Visiting Edinburgh in style is undoubtedly expensive, however with so much natural beauty to explore and our top money saving tips – there is no need to spend a fortune. There are many cheaper options available in Edinburgh and Marco Polo has saved you the hassle of finding them…
The Jazz Bar is more lively than any other club in town. There is free and unplugged music at the groovy cellar from Tuesday to Saturday evenings at the bar’s ‘Teatime Acoustics’ events. It has more of a buzzing and club-like atmosphere after 9pm on weekends when a DJ takes over. Teatime Acoustic Tue–Sat 6pm–8.30pm, Early Gig daily 8.30–11.30pm, Late Night live 11.30pm–3am | 1a Chambers Street | www.thejazzbar.co.uk
Students like to get together to drink and dance in the Silk Nightclub at the West End of the Old Town. Reasonable prices and drinks deals. Closed Mon, Wed, Sun | 26 Kings Stables Road | www.silknightclub.co.uk
The Cumberland Bar is the perfect place to go on a summer evening with its great pub food, eight types of ale and relaxing beer garden. 1–3 Cumberland Street.
There are a large number of hostel beds in Edinburgh. The Belford Hostel in Dean Village is a former church with a house bar, 98 dormitory beds and 7 small rooms. £18 per person per night | 6–8 Douglas Gardens | Tel. 0131 2 25 62 09
The five-star Smartcity Hostel has 630 rooms, all with a bath. It is enormous, completely modern and in the heart of the Old Town. It also has somewhere to store bicycles and luggage. From £12 per person per night | 50 Blackfriars Street | Tel. 0870 892 30 00
The Balmoral Guesthouse is a cheerful, immaculate and inexpensive guesthouse with several large rooms and only ten minutes from the West End. The Victorian house is decorated in a British style with thick carpets and papered walls. A substantial breakfast is also included in the price. 7 rooms | 34 Gilmore Place | Tel. 01312 21 13 31 | www.balmoralguesthouse.co.uk
There are frequent sales on designer products in some shops – you might find a £700 Dolce & Gabbana jacket for as little as £45 at Harvey Nichols on St Andrew Square. Alternatively, simply look around Multrees Walk.
There are some cheap high-street fashion shops in New Town including Primark, New Look, and H&M and more often than not there are bargain sale items too.
There are some fish and chip shops that will make sure you don’t starve after midnight. They serve large portions and are often open until 2am. The Deep Sea opposite the Playhouse Theatre on Calton Hill is one of the best.
The service-industry capital of Scotland has become a good address for eating inexpensively at lunchtime; you can find two-course set meals from £13. There is an especially wide choice around Grassmarket and in Broughton. One of the top restaurants called The Witchery also offers two-course pre or post-theatre meals for £15.
The Olive Branch is a café-restaurant with a post-industrial design and is one of the most popular places to eat in the fashionable district of Broughton. There are very large windows in the restaurant so that customers have a perfect view of the elegant architecture in New Town. The servings are extremely generous and it is a popular place for Sunday brunch. Open daily | 2 Broughton Place | New Town | Tel. 0131 5 57 85 89 | www.theolivebranchscotland.co.uk
Tour of Edinburgh: You will have certainly fallen in love with Edinburgh after this three hour tour of the metropolis. The enthusiastic guides are devoted to Edinburgh and know absolutely everything about the city from haunted houses to inventions and music making. Free tours through the city start at 11am, 1pm and 3pm from Tron Kirk in the High Street. www.getyourguide.com
Secret Festival favourite: Originally, the Festival Fringe was just an offshoot of the Edinburgh International Festival. But for years now visitors have been attracted to the many free comedy and theatre performances. It is considered to be one of the world’s largest cultural events and takes place for three weeks in August. www.edfringe.com
The Parliament building: This visionary construction fits perfectly into the tightly-knit Old Town at the end of the Royal Mile. You can satisfy your curiosity about the cryptic and diverse architecture on a free tour of the building. There are also free tickets available to visit the public gallery on Thursdays, which are very popular and therefore have to be booked in advance (Tel. 0800 092 75 00). April–Oct Mon, Fri 10am–6pm, Tue–Thu 10am–5pm, Sat, Sun 10am–4pm, Nov–March Fri–Mon 10am–4pm, Tue–Thu 9am–7pm | Free Admission | Canongate | www.scottish.parliament.uk
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