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A First-Timer’s Spring Travel Guide to Edinburgh

A First-Timer’s Spring Travel Guide to Edinburgh

Edinburgh is the best city to visit in Scotland during spring because of its lovely cool weather and stunning gardens with cherry blossoms in full bloom. It’s also home to historic landmarks and beautiful neighbourhoods with lesser crowds.

As you plan for a trip to the capital city this season, you’ll need to think about where to stay and what to do. This travel guide is for you!

Time Zone

British Summer Time (GMT+1)

Best Time to Go

If you want to sightsee with fewer tourists around and watch the cherry blossoms in full bloom, spring is the best time to visit the capital city.

Things to Know

Currency: British Pound Sterling (£)

(Check the current exchange rate)

Language: English

Calling Code: 131

How to Get Around

Trams: When it comes to commuting from Edinburgh Airport to York Place in New Town, trams are the most efficient option. It’s fast, has regular services and has 15 different stations.

Bus: Although not the fastest option, riding the bus is one of the best ways to go around Edinburgh. It’s mainly run by Lothian Buses, which has over 50 routes all over the city.

Bikes: If you want a little exercise while exploring the city, bikes are your best bet. Not only will you lessen your carbon footprint, but you’ll also get to manage your time without worrying about transportation schedules. 

Taxis: Riding a taxi is fit for people travelling in groups, especially those with special needs. City Cabs and Central Taxis are the well-known cab companies in the city; but if you want a more budget-friendly option, you can go with Uber, a ride-hailing service.

Car service: For day trips outside of Edinburgh or from the airport, it’s best to hire a car service through various companies like Europcar or They are a more expensive option but it’s very convenient.

Where to Stay in Edinburgh

Britannia Edinburgh Hotel

Address: 69 Belford Road, Edinburgh, EH4 3DG, UK

Phone: +44 871 221 0243

Pricing: ££

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Located on the banks of the Water of Leith, Britannia Edinburgh Hotel is perfect for a calming spring retreat in the city. At the same time, it’s located close to various shops on Princes Street.

You can even enjoy the stunning view of the river from your room’s window.

The Roseate Edinburgh

Address: The Roseate, 4 W Coates, Edinburgh, EH12 5JQ, UK

Phone: +44 131 337 6169

Pricing: £££

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The Roseate Edinburgh perfectly combines both traditional and modern Scottish styles with its Victorian-style townhouses boasting contemporary interiors. 

Found on the West End of the city, it provides a little respite from the pace of city life with its pretty garden and relaxing suites. You can also enjoy the crisp spring air by going on walks to nearby sights like the Old Town and the Royal Mile.

Brooks Edinburgh

Address: 70-72 Grove St, Edinburgh, EH3 8AP, UK

Phone: +44 131 228 2323

Pricing: £

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With 46 different bedrooms, Brooks Guest House in Edinburgh has an eclectic feel, featuring Victorian-designed tiles and modern-style pieces of furniture. 

All rooms have large spaces, comfy beds and adequate bathrooms, fitting for their price range. Room rates already include brekkie, so it’s a good deal.

Plus, you’ll love their beautiful courtyard garden with blooming vibrant flowers – perfect for an afternoon spring walk.

The Murrayfield Hotel & House

Address: 18 Corstorphine Rd, Edinburgh, EH12 6HN, UK

Phone: +44 131 337 1844

Pricing: ££

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The Murrayfield Hotel & House has a rustic charm with its Victorian townhouse exterior and luxurious interior with plush beds and sophisticated pieces of furniture. 

Found in the City Centre of Edinburgh, it’s a convenient location for those who want to visit the Edinburgh Zoo or go on walks in the Meadows. It’s also located near local markets and pubs.

The Balmoral Hotel

Address: 1 Princes St, Old Town, Edinburgh, EH2 2EQ, UK

Phone: +44 131 556 2414

Pricing: £££

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The Balmoral has been a popular choice in Edinburgh for over a century as it’s located in the heart of the capital city, particularly on Princes Street. 

Apart from world-class facilities and luxurious rooms, it offers a Michelin-starred dining experience at its well-known Number One restaurant, which features Scottish afternoon tea in the stunning glass dome of Palm Court.

Where to Eat in Edinburgh

New Chapter

Address: 18 Eyre PI, Edinburgh, EH3 5EP, UK

Phone: +44 131 556 0006

Pricing: £££


As its name suggests, dining in the New Chapter is a great way to welcome the start of spring.

The restaurant uses fresh and local ingredients to create delicious contemporary dishes. A popular dish is their scallop soup, which features a flavoursome bacon broth.

For afters, try their strawberry dessert with sweet fruits mixed in tarragon ice cream.


Address: 17 Queensferry St, Edinburgh, EH2 4QW, UK

Phone: +44 131 573 7575

Pricing: £££


Your spring trip should include a stop at Dulse, a popular seafood restaurant in the West End.

The restaurant offers mouthwatering dishes highlighting the freshest Scottish catch, including trout, scallops, lobsters, and crabs.

They also have signature martinis that are refreshing and slightly sweet, putting you in a good mood throughout your meal.

McLarens on the Corner

Address: 8 Morningside Rd, Edinburgh, EH10 4DD, UK

Phone: +44 131 370 3322

Pricing: ££


Whether you want a cup of tea with your family or some drinks with your friends, you can enjoy them all on your visit to McLarens on the Corner found on Morningside. You can even bring your little pups along! 

It’s a local bistro offering delicious local food from fresh produce, from breakfast to dinner. They also have a lovely range of drinks like cocktails and beers that you can enjoy on their garden terrace.

Makars Gourmet Mash Bar

Address: 9-12 Bank St, Edinburgh, EH1 2LN, UK

Phone: +44 131 226 1178

Pricing: ££


For something more off-the-beaten-path, head to the city’s hidden gem, the Makars Gourmet Mash Bar. Found near the Royal Mile. At a fair price, this place makes some of the best haggis, neeps and tatties in the city.

Although the space is quite small, the service is quick and you won’t have to wait long to be seated. They even have a queuing app if you want to ensure a table ahead of time while you spend your time walking around.

The Haggis Box

Address: Scottish Storytelling Centre, 43-45 High St, Edinburgh, EH1 1SR, UK

Phone: +44 7802 216897

Pricing: £


The Haggis Box is hard to miss when you’re in the Scottish Storytelling Centre – just look for a bright green food truck!. They offer a simple yet delicious haggis that’s fit for vegetarians and vegans as well.

Oh, and by the way, this local food stand often changes locations so make sure to check their socials for the latest updates.

What to Do in Edinburgh

Stroll around the Meadows

Address: Melville Dr, Edinburgh, EH9 1ND, UK

Phone: +44 131 529 5151


Spring is the ideal season for long walks around the Meadows, one of the most popular public parks in Edinburgh (is Edinburgh a good place to live?) that spans 58.4 acres.

Here, you’ll enjoy a lovely stroll under the pretty cherry blossom trees with the beautiful scenery and tranquil surroundings. You can even read a book or have a picnic while you’re here.

Enjoy a quiet spring afternoon in Dunbar’s Close

Address: 137 Canongate, Edinburgh, EH8 8BW, UK

Phone: +44 131 529 5151

For a quiet spring afternoon walk, Dunbar’s Close Garden is a great pick, often called the Old Town’s hidden gem. Not many people know of this 17th-century garden, so you won’t have to worry about big crowds during your visit.

It has narrow and cobbled pathways, ideal for anyone who wants a little time to themselves while looking at the different flowers and plants in full bloom. 

You might even get a sudden burst of creativity while you’re here – just like David Dunbar, the place’s namesake.

Visit Lauriston Castle

Address: 2 Cramond Rd S, Edinburgh, EH4 6AD, UK

Phone: +44 131 336 2060


For a calming stroll away from the bustling city, the Lauriston Castle is a perfect pick for its stunning Japanese garden, picture-perfect Edwardian-style country house, and great view of the Firth of Forth.

You can even take a woodland walk and bask in the tranquil surroundings during your visit. Your guide will also give you all the interesting stories about the place while you go inside the castle, which has vintage pieces of furniture from the 16th century.

Tour the National Museum of Scotland

Address: Chambers St, Edinburgh, EH1 1JF, UK

Phone: +44 300 123 6789


With 12 million items in its collections, National Museums Scotland is the largest multidisciplinary museum in the city, housing everything from ancient artefacts to contemporary artworks.

Its galleries are a joy to uncover because it fits anyone’s fancy. For instance, if you’re into fashon history, they have a collection of historically-significant garments.

For those interested in general history, they have a Scottish History and Archaeology gallery where you can explore the different innovations of our forefathers that helped shape the world that we know today.

Explore the Royal Mile

Address: Edinburgh, EH1 1QS, UK


The Royal Mile is a succession of streets found in the heart of the country’s historic capital. It starts from the centre of Edinburgh’s Old Town (How do I spend a day in Edinburgh?) and ends at Arthur’s Seat.

It’s a famous landmark with a cobblestone pathway that’s surrounded by different shops and iconic attractions along the way, like the Real Mary King’s Close and St Giles’ Cathedral.

Hike to Arthur’s Seat

Address: Holyrood Park, Edinburgh, UK

Phone: NA


Known as the highest point of the park, Arthur’s Seat is a grass-covered hill that’s 251 metres above sea level, offering a breathtaking panoramic view of the city.

Legend has it that it was once a volcano that erupted 350 million years ago. Even though there’s no confirmation, some claim that this spot had a connection with King Arthur.

Some even say that this exact spot may have been the location of the legendary Camelot. But then again, no one can prove it.

Hiking to Arthur’s Seat starts by walking through Holyrood Park, found at the end of the Royal Mile, then going to the top of the hill.

Walk up Calton Hill

Address: 32 Greenside Rd, Edinburgh, EH1 3AJ, UK


Calton Hill is a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its ancient Greek columns, stunning panoramic views and several iconic monuments. 

Some of these structures include the National Monument, Dugald Stewart Monument and Nelson’s Monument among others.

Enjoy a drink at the Blackbird

Address: 37-39 Leven St, Edinburgh, EH3 9LH, UK

Phone: +44 131 228 2280


You can never go wrong with a drink or two under the sun while being surrounded by beautiful flowers at The Blackbird. It’s one of our top go-to bars in the city, which won the Scottish Style Award in 2013.

While lounging in their pretty beer garden, you’ll have a delightful time sipping on the best drinks while eating delicious local food. 

You can even mingle with other Edinburghers to make the most of the experience. Everyone’s warm and friendly, so don’t be afraid to make the first move!

Laugh Your Heart Out at the Stand Comedy Club

Address: 5 York PI, Edinburgh, EH1 3EB, UK

Phone: +44 131 558 7272


For a healthy dose of good ol’ Scottish humour, drop by The Stand Comedy Club in Edinburgh, where you’ll surely choke on that pint laughing. Don’t say we didn’t warn you – that belly’s going to get a workout!

Where to Shop in Edinburgh


Address: 61 Thistle St, Edinburgh, EH2 1DY, UK

Phone: +44 131 226 2317


ALC Boutique offers gender-neutral pieces that are vegan-friendly. Not only do they showcase great fits and accessories but they also support the cause for sustainable fashion.


Address: 81-83 Grassmarket, Edinburgh, EH1 2HJ, UK

Phone: +44 131 220 5557


Local favourite Armstrongs is a famous emporium established in 1840 by William Armstrong with various pieces for men and women that have withstood the test of time. From military uniforms to slip dresses, you can find them all here.

Mr Wood’s Fossils

Address: 5 Cowgatehead, Edinburgh, EH1 1JY, UK

Phone: +44 131 220 1344


If you love collecting rocks, minerals or meteorites, look no further because you can shop for them in Mr Wood’s Fossils in Edinburgh. 

Established in 1987 by a self-taught fossil hunter, Stan Wood, the place’s been a go-to shop for those who want to buy unique gifts or high-quality items that have been properly preserved.

Armchair Books

Address: 72-74 West Port, Edinburgh, EH1 2LE, UK

Phone: +44 131 229 5927


You’ll be spoilt for choice when you visit Armchair Books. It’s a secondhand bookshop that sells different literary works, with extra focus on the classics.

Despite the shop’s limited space, you might not have enough time to scour every nook and cranny with its extensive collection. But take note though that they don’t sell or buy any new releases.


Address: 2 Jeffrey St, Edinburgh, EH1 1DT, UK

Phone: +44 131 556 3707


To shop designer pieces by Jean Paul Gaultier, Yohji Yamamoto and more, drop by Corniche.

It’s been in the industry for 48 years already so it’s gained the loyalty of many locals, as they gather the best avant-garde designs for every season. They mainly feature lots of genderless clothing with both minimalist and maximalist designs.

Which Neighbourhoods to Visit in Edinburgh



Stockbridge has a great charm that’s hard to miss. It’s surrounded by streets with a treasure trove of traditional pubs and restaurants.

Plus, it’s close to Princes Street which has various monuments and attractions like the St Cuthbert’s Parish Church and Scott Monument – all of which showcase the historic beauty of the capital city.

Dean Village


Strolling around the Dean Village is like being transported in a fairytale with Victorian cottages, cobbled pathways and lush greenery.

You can even pass above the calming stream of the Water of Leith while you walk around the neighbourhood. If you’re a fan of British sculptor Antony Gormley, this is the best spot to see his popular life-sized sculptures standing in the water.



Despite how Leith was once in despair after World War II, it managed to thrive after a series of regeneration projects. It’s now one of the most beautiful neighbourhoods to visit in Edinburgh, having impressively preserved its traditional charm.

With stone brick walls and rustic architecture, there’s a lot to explore in the area from local restaurants to various clothing stores.

Old Town


When it comes to the rich past of Edinburgh, the Old Town is the best place to visit with each corner having a historical significance like the Arthur’s Seat and Holyrood Palace.

All Potterheads even know that The Elephant House is a prominent location itself as this exact café was where JK Rowling wrote the Harry Potter series.

New Town


Although New Town was built in the mid-18th century to solve the overcrowding in Old Town, it’s now made a name for itself as a luxurious shopping district with high-end boutiques lining up its streets.

But apart from designer clothes, this is also a coffee lover’s haven with different shops found all over the neighbourhood. Some of our favourites include Lowdown, Fortitude and Wellington among others.

What to Expect from Edinburgh Weather

Spring: Visiting Edinburgh in spring is perfect for those who want to enjoy a bit of sun but in cooler weather. It has a mild to warm climate, with temperatures ranging from 9 to 15 degrees Celsius.

Summer: Considered the ‘hottest’ months in Edinburgh, the average temperature for summer ranges from 11 degrees Celsius to 19 degrees Celsius. But really, it’s not as warm as most countries, making it ideal weather to roam around the city.

Fall: If you want to avoid the tourist peak season, fall is the best time to visit Edinburgh with colder weather conditions. You can expect daytime temperatures to be around 9 degrees Celsius to 16 degrees Celsius on average.

Winter: Winter is the shortest and coolest time of the year in the Windy City of Edinburgh. The average daytime temperatures are between 6 to 7 degrees Celsius.

Apps to Download for a Trip to Edinburgh

Edinburgh Bus Tours: For buying tickets for different sightseeing tours in the city

iOs | Android

Google Maps: For navigating your way around the city with traffic updates

iOs | Android

Timeline Trip Edinburgh: For a guide to different museums, sights and spots in the city

iOs | Android

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