Edinburgh’s Hidden Gems

Beautiful view of the city of EdinburghEdinburgh is the second most visited city in the UK and its wealth of famous attractions make it no surprise. Our Edinburgh Central hotel is just off the Royal Mile (the street which leads you right up to the Castle) and is a short walk from popular Princes Street with all its bars and pubs. But Edinburgh doesn’t only have world-famous attractions to see – it’s also got a whole lot of hidden gems too. Here are a few worth planning a trip to Edinburgh for:

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History: Greyfriars Bobby

The statue of a dog known as Greyfriars Bobby is definitely worth a visit, if only to hear the colourful tale of its history. Supposedly, when the terrier’s owner died, the dog was so loyal that he spent the next fourteen years guarding his owner’s grave until his own death in 1872. During this time, to avoid him being branded a stray, it is said that Lord Provost of Edinburgh paid his license and gave him a collar.

Outdoors: The Royal Mile “Secret Gardens”

You’d think that any park right in the cultural centre of the city would be packed with tourists, but not many people know about the gardens right off the Royal Mile. As a result, you can find perfect outdoor peace in this hidden spot. Visit the herb garden at Chessels Court, or the 17th Century Garden at Dunbar’s Close.

Quirkiness: The Mound Museum

If you’re fond of money (and who isn’t?) you’ll love this quirky new museum on The Mound. Dedicated to all things financial, this museum explores the process of making money, financial crime, fraud, trade, and even the art and design of currency. Here, you can see a million pounds, or learn to crack a safe, or look at Scotland’s oldest banknote. It’s a one-of-a-kind sort of place.

Food: Gurkha Café and Restaurant

Nepalese cuisine? In Edinburgh? Absolutely. The food here is as delicious as it is unexpected. Located right in the heart of the Old Town it would be easy for this place to get lost among the bigger, fancier eating establishments. But the great value tapas-style day menu here and the wide selection of choices at dinnertime have kept this place full and popular.

Shopping: Thistle Street

Hidden in the shadow of George Street, this little road of boutiques is easy to miss. But if you’re looking for what makes Edinburgh special, you’ll find it here in the form of historic, artistic and unique charm. Find a brilliant souvenir at 21st Century Kilts, or sample some delicious vegetarian food at Henderson’s Bistro.

Nightlife: Cabaret Voltaire

This Edinburgh institution is still relatively unknown among tourists, but it’s always buzzy and full on a big night. You can see new live music in these cellar caves and the atmosphere matches the location in that it feels very underground. There are good drinks specials too.