Whenever I told people that I would be traveling to Scotland last year, the first thing many of them said was “You’re going to love Edinburgh”. Well guess what? They were all right. I’ve saved the best of our British Isles Cruise for last.

Full of beautiful shops, innovative restaurants, tons of culture, and – of course – loads of history, this city should absolutely be topping your list of places to go in 2019. It’s as charming as it is modern and packed with character. And, I have to say, I was pretty impressed with the ground that we covered in a single day! So here’s your Edinburgh City Guide. You can use it for a quick 24-hour trip, or take each neighborhood on its own! Enjoy!

city view Edinburgh | coco kelley

Like many cities, Edinburgh has its little pockets of neighborhoods that stretch over a few blocks and offer some charming local boutiques, coffee shops, restaurants, and small galleries. We decided that our agenda for the day would be to pop from one neighborhood to the next, wandering in-between to see what we would stumble on! We started off  by heading to Broughton.

shopping and dining on broughton st | edinburgh city guide on coco kelleyold market storefronts in Edinburgh city guide on coco kelleynarcissus flower shop in edinburgh | city guide on coco kelleynarcissus flower shop in broughton | edinburgh city guide on cooc kelley


Shop : Narcissus Flower Shop, Curiouser & Curiouser, Life Story

Sips & Eats : Artisan Roast, Söderburg BakeryFhior

From here, we hung a left on London St. and headed towards a little corner that featured a bakery everyone kept telling us about…

archipelago bakery in Edinburgh - city guide on coco kelley epitome shop in edinburgh - city guide on coco kelley

The Archipelago Bakery was adorable – and packed. Luckily we weren’t quite hungry enough for another bite, so we popped in next door to Epitome, and I dare say this was one of the best shops we discovered on our entire trip. There were also quite a few little antique stores in this area! I was tempted to pop in, but we had so much to do, we decided to keep going towards our next neighborhood stop: Stockbridge.

circle lane in stockbridge Edinburgh city guide on coco kelley

You may not be familiar with this neighborhood, but you’ve no doubt seen photos of its most instagram-worthy Circus Lane. This adorable mews is one of those you dream of working or living in. I noticed that many of the buildings were actually small offices, so now I’m basically dreaming of having a studio here because this neighborhood was by far my favorite.

golden hare bookstore in Edinburgh | city guide on coco kelleygolden hare bookstore in Edinburgh | city guide on coco kelleyinside the golden hare bookstore in Edinburgh

One street over is St. Stephen’s Street, and there you will find the loveliest row of shops and cafes – this neighborhood is worth taking some time to thoroughly explore!


Shop: Bon Tot, Jessica BuckleyGolden Hare Bookshop

Eat: The Pantry, Smith & Gertrude

See: Circus Lane, Stockbridge Market

the old stockbridge market still hosts sunday open air markets | edinburgh city guide coco kelley

As we headed towards the river, we were lucky enough to spot this little restaurant, Smith & Gertrude. One swift look at the menu, and we knew it was our spot! We settled in for some wine tasting and snacks that would help get us through the afternoon.

smith and gertrude in edinburgh is perfect for a midday snack and wine | edinburgh travel guide on coco kelleywine and charcuterie at smith and gertrude restaurant in stockbridge | edinburgh city guide on coco kelleywine tasting and snacks at smith and gertrude | edinburgh city guide on coco kelley

We ordered a wine & cheese pairing and it was soooooo good. We also got quite a few little small bites. I loved that the restaurant was situated right by the river in the most charming, quiet little spot.

smith and gertrude restaurant by the river in Edinburgh | city guide on coco kelley

Refreshed from a little break from walking, we were ready for a stroll down the Water of Leith towards the most enchanting little area in Edinburgh – Dean Village.

water of leith river in edinburgh is a charming walk | city guide on coco kelley

The walk to get there was just as lovely as the destination itself, as you wind along the riverfront before arriving upon these stone houses dating back to the 17th Century.

historical homes in deans village | edinburgh city guide on coco kelleyhistorical homes in deans village | edinburgh city guide on coco kelley

Doesn’t it look like something out of a fairytale!? Just beyond the village is are the Modern Art Museums (Modern One and Modern Two), and I was incredibly bummed that we didn’t have time to check them out, but it was time for more sightseeing!

cairngorm coffee roasters edinburghcairngorm coffee roasters edinburgh

On our way to Princes Street, we stopped for a quick pick-me-up at Cairngorm Coffee, then headed to an area known as Edinburgh Old Town… 

memorials at princes street gardens | edinburgh city guide on coco kelleythe National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh | city guide on coco kelley

It’s not hard to guess what you’ll find in the ‘old town’ neighborhood. Here, Edinburgh Castle looks over the city and is surrounded by extensive grounds. We wandered quickly through the Princes Street Gardens which were both spooky and lovely with old graves and the castle towering over. If you feel so inclined, from here you can walk the Royal Mile, which goes from the Edinburgh Castle up to Parliament. There are also tons of museums and other historical sites to explore! We didn’t have time for them all, so we popped into the National Museum of Scotland to enjoy this view.


See: Edinburgh Castle, Princes Street Gardens, Scottish National Gallery, National Museum of Scotland

Eat: Timberyard Restaurant, Lovecrumbs Bakery,

The fact that we managed to cover so much ground in one day is a testament to how walkable this city is! But with so many charming spots to linger in, I honestly can’t wait to go back and really immerse myself a bit more in Edinburgh and all it has to offer. Next time, I’m sure I’ll be hitting up many more galleries and indulging in some evening dining! Have you been to this fantastic city? I’d love to hear what your favorites are!

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