Im looking for recommendations of the must sees in Edinburgh and any off the beaten track gems I might miss as a tourist. Im planning a short break in February for my husband and I. We will get the sleeper train arriving on Friday and leave on Monday at lunchtime. I really want to make this trip special as it's our first break away with out our daughter and it will be his 40th birthday. Many thanks in advance.
Take a tour under the city, this is something you won't find many other places and I would rate it as a special Edinburgh experience. There are quite a few available with more or less emphasis on spookiness or history. You' fall over people selling tours on the Royal Mile which you will be pretty definitely be exploring anyway. You could book in advance to be sure of getting a convenient time. The Real Mary King's Close is possibly the slickest offering.
The big draw is to wander from the Castle down the Royal Mile to Holyrood Palace, taking in some side streets and surrounding area (Cockburn Street, Victoria Street, the Grassmarket, Candlemaker Row to see the statue of Greyfriar's Bobby). There is quite a bit to see along the way, no end of cafes, bars and interesting shops. If you have the strength and the time you could climb Arthur's Seat and admire the view.
Evening wise, if you're not already familiar with the concept of a ceilidh, Friday or Saturday night upstairs at the Ghillie Dhu on Shandwick Place is recommended, traditional Scottish dancing and they will call the moves out for beginners. Occasionally not on if they have a wedding on so could check first.
The city centre is compact but hilly, so bring comfy walking shoes.
King Louis has some brilliant suggestions, above that depends what you are looking for,, threes is great theatre at traverse with new writing or Lyceum, other theatres have the usual on tour catalagog. If you like gin we have several breweries that do tours, or if you fancy a thrift shoot the charity shops in Morningside and Stockbridge usually have a good selection. We are lucky to have a lot of top Michelin stared places to go like 21212 or mark Greenaway but also basic places that re heralded like wings ( chicken wing joint where you can still get old fashioned hooch and all tables themed by si di)
Also if you like bear we have some great small breweries here give pilot, campervan and Barneys a google, or if you like gin an Edinburgh gin tour could be fun. City wise my favourite street is Victoria Street. A walk on the water of leith is always a good idea and if you happen upon dean village it is a little gem.