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“This is a city of shifting light, of changing skies, of sudden vistas. A city so beautiful it breaks the heart again and again,” Alexander McCall Smith once said of the Scottish capital. Spend 48 hours admiring Edinburgh’s beauty with this art and design-centric itinerary.
9:30 Head along the Royal Mile to a recently revamped row of 19 Victorian Arches just below Jeffrey Street in Old Town. Here a selection of independent cafés and shops offer up various wares and cuisines—Baba Budan makes excellent coffee and doughnuts.
11:00 Continue along the Royal Mile past St Giles Cathedral to Princes Street Gardens for spectacular views of the Castle perched atop its volcanic plug above. Enjoy a few moments on the esplanade or head into nearby Camera Obscura to see the city’s skyline projected onto a concave dish.
14:00 Check-in to the Hotel Indigo Edinburgh – Princes Street. Located in the heart of Edinburgh’s New Town, this home away from home blends victorian heritage with contemporary style.
17:30 Take an early dinner at Spoon, but make sure to book as this small bohemian bistro can get busy.
19:00 Book a show at the Festival Theatre, which offers a diverse programme of ballet, opera, film, musicals, and contemporary dance.
8:30 Begin the day in Abbeyhill for a coffee and freshly baked pastry at Century General Store. This wedge-shaped café and shop serves up its locally-renowned coffee alongside simple but beautifully made household items. Leave time to eat and shop.
10:00 Awaken the rest of your senses at nearby Ingleby Gallery Edinburgh, which exhibits modern and contemporary art in a clean calming space.
13:30 Head into Stockbridge for lunch at Smith & Gertrude, a wine and cheese café inspired by the owners’ travels across Australia, the US and Europe.
17:30 Book a table at hidden gem The Gardeners Cottage, just 8 minutes walk from Hotel Indigo Edinburgh – Princes St. This small, cosy restaurant is housed in a building that dates back to 1836 and was once actually the gardener’s cottage. Tired from all that walking? Dine at Twenty Princes Street Grill & Smokehouse, a firm favourite with locals and guests alike.