Where to stay in Edinburgh...

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Things to do in Edinburgh

From the moment you arrive in Edinburgh, you’ll be itching to start exploring. Every corner of this World Heritage City is filled with narrow cobbled lanes, hidden nooks and alleyways that open up onto jaw-dropping views over craggy outcrops, dramatic green hills and Edinburgh’s extraordinary castle.

FACT FILE:Edinburgh

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It’s a city like nowhere else you’ll ever visit, beautiful, ancient and effortlessly modern, with a world of food, culture, music and art that is wonderfully unique to Scotland’s historic capital. And then every August, the crowds descend on Edinburgh for a month-long party at the Fringe. What’s not to love?

Restaurants in Edinburgh

Edinburgh is packed with world-class restaurants and bars and it’s a perfect city for trying somewhere new every night. From some of the best takeaways and world foods in the UK to Scottish classics and fresh fish from the highland coast, you’ll find Edinburgh has a huge choice of restaurants and bars that range from the formal and fancy to the cheap and cheerful.

The area around the Royal Mile caters for tourists more than locals, so take a wander off the beaten track if you’re in search of hidden food and drink gems.

Edinburgh definitely knows how to drink and dine in style – if you're just here for a short break, head to Thistle Street for the coolest champagne bars and restaurants in the city. 

Shopping in Edinburgh

Shopping in Edinburgh is as eclectic as the city itself and it makes for a truly special retail experience.

You’ll find all the usual high street names and department stores on Princes Street, or head to George Street and Multrees Walk for more luxury brands, high fashion and designer labels.

The smaller streets around the main shopping area and the cobbled streets of West End are home to lots of gorgeous boutiques and independent stores, selling everything from fashion to organic food and flowers. You’ll also find a Farmers’ Market every Saturday in nearby Castle Place, bursting with delicious ingredients that you can use to cook up a storm in your serviced apartment. 

If you’re after authentic haggis, shortbread, tartan, whisky, bagpipes and cashmere, the tourist havens of Royal Mile and Grassmarket have souvenirs in abundance, as well as lots of shops offering vintage fashion, handmade gifts and antique books. 

To both natives and visitors, Edinburgh is a cultural playground of possibilities. It’s alive. A city of literature, festivals, art, architecture and food — the fun is never ending.

Local businesses

Edinburgh has the strongest economy of any city in the UK outside London and is the biggest financial centre too.

The city is home to the headquarters of Royal Bank of Scotland, as well as Bank of Scotland, Tesco Bank and Virgin Money, Scottish Widows and Standard Life.

Edinburgh is also the centre of Scotland's government so it’s home to many public sector departments, including NHS Scotland.

Transport in Edinburgh

The best way to get to Edinburgh is by train, and as you’d expect for Scotland’s capital, it has great connections to cities across the UK. If you’re flying in, the nearby airport has a fully accessible tram connection that takes 35 minutes, with the excellent tram network also covering the city centre. 

Local buses provide a reliable and great value service across the centre and suburbs into the small hours, or you can hail one of Edinburgh’s 1000 black cabs for a quick trip across town or a late night journey home. 

But by far the best way to explore Edinburgh is on foot, particularly the cobbled streets of Royal Mile, Grassmarket and Old Town – it’s the best way to ensure you don’t miss the wonderful hidden gems this city has to offer. And you won't be far from all of the cities best bits when you book you're weekend away in a serviced apartment with SACO. 

Things to watch out for

In August, Edinburgh is transformed into a 24-hour party town when the Edinburgh Festivals take over the city for a celebration of art, music, dance, literature and comedy. Hotels are suddenly twice the price and the city is packed with hundreds of thousands of people out for a good time. It’s an experience not to be missed, or to be avoided at all costs, depending on your perspective!

In a similar vein, Hogmanay is a big deal in Edinburgh, with thousands of people taking part in the New Years celebrations and transforming the city, once again, into a party town.