The capital city of Scotland, Edinburgh is a sprawling metropolis packed with engaging attractions and intriguing destinations. From its towering monuments to its historic architecture, this city offers plenty to experience. Getting to know the Edinburgh neighborhoods that make up the city will help you navigate this vast area and find the destinations that you're looking for on your holiday.
Meander Through Dean Village
Dean Village was constructed in the 1800s for grain mill workers. It retains its historic air with highlights like cobblestone streets and stone plaques. Highly desirable as a residential neighborhood, this is also a picturesque spot worth a stroll during your vacation.
Immerse Yourself in the History of Old Town
The centerpiece of Old Town is the Royal Mile, which runs from Edinburgh Castle to the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Along this street, you'll find an abundance of popular tourist destinations including The Real Mary King's Close, a chilling underground experience that explores the historic tunnels beneath the city. Branching off of the Royal Mile are several narrow alleys which create a maze of historic delights. Take your time exploring the welcoming pubs, specialty shops and charming boutiques. Old Town is extremely walkable and offers enough delights to fill your entire day.
Grab a Drink in South Side
South of Old Town, the neighborhood of South Side is home to Edinburgh University. This brings the area an eclectic blend of historic architecture and hip highlights. Pubs, restaurants and clubs here are laid-back and friendly, bustling with students. This is the perfect destination for young adults who want to rub shoulders with these locals. South Side is bordered by The Meadows park to the west and Holyrood Park to the east, offering plenty of scope for outdoor activities.
Hit the Shops of Stockbridge
Stockbridge is a trendy Edinburgh neighborhood that's home to an eclectic mix of boutiques, coffee shops and antique stores. You'll even find a farmer's market begging you to take a stroll. If you time your visit right, you might catch the annual duck race which sends more than a thousand rubber duckies sailing down the Water of Leith to raise money for charity.
Enjoy the Decadent Dining of Leith
Situated on the Firth of Forth, Leith has been the port of Edinburgh since the 14th century. This vibrant neighborhood is home to some of the best dining in the city with options that offer Indian food, Scottish delights and outstanding seafood. Though there are plenty of bars and pubs here, they close as night descends, so you'll need to head elsewhere to party into the wee hours.
Take in the Sights in Morningside
The affluent residential neighborhood of Morningside is the ideal spot for a morning jog or afternoon stroll when you want to take in some of the most beautiful sights in Edinburgh. The streets are lined with grand houses punctuated with eye-catching patches of green. The neighborhood is particularly breathtaking when the cherry trees are in bloom.
Browse the Boutiques of New Town
Business mecca by day and bustling club hub by night, New Town is always active. A shopper's paradise, this area features high-end boutiques that will keep you browsing all day. This neighborhood is also home to the city's three national art galleries, providing even more opportunities to feast your eyes. If you need to take a moment to eat between visiting the shops and galleries, grab a bite at the Printing Press Bar & Kitchen at the InterContinental Edinburgh The George.
Enjoy the Elegance of West End and Haymarket
Quiet yet refined, Edinburgh's West End has historically been the upper-class part of the city. You'll find a handful of theaters here among the gardens and Georgian architecture. This is also the home of many of the city's independent upper-class retailers, making it a great choice for distinctive shopping. Haymarket is located within West End and hosts a selection of terraced Victorian houses along its peaceful streets.
If you're planning a vacation to Edinburgh, you'll want to include at least a few of these neighborhoods in your itinerary. Choose your favorite to serve as home base, but take your time venturing beyond to truly appreciate what this diverse city has to offer.