Beneath a dreamlike canopy of Gothic and Georgian steeples, spires, towers and turrets, Edinburgh’s cobblestoned streets wind uphill en route to a magnificent medieval fortress. Long hailed the “Athens of the North,” Scotland’s misty, collegiate capital is a profoundly lettered and storied city, from Hume to Harry Potter.
Perfect forArt Lovers | Families | Intellectuals | Romantics
When to goJune-August | September-November
Ideal length of stay3-5 Nights
Designing Your Journey
Work with Indagare to design the perfect itinerary for an immersive journey. Our travel experts know the destination inside and out, and they can make recommendations based on your travel needs and preferences.
3 Days: Essential Edinburgh
In Edinburgh, there seems to be an ancient cathedral or cutting-edge exhibit around every cobblestoned corner, but the air is so fraught with history that much of it seeps in by osmosis. You can almost breathe it in with the fog. The best itineraries include customized, special access and private guided touring. Here is just one example of what our destination experts can create for you.
Day One: Castles and Tea
With its sweeping panoramic views of the city, Edinburgh Castle is the perfect place to orient oneself shortly after arrival in Edinburgh and an ideal point of departure for a first day of sightseeing. Climb to the summit of Castle Rock to savor the panoramic views of the city; on the way back down, descend slowly to admire the medieval architecture along the scenic upper stretches of the Royal Mile. Take a break with scones and Champagne at the Balmoral Hotel’s classic afternoon tea.
Day Two: Old and New Towns
Spend the day with a private guide exploring the more historical sites in Edinburgh, including Old and New Town, The Royal Mile, Holyrood Palace (the Queen’s Edinburgh residence), the Scottish National Gallery and Princes Street Gardens. Arthur’s Seat, the large hill just outside of the center of town, requires some hiking, but afford magnificent city views.
Day Three: Day Trip
A one-hour drive from Edinburgh, set among the cluster of fishing villages that make up the Kingdom of Fife, sits the charming town of St Andrews. History runs deep here, as the home of both golf and Scotland’s oldest university. (Both the sport and the college were started in the 15th century.) A day trip here should include seeing the Old Course golf course, St Andrews castle, the cathedral, university squares and the two beaches, including West Sands, setting of the Chariots of Fire running scene.
Where To Stay
We only feature hotels that we can vouch for first-hand. At many of them, Indagare members receive special amenities, including upgrades, early check-in, breakfast, spa credits and more. Look for the Indagare Plus logo in the reviews.
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Even travelers who typically gravitate to more intimate properties find it hard to resist Edinburgh's storied grande dame, whose prime location and historic setting have made it de rigueur for a proper introduction to the Scottish capital.
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Waldorf Astoria Caledonian
Having undergone a $40 million renovation, the former Caledonian Hotel has gracefully emerged as one of the leading hotels in Edinburgh as part of the Waldorf Astoria brand.