I spent 3 days in Edinburgh this summer and didn’t do any of this stuff. Here are my suggestions and I’m not getting paid by the NYT to advertise expensive places. I stayed at an Air BnB for $50 a night, rode the Hop On Hop Off bus and did that whenever I saw something interesting to see. You can see the castle from the bus and get off but I didn’t.
I did get off to see a Scottish wedding at a 500 year old church, in full kilt regalia complete with a bagpiper, went for a great meal in the cafe of that church where I spoke Polish because all the staff were Polish.
Heading home to the bus stop, I passed by the Literary Museum and Robert Burns’s house (went in to both, free),
saw the little dog at Greyfriar’s
and passed the Elephant House cafe where JK Rowling wrote Harry Potter.
BTW, I never planned to see any of this, didn’t even know they were there, I was just heading to the bus stop to go home. Then I dropped into the Royal Oak pub (I did plan to go there) to listen to some music
and got a recommendation where to eat real Scottish haggis (not in this NYT piece).
Arrived home 5 hours later. And that was Day ONE! As for all those romantic sea walks? It rains almost ALL THE TIME, is windy and is never hot! Perfect weather for me. Never saw one person drinking whisky, they all drank beer. Maybe it’s only for tourists because it’s expensive.