Edinburgh

for more pictures check out : instagram.com/architravelust/

Old Town, Edinburgh. photo by: helen agustine

As the fourth most beautiful city in the world by Rough Guide, Edinburgh is a city that must to be explored. It is the capital of Scotland, the city that combines many beautiful old and cutting-edge architectures with grand area of nature. The majority of main attraction are located in the city centre which is divided into Old Town and New Town.

uk icon. photo by: helen agustine

Old Town. photo by: helen agustine

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Twisted bridge by stuart sinclair. photo by: helen agustine

The famous spot in Old Town you must visit is the Royal Mile, the long aged road connects the Edinburgh Castle to Palace of Holyroodhouse. The giant Edinburgh Castle has played essential role in this city as the main attraction with great history. You must purchase tickets to enter the castle, and I recommend to visit in the afternoon time, when there is One O’clock Gun (a cannonball is fired exactly at 1 p.m). Afterwards, explore the castle and it’s dungeon which decorated like a real prison in ancient era. Once you step out from the castle, you can find many restaurants, cashmere retailers, St. Giles Cathedral, and the talented Scotland icon; bagpipers, while you stroll along the Royal Mile.

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Edinburgh Castle. photo by: helen agustine

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Hollow man. photo by: helen agustine

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bagpiper. photo by: helen agustine

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One o’clock gun. photo by: helen agustine

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st. giles cathedral. photo by: helen agustine

context museum – antique shop. photo by: helen agustine

On the other part of Old Town, you can visit National Museum of Scotland covered by the long stony facade. The museum collects valuable objects with interesting approach to audience. However, the architecture amazed me; the entrance is carved by the arcade ceiling from ancient stones and the museum’s void has a high ceiling with skylight accentuates the glow of the white majestic interior.

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National Museum of Scotland. photo by helen agustine

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cafe in national museum of scotland. photo by: helen agustine

If you are a big fan of Harry Potter, you must be wondering how the author, J.K. Rowling, got her first idea. A small cafe called The Elephant House is the birthplace of Harry Potter, where Rowling wrote down the initial story on a piece of tissue paper. This place becomes legend, and one of the most visited place in Edinburgh. If you decide to go here, go inside the toilets, and you will see surprises from Harry Potter’s fans around the world. Go check it out yourself! 😉

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the elephant house. photo by: helen agustine

Just a few meters next to The Elephant House, you will find Greyfriars Bobby bar. Bobby is John Gray’s  (Edinburgh city police) skye terrier dog, who spent the rest of his lifetime guarding beside his master grave in 1872. The story became well known in Scotland through the books and films.

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greyfriars bobby bar. photo by: helen agustine

Moreover, if you are a hunter of horrors and haunted stories, Edinburgh provides many ghost tours. They have many different packages, such as the underground tour, the grave tour, bus tour, etc. “City of The Dead” tour of Greyfriar’s Kirkyard is one of the scariest tour according to Lonely Planet. The tour guide as well as the story teller will escort you for about 1 to 2 hours walk, depends on the package.

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underground ghost tour. photo by: helen agustine

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“city of the dead” edinburgh ghost tour. photo by: helen agustine

In the end of Royal Mile, Scottish Parliament was built with contemporary and sustainable design that attracts architects and designers to explore the building. Self-guided tour is provided in the reception, and you are able to see inside the congress hall, constructed from timber and other sustainable resources.

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scottish parliament. photo by: helen agustine

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congress hall. photo by: helen agustine

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pedestrian at scottish parliament. photo by: helen agustine

It is quite relieving to swift from buildings to nature for a while. The other part of Edinburgh that I visited was Calton Hill. It is a highland of Edinburgh that usually windy in any time. Up there, you can see a nice view of Edinburgh city, gardens, debris of the ancient architecture and part of the pantheon.

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Calton Hill. photo by: helen agustine

Staying in Edinburgh:

For low budget travellers/ backpackers: Ibis Budget Hotel Edinburgh Park (near the airport), or Ibis Edinburgh Centre South Bridge (strategic location in the city centre)

For middle budget travellers: Stay Central Hotel or Cityroomz Edinburgh (strategic location, youth design).

For high budget travellers/ family: Old Town Chambers or Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa (strategic location in the city centre)

Suggested Itinerary:

Day 1 : Arrive in Edinburgh — try Greyfriars Bobby bar for a night out.

Day 2 : Explore the Old Town! Go to Edinburgh Castle before 1 p.m. to watch the one o’clock gun and explore the castle. You can have your lunch in the castle, there is a restaurant inside the castle with nice hot food. — Stroll along the Royal Mile and the shops, visit: St. Giles Cathedral and Scottish Parliament — in Royal Mile you can book for ghost tour (optional), the tour usually starts in the evening (3p.m) or in the night (around 7 p.m) on that day, it is up to you.

Day 3 : Go to Calton Hill in the morning/afternoon, choose the time that is not too windy, and you will have to climb some steep stairs, prepare your energy — walk to Princes Street, the street of shops and nice restaurants, you can have a lunch here — you can explore the Rosslyn Chapel (the small beautiful chapel in Da Vinci Code movie, and quite far from city centre) or you can spend your time in National Museum of Scotland — for dinner time, try to visit The Elephant House (for fans of Harry Potter) or if you think that you are not full enough, you can just cross the road and grab some Nando’s.

 for more pictures check out : instagram.com/architravelust/

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