Year of Young People: A Guide to the 'Edinburgh Experience'

29 March 2018

Students In The Sun

Whether you come by rail or by air when travelling to Scotland's beautiful capital city, it's easy to get right into Edinburgh's stunning city centre where you're in easy reach of some of the very best of what Edinburgh has to offer.

This guide will help you get ready for your adventure and make the most of your time here. The city is compact, and everywhere is within comfortable walking distance, however terrific bus and trams links are also readily available. 

So grab your friends, grab your coat, let's go.

Food Experiences


An affordable Scottish hog roast place, whole slices of slow roasted pork served in a bun, deliciously simple, a mouth-watering stop on the Royal Mile.

82 Canongate, Royal Mile, Old Town, Edinburgh

07771 968233

Website >


A vegan-friendly restaurant where you can build your own pizza from scratch, choosing each element before it goes in the oven for baking. A big student favourite!

Charlotte Lane, EH2 4QZ Edinburgh

0131 285 5940

Website >

The Cellar Door

Cellar Door

An authentic Scottish restaurant featuring delicious Scottish cuisine. All beers and single malt whiskies on the menu are locally sourced and staff are happy to give you an experience of Scottish tastes (including the national delicacy of Haggis, Neeps and Tatties) you won’t forget.

44-46 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1EJ

0131 226 4155

Website >


Casual late night chicken wings to die for in a quirky unique setting. Including themed tables including Star Trek, Star Wars and Doctor Who. Over 100 types of chicken wings under £5. Chance to win your place on the ‘wall of flame’ – if you can survive the secret sauce.

5-7 Old Fishmarket Close, Edinburgh EH1 1RW

0131 629 1234

Website >


Something for everyone! A world buffet where you can fill up. Including British, Teppanyaki, Mexican, Sea food and Indian. Live cooking demonstrations and a never-ending array of dishes will keep every eater happy.

The Theme Bar, Omni Centre, Greenside Place, Edinburgh EH1 3AA

0131 557 0808

Website >

South Bridge 

Located just off of the Royal Mile which boasts many takeaways and restaurants open in the wee hours of the morning. Some of the best late night food in town.


Drink Experiences

Please Don’t Tell

A funky retro arcade and movie themed bar/nightclub. Enter in through a phone box to be greeted by cocktails for a fiver and a light-up dancefloor. Great memories to be made.

23B Shandwick Place, West End, Edinburgh EH2 4RJ

0131 228 5549

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Atik Nightclub

Cav Cr Facebook Page

Located in the Tollcross area, Atik (commonly known as Cav to locals) is a great night club to dance in the daylight hours. The club also featured in Edinburgh film T2 Trainspotting and may well feature the most famous toilets in cinema. Be sure to visit the upstairs dancefloor which never fails to play the cheesiest pop classics and gets everyone singing.

3 West Tollcross, Edinburgh EH3 9BP

0131 228 3252

Website >

A Grassmarket Pub Crawl 

The Grassmarket is a quaint area just off the Royal Mile which is definitely worth a visit. Pubs like Biddy Mulligans, The Beehive Inn and The Black Bull are all known locally for their lively atmosphere and live music, which provide the perfect setting to meet with friends and relax after a busy day of exploring.

Biddy Mulligans,

94-96 Grassmarket, Edinburgh EH1 2JR

0131 220 1246

Website >

The Beehive Inn,

18-20 Grassmarket,

Edinburgh EH1 2JA

0131 225 7171

Website >

The Black Bull,

12 Grassmarket, Old Town, Edinburgh EH1 2HY

0131 225 6636

Website >


Frank Cocktails

Not your average bar, come to see Frankenstein’s monster come alive with great deals on cocktails, a weekly pub quiz and free comedy shows during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

26 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1EN

0131 622 1818

Website >


Shopping Experiences

Princes Street 

Of course Princes Street is teeming with high street brands, it’s a shop-a-holic’s dream to spend an afternoon floating between the nation’s favourite clothing shops. Luckily enough, in Edinburgh you get to do your retail therapy with a view of the famous Scott Monument. Don't forget to wander off down some of the connecting streets such as Hanover Street (Where you'll find one of the secret bar experiences discussed later, Hoot the Redeemer) and George Street. So much to be discovered.

Vintage shopping

Shop Display

Find something unique in some of Edinburgh’s beloved vintage institutions.  Shopping in stores like Armstrong’s Vintage and Godiva will have you the belle of the ball in no time with Singer sewing machine artistry and hidden treasures for both women and men galore! Edinburgh’s vintage shops promote a quirky local alternative to Princes Street stores.

Armstrong’s Vintage,

81-83 Grassmarket, Edinburgh EH1 2HJ

0131 220 5557

Website >


9 West Port, Edinburgh EH1 2JA

0131 221 9212

Website >

Grassmarket Goodies

Grassmarket Market Cr Greater Grassmarket

Home to a numerous unique and bespoke clothing, food and trinket stores, each with a local story to tell. Don't be afraid to ask.


Beautiful Walking Experiences

Arthurs Seat 

Arthurs Seat

Escape the hustle and bustle to see a breath-taking view of Edinburgh city in its entirety. A moderate hike up this extinct volcano – which last erupted around 240 million years ago -  will show you a view of the castle like no other.

Leith Shore

Just a short bus ride or walk down Leith Walk will lead you to see “the sunshine on Leith”, the docks make for a picturesque stroll and offer a wealth of shore-side bars and restaurants if you want to experience the peaceful side of Edinburgh.

Dean Village 

Water Of Leith Plantlife

A must-see for both locals and tourists. The 19th century Bucolic village features the tranquillity of the Water of Leith winding through it, accompanied by many photo opportunities.

Royal Mile

A cobbled street running through the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town will lead you to discover many shops and museums, as well as give you the opportunity to explore the many hidden gems and closes of the oldest part of the city.


Affordable Experiences

National Museum of Scotland

National Museum Of Scotland Roof Terrace

A great day out for all interests and costs nothing – although a small donation is always appreciated! You can travel through space and history as you journey through the interactive exhibits. (Get a great view of Edinburgh Castle and the city from the museum balcony – the perfect backdrop for photographs.)

Chambers Street, Edinburgh EH1

0300 123 6789

Website >

Going down the rabbit hole 

A free drag night at LGBT bar CC Blooms’ every Tuesday. See the capital’s most famous and glorious drag queens perform classic sing-a-long songs – and maybe even get involved yourself to “lipsync for your life”.

23-24 Greenside Lane, Leith Walk, Edinburgh EH1 3AA

0131 556 9331

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Scottish Public Ceilidh at Ghillie Dhu  

Cafe Ceilidh

Every Friday and Saturday night for only £7. Get your kilt and bagpipes out and get ready for a whirling time. Amazing opportunity to experience real Scottish Culture and folk dancing.

2 Rutland Place, Edinburgh EH1 2AD

0131 222 9930

Website >


Experiences you’ll never forget

Calton Hill

Calton Hill Panorama

 A scenic must see, just off princes street sits an amazing view of princes street, watch the busy shop go-ers rush around below on the peaceful grassy slopes. Another great oppertunity for pictures here but more importantly a picnic.

Silent Adventures Edinburgh

A once-in-a-lifetime experience that you’ll never forget. Dance around Edinburgh’s most exciting landmarks in a silent disco tour for only £12pp, you can get your tickets at

Visiting one of Edinburgh’s secret bars 

Why not grab a boozy ice cream at ‘Hoot the Redeemer’ just 5 minutes’ walk from Waverley Train Station, and enjoy it in Princes Street Gardens. Or go for a cocktail at ‘Panda and Sons’ - a fabulous bar disguised as a barber shop to the unknowing passer-by. Both offer amazing pictures for your social media to share the secret among your friends.

Greyfriars Courtyard and Edinburgh's 101 Objects

Greyfriars Bobby

This may be a strange suggestion to visit a graveyard as a fun experience – however this is no ordinary grave yard! While some of the stones date back as early as the 16th century, more notably it’s a must-do for any Harry Potter enthusiast, it‘s here you can go and hunt the famous character’s graves where J K Rowling found inspiration for her most famous villain; Mr Tom Riddle.

Along with this, on route to the yard you’ll meet a wonderfully charming little statue of a dog named ‘Bobby’, he’s a dog of the people, voted number 101 on our celebratory list of Edinburgh’s 101 Objects.

Check out Bobby's story, and see all of the objects here > 


Find out more exciting experiences you can have in Edinburgh at our What's On Section >                  

                                                                                                Created by Mel Fraser