Edinburgh is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Situated by the Firth of Forth, it offers you seaside, hills, parks, countryside within easy reach…but also all the attractions of a vibrant, cosmopolitan city.
As benefits of a capital city, it has internationally acclaimed art galleries and museums – yet it is small enough to explore on foot.
It is renowned for its festivals, including the International Arts Festival (the largest in the world), and its New Year Celebrations (Hogmanay). The list of festivals grows annually, with something for everyone, and special events all year round.
When you’ve finished visiting its attractions, or concluded business for the day, Edinburgh has a huge variety of restaurants, cafes, bars and more.
Sample fine Scottish cooking, or try out a range of international cuisines. Whatever your tastes or budget, you’ll find something to suit.
Why stay at the Abbotsford?
By basing yourself at the Abbotsford, you are well placed to explore Edinburgh Castle, the National Museum of Scotland, two out of the four National Galleries of Scotland, the Royal Botanical Gardens, and the port of Leith, home to the Royal Yacht Britannia – to name only a few attractions.
You are also very close to the Omni gym and cinema complex and Edinburgh Playhouse theatre, allowing you to make the most of Edinburgh by night or day. And in summer festival season, it’s easy to get to a wide range of venues on foot or by bus.
The information below gives you some suggestions for where to eat, where to visit, what festivals to see. We’ll continue to update these for you.
If you want additional suggestions for how to make the most of your stay, please ask Paola, either by email or when you visit!
Shopping and entertainment
Edinburgh Playhouse theatre
We are close to Broughton Street, home of great food specialist shops, plus boutiques, cafes and more. Elm Row, near the top of Leith Walk, offers further shops, including a focus on food, outdoor equipment and entertainment.
Leith Walk, the main road at the end of our street, has a wide range of general purpose shops, but also includes specialist and ethnic shops, charity shops, supermarkets and other outlets.
For fashion, gifts and tourist items, head up towards Princes Street, Edinburgh’s main shopping street. The St James Centre, just before the junction with Princes Street, offers a range of shops in a compact area, including John Lewis.
Multrees Walk, close by to the St James Centre, has established itself as an area for designer items, with the far end of the street coming out by Harvey Nichols.
Go straight across St Andrews Square, in front of Harvey Nichols, and you are onto the start of George Street, Edinburgh’s answer to Regent Street.
Alternatively, take a 10-15 minute bus ride from Leith Walk down to Ocean Terminal, a shopping centre on three floors. Here you’ll find a large range of shops, cafes and entertainment options, including the Royal Yacht Britannia and the Vue cinema complex.
Places to eat
Phone numbers in this section are given in UK format. If you are phoning from outside the UK, add 0044 and remove 0 from the Edinburgh code e.g. 0044 131…
Fishers of Leith
Fisher House, 8 Sandport, Leith, Edinburgh EH6 6PL
T 0131 554 8968
14 George Street, Edinburgh EH2 2PF
T 01313 624 8624
The Witchery by the Castle including The Secret Garden
352 Castlehill, Edinburgh EH1 2NF
T 0131 225 5613
61 Cockburn Street, Edinburgh EH1 1BS
T 0131 622 7447
103 George Street, Edinburgh EH2 2ES
T 0131 225 1550
Guilianos Italian Restaurant
18/19 Union Place, Edinburgh
T 0131 556 6590
231 High Street, Royal Mile, Edinburgh
T 0131 225 7992
425-331 Leith Walk, Edinburgh EH6 8SA
T 0131 554 2430
Valvona and Crolla (delicatessen and café)
19 Elm Row, Edinburgh EH7 4AA
T 0131 556 6066
Valvona and Crolla VinCaffè
11 Multrees Walk, Edinburgh EH1 3DQ
T 0131 557 0088
Le Cafe St. Honoré
34 North West Thistle Street Lane, Edinburgh EH2 1EA
T 0131 226 2211
10 Antigua Street, Edinburgh EH1 3NH
T 0131 558 1947
Scotland’s most-visited tourist attraction, Edinburgh Castle, is an ancient fortress rising high above Edinburgh on the sheer cliffs of Castle Rock.
The castle complex includes state rooms, separate museums, cafés, shops and a programme of events for vistors. Highlights include The Honours of Scotland, the nation’s crown jewels.
Edinburgh Castle Esplanade offers panoramic views of the city. It is also the site of the world famous Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo (3-25 August 2012).www.edintattoo.co.uk
Calton Hill overlooks the east end of Princes Street, and includes several buildings of interest, notable for their Greek-influenced architecture. www.edinburghguide.com/parks/caltonhill
It is a popular point from which to view the Virgin Money Fireworks Concert – the official ending to the Edinburgh International Festival – and Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Fireworks (more below).
Calton Hill is also the venue for the Beltane Fire Festival (more below).
The Beltane Fire Festival
The Beltane Fire Festival marks the beginning of summer. An audience of around 15 000 people come to share in the fire festival and to watch the intense and colourful procession of painted dancers and drummers.
Edinburgh International Film Festival
Promoting the best in international cinema for over 60 years. Watch out for the opening night, which is often a world premiere.
Edinburgh Festival Fringe
The largest arts festival in the world. Huge variety of shows, and lots of free street entertainment to look out for too.
Late November - January
From the turning on of Christmas lights in late November, right through Christmas and beyond, Edinburgh is ready to help you celebrate the winter months.
Whether shopping, skating, trying out the fun fair, exploring street markets…there’s plenty to make your pre-Christmas break a time to remember.
Edinburgh celebrates Hogmanay (New Year’s Eve) in style. Choose from a range of entertainments, with performers from all over the world.
Take part in the start of the festivities: join the Torchlight Procession on 30 December, as it leads from the Royal Mile up to Calton Hill.
And don’t miss the Concert in the Gardens on 31 December, with a world-class fireworks display at midnight.
All Festival Coverage – see what’s on during the year
If you want to take tours around the city or travel further in Scotland, we would be happy to organise or recommend any trips.