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48 hours in Edinburgh

Where to stay

Lateral City Apartments has a roster of 50 lodgings in prime locations around Edinburgh. Book a penthouse suite at Old Town Chambers, a 15th-century building revamped with lavish furnishings and outdoor terraces.

For a unique stay, consider Fingal, a storied ship that was converted into Scotland’s only luxury floating hotel. Designed in 1930s Art Deco style, the 23-cabin vessel is permanently docked on the Leith waterfront, about 20 minutes by car from Edinburgh’s Old Town.

Day 1

Kick off your day at Urban Angel, a local favorite for its all-day breakfast and house-made bread. Try the baked eggs in tomato sauce with feta and za’atar or the organic oat porridge with plum compote, yogurt, and seed crumble. 

Choose your adventure:

Slide 1 of 2
  • Option 1: Culture

    Built atop Castle Rock, a dormant volcanic crag rising from the city’s center, Edinburgh Castle is one of the UK’s most majestic landmarks. Access the fortress by taking the scenic route down the Royal Mile, which passes by Parliament and the Palace of Holyrood (the Queen’s Scottish residence). Once at the castle, seek out the Crown Jewels of Scotland and the National War Museum.

  • Option 2: Fitness

    Join the The Tartan Bicycle Company’s Bridges Bicycle tour, which extends past city limits from the picturesque Firth of Forth shoreline towards South Queensferry. The 18-mile ride begins at 9:15 a.m., so fuel up in advance.

Grab a round of small plates at 83 Hanover Street for lunch. Chef Juan Castillo Castro introduces flavors from his home country of Chile in dishes like tuna crudo and chargrilled octopus.

Book one of the ten seats at The Table, which offers a nightly multi-course dinner at a singular chef’s counter. Expect sophisticated Scottish-leaning fare made with local ingredients like Isle of Mull Cheddar and wild venison.

Day 2

Make your way to the Leith neighborhood for breakfast at Ostara, a trendy spot famous for the kimchi-chile scramble, which is served with garlic-roasted broccoli, charred shallots, black sesame, and miso. If you follow a gluten-free diet, the restaurant has an entire selection that can be made without.

Choose your adventure:

Slide 1 of 2
  • Option 1: Culture 

    Stroll toward Leith’s port to the Royal Yacht Britannia, Queen Elizabeth II’s former maritime residence. A tour grants access around the ship’s interior, from the elegant honeymoon suite to the engine room. Wrap up with a light afternoon tea service in the Royal Deck Tea Room.

  • Option 2: Fitness

    Tee off at one of the many courses, like Muirfield, home of the world’s oldest golf society, or Murrayfield, which offers Edinburgh Castle as the backdrop.

For lunch, stop by Gannet & Guga, a casual sandwich shop founded by two Edinburgers with a passion for Vietnamese street food. Order a gourmet banh mì with hot smoked salmon, avocado, and pickled beets, or build your own summer roll in a gluten-free rice wrapper. After lunch, head south toward Flotterstone for hiking in The Pentlands. The regional park has over 60 miles of multi-use trails through hilly landscapes and along picturesque reservoirs. Climb to the peak of Allermuir Hill for panoramic views of the capital. The city's architecture is so magical, it inspired the setting for the Harry Potter series.

Have dinner at The Scran & Scallie. The gastropub, located in the Stockbridge neighborhood, has a low-key ambience and traditional offerings like neeps (potatoes) and tatties (turnips) and haggis. If you’re looking for something lighter, there’s also grain salad and a lentil-spelt burger. 

End your trip at Scotch Malt Whisky Society on Queens Street, which has the greatest collection of single cask, single malt whiskies in the world.