Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland, and it is not only one of the most beautiful cities I have ever visited but it’s also one of the eeriest cities I have visited. Edinburgh has been around since the early 1100s and it is easy to see through the architecture of the buildings, streets and especially the castles and churches dotted throughout the city.
The Edinburgh Castle is the pinnacle sight in the city and nearly impossible NOT to see as it is built on top of a large hill that actually used to be a volcano. The castle has been around and under royal rule since the 12th century at least, and in the 17th century began being used primarily as military barracks, along with a military prison. It is the most visited site in Edinburgh due to the amazing architecture of the castle, the history and museums on the hill, and the beautiful sites of the city from so high above.
Calton Hill was another hill with great views of the city and of Arthur’s Seat, another major landmark to see in Edinburgh. Calton Hill includes many monuments like the National Monument and Nelson’s Monument. The morning views from Calton Hill are amazing and it’s much smaller and easier to hike than Arthur’s Seat(although we are already wanting to go back and hike Arthur’s Seat sometime…it’s massive and used to be a volcano too!!)
Now, like I said previously, Edinburgh is one of the eeriest cities I’ve ever been to, no thanks to it’s very, very old history. A highly suggested thing to do in Edinburgh, and now something we would suggest to everyone too, is taking one of their guided ghost tours through Old Town. We did a 9pm, adult only ghost tour with Mercat Tours and had a wonderful tour guide. She told us of the bloody past of Edinburgh, including the tortures of criminals in the city center for the entire town’s entertainment. The eeriest part, which I have never heard of in any other city, was the stories from a part of town called Mary King’s Close. Mary’s King Close was a poor area of town at first, where many people were affected by the plague and left to die as a community by the rest of the town because it was so severely affected. This area of town is no longer easily visible as the city rebuilt on top of it long ago, and it is now many stories underneath the Royal Mile, aka the busiest street in Edinburgh. We went below this street where there exists the old stone vaults, and the tales of the past, like the criminals, illegal activity and body snatchers who lived in the vaults after they were built over, along with the current (and frequent!!) ghost sightings was enough to make your skin crawl. I was absolutely terrified listening to these stories in pitch black vaults, three stories under the street above, led by a tour guide with a single candle. (Below is a picture of part of the Royal Mile, where the vaults are located directly below).
Some other sites and beautiful architecture throughout the city:
Holyrood Palace, the queen’s home when she visits Scotland
St. Giles Cathedral
A great Scottish man, in a kilt, playing bag pipes
And last but not least, some amazing food in Edinburgh that one must try when they visit this beautiful city! We randomly found a restaurant in New Town called The Boozy Cow and decided it was worth the visit. WE WERE RIGHT! This place serves amazing burgers, chicken sandwiches, fries(especially the chili cheese fries hehe) and their cocktails are hands down the best drinks I believe I’ve ever had. Must try: Boozy Milk Box, Taste the Rainbow, Boozy Tea Party, Boozy Back Cow and there are sooooo many more to try.