination but also a gateway to the rest of Scotland so make the most out of your time in a place where time can seem to stand still!
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