Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, is one of Britain's most exciting tourist destinations with a fascinating mix of ancient and modern architecture, plenty of insightful museums and galleries and stunning scenery in a priceless setting. Edinburgh, also called "the Athens of the North", is a vibrant, cosmopolitan city with a great variety of fine restaurants and shops and numerous sights and attractions. But despite being such a great place to explore it is also one of the most expensive places in Britain. That’s why we create this budget-friendly guide to discover Edinburgh without breaking the bank.
Things to do
Edinburgh offers plenty of things to do which are absolutely free of charge.
Head to the famous Royal Mile. It is home to the magnificent Edinburgh Castle, which dominates the skyline of the city and was built on the summit of the castle rock in the early twelfth century. Along the Royal Mile there is also the Palace of Holyroodhouse, which is the Queen’s official residence in Scotland, the iconic St Giles’ Cathedral and the Scottish Parliament building.
Visit the museums and galleries. Edinburgh has a huge range of museums and galleries, which are free to enter. Visit the Museum of Edinburgh, the Scottish National Portrait Gallery or the Writers' Museum without spending a cent.
Climb up Arthur’s Seat. Take in the ruins of St Anthony’s Chapel before the steep climb to the rocky summit with its incredible views.
Recharge your batteries at the beach. Edinburgh city beach, Portobello Beach, retains its traditional seaside charm despite its urban location. Stroll along the promenade and treat yourself with a delicious crepe or ice cream and take a refreshing swim in the water.
Discover Edinburgh’s UNESCO World Heritage Site. Edinburgh's beautiful Old and New Towns have with 4,500 listed buildings the highest concentration of World Heritage Sites in the world.
Cheap (free!) accommodation
Especially during high season hotels in Edinburgh can be very expensive. Even if you don’t stay close to all main attractions room prices tend to be quite high. One great alternative is to arrange a home exchange in Edinburgh. It is a great way to save money and to experience a city with totally different eyes. When arranging a home exchange in Edinburgh you agree to swap homes for a set period of time with another person or family living in Edinburgh. A home swap in Edinburgh is a fantastic opportunity to enjoy your stay and have a really authentic experience and see the city like a true local. Besides enjoying free accommodation, choosing to swap homes brings many additional benefits: you have the space, comforts and luxuries of a real home and, in your exchange partners, you have a fantastic resource of tips and advice.
If you're interested in arranging a home swap in Edinburgh then check out the Home Base Holidays website (www.homebase-hols.com)
With the Lothian Buses you can get pretty much everywhere in the capital and beyond and reach all the main attractions. And with an all-day ticket for only £2.50 it is a total bargain. Plenty of sights are also in walking distance which makes strolls enjoyable.
Eating out during your holidays can get pretty expensive. To save some money and to take a break from the city’s hustle pack up a picnic and relax in Princes Street Gardens. Enjoy stunning views of Edinburgh Castle while eating your lunch. Edinburgh also has plenty of cheap restaurants and pubs, which offer lunch specials.
Looking to arrange a home swap in Edinburgh? How about this...
Award winning, architect designed house with garden in Edinburgh. Minimal, open plan space with polished concrete floor and wood burning stove. 3 beds upstairs one with loft sleeping area and study downstairs.
View this home swap in Edinburgh