Going to the capital of Scotland? Discover 3 day trip options to do from Edinburgh

Edinburgh is indeed one of the most charming cities in the UK. Full of attractions, the capital of Scotland breathes history and architecture, characteristics that attract tourists from the four corners of the world. 

If you are going to the Scottish capital with time and would like to know other interesting destinations in the country, check out our travel tips from Edinburgh that can be done in a 1 or 2 day day trip, with tips on attractions, restaurants and accommodation .

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Return from Edinburgh 


Return from Edinburgh

Return from Edinburgh. Photo: Giorgio Trovato / Unsplash

Contrary to what many people think, the biggest city in Scotland is not Edinburgh, but Glasgow. 

The port city is just 1 hour from the Scottish capital and stands out for housing an imposing architectural ensemble in Victorian and Art Nouveau styles. Another highlight is its incredible cultural hub with several street artists, graffiti, museums and dance and theater performances. 

If you like music, you can't miss King Tut's Wah Wah Hut, a fun venue that has hosted bands such as Oasis, Radiohead and The Killers.

Glasgow has also gained notoriety for being the second most important shopping center in the UK, after London. A great opportunity to shop around the UK, huh?

To get to the city, tourists can choose between traveling by train or bus, both leaving close to the historic center of the city.

Things to do in Glasgow:

  • historic center 
  • George Square 
  • Buchanan Street 
  • Glasgow Cathedral 
  • Gum
  • Riverside Museum 
  • west end 

Must-see restaurants: 

  • Dakota Bar and Grill 
  • Gaius Bruch 
  • bilson eleven 

Where to stay:

  • The Z hotel 
  • Leonardo Inn
  • Youth Hostel


Return trip from EdinburghPhoto: Wikimedia Commons

Located further north of the country, Aberdeen is close to the famous Highlands, providing great walks in the middle of nature. For not being part of traditional script of tourists visiting Scotland, Aberdeen offers a very immersive cultural exchange, making it possible to get to know the routine of Scottish cities that are not crowded with tourists.

The third largest city in the country has been affectionately nicknamed "Granite City" for housing numerous buildings built with this type of rock, such as the formidable building of Marischal College, considered the second largest built with this type of material.

The city is also home to one of Scotland's main fishing ports, a feature that directly influences the local cuisine. To taste the typical flavors of this region, be sure to visit the fish market. The place houses several eateries with a wide variety of seafood dishes.

Aberdeen can be accessed directly from Edinburgh in an approximate 2h30 journey.

Things to do in Aberdeen:

  • Great Hall
  • painted gallery
  • Duthie Park
  • Aberdeen Art Gallery
  • Andrew's Cathedral
  • Aberdeen Maritime Museum

Must-see restaurants:

  • Moon Fish Coffee
  • Silver Darling
  • Marcliffe

Where to stay:

  • Altens Hotel
  • Jurys Inn 
  • malmaison 

Highlands and Loch Ness

Return from Edinburgh. Photo: Lewis Parsons / Unsplash

Very popular with tourists arriving in Scotland, these two attractions are certainly among the best tours to do in Edinburgh.

The tour lasts only 1 day and passes through charming and curious landscapes of the country. 

The Highlands, or Highlands, is a mountainous region of Scotland, which was formerly populated by Celtic peoples. If you're looking to find snowy mountains, kilted Scots and the famous cows with bangs, this is the place! 

To end the day, how about visiting the place that gave rise to one of the most famous creatures in the world? Loch Ness became famous in 566 after a missionary reported seeing a gigantic creature there, after which several people reported seeing the same creature for years. Although they never found evidence to prove the theories, the place became very famous and attracts many curious people in search of the gigantic reptile that glides through the waters of the lake. 

What to do:

  • Stirling Castle (Stirling Castle)
  • Rannoch Moor
  • Glencoe (stop)
  • Ben Nevis
  • Fort Augustus (stop)
  • Loch Ness (It is possible to take a separate boat trip on Loch Ness)
  • Loch Laggan
  • Drumochter Pass
  • Forth Rail Bridge

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