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The Perfect Two Days in Edinburgh

The Perfect Two Days in Edinburgh

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Edinburgh, the beautiful capital city of Scotland continues to top the list of the best cities to visit in Europe according to Travel and Leisure and is listed as one of the most Instagrammable places in Scotland

Full of history and charm, I guarantee you will find plenty of things to do during your 2 days in Edinburgh

Edinburgh was the final stop on our 7 day Scotland itinerary, before heading off to Dublin, and I must admit, we quickly fell in love with this charming city and dreamed of one day living in Edinburgh

And trust us, Edinburgh is a compact city, so 2 days in Edinburgh is just the right amount of time.

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2 Days in Edinburgh:  Day 1

Take an Edinburgh Bus Tour

After dropping your bags off at your Edinburgh hotel or Airbnb (click here to get a $55 Airbnb credit), introduce yourself to this great city with a bus tour

The City Sightseeing Bus Tour is a great way to get to know the layout of the city and see it from a different perspective, atop the double-decker bus. 

You can hop on and hop off at 14 different stops, or just stay on to orient yourself with the city.  Either way, for less than $20 per person, this is a great introduction to Edinburgh.

Walk The Royal Mile

An area that is jammed pack with things to do is definitely Edinburgh’s Royal Mile.  Based in old town, the entire stretch of the Royal Mile is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

The mile-long stretch of street connects the fabulous Edinburgh Castle to the Palace of Holyrood House.  Lined with shops, restaurants, quaint closes (alleys), churches, and visitor attractions, the Royal Mile is definitely a place to spend some time.

Edinburgh Royal Mile Sign-the Royal Mile has to be on your two days in Edinburgh itinerary

Tour Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle sits at the top of the hill and marks the beginning of the Royal Mile.  Serving as a royal residence and then a military stronghold, this beautiful castle demands attention as it looms over the historic town that it has protected for so many years.

Once inside, you will find an amazing view of the city, a tiny Romanesque chapel, the Scottish National War Memorial, and the historic Royal Palace that houses the crown jewels and the Stone of Destiny. 

Be sure and visit the Royal Apartments to see the bedchamber where Mary, Queen of Scots, gave birth to her son James VI.

To get a complete history on the castle, along with skip the line entry, book a Skip-the-Line Edinburgh Castle Walking Tour.  This 1.5-hour tour teaches you all of the history and secrets of the castle while still allowing you to see all of the fabulous sites. 

Trust us, the castle sites are much more interesting when you actually know what you’re looking at and the guide let us in on a little secret about a free whisky tasting!

If you are spending some time touring Scotland as we did, then the Historic Scotland Explorer Pass is definitely worth investing in. 

Not only did the Historic Scotland Explorer Pass allow us free entry into Edinburgh Castle, but we were also able to tour several beautiful castles and abbeys in Scotland for free with our pass.

If you’re a castle lover, you might consider visiting the stunning castles in Fife as well.

Enjoy the Scotch Whisky Experience

After leaving the castle, you are bound to see The Scotch Whisky Experience

Head inside to enjoy a barrel ride through a virtual distillery while learning all about the making of Scotch whisky.  After your tour, you will be escorted into the largest collection of Scotch Whisky in the world before participating in a tasting of your choice.

Read all about our delightful Scotch Whisky Experience to get more information on this fun place.

Michelle with her whisky during our 2 days in Edinburgh
Scotch Whiskey Collection_Edinburgh -Edinburgh 2 day itinerary

Eat at Oink

If you’re on the Royal Mile and you’re feeling hungry, then you have to head to Oink.  Now, don’t get freaked out by the fact that there is a whole roasted pig staring at you, it’s ok. 

In a minute you are going to be face first in one of the most delicious sandwiches ever, so overcome your apprehension and dive in.

Go all out with your sandwich by adding stuffing, apples, and some awesome sauce.  Trust us, you won’t regret it as these sandwiches are delicious!

If you’re not into Oink then check out Where to Eat in Edinburgh on Your First Visit.

man standing beside a whole roasted pig at Oink in Edinburgh
girl eating a sandwich at Oink in Edinburgh

Check out St. Giles Cathedral

Also located on the Royal Mile, St. Giles Cathedral is a feast for the eyes.  Founded in 1124, this historic church has been a religious focal point in Scotland for hundreds of years.   

Inside you will find beautiful stained glass, intricate and beautiful architecture, exquisite carvings, paintings, and decorations.

2 days in Edinburgh-St Giles Cathedral

Tour Edinburgh’s Underground Vaults

Book a night tour of Edinburgh’s mysterious underground vaults.  This Underground Vault Tour was one of the highlights of our trip to Edinburgh. 

Not only do you get to tour the underground vaults, but you also get exclusive access to “off-limits” parts of Cannongate Kirkyard.  This access to two of the most haunted places in Edinburgh is sure to have you getting chills by the time you’re done.

2 Days in Edinburgh: Day 2

Visit Holyrood Park and Hike Arthur’s Seat

Holyrood Park is a short walk from the Royal Mile, and the perfect place to start out day 2 of your 2 days in Edinburgh.  This 640-acre park is next to Holyrood Palace, and its crown jewel is the highest point, Arthur’s Seat. 

One on top of Arthur’s Seat, you will be rewarded with breathtaking views of the city and park below.   

While in the park, don’t forget to check out the 15th-century medieval chapel, St Anthony’s Chapel, and Salisburg Crags-a series of 150-foot cliff faces.

Arthur's seat in Edinburgh

Tour the Palace of Holyroodhouse

The Queen’s official residence in Scotland and home to an immense amount of Scottish Royal history, the Palace of Holyroodhouse is your next stop. 

Located at the end of the Royal Mile, you can explore the palace and learn all about its connection to Mary, Queen of Scots, and Bonnie Prince Charlie. 

This lavishly decorated palace also has a beautiful garden and a historic abbey on site.


Escape to Dean’s Village

Get out of the tourist area today and feel like you’ve left the city behind when you step into the tranquil Dean’s Village area of Edinburgh. 

This residential area located along the waters of the Leith River is sure to win you over with its charm.  Founded in the 12th-century as a small mill town, Dean’s Village has transformed into a charming neighborhood that is a pleasure to walk around and relish in the peace and quiet.

building and a creek make up Dean's Village in Edinburgh, Scotland

Check out The Greyfriars Bobby

Greyfriars Bobby is the most loyal dog in Scotland, if not in the world!  Bobby, a long-haired Skye terrier belonged to an Edinburgh police officer, John Gray. 

It is said that Bobby and Gray were best friends until Gray passed away in 1858.  When Gray was buried in the cemetery, Bobby spent the next 14 years living at his gravesite showing his complete loyalty to his deceased owner. 

A statue to Bobby has been placed on the south side of the George IV Bridge and visitors can visit his grave in the Greyfriars Cemetery.

Final Thoughts On 2 Days in Edinburgh

As you can see, there are so many things to do and see during your 2 days in Edinburgh. The city is so historic and charming. Honestly, we have only scratched the surface of this great city.

Please comment below and tell us what we missed!

Check Out These Great Tours in Edinburgh:

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Michelle Snell-Founder That Texas Couple

About the Author

Michelle Snell is a travel writer, history buff, wine lover, and enthusiast of different cultures.  While she is a professional educator by day, her passion for travel has her jet-setting all over the world during her free time. 

Michelle enjoys bringing places to life through her informative writing style on her blog, That Texas Couple.  Her practical tips and suggestions help make travel dreams a reality while immersing her readers in the history, culture, and food of a region.  She is happiest sipping wine in Italy or chilling on a beach with her husband, Marty.

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