4-Day Itinerary in Edinburgh

Are you planning a trip to Edinburgh and wondering how to make the most of your time? Look no further! In this 4-day itinerary, we will guide you through the must-see sights and attractions of this captivating city. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or a food enthusiast, Edinburgh has something for everyone to enjoy.

4-Day Itinerary in Edinburgh

Key Takeaways:

  • Discover the top tourist attractions and landmarks in Edinburgh
  • Explore the vibrant neighborhoods and hidden gems
  • Experience the beauty of the Scottish Highlands on a day trip
  • Learn about the history and culture of Edinburgh through guided tours
  • Sample the local cuisine and visit charming cafes and restaurants

Where to Stay in Edinburgh

When visiting Edinburgh for the first time, you’ll need to find the best neighborhood to stay in for a memorable and convenient experience. Edinburgh offers a variety of neighborhoods that cater to different interests, whether you’re interested in history, nightlife, or family-friendly environments. Here are the top neighborhoods to consider:

  • Old Town / Royal Mile: Immerse yourself in the rich history of Edinburgh by staying in the Old Town or along the Royal Mile. You’ll be close to iconic attractions like Edinburgh Castle, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, and the atmospheric Edinburgh Vaults.
  • New Town & City Center: If you prefer a vibrant and bustling atmosphere, choose a hotel in New Town or the City Center. This area is known for its elegant Georgian architecture, trendy shops, and lively nightlife.
  • Leith: Located by the water, Leith offers a unique maritime charm and a thriving food and drink scene. Explore the historic docks, visit the Royal Yacht Britannia, and dine in some of the city’s best restaurants.
  • Stockbridge: For a more relaxed and bohemian vibe, stay in Stockbridge. This neighborhood is known for its independent boutiques, art galleries, and charming Sunday market.
  • Morningside: If you’re looking for a family-friendly area with a suburban feel, Morningside is an excellent choice. You’ll find parks, quaint cafes, and plenty of shops to explore.

Whichever neighborhood you choose, Edinburgh offers a range of accommodation options to suit different budgets. From luxury hotels to cozy boutique guesthouses, you’ll find the perfect place to stay during your visit to this enchanting city.

Testimonial from a Happy Traveler:

“I stayed in the heart of the Old Town, and it was the perfect location for exploring Edinburgh’s historical sites. Every morning, I woke up to the stunning view of Edinburgh Castle right outside my hotel window. It was like stepping back in time. I can’t wait to visit again!”

– Sarah, New York

Getting Around Edinburgh

Exploring the beautiful city of Edinburgh is a delightful experience, and getting around is made easy by its walkability. You can soak in the vibrant atmosphere while strolling through the charming streets and narrow alleys. However, if you prefer alternative transportation options, there are several choices available to cater to your needs.

Biking: Edinburgh offers bike-friendly paths and lanes, making cycling a convenient mode of transportation. Whether you bring your own bike or rent one from various bike-sharing services, pedaling around the city allows you to discover hidden gems and traverse longer distances with ease.

Public Transportation: The city boasts a comprehensive bus network that covers all major areas, making it a reliable and efficient way to traverse Edinburgh. The buses are equipped with modern amenities and offer frequent service, allowing you to explore various attractions conveniently. Additionally, trams are available for swift travel to specific destinations within the city.

Taxi Services: Taxis are readily available in Edinburgh, providing a convenient option for traveling shorter distances or during late-night hours when public transportation options may be limited. While slightly more expensive than other modes of transportation, taxis offer a comfortable and efficient way to reach your destination.

Car Rental: Although Edinburgh is a compact city, renting a car is not recommended due to the limited parking available and the ease of navigating the city on foot. Opting for alternative modes of transportation allows you to fully immerse yourself in the city’s rich history and vibrant culture.

With multiple transportation options at your disposal, getting around Edinburgh is a breeze. Whether you choose to explore the city on foot, cycle through its enchanting streets, or utilize the efficient public transportation system, the choice is yours. Embrace the freedom to discover all that Edinburgh has to offer while enjoying the convenience provided by its diverse transportation network.

Getting to and from Edinburgh Airport

When traveling to and from Edinburgh, the airport transportation options are plentiful. Whether you prefer a private transfer for a comfortable and hassle-free journey or want a more budget-friendly option, there are several choices available.

Private Transfer:

If convenience and comfort are your priorities, then a private transfer is the best option for you. With a private transfer service, you can enjoy a smooth and seamless journey from Edinburgh Airport to the city center. You’ll have the luxury of a dedicated vehicle and a professional driver who will ensure you arrive at your destination safely and on time.

Edinburgh Airport Bus Transfer:

The Edinburgh Airport Bus Transfer is a cost-effective way to travel to and from the city center. The buses operate at regular intervals and provide a convenient mode of transportation for passengers. This option is ideal for budget-conscious travelers who want to save money while still enjoying a comfortable ride.


The tram is another excellent option for getting to and from Edinburgh Airport. The tram system in Edinburgh is fast, efficient, and environmentally friendly. It offers a convenient and reliable mode of transportation, with frequent services connecting the airport to various locations in the city.


If you prefer to travel by train, there is a railway station located at Edinburgh Airport. The train provides a quick and convenient connection between the airport and the city center. It’s a popular choice for those who want to avoid traffic congestion and enjoy a scenic journey through the beautiful Scottish landscape.

Whether you choose a private transfer, the airport bus, tram, or train, you can rest assured that there are plenty of options available to suit your needs and preferences. Consider your budget, comfort level, and travel requirements when selecting the best mode of transportation for your journey.

Being well-informed about the different transportation options will ensure a smooth and stress-free journey to and from Edinburgh Airport, allowing you to make the most of your time in this beautiful city.

Top 10 Things to Do in Edinburgh

Edinburgh is a vibrant city with a rich history and plenty of attractions to explore. Whether you’re a history buff, nature lover, or a fan of Harry Potter, there’s something for everyone in this enchanting Scottish capital. Here are the top 10 things to do in Edinburgh:

  1. Visit the Edinburgh Vaults on a Ghost Tour: Take a thrilling journey beneath the streets of Edinburgh and discover the spooky history of the underground vaults. Experience the city’s dark past and hear chilling tales from expert guides. It’s a unique way to explore the city’s haunted side. (Keywords: Edinburgh attractions, Edinburgh tours)
  2. Take a Day Trip to Loch Ness, Glencoe, and the Scottish Highlands: Immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of the Scottish Highlands on a day trip from Edinburgh. Discover the legendary Loch Ness, soak in the stunning landscapes of Glencoe, and explore the picturesque Highland villages. It’s an unforgettable adventure into Scotland’s natural wonders. (Keywords: Edinburgh day trips)
  3. Explore Edinburgh Castle with a Skip-the-Line Guided Tour: Step into history and visit the iconic Edinburgh Castle. Avoid the queues with a skip-the-line guided tour and delve into Scotland’s royal past. Admire the Crown Jewels, explore the ancient fortifications, and enjoy panoramic views of the city skyline. (Keywords: Edinburgh sightseeing, Edinburgh tours)
  4. Embark on a Harry Potter-Themed Walking Tour: Calling all Potterheads! Follow in the footsteps of J.K. Rowling and discover the magical side of Edinburgh. Visit the spots that inspired the Harry Potter series, including the enchanting Diagon Alley and the famous Elephant House café where Rowling wrote parts of the books. (Keywords: Edinburgh attractions, Edinburgh sightseeing)
  5. Take a Hop-On Hop-Off City Tour: Sit back and relax on a hop-on hop-off bus tour to see the best of Edinburgh. Enjoy the convenience of exploring the city at your own pace, hopping off at attractions like the Scottish National Gallery and Holyrood Palace. Learn about Edinburgh’s history and culture through informative audio commentary. (Keywords: Edinburgh tours, Edinburgh sightseeing)
  6. Go on a Sightseeing Cruise on the Firth of Forth: Embark on a scenic cruise along the Firth of Forth and marvel at the iconic landmarks of the city. Sail under the historic Forth Bridge, spot wildlife like seals and puffins, and capture stunning photos of Edinburgh from the water. It’s a peaceful and picturesque experience. (Keywords: Edinburgh sightseeing)
  7. Visit the Scottish National Gallery: Immerse yourself in art and culture at the Scottish National Gallery. Discover masterpieces by renowned artists such as Botticelli, Monet, and Van Gogh. Wander through the galleries and let the artwork inspire you. (Keywords: Edinburgh attractions)
  8. Explore Holy Island: Take a short boat trip from Edinburgh to Holy Island, a peaceful retreat steeped in history and natural beauty. Explore ancient ruins, picturesque gardens, and enjoy stunning coastal walks. It’s a hidden gem worth discovering. (Keywords: Edinburgh sightseeing)

Edinburgh offers a plethora of attractions and activities to make your visit truly memorable. Whether you’re looking for history, nature, or a touch of magic, this city has it all. Don’t miss out on these top 10 experiences during your time in Edinburgh.

Saving Money on Edinburgh Attractions

Exploring the rich history and vibrant culture of Edinburgh doesn’t have to break the bank. By taking advantage of Edinburgh attraction passes and free attractions, you can make the most of your visit while saving money.

Edinburgh Attraction Passes

If you’re planning to visit multiple attractions in Edinburgh, consider purchasing the Royal Edinburgh Ticket. This ticket offers incredible value as it includes free entry to several royal sites, such as:

  • Edinburgh Castle
  • Royal Yacht Britannia
  • Palace of Holyroodhouse

In addition to the royal sites, the ticket also grants you unlimited access to the Edinburgh Hop-On Hop-Off bus tour. This convenient mode of transportation allows you to explore the city at your own pace while enjoying informative audio commentary.

Free Attractions in Edinburgh

Edinburgh is home to several free attractions that are worth exploring. Take a leisurely stroll through the beautiful Princes Street Gardens, located in the heart of the city. These lush gardens provide a tranquil escape from the bustling streets and offer stunning views of Edinburgh Castle.

Another free attraction not to be missed is Greyfriars Kirkyard, a historic cemetery dating back to the 16th century. Wander through the tombstones and learn about the intriguing stories of the people buried there, including the legendary Greyfriars Bobby.

No visit to Edinburgh is complete without a walk along the iconic Royal Mile. This historic street stretches from Edinburgh Castle to the Palace of Holyroodhouse and is lined with shops, restaurants, and fascinating landmarks.

By taking advantage of these free attractions and utilizing Edinburgh attraction passes, you can experience the best of Edinburgh while staying within your budget.

Edinburgh Itinerary: Day 1

On the first day of your Edinburgh adventure, immerse yourself in the rich history and culture of the city. Begin your day with a visit to the National Museum of Scotland, where you’ll discover a wide range of exhibits that showcase the country’s fascinating past. From ancient artifacts to modern innovations, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

After exploring the museum, make sure to capture a photo with the iconic Greyfriars Bobby, a beloved statue of a faithful dog that symbolizes loyalty. This famous pup has become a symbol of Edinburgh’s heartwarming stories and is a must-see during your visit.

When hunger strikes, head to one of the charming Edinburgh cafes for a delightful culinary experience. One such café is the renowned Elephant House, known as the birthplace of Harry Potter. Sip on a cup of coffee and indulge in some delicious treats while basking in the literary atmosphere.

End your day by exploring the vibrant shopping scene along Princes Street. Whether you’re looking for designer boutiques or trendy shops, this bustling street has it all. To satisfy your sweet tooth, treat yourself to a delectable cookie and a steaming hot beverage at Ben’s Cookies. It’s the perfect way to unwind and reflect on your exciting day in Edinburgh.

Summary of Day 1:

Day 1 of your Edinburgh itinerary allows you to delve into the country’s history at the National Museum of Scotland, experience the loyalty of Greyfriars Bobby, indulge in the magical ambiance of the Elephant House café, and shop to your heart’s content along Princes Street. It’s a day filled with culture, charm, and delightful treats.

Edinburgh Itinerary: Day 2

On the second day of your Edinburgh adventure, immerse yourself in the rich history and captivating beauty of Edinburgh Castle. As one of the city’s most iconic landmarks, Edinburgh Castle offers a glimpse into Scotland’s storied past.

It is highly recommended to arrive early in the morning to avoid the crowds and make the most of your visit. To truly enhance your experience, consider taking a skip-the-line guided tour of Edinburgh Castle. This tour will provide you with valuable insights into the castle’s history, architecture, and significant events that took place within its walls.

During your visit, take the time to explore the various sections of the castle, such as the Crown Jewels, the Great Hall, and the National War Museum. Marvel at the panoramic views of the city from the castle’s vantage point, offering a breathtaking perspective of Edinburgh’s enchanting skyline.

Remember to bring your camera to capture the awe-inspiring beauty of Edinburgh Castle and create lasting memories of your trip.

Key Highlights of Edinburgh Castle:

  • Explore the rich history and architecture of the castle
  • Admire the Crown Jewels and the Stone of Destiny
  • Discover the Great Hall and the One O’Clock Gun
  • Visit the National War Museum and learn about Scotland’s military heritage

Visiting Edinburgh Castle is truly an unforgettable experience that shouldn’t be missed during your time in the city. Make sure to check the official website for the most up-to-date information on opening hours and ticket prices.

Edinburgh Itinerary: Day 3

On the third day of your Edinburgh adventure, take the time to explore the unique and charming neighborhoods of Leith, Stockbridge, and Dean Village. Each neighborhood offers its own distinct atmosphere, making it an exciting day of discovery.


Start your day in the vibrant neighborhood of Leith, known for its thriving food scene and eclectic mix of restaurants and cafés. From traditional Scottish cuisine to international flavors, there is something to suit every palate. Indulge in a hearty Scottish breakfast, savor freshly caught seafood, or try some haggis for a truly authentic experience. Leith is also home to the renowned Michelin-starred restaurant, The Kitchin, where you can treat yourself to an exquisite dining experience.


After exploring the flavors of Leith, make your way to Stockbridge, a picturesque area that offers a blend of historic charm and modern delights. This neighborhood is known for its independent boutiques, antique shops, and quaint bookstores, making it the perfect place for a leisurely shopping trip. Take a stroll along Raeburn Place and browse through the unique offerings, from vintage clothing to handmade crafts. Don’t forget to visit the Stockbridge Market, held every Sunday, where you can sample local delicacies and browse a variety of stalls.

Dean Village

End your day in the enchanting neighborhood of Dean Village, a hidden gem nestled along the banks of the beautiful Waters of Leith. This well-preserved area is famous for its picturesque architecture, with charming houses and quaint cottages lining the river. Take a leisurely walk along the riverside pathway and soak in the peaceful ambiance. The picturesque views and serene surroundings make Dean Village a tranquil escape from the bustling city. Don’t forget to capture some photos of the iconic Dean Bridge, which offers a stunning backdrop for your memories of Edinburgh.

Throughout the day, be sure to take advantage of the opportunity to try the local cuisine at various restaurants and cafes in each neighborhood. From traditional Scottish dishes to international flavors, you’ll find a wealth of culinary delights to tickle your taste buds.

Edinburgh Itinerary: Day 4

On the fourth day of your Edinburgh itinerary, embark on an exciting day trip to the majestic Scottish Highlands, a region renowned for its breathtaking landscapes and natural beauty. Prepare to be captivated by the stunning sights that await you.

Begin your day by visiting Loch Lubnaig, a picturesque freshwater loch nestled amidst the green hills of the Highlands. Take a leisurely stroll along the tranquil shores and immerse yourself in the peaceful ambiance of this hidden gem.

Continue your journey to Glencoe, a place of dramatic beauty and haunting history. Marvel at the towering mountains and deep valleys that surround you, creating an awe-inspiring backdrop. It’s no wonder that Glencoe has been the filming location for many iconic movies.

“The entire region of Glencoe possesses a unique mystical aura that is difficult to put into words. It’s a place that truly captivates the soul.” – Traveler’s Journal

Next, make a stop at Fort Augustus, a charming village nestled on the banks of the legendary Loch Ness. Explore the quaint streets lined with shops and cafés, and soak up the serene atmosphere. Don’t miss the opportunity to take a boat trip on Loch Ness in search of the elusive Loch Ness Monster.

Boat Trip on Loch Ness:

Duration Highlights Price
1 hour – Experience the vastness of Loch Ness
– Learn about the legends of the Loch Ness Monster
– Enjoy the stunning scenery
$30 per person

As you journey through the Scottish Highlands, bask in the breathtaking views that unfold before your eyes. The majestic mountains, crystal-clear lochs, and picturesque landscapes will leave an indelible mark on your memory. Take a moment to appreciate the natural wonders that surround you.

At the end of a fulfilling day exploring the Scottish Highlands, return to Edinburgh with unforgettable memories and a deep appreciation for the beauty of this remarkable region.

Practical Details

When planning a trip to Edinburgh, it’s important to keep some practical details in mind. From the best time to visit to essential travel tips, here’s everything you need to know for a smooth and enjoyable experience.

Best Time to Visit Edinburgh

If you want to make the most of your trip to Edinburgh, the best time to visit is during the summer months. From June to August, the weather is warmer, and the city is bustling with various festivals and events. This is the peak tourist season, so expect larger crowds and higher prices. However, if you prefer a quieter experience, consider visiting in the shoulder seasons of spring (March to May) and fall (September to October). The weather is still pleasant, and you’ll have a chance to explore the city without the heavy tourist footfall.

Edinburgh Weather

Edinburgh experiences a temperate maritime climate, which means the weather can be unpredictable at times. It’s always a good idea to pack layers, as the temperature can change throughout the day. In the summer months, the average high temperature ranges from 18 to 22°C (64 to 72°F), while in the winter, it can drop to 2 to 6°C (36 to 43°F). Don’t forget to pack a rain jacket or umbrella, as Edinburgh is known for its occasional showers.

Travel Tips for Edinburgh

  • Bring comfortable walking shoes: Edinburgh is a city best explored on foot, so make sure to pack comfortable shoes for walking.
  • Get an Edinburgh travel guide: To navigate the city and make the most of your visit, consider purchasing an Edinburgh travel guidebook or downloading a reliable travel app.
  • Try local cuisine: Don’t miss the opportunity to sample traditional Scottish dishes such as haggis, fish and chips, and whisky. There are plenty of restaurants and pubs where you can indulge in the local gastronomy.
  • Stay hydrated: Carry a water bottle with you during your explorations to stay hydrated, especially during the summer months when the weather is warmer.
  • Respect local customs: As with any travel destination, it’s important to respect local customs and traditions. Familiarize yourself with Scottish culture and be mindful of local etiquette.

Edinburgh Travel Guide

“Edinburgh is a captivating city with a rich history and a vibrant cultural scene. From exploring the historic Edinburgh Castle to enjoying the lively atmosphere of the Royal Mile, there is something for everyone in this charming Scottish capital.”

With the practical details in mind, you’re ready to embark on your Edinburgh adventure. Pack your bags, gather your travel essentials, and get ready to explore the best of this historic city!

Month Average High Temperature (°C) Average Low Temperature (°C) Rainfall (mm)
January 6 1 50
February 7 1 40
March 9 2 40
April 11 3 40
May 14 6 50
June 17 9 60
July 19 11 60
August 19 11 70
September 16 9 60
October 13 6 60
November 9 3 50
December 7 2 50


In conclusion, a 4-day trip to Edinburgh offers an incredible experience for travelers. This itinerary allows you to discover the city’s top attractions, immerse yourself in the vibrant culture and history of its neighborhoods, and explore the breathtaking beauty of the Scottish Highlands. Whether you’re captivated by iconic landmarks like Edinburgh Castle or seek out hidden gems like Dean Village, Edinburgh has something to offer every visitor.

By following this itinerary, you can make the most of your time in the city and create unforgettable memories. Remember to pack comfortable shoes, as Edinburgh is best explored on foot. Be prepared for the changeable weather by dressing in layers. The summer months are an ideal time to visit, but the city is enchanting year-round. Take advantage of the Edinburgh travel tips provided throughout this guide to enhance your experience and make the most of your time in this charming city.

With its rich history, stunning architecture, lively festivals, and warm hospitality, Edinburgh is a destination that will capture your heart. So whether you’re strolling along the famous Royal Mile, enjoying a traditional Scottish meal, or marvelling at the breathtaking landscapes of the Scottish Highlands, Edinburgh promises to leave you with lasting memories and a desire to return. Start planning your trip today and embark on an unforgettable adventure in this captivating city.


What are the best neighborhoods to stay in Edinburgh?

The best neighborhoods to stay in Edinburgh are Old Town / Royal Mile, New Town & City Center, Leith, Stockbridge, and Morningside.

How do I get around Edinburgh?

Edinburgh is a walkable city, but you can also use options such as biking, taking the bus, tram, or taxi.

What is the easiest way to get from Edinburgh Airport to the city center?

The easiest way to get from Edinburgh Airport to the city center is by taking a private transfer, but you can also use the Edinburgh Airport Bus Transfer, tram, or train.

What are the top things to do in Edinburgh?

Some of the top things to do in Edinburgh are visiting the Edinburgh Vaults on a ghost tour, taking a day trip to Loch Ness and the Scottish Highlands, exploring Edinburgh Castle with a guided tour, and taking a Harry Potter-themed walking tour.

How can I save money on Edinburgh attractions?

You can save money on Edinburgh attractions by purchasing the Royal Edinburgh Ticket, which includes free entry to royal sites and unlimited access to the Edinburgh Hop-On Hop-Off bus tour. Additionally, there are several free attractions in Edinburgh.

What can I do on the first day in Edinburgh?

On the first day, you can visit the National Museum of Scotland, take a photo of Greyfriars Bobby, visit cafes such as the Elephant House, and go shopping along Princes Street.

What should I do on the second day in Edinburgh?

On the second day, you should visit Edinburgh Castle, consider taking a skip-the-line guided tour, and explore the different sections of the castle.

What can I explore on the third day in Edinburgh?

On the third day, you can explore the neighborhoods of Leith, Stockbridge, and Dean Village, indulge in local cuisine, and enjoy the charm and beauty of these areas.

How can I spend the fourth day in Edinburgh?

On the fourth day, you can take a day trip to the Scottish Highlands, visit scenic spots such as Loch Lubnaig and Glencoe, and enjoy a boat trip in Fort Augustus to try and spot the Loch Ness Monster.

What practical details should I know about visiting Edinburgh?

It is best to visit Edinburgh during the summer months, pack layers, and wear comfortable walking shoes. There are also various festivals and events happening throughout the year.

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