Edinburgh is one of the oldest and most scenic cities in Scotland, as well as being its capital. For anyone visiting Edinburgh, they’ll be delighted with the sheer abundance of attractions, amazing foods, and welcoming people. Above all, however, most visitors are enthralled by the rich history that seeps into the very core of this city. Unfortunately, especially for travelers paying in US dollars, visiting any city in the United Kingdom can mean a very expensive vacation which is why we’ve set out how to spend just $25 (or around £15 with current conversion rates) or less each day during your visit to this fantastic city!
One of the biggest problems most tourists run into when traveling to Edinburgh, or anywhere in the UK for that matter, is transport. Edinburgh is a massive city and you can waste hours walking from destination to destination. Additionally, you’ll end up paying an arm and a leg for a taxi especially if you end up stuck in traffic (which will happen) and that price meter on the dashboard keeps climbing. Thankfully, all is not lost for anyone looking to explore all of Edinburgh without having to pay a fortune on transport – all you need to do is look towards the city busing options available at almost every street!
Bus fares are around two pounds for a single ticket to a destination, however if you’re a savvy shopper like we think you are, you’ll go for the day ticket at just three and a half pounds. A day ticket allows you unlimited trips on any bus or tram throughout the city for that day! And, if you plan on going anywhere after dark, you can get a Day & Night ticket for the exact same price and have busing options available till the wee hours of the morning!
Good Eats For Less
The worst thing to do is travel on an empty stomach; however, fortunately for you, Edinburgh is truly a fantastic city to be hungry in. Whether you’re feeling a bit carnivorous and craving some traditional Scottish food, or you’re looking for something more akin to pizza and Chinese, you have a plethora of choices on almost every street!
Dig your teeth into some famous haggis stovies and lamb stew for under five pounds at the Teauchters Landing, enjoy some fishcakes and curry from the Appetite shop for around five pounds in the Stockbridge district, or even enjoy a tapas dish around four pounds only at the Mother India Café. Additionally, if you’re on a night out and looking for something to quell the alcohol induced hunger cravings, you’ll find a multitude of fish and chip shops, or pizza shops, all around you offering food for well under five pounds!
Now that you’ve got a full belly and transport anywhere in the city for the day, let’s talk about where to go! For those of you unlucky enough to come from the United States, and we say unlucky because the value of the dollar compared to the pound is atrocious, you’re looking at current conversion rates making that $25 of yours into just £15.5. So, if we average around £2-£4 per meal and £3.5 for a full day of transport, you really have a few pounds, at most, to spend on admission prices anywhere. No worries though traveler, Edinburgh is full of affordable attractions and many more of which are delightfully free!
Museums on the Royal Mile
In Edinburgh there are four streets that equate to around a mile long and they start at the lovely Edinburgh Castle (which is a must see for anyone), and then stretch outwards. Fortunately for you, not only do you get to enjoy the beautiful views of the Edinburgh Castle on your hike along these four fabulous streets, but you can also enjoy four different museums along your journey that are 100% free admittance! With the Edinburgh Writers Museum, Museum of Childhood, Museum of Edinburgh, and The People’s Story, you’re bound to enjoy a full day of beautiful city sights and learning while on the Royal Mile!
Enjoy free local music
Sitting at the local pub and enjoying an alcoholic refreshment is something that is widely accepted and practiced in the United Kingdom and, subsequently, in Edinburgh. If you’re feeling a bit on the thirsty side, then check with the local pubs near your accommodations. Many of the pubs have live bands and musicians on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays making it well worth going to see. With tons of local talent, and many bands traveling from distant parts of the UK to play in Edinburgh, you’re sure to enjoy the free entertainment as well as the fantastic local brew!
Visit Old Town Edinburgh
Old Town is, you guessed it, a really old part of Edinburgh that dates back well into medieval times. Fascinatingly enough, many of the buildings and architecture definitely reflect their age and make for a fantastic day trip for any visitor. Walking around Old Town is completely free, though you’ll be hard pressed not to spend your cash at the local shops and pubs you see on your journey around! Definitely bring a camera with you, however, because the stunning churches and shops are absolutely breathtaking!
Find New Friends to Explore With
The Scots are known for being very friendly. If you are not a shy person, you can strike up conversation and make friends very quickly. If on the other hand, you prefer to use friendship and social networking sites to make friends, one of the best sites you can use for free is Travel Friendz, a UK based travel and friendship website. This could be even a great opportunity, especially before this upcoming election, to see hear both sides of the argument for Scotland becoming independent. Unfortunately, you do need to book your visit to the Scottish Parliament building in advance, but just visit their website and you can schedule a visit during a debate and learn more about the political powers involved in Scotland!
A great, and free, attraction in Edinburgh is the Scottish Parliament building located on the Royal Mile. If you time your visit right, you can listen in on a political debate! This could be even a great opportunity, especially before this upcoming election, to see hear both sides of the argument for Scotland becoming independent. Unfortunately, you do need to book your visit to the Scottish Parliament building in advance, but just visit their website and you can schedule a visit during a debate and learn more about the political powers involved in Scotland!
Have you been to Edinburgh already? If so, what was your top attraction on the cheap there?