A Budget-Friendly Two-Day Edinburgh Itinerary: Where to Stay, Eat, and Explore
This post is in partnership with A&O Edinburgh and Traverse Events.
Edinburgh is an amazing city to visit, and there’s so much to see and do that it can be tough to fit everything in during a short trip, especially if you’re on a budget. That’s why I’ve put together this budget-friendly two-day Edinburgh itinerary – so you can make the most of your time in Scotland’s beautiful capital city!
In this post, I’ll tell you where to stay, what to eat, and what attractions to explore. I’ll also give you some tips on how to save money while you’re there. So let’s get started!
Where to Stay In Edinburgh
If you’re looking for a cheap place to stay in Edinburgh, the best option is probably to find a hostel. There are plenty of them in the city, and they usually have good rates. I highly recommend A&O Edinburgh after staying there recently.
A&O Edinburgh Hostel
Located right in the city centre, A&O is within walking distance to all of the major attractions. It’s also clean, comfortable and great value for money. With the incredibly affordable Bar Fifty located below, it’s also the perfect place to start (or end) your night. If you’re looking for a place to stay in Edinburgh on a budget, this is definitely the place to go!
You can read my full review of A&O Edinburgh here.
Budget Edinburgh Itinerary: Day One
9:00 am – After grabbing breakfast at your hostel bright and early, start your day at Edinburgh Castle. This iconic landmark is well worth a visit, and the views from the top are amazing! As this is a budget itinerary, we don’t recommend a castle tour, but getting up close and personal is still 100% worth it.
10:00 am – Walk The Royal Mile – this famous street is a great place to wander around and take in the sights and sounds of Edinburgh. Make sure to stop at some of at St Giles Cathedral, the Mercat Cross and
11:30 am – Go window shopping on Victoria Street. This street is home to some of the best shopping in Edinburgh, so if you’re looking for a bargain be sure to check it out!
12:00 pm – Have lunch and a drink on Grassmarket. This charming square is a great place to relax and take in the atmosphere. There are lots of great places to eat and drink here, so you’re sure to find something that fits your budget. It’s even home to The Smallest Pub In Scotland!
2:00 pm – Grab an ice cream from Mary’s Milk and then head up to The Vennel Viewpoint. This spot offers amazing views of the city, and is a great place to take Insta photos!
3:00 pm – Wander back to The Royal Mile for an afternoon Ghost Tour! This is a great way to learn more about the city’s dark history and see some of its most haunted spots. There are a number of different places to book, however, we went with Mercat Tours.
6:00 pm – Enjoy magical potion making at The Department of Magic. This awesome themed bar is a lot of fun, and perfect for those who want to let their inner wizard out! At just £13 for one do-it-yourself magic cocktail and a smoking shot, it’s an absolute bargain, too!
8:00 pm – Time for dinner! There are lots of restaurants around and as I know everyone is different, I want you to choose somewhere you’ll like.
Budget Edinburgh Itinerary: Day Two
The second day of my budget-friendly Edinburgh itinerary is just as jam-packed! Start your day with breakfast at your hostel, then head out for a full day of sightseeing.
9:00 am – Make your way to Calton Hill to enjoy the views over Edinburgh. This is a great place to start your day, it only takes 10 minutes to hike and it’s completely free to visit!
11:00 am – Next stop, Greyfriars Kirkyard. This spooky graveyard is said to be haunted by the ghost of a loyal dog, and it’s definitely worth a visit if you’re interested in Edinburgh’s spooky history.
12:00pm – Time for lunch. Edinburgh has some great places to eat, so take your time and find somewhere you like. Candlemakers Row, Victoria Street and Grassmarket are all nearby – as well as Makars Mash Potato bar.
1:30 pm – The first stop on your second afternoon is a little bit of Window shopping on Princes Street. This is the main shopping street in Edinburgh, and it’s definitely worth a wander, even if you’re not planning on buying anything. Make sure to check out the Scott Monument while you’re there!
2:30 pm – Next stop, Princes Street Gardens and Ross Fountain. This is a great place to stop for a bit and take in the beauty of Edinburgh. It also has one of the BEST views of the castle.
3:30 pm – Jump in an Uber to Summerhall for a tour of Pickering’s Gin Distillery. This 1.5 hour-long tour is fascinating and includes a glass of gin and tonic, 4 gins samples and a mini bottle of gin to take home with you. If gin is not your thing, you could try the Scottish Whiskey Experience instead. To book head to their website.
6:00 pm – Brave the 30-minute walk (most of it is flat and downhill) and head to Panda and Son’s for a pre-dinner drink. This quirky little speakeasy is a lot of fun, and perfect for those who want to try something different. It can get pretty busy, so it’s recommended that you book in advance!
7:00 pm – Time for dinner! Again, I’ve left this up to you as I know everyone has different tastes. But if you’re looking for some inspiration, why not check out Stack and Still for some DELICIOUS savoury pancakes!
9:00 pm – The rest of the night is yours to enjoy some of the incredible bars Edinburgh has to offer! I recommend Frankenstein and Hoot The Redeemer, but there are so many incredible options you’ll be spoilt for choice!
So, there you have it! A jam-packed, but budget-friendly two day Edinburgh itinerary on a budget. I hope you enjoy it! Please let me know if you have any questions or if you choose to follow my itinerary in the comments below.