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Edinburgh Live staff share our favourite places in the city for you to check out

By Iuliia Vlasova

Edinburgh is full of hidden gems, secluded streets and places that beg to be discovered by a curious wanderer. The city is like a brilliant maze with treasures - sights, shops, cafes - at every corner.

At EdinburghLive, we are absolutely in love with the capital and are excited to share some of our favourite local spots.

READ MORE - Edinburgh beauty spot Arthur's Seat crowned as UK's most popular running trail

Iuliia Vlasova - Apprentice Journalist

I've always wanted to live in a tropical country by the Mediterranean sea, and yet, in 2021, I found myself in a fully-loaded car moving to Edinburgh, which is far from tropical, I must admit.

The simple truth is - this marvellous city stole my heart. And over the past year that I've been living in the capital, I happily took every opportunity to explore it. Every weekend, I am still finding places that fascinate me, and while the Old Town is my all-time go-to spot, there is another place that is dear to me.

Inverleith Park, which I adore for its proximity to the vibrant Stockbridge area, is forever peaceful and calming. And I like grabbing a coffee to go and sit on one of the benches at the park's hill top. Sitting there, overlooking the pond and the city beyond, always makes me feel that my decision to move here was the right one.

Abbie Meehan - TV and Showbiz Writer

While training with a football team in Edinburgh, I've gotten to know the food and drinks places surrounding The Meadows a lot better, given that we are usually starving after practice!

However, I visited Butta Burger for the first time last night, and it was amazing! Good value as well, so if you ever want to throw a ball around The Meadows and then tuck into some tasty food, there's my recommendation.

Gary Armstrong - What's On Editor

As a fan of whisky, I'd suggest anyone who enjoys Scotland's national drinks makes an essential visit to the new Johnnie Walker Prince Street. Offering a different experience to what you'd find on tours round Scotland's distilleries, as well as the tastings, it's worth a trip to the top floor 1820 bar for beautiful views across the city and a bite to eat.

Away from the city centre, I'd recommend a weekend stroll along Morningside Road with some stop-offs at the many excellent cafes and bakeries in the area - Soderberg has so far been my favourite, but La Barantine, on Bruntsfield Place, is next on the hit list.

Jacob Farr - Reporter

For an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city centre, I'd recommend a visit to Harlaw reservoir.

The scenic environment just south of Currie in the Pentland hills is ideal to take your four-legged furry friend for a walk or paddle.

It has a special place in my heart as it is where I proposed to my fiancée and where I used to spend summers swimming with friends as a teen.

Just remember to brace yourself if you are bracing it for a paddle - it can be a bit nippy.

Kris Gourlay - Reporter

Whilst I wasn't born in Edinburgh, when I moved here in 2016 to study at university, it quickly became my favourite city in Scotland. In terms of scenic and colourful walking destinations, around Holyrood Park and around the crags to Dunspie Loch is one of my favourites as it's right on my doorstep and has the name Duns in it, which is where I'm from.

At risk of embarrassing myself, I've never been to the Pentland Hills, although it is on my to-do list this summer as I like areas with loch's. Gladhouse Reservoir, in Midlothian, is also lovely.

I'm also guilty of sticking to the same spots for food and drink. If you enjoy it, then why not? Scran, in the Old Town, is great, as well as the City Cafe, for a spot of breakfast, and the newly-opened Krema bakehouse, on Leith Walk, is a must-visit if you have a sweet tooth like me.

Katie Williams- Trends Writer

Only ever visiting the city for the Festival Fringe on school trips, I moved to Edinburgh in 2012 from The Highlands, and it completely stole my heart.

My love for theatre and history thrived with the Old Town being my favourite place, and on a day out where I would just walk about, I would always gravitate towards Victoria Street, popping into the boutiques on my way down to the Grassmarket. At the top of Victoria Street, the venue, C Nova pops up during the Fringe and, in my experience, showcases a fantastic collection of theatre.

The colourful buildings and buzz around this corner of Edinburgh has always been exciting for me - even if it is a tourist hotspot.

Down towards Leith, the Lioness of Leith at the foot of the walk was always a popular go-to being just a couple of minutes from my flat, and if you fancy a stroll down the walk, there are plenty of cafes and boutiques to stop off along the way.

Rachel Keenan - Reporter

Moving to Edinburgh in the Summer of 2020 meant that Covid had affected most of my experience in the city. However, Edinburgh and its surroundings have so many green spaces that the move was worth it. I am originally from an area by the sea and was worried about missing the sea when moving to a city. Luckily Portobello Beach is a short bus ride out of the city centre.

I visit Portobello very often and even took up sea swimming when everything closed again over the winter lockdown of 2020/2021. There's nothing better than a stroll along the sand with a hot drink. There's loads of wildlife, too, including birds, crabs, and fish that can be seen in rock pools.

Fish and chips is always better by the sea!

Dayna McAlpine - Trends Editor

Having moved back to Edinburgh after five years in London, Leith - and its community - is where I feel most at home. Moving back to the capital right before lockdown has meant I've connected with my neighbourhood in ways I probably wouldn't have otherwise, and the area's local businesses are some of the best in the whole city.

Nauticus is my local - you'll often find me there propping up the bar with my best pal in tow - but it's so much more than a pub. It's our spot for an after work rant, a celebratory or consolation drink, a quiet wine with a book or for a full week debrief (see: gossip exchange) over packets of McCoys and pints (otherwise known as Leith tapas).

Run by owners and staff who I'm lucky enough to call pals, Nauticus has been a crucial part of my resettlement into Edinburgh life after moving back home.

If you're in the area, dine at Borough, Heron, Eleanore, Bodega, Alby's, Aurora, Domenico's, Matto or Bundits before heading to The Mother Superior, Three Mary's, Old Eastway Tap, Woodland Creatures or Nauticus for a bev - you won't regret it.

John Gillespie- Trainee Reporter

In the middle of the pandemic, with painfully little to do, a move to Morningside brought me close enough to Blackford Hill to properly consider it for a daily walk.

Safe to say that now it's my go-to walk around the city. Particularly around The Hermitage, it really doesn't feel like it's in the heart of the city. It's quiet, peaceful and has a pretty good wee cafe to get something to drink after your walk.

But the best bit is, obviously, the views. Personally, I think they're better than Arthur's Seat, especially around sunset, so long as you can stand the mass of people who crowd there to take pictures.

Even better are the views at night. Seeing the city lit up, with the castle and waters of Leith in the distance, is pretty special, and it never fails to make me glad I dragged myself out of the flat.

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Dive Deeper:
The Hidden Edinburgh gardens perfect for a weekend relaxing in the sunshine
Edinburgh is rich with parks and green spaces ideal for relaxed strolls and peaceful time with a book or just…
Edinburgh property: Stylish home overlooking Bruntsfield Links hits the market
With spacious bedrooms, a modern kitchen and multiple wood burning stoves the property offers a lot to prospective buyers. But…
Festival stars share their favourite Scottish songs and books
A CROSS-ARTFORM series that will bring together writers and artists to celebrate Scottish literature is set to launch.
We went to the 'lovely' Leeds town so bustling residents don't need the city centre
The high street is busy with places to eat, drink and shop
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
The best Scottish parks to enjoy a picnic or a wander in with the good weather
There are few better places to be when the mercury soars.
I went to Gulliver’s World for first time in 20 years and hoped it wouldn't disappoint my childhood self
After loving the theme park as a child, I was keen to see if it was still a fun day…
Get all your news in one place