Today I will test a new way of writing, that is, I only play the role of a guide, and the photos will “tell the story”. The story of Edinburgh where I live. It must be said that this is a strange city because not a single friend of mine has set foot in this place without falling in love with it. So what’s so interesting about Edinburgh that fascinates visitors?

Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland | edinburgh itinerary 1 day
Quaint street | edinburgh itinerary 1 day
| edinburgh itinerary 1 day

And what to do in Edinburgh for 1 day and how to spend 24 hours in Edinburgh (1 day in Edinburgh, Edinburgh in a day, Edinburgh in one day)? Let’s check out our suggested Edinburgh itinerary 1 day (Edinburgh one day itinerary) with the detailed itinerary for Edinburgh one day trip as follows!

| edinburgh itinerary 1 day
| edinburgh itinerary 1 day
Scotland map and its capital of Edinburgh. | edinburgh itinerary 1 day

10:00 am (#edinburgh itinerary 1 day)

Calton Hill | edinburgh itinerary 1 day

After breakfast, we’ll start at 10 a.m. at Calton Hill, a small hill located in the center of the city. Calton Hill is an ideal place for visitors to have a panoramic view of the city, see the sea and the surrounding area. Regardless of day or night, dawn or dusk, sun or rain or snow, Edinburgh is always beautiful, very “poetic” from a hilltop perspective.

From here you can have panoramic views of the city. | edinburgh itinerary 1 day
Magical in winter | edinburgh itinerary 1 day

11:00 am

St Andrew’s Square | edinburgh itinerary 1 day

From Calton Hill, visitors move down to St Andrew’s Square surrounded by branded shopping buildings, luxury restaurants, ornate pubs, central bus station, the headquarters of Royal Bank of Scotland… This is the city’s vibrant community hub. If you’re lucky, you can listen to music performances, watch big-screen movies, read books on beach chairs, or enjoy contemporary art works (very difficult to understand) for free.

Souvenir shop in Edinburgh, Scotland | edinburgh itinerary 1 day

11:30 am (#edinburgh itinerary 1 day)

From the west corner of the square towards the busy main street Princes you can easily see a very monumental memorial. This is a work to remember the merits of Sir Walter Scott (in the UK, who with many contributions to society are often given the title ‘Sir’). He is a writer, poet, lawyer, politician, but is best known as a writer and poet with many excellent works, including the novel Waverley about history of Scotland. Later the name Waverley was used to name the city center station.

Princes Street | edinburgh itinerary 1 day

12:00 am

While walking and taking photos in the garden next to the monument, we will head towards Edinburgh Castle. On the way you will meet a block of streets with old buildings with bold Scottish architecture. One of those buildings is the New College of the University of Edinburgh.

12:30 am (#edinburgh one day itinerary)

Whiski Rooms | edinburgh itinerary 1 day

After walking for a few hours, your legs are already tired. We invite you to stop and enjoy Haggis specialties at a restaurant right next to New College, such as Whiski Rooms (Address: 4-7 N Bank St, Edinburgh EH1 2LP, United Kingdom/Hours: 10 AM–1 AM). Haggis is a lamb stomach stuffed with fat, minced liver, heart, and lungs, plus onions and some spices. After being boiled, people do not eat the stomach but only take the inner part and serve it with mashed potatoes and mashed radish. The dish has a characteristic sheepish smell, but when served with whiskey sauce or a glass of pure whiskey, it will definitely overwhelm the smell and enhance the flavor.

Haggis | edinburgh one day itinerary

1:30 pm (#1 day in edinburgh)

Walk for about 5 minutes and you will reach Edinburgh Castle. Admission is £16.50. Inside the castle there is nothing really special, so in my opinion this price is not worth it. If you want, you can take some souvenir photos in front of the castle.

Edinburgh castle seen from afar | edinburgh one day itinerary
Massive structure | edinburgh one day itinerary
Interior | edinburgh one day itinerary
| edinburgh one day itinerary
| edinburgh one day itinerary

2:00 pm (#edinburgh in a day)

From the castle you take a stroll along the Royal Mile, the city’s most popular long street with tourists. The Royal Mile is one mile long, with Edinburgh Castle at one end and Holyrood Castle at the other. In the middle of the ancient stone-paved street Royal Mile is the large church of St. Giles, quite beautiful but not very impressive compared to many churches I have visited. Around the church are two famous statues of Adam Smith, who is considered the father of economics and the prominent philosopher David Hume. If you pay attention, you will see the big toe of David Hume’s shiny statue because visitors constantly touch it with the desire to be intelligent and brilliant like him.

Royal Mile street | edinburgh one day itinerary
Holyrood castle | edinburgh one day itinerary
St. Giles church and statue of Davie Hume on the left | 1 day in edinburgh

2:30 pm (#edinburgh in one day)

Right in the middle of the old town is a cafe called The Elephant House (Address: 21 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1EN, United Kingdom). This is where the former writer J. K. Rowling used to frequent to write the hit Harry Potter series.

| 1 day in edinburgh
| 1 day in edinburgh

3:00 pm

About 200m from The Elephant House is the national museum. On the side of the museum, there is a statue of the dog Bobby, which many visitors stop and take photos of. Behind the statue is a story full of humanity. Bobby’s owner previously worked for the Edinburgh Police Department. After his death, Bobby spent the remaining 14 years of his life guarding his grave. Later, Booby was buried in the cemetery near the statue where the statue was placed, on the tombstone the words: “let his loyalty & devotion be a lesson to us all”.

| 1 day in edinburgh
| 1 day in edinburgh

3:30 pm

From the Booby statue, go all the way down Chambers Street to the charming and ancient Old College. Currently, the Faculty of Law at the University of Edinburgh is located here.

| 1 day in edinburgh

4:00 pm

You ask people the way to the top of Arthur’s Seat. This is the highest place in the city. On the occasion of May and June, gorse flowers are as fragrant as coconut water, blooming brightly on the mountainside. Also, watching the sunset gradually fall on the top of the mountain is extremely wonderful.

Arthur’s Seat | edinburgh in a day

7:00 pm

Don’t know if you like Korean food? If yes, then Andamiro (Address: 113 Buccleuch St, Newington, Edinburgh EH8 9NG, United Kingdom/Hours: 11:30 AM–9 PM/Monday, Sunday: Closed) is an extremely delicious, nutritious, cheap, and authentic Korean place (it was said that it was an Italian cafe, later changed owners but the name remains the same).

Cafe Andamiro | edinburgh in a day
| edinburgh in a day

9:00 pm (#edinburgh in a day)

From Andamiro you walk about 15 minutes to reduce your satiety to The Jazz Bar (Address: 1a Chambers St, Edinburgh EH1 1HR, United Kingdom) right next to Old College. This is my favorite place, small but full of very good artists. Don’t forget to make a whiskey, because you’re in Scotland!

The Jazz Bar | edinburgh in a day

11:00 pm

Return to the hotel, take a shower and have a good night’s sleep.

The above Edinburgh itinerary 1 day has to travel a lot, quickly admire the main tourist attractions in the style of “riding a horse to see flowers”. If you have time, you should spend at least 1-2 more days in Edinburgh. The city has a lot to see.

Have a great time in Edinburgh!

Further information

Cobblestones street adorn with lush greenery of plants and flowers. | edinburgh in a day

To getting to Edinburgh, visitors can choose one of three common ways: Long-distance bus (National Express, Megabus, Citylink) to the central bus station. Train to Waverley or Haymarket central station. Or fly (Ryanair, EasyJet, Flybe, KLM, BA…) to Edinburgh airport. The airport is about 13km from the city center, so it is very convenient to travel by bus, tram or taxi.

Edinburgh Airport

If you’re traveling with elderly people or young children who can’t walk much, you can choose from public buses: single ticket £1.50/£0.70 (adult/child), daily ticket £4.00/£2.00 or family day ticket Family (maximum 2 adults + 3 children) £8.50. Note to prepare enough money to drop into the ticket box because the driver does not accept/cash back.

These trains will take you from London to Edinburgh for £25
Edinburgh airport tram stop.
Edinburgh traffic
Edinburgh Hop-On Hop-Off City Sightseeing Bus Tour
Edinburgh tram
Edinburgh tram map

Many of the great museums and galleries in Edinburgh are open for free. If you don’t have much time, I have two suggestions: the National Museum of Scotland in the old town and the National Galleries of Scotland on Princes main street.

Edinburgh is always packed with visitors and artists every August, when the world’s largest art festival Fringe takes place. Follow Fringe festival such as summer festival, book festival, science festival, etc. are usually held from the beginning of July to the end of mid-September. Thanks to Fringe, I have enjoyed the World-class art performances by the Scottish National Symphony Orchestra, the famous British pianist Paul Lewis or the Flamenco Paco Peña troupe from Spain…

Edinburgh Fringe festival

In addition to Harry Potter, the famous detective novel series Sherlock Holmes was also born in Edinburgh. The character Dr. Watson is prototyped from a talented doctor, a teacher of Conan Doyle when he was studying medicine at the prestigious University of Edinburgh.

Where to stay

Below we recommend more best budget, mid-range and upscale hotels with good ratings and reviews you can refer to.

The Scotsman Hotel | edinburgh guide
Ibis Edinburgh. | edinburgh guide

Check out more top and best hotels in Edinburgh on or

Some best day tours, trips, activities and transfer services, tickets in, from and to Edinburgh you can refer to

Read more top things to do in Edinburgh here. And the fullest Edinburgh travel guide here.