Edinburgh is a city full of culture and activity. There are plenty of opportunities to experience the Scottish culture, see the sights and participate in the world-famous Fringe Festival. I’m sure you’ve been told to see the Castle when you visit, walk to Royal Mile and climb Arthur’s Seat. Sound familiar? If you’ve been there, done that, check out this list of some OTHER things Edinburgh has to offer- the city’s best kept secrets.
The city’s famous fire festival, Beltane! Whether or not you’re into fine dancing and representations of pagan summer rituals, you have to experience Beltane at least once. You’ll definitely leave with a lasting memory.
Open Mic Nights
The city is also full of some of the most hidden talents in the UK. Musicians like Marcus Mumford used to play the city’s beloved open mic nights before Mumford and Sons hit it big in London. If you’re musical or just want to watch some local talent, check out the Ale House Open Mic on Fridays, Nobles Open Mic on Tuesdays, or The Listening Room housed at the Blue Blazer for an intimate acoustic set.
If you’re looking for somewhere to eat that does not necessarily include haggis or fish ‘n’ chips, make your way towards Newington to Kampong Ah Lee, a tiny Malaysian restaurant you wouldn’t otherwise know existed. The friendly service and delicious food makes this hole-in-the-wall a delightful experience. Mother India is a good stop for incredible Indian fare, served “tapas-style” so you can try a bit of everything. And over in Leith is the Roseleaf, the perfect stop for Scottish High Tea. Have your cakes and sandwiches served on a traditional tiered tray and enjoy your tea- or delicious cocktails- from delicate, lady-like tea cups.
One of the best vodka bars, Secret Arcade off Victoria street, is hard to find. Once you’re there, you’ll love the wide range of the finest vodkas and whiskies. If you’re looking for a strong and satisfying pint of beer, head down into the Cowgate and into Brew Dog for a taste of their strong ales. You can also head to the Ghillie-Dhu for an example of an active, classy pub in the city’s West End off Princes Street. There are friendly and cheap hotels in Edinburgh near Princes Street which make for an easy walk home at the end of the night.
The city of Edinburgh is full of little surprises and secrets. On Sundays in Stockbridge you’ll find the city’s best market, while over in Gorgie sits an urban city farm. Stroll along the streets and turn corners and enter shops you might not have visited the first time. If you know a local, ask them for the best tips and undiscovered gems. These are the places where you’ll discover what Edinburgh is really all about.
Which undercover gems have you discovered in Edinburgh? Tell us about them in the comments below.