Let’s set a little backstory for my Edinburgh travel guide: If Edinburgh and Glasgow were family members, Edinburgh would be the graceful, wee bit snobbish older sister that you admire and loathe in equal measures. Edinburgh appears like an open-air museum: a city well preserved. Thus probably it’s high appeal to the tourism industry. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed both cities very much. It’s just really unfair to compare the two. Edinburgh’s charms are plentiful: castles, museums, narrow lanes and closes, nature, pubs and good food. For the book nerd in me, it was a pure delight to retrace the steps of John Rebus, Ian Rankin’s master detective. Not to mention trying to scoop up as many Harry Potter references as possible. #always
Discover the best vegan restaurants and the prettiest spots in Edinburgh
Discover the best places we visited during our wee trip. Expect, loads of vegan restaurants, walks and quirks in my Edinburgh travel guide. And the best thing? You can have all my favourite places on the go! Simply download my map to your phone and off you go.
Want to discover other Northern cities? Then have a look at my travel guide for Cork, Ireland.
The cobbled Victoria Street is said to have served JK Rowling as inspiration for Diagon Alley.
I could almost hear John Rebus running through here, ore more like the rattling of his lungs…
Edinburgh travel guide and map
A travel guide for vegan & vegetarian foodies and urban explorers
We just had a marvellous time in Edinburgh and we could’ve stayed there for many more days tbf. All the major sights, decent restaurant and little treasures are in walking distance. That way you get the most of the city and don’t waste time getting from A to B. Make sure you plan some time for a wee stroll. Just discover the city without a plan in mind. Or go to a pub and listen to the old man’s lament.
- Have a stroll
An especially nice walk is by the Water of Leith. You can walk by the riverside from Dean Gardens to Dean Cemetery. About halfway, you’ll come across the utterly charming Dean Village. Not much to do there, I’m afraid, but to snap some great pics and continue your stroll.
- Enjoy a fantastic 360° view of the city
You get some good views from Edinburgh Castle, no doubt about that. By far more interesting though is the walk up to Arthur’s Seat. Start from the car park on Queens Drive (beside the Palace of Holyroodhouse). There’re plenty of paths up and down Holyrood Park- The quickest way up to Arthur’s Seat is signposted. It takes you approx. 45 minutes to get up there. A pleasant walk that will make you forget that you’re in the heart of the city, at parts it feels more like the Highlands. The views from up there compensate more than enough for some steep bits.
- Explore the Old Town of Edinburgh
The narrow lanes and closes of Edinburgh’s Old Town suited the little discoverer in me very well. There’re plenty of ghost tours about in the Old Town. Most of them will grant you access to hidden parts of the city, like Mary King’s Close or the South Bridge Vaults. Well worth if you’re into history or ghosts.
- Spend a half day at the Royal Botanic Garden and the Glasshouses
Lovely place for a walk. Did you know that these gardens sport the biggest collection of Chinese plants outside of China? Extra cuteness factor: plenty of squirrels up and about.
- Spend a pound or two
Of course, Princess Street is where all the major shops are. Try George Street for a bit more alternative brands or check any streets going off the Royal Mile for Artisan products, gifts and little boutiques. Cockburn Street sports some nice shops with lovely gifts and souvenirs. A delightful antique shop is Unicorn Antiques (65 Dundas Street). It’s full to the brim with knick-knack and old treasures. Wonderful furniture and home decor can be found at Homer on 8 Howe Street. Also, Stockbridge is full of cute little shops. Check out Gifted for gifts and souvenirs.
- Toast 65 Shore, Edinburgh EH6 6RA
This place serves a mean Oat Latte, and you guys, you know how much I love an excellent Oat Latte. Also, their Avo on toast is superb. It’s not a vegan or vegetarian place per se, but friendly to your diet choices nonetheless.
- The Hideout Cafe 40-42 Queen Charlotte St, Edinburgh EH6 6AT
If you’re looking into an alternative to Toast, because Toast is too busy. Head over to The Hideout, there’s an Oat Latte with your name on it.
- Mintleaf 28 Bernard St, Edinburgh EH6 6PP
Besides Oat Lattes, I love me some Indian food. The Mintleaf serves delicious Indian food (plenty of vegetarian dishes and just ask for vegan possibilities). But even better than the food? The welcoming and lovely hostess.
- Harmonium 60 Henderson St, Edinburgh EH6 6DE
Oh, what a treat! Thir entire menu is free from animal products or derivatives. I love places where I can order anything from the menu. And bonus treat, amazing desserts!
- David Bann Vegetarian Restaurant 56-58 St Mary’s St, Edinburgh EH1 1SX
We’re so delighted that we run into this charming place. The food is top-notch and the staff really friendly. Vegetarian menu with plenty of vegan options.
- Holy Cow 34 Elder St, Edinburgh EH1 3DX
Charming little place a wee bit of the beaten track. The best vegan mayonnaise I’ve ever had (the burger that came with them it, was yummy too).
- Pinnies & Poppy Seeds 26 St Mary’s St, Edinburgh EH1 1SU
Go and try the probably best (artisan) shortbread in the world (not vegan).
- Casa Angelina 42 London St, Edinburgh EH3 6LX
All the vegan sweet treats: Brownies, Bakewell tarts, cakes…
- The Oxford Bar 8 Young Street, Edinburgh EH2 4JB
Well, all you John Rebus die-hard nerds know exactly what the “the Ox” is. And it truly lives up to its charms. Have a quiet beer or G&T and chat with the friendly locals.
- The Jolly Botanist 256-260 Morrison St, Edinburgh EH3 8DT
Blimey, it’s Gin o’Clock! This bar serves all the Gin. And sometimes Gin is all you need.
- Malt & Hops 45 Shore, Edinburgh EH6 6QU
This place is a sanctuary. A local watering hole where I could spend hours people watching.
- Bryant & Mack 89 Rose St N Ln, Edinburgh EH2 3DX
Ever since my trip to NYC, I love speakeasy bars. Bars that on first glance, don’t appear to bars at all. The entry to this cocktail bar is a large wooden door and a battered window lettering saying Bryant & Mack Private Detectives. Just walk on in and order a drink. No menu though. Instead, they mix you something unique, no frills. Oh, and my drink was delicious!
The old Glasshouses at the Royal Botanical Garden.
Fantastic view down on Edinburgh’s city center.
Have we met?
Meet Miss Walter’s
Hi, I’m Jennifer. I create sweet vegan recipes and take semi-messy photos of food. I’m always hunting for good places to eat and where to go to for my next cup of Oat Latte. A supermarket is usually the first place I visit in a foreign place. I created Miss Walter’s so that you can wow your vegan an non-vegan friends alike with decadently delicious vegan recipes. Also, I’ll share my favourite foodie spots from my travels with you.