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Today we talk to Laurence about his hometown Edinburgh. Laurence gives us his top local tips for spending a weekend in Edinburgh.

Edinburgh is the perfect place for a  city break but with only a weekend in Edinburgh, it’s important you see all the best stuff and eat at the best places to get a good overview of this beautiful city.

So read on to learn about how to make that weekend in Edinburgh awesome…

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edinburgh tips

How to enjoy a weekend in Edinburgh: An Interview with a Local

Hi Laurence, where are you living now?

I’m currently living in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Tell us about yourself? 

I’m a full-time travel writer and photographer, and my passions are travel photography and travel! With my wife Jessica I love to explore the world, find new things and take beautiful photos. I’m a big fan of scenic locations, and we both enjoy culture, food and discovering new locations.

What is your favourite thing about Edinburgh?

One of my favourite things about Edinburgh is its size. It’s just the perfect size for a city – big enough to have everything you could want, but small enough that you can easily get around on foot. It’s also incredibly pretty!

Calton Hill Edinburgh - Edinburgh city guide by a local

Calton Hill, Credit to Laurence Norah

What is your favourite thing to do in Edinburgh on a weekend? 

There is so much to do in Edinburgh that it’s really hard to pick a favourite. I’d probably say just taking a wander around part of the city though is one of my favourite activities on a weekend in Edinburgh.

Walking up and down the Royal Mile is always fun – it’s an almost mile-long section of street that runs from Edinburgh Castle down to Holyrood Palace. The former sits on an extinct volcano, the latter is the Queen’s official residence in Scotland. Along the way, the road runs right through the heart of the medieval city, and there are loads of museums, shops, restaurants and bars to take in as you wander it.

Calton Hill Edinburgh - edinburgh city guide by a local

Calton Hill. Credit to Laurence Norah.

What in your opinion, is the one thing you can’t miss during a weekend in Edinburgh? 

I think a visit to Edinburgh Castle should be at the top of a visitor’s to-do list. It’s an old medieval castle which can be seen from nearly everywhere in the city as it’s sitting atop a (now extinct!) volcano cone.

From the Castle, there is an excellent view of the city, as well as enough to do inside to fill two or three hours quite easily. Be sure to be there at 1 pm for the firing of the gun!

Edinburgh Castle in Autumn Edinburg city guide top things to do and see in Edinburgh

Any top tips for things to do on a rainy day in Edinburgh?

Edinburgh has a great many free museums which are well worth visiting on a rainy day. These include the excellent National Museum of Scotland, the Edinburgh Museum, the People’s Story Museum and the Museum of Childhood. So definitely check those out.

For more inspiration, check out our guide to two days in Edinburgh, which has lots of ideas for rainy days and dry days!


Where is the best restaurant in Edinburgh?

Edinburgh has some fantastic restaurants, including some with Michelin stars. So it’s hard to choose a favourite. That said, we always enjoy eating at Wedgwood, the Restaurant. It’s about halfway down the Royal Mile and the food is usually very good. The menus change regularly, but if they have the sticky toffee bread and butter pudding on the dessert list you have to try it!

And where do you suggest going for a drink in the evening? 

Edinburgh has a lot of choices, but my suggestion would be to head to one of the pubs with a wide whisky selection. For casual beers, I’d suggest the Bow Bar on Victoria Street – it’s a laid-back environment which is always nice.

Is there one thing not many people know about Edinburgh?

Edinburgh served as the inspiration for a lot of the Harry Potter books and JK Rowling still lives in the city to this day. You can check out all the Harry Potter locations in Edinburgh to find out where she got the inspiration for everything from character names to Hogwarts itself, plus learn which cafes in Edinburgh she really wrote the books in.

Anything else you think we should know before we spend a weekend in Edinburgh? 

There is so much to do in Edinburgh! Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to see it all. Obviously, a lot of people come for the festivals in August, of which there are five – including the world-famous Festival Fringe. But there are festivals and events throughout the year which are well worth checking out if you want to skip some of the crowds!

We’d also advise taking a bit of time to explore some of the villages around the city centre – places like Leith and Dean Village are well worth a stop.

For more inspiration, check out our guide to 30 off the beaten path things to do in Edinburgh – which has lots of ideas for discovering the city beyond the main tourist sites!

Edinburgh Castle and Van - edinburgh city guide by a local

Photo credit To Laurence Norah

Together with his wife Jessica runs not one but two travel blogs! They are Finding The Universe, which focusses of adventure travel and photography and Independent Travel Cats which is a luxury and couples travel blog. They write full time and focus mainly on travel in Europe and the USA.

Edinburgh city guide by a local

More things to do in Edinburgh


Have you been to Edinburgh? Want to share your best Edinburgh tips with us? If so please comment below. As always, I appreciate your comments and shares!

If you enjoyed this Interview with a Local, you may enjoy these previous interviews!

Jamaica  Tel Aviv  Dubai  Rio de Janeiro  Tenerife   Paris   Lisbon   Washington  San Diego

The next Interview with a Local coming up will feature Singapore! I can’t wait!