Skip to main content

Edinburgh is undoubtedly one of the best weekend getaways in the UK, and a 3-day Edinburgh itinerary gives you an amazing perspective on this incredible capital city.

Edinburgh Itinerary

Edinburgh is filled with historical and cultural attractions, beautiful green spaces, and vibrant food and drink destinations. This incredible city is filled with history, incredible food, beautiful green spaces, and fantastic museums to explore.

From exploring the city’s historic landmarks to sampling its famous streets, this itinerary has something for everyone. So, let’s get started and plan your perfect 3-day itinerary in Edinburgh!

Day 1 of Edinburgh Itinerary: The Old Town

Royal Mile

Royal Mile

The Royal Mile is a sequence of streets that make up the main road of the Old Town of Edinburgh, running between Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace. The Royal Mile is the busiest tourist street in the Old Town, with many attractions.

The Royal Mile is also home to a variety of shops, restaurants, ancient buildings, and public houses. The Royal Mile is a must-visit destination for anyone visiting Edinburgh, offering a glimpse into the city’s rich history and culture.

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle is one of the most iconic landmarks in Scotland and a must-visit destination for anyone travelling to Edinburgh. The castle offers an incredible opportunity to appreciate the stunning views of Edinburgh and the surrounding countryside.

This castle is a great place to learn about Scottish history and culture, and you can enjoy guided tours, exhibitions, and events. I truly believe whether you’re a history buff, a fan of architecture, or simply looking for a fun day out, Edinburgh Castle is a must-visit destination that you shouldn’t miss.

Here is a quick link for the tours to visit Edinburgh Castle.

Camera Obscura & World of Illusions

Camera Obscura & World of Illusions

Are you looking to have fun in your Edinburgh itinerary? Then, make sure you won’t miss the opportunity to visit Camera Obscura & World of Illusions.

The Camera Obscura is a fascinating exhibit that provides you with a real-time image of the city at the top of the tower. This attraction also has five floors of hands-on optical illusions, tricks, and fun things to do.

The World of Illusions offers interactive exhibits demonstrating aspects of optical illusions, light, and colour. You can also enjoy guided demonstrations of the Camera Obscura, but it is weather-dependent as it works in daylight. To book your tickets click here.

Victoria Street

Victoria Street

Victoria Street is known for its colourful shopfronts and unique architecture, making it a favourite spot for your photos and postcards. I was fascinated by the similarities this street has with Diagon Alley from the Harry Potter series.

This street is pedestrian-friendly, which makes it easy to explore many independent shops, restaurants, and bars that line the street.

For photographers, Victoria Street is one of the most appealing locations in Edinburgh, and it’s not hard to see why, with its colourful buildings and magnificent architecture. I’m sure having a stroll on Victoria Street will be a fun part of this Edinburgh itinerary for you.

Ghost Tour

Ghost Tour Edinburgh

Edinburgh is known for its rich history and haunted sites and without a doubt is a popular destination for ghost tours.

Whether you’re looking for a scary thrill in your Edinburgh itinerary or simply interested in learning about Edinburgh’s haunted history, ghost tours have something to grab your attention.

Ghost Tour

Taking a ghost tour will be an unbelievable experience for you and will give you a different perspective of the city.

You can discover the chambers beneath Edinburgh Street at the Edinburgh Vaults and hear true tales of murder and witchcraft on a spooky ghost tour of Old Town.

If you are interested in attending ghost tours, you can book your ticket here.

Day 2 of Edinburgh Itinerary: Cultural Exploration

Palace of Holyroodhouse

Palace of Holyroodhouse

The Palace of Holyroodhouse is the official residence of the British monarch in Scotland. It offers you the opportunity to explore magnificent historic views, the beautiful ruins of the 12th-century Holyrood Abbey, and remarkable royal gardens.

The Palace of Holyroodhouse is open daily, except for Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and public holidays.

Palace of Holyroodhouse

It is also noteworthy to mention that the palace is open from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm in the winter months and from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm in the summer months.

Arthur’s Seat

Arthur’s Seat

Arthur’s Seat is an ancient volcano and the main peak of the group of hills in Edinburgh. It is the highest point of this extinct volcano and is 251 meters above sea level and should be on your bucket list for your Edinburgh itinerary.

This amazing seat is situated to the east of the city centre, almost 1 mile (1.6 km) to the east of Edinburgh Castle.

I suggest you enjoy a 45-minute walk from the city centre to Arthur’s Seat which offers you spectacular 360-degree views of the coast and the city. It will be a challenging but rewarding climb.

Princes Street Gardens

Princes Street Gardens

Princes Street Gardens is one of Edinburgh’s most significant urban parks that will make your Edinburgh itinerary an unforgettable experience.

The Princes Street Gardens are great places to relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.

The gardens are also home to several attractions, such as the Scott Monument, the National War Museum, and the Edinburgh Eye, a 33-meter-high Ferris wheel.

Scott Monument

Scott Monument

The Scott Monument is a Victorian Gothic monument located in Princes Street Gardens and is the second largest monument to a writer in the world.

The design of this monument exemplifies creativity and imagination in every little feature and relief.

You can join tour guides to learn about Sir Walter Scott and the monument’s history and enjoy the breathtaking views of Edinburgh from the third floor. You can book your ticket here.

Ross Fountain

The Ross Fountain is a beautiful structure located in West Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh and was officially opened in 1872, one year after Ross’s death.

It was sculpted by artist Jean-Baptiste Jules Klagmann and is made from cast iron. This beautiful and historic monument offers you a glimpse into the city’s past and artistic heritage.

The Ross Fountain is a cultural gem in the heart of Edinburgh. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit this place.

National Museum of Scotland

National Museum of Scotland

Do you want to immerse yourself in the variety of the natural world, art, fashion, design, diverse world cultures, and the rich history of Scotland, all in one place?

Therefore, don’t hesitate, because The National Museum of Scotland is the answer.

The National Museum of Scotland is a museum of Scottish history and culture which covers international antiquities, natural history, science, art, design, nature, and technology.

I’m sure visiting this place will make the second day of your Edinburgh itinerary an unforgettable experience.

Day 3 of Edinburgh Itinerary: Scenic Edinburgh

Milkman Cafe


The Milkman is an independent speciality coffee shop located in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town.

The cafe is known for its delicious coffee and delicious and thoughtfully sourced pastries. Interesting to know that this cafe works with independent makers to create unique, ethically produced, and high-quality products.

If you want more information about the cafe, you can click here. Don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy this cafe in your Edinburgh itinerary.

Calton Hill

Calton Hill

Calton Hill is a hill in central Edinburgh, Scotland, situated beyond the east end of Princes Street. Calton Hill offers you some of the most amazing views of Edinburgh. You can see the city skyline, Edinburgh Castle, and Arthur’s Seat.

If you’re in Edinburgh during the Festival Fringe, I highly recommend you to visit Calton Hill. Calton Hill would be a must-visit place during this festival. Calton Hill is also the location of several monuments and buildings, including the National Monument, and the Nelson Monument.

Dean Village

Dean Village

I think the definition of heaven is Dean Village. Dean Village is both picturesque and historic and should be apart of your Edinburgh itinerary. It is considered a hidden gem of Edinburgh for its charming atmosphere and beautiful scenery.

You can take a walking tour of Dean Village with a local guide or a self-guided audio tour to learn about the area’s history. The best views of Dean Village are from the bottom of Hawthornbank Lane, a narrow, cobblestone road that heads downhill along the Water of Leith.

Dean Village

Visiting Dean Village lasts about an hour or two, giving you plenty of time to freely stroll through the place and appreciate its beauty. Dean Village is located near the Stockbridge neighbourhood of Edinburgh and can be reached by taxi or the Edinburgh Bus Tours.

Hotels To Stay In Edinburgh

The Balmoral Hotel

The Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh is a renowned luxury establishment that offers a grand and historic experience in the heart of Edinburgh. This hotel features a combination of classic and modern design elements, with a focus on Scottish heritage and contemporary style.

It features a fitness center, spa, indoor pool, and a variety of bars, as well as a 24-hour business center and free Wi-Fi. The Balmoral Hotel boasts a Michelin-starred restaurant, Number One, as well as other dining options such as Hadrian’s Brasserie, Palm Court tea room, and the Scotch Bar.

You can book your room here.

The Scotsman Hotel

The Scotsman Hotel is a luxurious and historic establishment that offers a unique experience for you. The hotel offers a variety of amenities, including free Wi-Fi, family rooms, non-smoking rooms, restaurant, room service, laundry, and a very good breakfast.

The hotel features the Grand Cafe, which serves brunch, afternoon tea, and dinner, as well as a boutique cinema.

You can book your stay here.

Hostels To Stay In Edinburgh

Castle Rock Hostel

Castle Rock Hostel is a highly recommended hostel located in Edinburgh, Scotland. It is situated just off the Royal Mile and offers stunning views of Edinburgh Castle. The hostel is known for its unique atmosphere, friendly staff, and comfortable accommodations.

The hostel features a large kitchen, multiple lounges, a movie room, and lots of secret corridors. It is also a pick-up point for free walking tours around the city. Castle Rock Hostel is particularly well-suited for solo travelers and those seeking a social atmosphere.

You can book your stay here.

CODE Pod Hostel

CoDE Pod Hostel is a modern and stylish hostel located in Edinburgh, Scotland. It offers two Japanese-style pod hostels, THE LoFT and THE CoURT, both designed to give travelers a central location and a premium quality sleeping environment at a low cost.

The hostel features trendy pod-style bunks, secure keypad entry systems, and a variety of amenities such as a chilled-out lounge area, a book exchange, and a free breakfast.

Restaurants In Edinburgh

Aizle Restaurant

Aizle restaurant is a buzzy fine dining restaurant with a focus on farm-to-table dining, offering a Michelin-star experience. It has received a Michelin star and is known for its seasonal menus featuring fresh ingredients.

The Kitchin Restaurant

The Kitchin is a Michelin-starred restaurant located in Leith, Edinburgh. The restaurant is known for its contemporary Scottish cuisine that celebrates the finest seasonal ingredients.

The Kitchin presents modern British cuisine, influenced by French cooking techniques and an appreciation of the best quality ingredients available from Scotland’s.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How many days do you need to explore Edinburgh?

For a first-time visit to Edinburgh, it is recommended to spend at least two or three days to explore the city center and its main sites. If you have more time and want to see additional areas or take day trips, four days or more can be beneficial.

What are 3 interesting facts about Edinburgh?

The Edinburgh Fringe Festival is the largest arts festival in the world, with over 3000 shows and 50,000 performances across 300 venues. Edinburgh Castle sits on Castle Rock, a 700 million-year-old extinct volcano, and the ‘One O’Clock Gun’ is fired from the castle daily (except Sundays). Edinburgh is the greenest city in the UK, with more trees per head of population than any other city in the UK.

Which part of Edinburgh is best to stay?

Old Town is ideal for you, as it offers a central location with easy access to many attractions, historical and architectural gems, a lively atmosphere, and authentic Scottish culture. However, New Town is best for shopping and slightly cheaper hotels.


Edinburgh is a fascinating city with a rich history and plenty of attractions to explore. A 3-day Edinburgh itinerary is a great way to experience the top sights of the city, including Edinburgh Castle, the Royal Mile, Arthur’s Seat, and the Scottish National Gallery.

If you’re planning to visit Edinburgh anytime soon, let me know which place appears the most appealing to you.

Here is another useful resource for you to explore the 10 best cafes in Edinburgh.

Leave a Reply