I have been wanting to visit Edinburgh for years! So when we were finally visiting Scotland during the summer of 2022 Edinburgh was high on my list. Edinburgh is an extremely well put together city, providing the perfect backdrop for your (Instagram) pictures. I put together a little Instagram guide, showing you all the must visit spots in this gorgeous city! We visited Edinburgh in a quite original way: with our campervan. I found the perfect campsite located on the Scottish countryside, but only a short bus ride from Edinburgh. In this blogpost I will spill this amazing location.
We loved walking around Edinburgh. Edinburgh has the pros of a big city, grand buildings, very lively, lots of activities and museums. But what is so lovely about Edinburgh is that you can do everything on foot. We found the prettiest neighborhoods just walking around. You will see that you will find a perfect photo for Instagram on each corner. Edinburgh is very put together, everything looks very monochrome with the greyish sandstones, but you will find that occasional pop of color making it a very interesting city!
Victoria Street: I personally found Victoria Street one of the most fun sights in Edinburgh. Who doesn’t love a circular lane full of old buildings and colorful windows? I actually expected this to be a street full of cars, which was not the case at all, so that was a happy surprise. Apparently, this street inspired J.K. Rowling for Diagon Alley. We were here at around 10AM and as you can see it wasn’t crazy busy.
Edinburgh The Vennel Viewpoint: As Edinburgh is very hilly, you will find many great look throughs featuring stairs. My favorite one was The Vennel, which gives a beautifully framed view of Edinburgh castle. We went here right after Victoria Street and there were some couples lining up to take pictures. Opposite the stairs of the Vennel you will find the fake wisteria, pictured below. Hugo loved this area as there were so many stairs to climb!
Circus Lane: Circus Lane is a short walk outside of the city center and definitely worth a visit. This is a residential area and there weren’t a lot of visitors when we were here. I loved the cobblestone streets in combination with the charming houses which were overgrown by plants!
Calton Hill: Calton Hill offers beautiful views over Edinburgh and its surroundings. It is an easier climb than its rival Arthur’s seat. There are some Roman inspired buildings on top of the hill and you will find loads of people picnicking. Besides Instagrammable, I found it a kid friendly spot, little Huug loved running around on the hill!
Princess Street Gardens: The gardens that line one of the busiest streets of Edinburgh provide stunning views over Edinburgh Castle and the higher areas of the city. The gardens are situated in a lower area of the city, offering interesting perspectives of the city. We visited Edinburgh in July and lots of roses were blooming!
Dean Village: Dean Village is a charming neighborhood that is worth a short visit. It is a residential area and you will hardly find any shops, just charming houses and the Water of Leith walkway.
Calowrie Castle: This is technically not in Edinburgh, but it is only a short drive from Edinburgh, so I didn’t want to skip it on this list. Calorie Castle is a private castle, that you can rent for weddings and events. So, you cannot visit the interior, but it is possible to take pictures from the ivy covered exterior, which I loved! It gets even more beautiful in fall, when the ivy gets a red color.
Restaurants: Edinburgh features many restaurants which are very Instagrammable.
I am not a food blogger and I find it very distracting having to take pictures in a restaurant with a kid that is trying to throw food on the ground, so I don’t have a lot of restaurant pictures. However, the food scene in Edinburgh is lively and many restaurants in Edinburgh are very picturesque. We were recommended the The Scran & Scallie by friends and absolutely loved the scene and food of this restaurant. You will find that the highly recommended restaurants are located a bit outside of the city center. If you do some research, restaurants will bring you to the best neighborhoods. The Scran & Scallie is located in Stockbridge, which will give you all the Notting Hill vibes. We found Edinburgh extremely busy over summer time. The highly rated restaurants were all fully booked at night. Luckily, I was able to secure a lunch spot at this restaurant. I highly recommend making reservations a few days ahead, if you want to visit a popular restaurant.
We visited Edinburgh as a part of our three week campervan trip through the UK. Luckily we discovered that most big cities have nice campsite nearby and that this was also the case for Edinburgh. We stayed at Mortonhall Caravan & Camping Park, for £ 35 per night. The main benefit of this campsite that there was a bus stopping in front of the campsite, heading into town each 15 minutes. The bus took 20-30 minutes into Edinburgh and you could buy tickets on the bus. Mortonhall was well serviced and they also had showers which were easy to access as a family. There was a little shop onsite and a restaurant. You can also rent little cottages on the premises, to get the feel of camping, while not staying in a campervan or tent.
Just a little appreciation for the pretty purple flowers that we found just outside of our campsite.