Spending 48 hours in Edinburgh

You can’t go to the UK without heading up to Scotland and visiting Edinburgh! A vibrant city full of art, culture, history, and nature, whatever the weather, a trip to Edinburgh is always a good idea. If, however, you only have 48 hours to spend in this ‘bonny wee’ city, here is how to spend it.

Day One

Hop on a tour bus

If you want to see as much of the city as possible in just two days, jump on a guided tour bus for a brief history lesson and get your bearings as to where the various areas are. If possible, opt for a ‘hop on, hop off’ service, so you can use it as a mode of transport too if anything tickles your fancy along the way. For example, the Scottish Parliament is on the route, and the architecture of the building alone is worth seeing. However, if Parliament is in session, you could take a peek at what is going on inside.

48 hours in Edinburgh

St Giles’ Cathedral

This stunning cathedral can be seen from miles, due to its amazing crown spire, and it’s well worth a visit. The stained glass windows are stunning, and with some parts being dated back to the 12th Century, it’s steeped in history.

The National Museum of Scotland

Keep up the history theme by checking out some of the exhibitions in the National Museum of Scotland. Learn about the nation’s history and culture, dating right back to the Primeval age, and see why the Scots are such a proud people. Head up to the roof garden for a breathtaking 360 view of the city too!

Catch a show

Edinburgh is well-known for being the birthplace of some incredible shows, particularly during the comedy festivals in August; however, whatever time of year you go, you should be able to catch something interesting. The Playhouse is the largest working theatre in the UK, so it’s a great place to start!

Day two

Arthur’s Seat

Kick off your day in an active way by walking to the top of Arthur’s Seat – a stunning extinct volcano, sitting 251m high, right in the midst of the city. If you get up early enough, it’s a beautiful place to watch the sunrise and start your day off right.

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

Carrying on the walking theme – but with a little less exertion now – take a relaxing stroll around the picturesque gardens and glass houses, and marvel at the array of plants and flowers.

48 hours in Edinburgh


Time for a little retail therapy! Jenners is a great place to start, as the most well-known department store in the city. However, if you are interested in designer labels, you can’t miss Multrees Walk, by St Andrew Square! For those looking for a more quirky, boutique experience, the West End Village might be a better option.

Edinburgh castle

It’s not a trip to Edinburgh if you don’t visit the castle! Sitting atop an extinct volcano, the castle is a sight to behold and can be seen from all across the city. Be sure to be around at 1 pm to experience the traditional shooting of the One o’clock Gun, visit the Crown Jewels and check out the dungeons too.

There is so much more to see and do in Edinburgh, but if you only have 48 hours, be sure to check out these highlights! It’s the kind of place you’ll want to come back to time and time again.