Free Day in Edinburgh: Where to Go & What to Do

When we originally planned our trip to Scotland, we had two free days to explore Edinburgh. Unfortunately bad weather delayed our flights and put us in a day later than we originally planned. Luckily we were blessed with a warm, sunny day to cram all of our sightseeing in.

We started off our day by visiting Edinburgh Castle and exploring the Royal Mile. Everyone else was out on this beautiful day as well, so it was pretty crowded everywhere we went.

Here are some shots of the castle and the gorgeous view of the city from the castle property.


After touring the castle we decided to walk the Royal Mile. It is a long strip with a variety of restaurants and shops. We were able to buy a few souvenirs and have some yummy fish and chips at the pub.


You will find several people on the Royal Mile trying to sell you a number of activities. We actually were suckered in to doing a tour of the Edinburgh Vaults. The tour was very neat and full of history. Our tour guide was hilarious and everyone seemed to have a great time. We highly suggest it if you have some free time to kill.

Here is one of my favorite pictures of the day. It was such a pretty day that the parks were filled with people reading, jogging and playing games. We were told Scotland doesn’t have too many of these blue-sky, sunny days so the locals had to take advantage while they could.


If you are tourists like us, you may find that A Scottish Céilidh is the perfect way to end a gorgeous day in Edinburg. Here we enjoyed a special evening of Scottish tradition. We had a savory dinner of local favorites while we were entertained with folk dancers, bagpipers, fiddlers and the “Ceremony of the Haggis” which I actually enjoyed. The dinner was very touristy but it was neat learning about the Scottish culture.


After our lovely dinner it started to rain. We knew the weather wouldn’t be nice to us for too long. At least we had a pretty day. We decided to grab a drink with a few other people at the Conan Doyle. This pub is pretty much a shrine to Conan Doyle, the author of Sherlock Holmes. It has a warm, cozy atmosphere with a large amount of paraphernalia celebrating Sherlock Holmes as well as a wealth of information about author Conan Doyle. We had a few munchies here as well, the food was delicious!

Even after missing an entire day of touring, we were still able to see a lot of Edinburgh. This is definitely a city that I would love to come back to. The people are extremely friendly and relaxed. We have nothing but good things to say about our time there.