It wasn’t my intention to cover Edinburgh for my $10 series just a couple of weeks after Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, passed away and only a few days after his funeral… And also on the Queen’s birthday! My heart goes to the Queen and the Royal Family. May he rest in peace.
And yes, I’ve been planning to publish Elina of Empnefsys & Travel‘s piece to talk about how far you could get for $10 in Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland.
How do you stretch the budget there? Is it possible to make the best out of your trip for only $10 in Edinburgh? Check this out! 🙂
Free and Budget-Friendly Things to Do in Edinburgh
Edinburgh is a great city with many free things to do. This means that it is very easy to spend a day in Edinburgh and only use $10 USD or about £7 in the local currency.
Did you know?
If you’re a Potterhead like me, you probably already know that Edinburgh is the city where Harry Potter came to life. She wrote the first Harry Potter stories in the now-famous cafe The Elephant House and finished the last book in Balmoral hotel just 10 years later.
Walk around the Royal Mile.
Start your day with a walk in the Royal Mile. At the Royal Mile, you will find all of Edinburgh’s history packed in a single street. On one side you will find Edinburgh Castle and on the other the Holyrood Palace.
The £7 budget may allow you to visit neither the castle nor the palace, but you can still walk around and take some photos. Some free things you can do along the Royal Mile, apart from getting in and out of the closes and alleyways on the sides of the street is to visit St. Giles Cathedral or the Scottish Parliament Building.
Visit the free museums of Edinburgh.
Other places you can visit for free in Edinburgh include the National Museum of Scotland and the National Gallery. Both are only a short walk away from the Royal Mile.
The first museum is close to the University of Edinburgh and the Old College, which is well worth a visit to check out its architecture, while the gallery is in Princes Street, the main shopping street in Edinburgh.
Have some lunch around Victoria Street and Grassmarket.
For lunch, you can choose a place to spend your £7. As Edinburgh is a student-friendly city, there are many places that offer decent food for a low value. While most restaurants charge at least £10 for a meal, there are many cafes that offer lunch for a lower price. You can find many of them around the university area.
Some popular places where you can get something quick to eat are the cafes and pubs around Victoria Street and Grassmarket. However, as the area is predominately touristy you may struggle to find something good with only £7 to spend. Despite that, you can still visit the area, as it is famous for the castle views from Grassmarket and the cute shopfronts of Victoria Street.
Another place that you can find cheap and tasty lunch is Stockbridge Market. The market offers many food options from around the world and prices tend to be around £5-£7 per portion. However, this market is only open on Sundays and it is a bit far from the city center. This means that you will either need to spend a long time to walk there or use £1.40 for the bus ride (double that if you are also returning by bus), hence having less to spend on food.
Still, if you end up in Stockbridge, you can then go for a walk around in Dean Village. Dean Village is a beautiful residential area in Edinburgh, with colorful houses. The most popular viewpoint is along a bridge above the Water of Leith. But if you continue further in, you will find a nice trail to walk that goes alongside the river.
Catch some sunset views of the city.
To finish your day, you can go somewhere to watch the sunset. Note that depending, on the time of the year you visit, this time varies dramatically. During the winter months, the sun can set from as early as 3 pm, while in the summer the sun can be out as late as 10 pm.
There are two popular places to see views of the city from above (and both are free): Calton Hill and Arthur Seat.
Calton Hill has a low elevation and is easily accessible from the eastern end of Prince’s Street, close to the Waverly train station. This is where you will also find an unfinished remake of the Parthenon, the City Observatory, and the Nelson Monument.
On the other hand, the Arthur Seat requires a little more effort to reach. It is located in Holyrood Park and it is the highest point in Edinburgh at 251m. To reach the top, a short but, at points, steep climb is required. Nevertheless, the views from the top are beautiful and can see all the way up to Leith and Pentland Hills.
Contributor: Elina from Empnefsys & Travel
Elina is a travel enthusiast based in the UK and has traveled to over 20 countries around the world. Elina runs Empnefsys & Travel, a travel blog dedicated to inspiring people to travel. On her blog, you can find detailed itineraries for cities in Europe and other travel-related content.
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