Edinburgh is Scotland’s capital city and it is known for its incredible architecture, history, and cultural events. Famous for being the UNESCO ‘City of Literature’, this extraordinary place has so much to offer, especially for couples. Whether planning your dream honeymoon or just a romantic getaway, you won’t run out of things to do in Edinburgh for couples. From enjoying a drink in one of the city’s many bars to relaxing on the beach, there’s something for everyone.
So let’s dive in so you can make the most of your romantic trip together.
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Table of Contents
The Best Things to Do in Edinburgh on a Couples Trip
1. Relax on Portobello Beach
Portobello Beach is just a short bus ride away from the city center. It’s located in the coastal suburb of Portobello which is home to a charming promenade, several restaurants, and a Victorian swimming pool.
Edinburgh can get pretty busy, so Portobello Beach is the perfect place to just kick back and relax. Here, you can head out for a swim, relax on the sandy shores, or take a romantic stroll along the promenade.
You’ll also want to visit Civerinos Slice as this place serves the most delicious pizza. Opt for takeout; you can enjoy it on the beach while watching the sunset.
2. Wander around Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh Castle is one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions and it’s not hard to see why. It’s set right in the center of Edinburgh and is one of Europe’s oldest fortified places, as the castle is estimated to be over 900 years old.
You’ll find plenty of things to do in Edinburgh for couples, but learning about this castle’s history should be at the top of your list.
There are audio guides available when visiting Edinburgh Castle, or you’ve got the option of heading there with a guide. Many tours include a fast-track ticket too, so you’ll be able to skip the line.
3. Hike up to Arthur’s Seat for sunset
There’s nothing more romantic than watching a sunset together, and Arthur’s Seat is one of the best places in Edinburgh for this!
Arthur’s Seat is the highest point in Holyrood Park and is actually an ancient volcano. From here, you’ll be treated to panoramic city views, which are best enjoyed at sunset, one of the most romantic times of the day.
It takes around an hour to reach Arthur’s Seat so make sure you time your hike accordingly. There are a couple of routes up, but starting from Holyrood Palace is a popular option.
No matter which route you take, just don’t miss out on this experience!
4. Visit Camera Obscura and World of Illusions
You’ll find plenty of things to do in Edinburgh for couples, with Camera Obscura being a great option. Home to five floors and over 100 illusions, this is the perfect place to visit if you’re after a fun activity together.
Camera Obscura is a must for any Edinburgh itinerary as there are so many awesome attractions here. This includes a mirror maze, interactive 3D cityscapes, and a variety of illusions.
While at Camera Obscura, you’ll want to visit the rooftop terrace too. From here, you’ll get jaw-dropping views of Edinburgh, including the Royal Mile, the castle, and the Firth of Forth.
5. Relax at one of Edinburgh’s quirky bars
If you’re looking to enjoy some quality time together and reminisce on your trip, then make sure you head to some of the city’s funky bars.
As you can see, there are plenty of options so why not do a bit of a bar crawl during your time in the city?
6. See the inspiration for Harry Potter
As many Harry Potter books were written in Edinburgh, it would be rude not to embrace the wizarding world during your stay.
Some of the best places to visit include The Elephant House (which was the birthplace of Harry Potter), Greyfriars Kirkyard, and Victoria Street. There are also plenty of wizard-themed activities that you can do together.
This Harry Potter guided walking tour lasts 2 hours and will take you to some of the locations that inspired JK Rowling. You’ll also be split into a wizarding house and will have a quiz, where you can win points for your team.
7. Explore the area of Grassmarket
Grassmarket is one of the most charming areas of the city, and it’s the perfect place to take a stroll together. It’s located within Edinburgh’s old town so the architecture is incredible, and you’ll be just a short walk from the Royal Mile.
You’ll also find a variety of unique craft stores here, making this area the perfect place to visit if you’re after a souvenir or two.
8. Enjoy afternoon tea in Edinburgh
If you’re after a cozy activity then why not enjoy afternoon tea as a couple? This is an especially great activity on a rainy day, and as you’re in Scotland, there will be plenty of them.
You can even have afternoon tea at Edinburgh Castle if you’re after a more unique experience, or opt for the Red Bus Bistro, where you’ll get to enjoy city views while you dine.
9. Head out on an underground ghost tour
There are plenty of fun things to do in Edinburgh for couples, but why not head out on a spooky underground tour too?
What you may not know about this city, is that there are underground vaults located below Edinburgh, and these date back to the 18th century. In fact, many of these vaults are thought to be haunted, so be prepared for a bit of adrenaline!
This underground ghost tour lasts just over an hour and allows you to explore the city’s underground vaults, Greyfriars Kirkyard, and the Old Town’s hidden alleyways. You’ll also get to hear about some of Edinburgh’s haunting ghost stories.
10. Explore Dean Village
Dean Village is one of Edinburgh’s most charming areas and isn’t a place to be missed. This area is located just five minutes from Princes Street, along the Water of Leith.
Some of the buildings here date back to the 1800s, with this area originally being home to a variety of mills. As such, you’ll find some awesome mill stones and stone plaques throughout this part of the city.
Dean Village is the perfect place to visit if you’re looking for a relaxing stroll, as this way, you can appreciate the striking architecture. You’ll also find plenty of places to visit in the nearby area including the National Galleries of Scotland.
11. Have a picnic at Calton Hill
Calton Hill is one of the most popular places to visit in the city and is the perfect spot for a romantic picnic, especially if you get a clear day.
It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site and from here, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of Edinburgh. For the best experience, try to time your visit with sunset, as the colors will take your breath away.
While exploring Calton Hill, take some time to visit some of the area’s popular attractions such as the National Monument, the City Observatory, and Nelson’s Monument.
Just be aware that this place can get pretty busy if the weather is pleasant!
12. Go on a sightseeing cruise
You’ll find plenty of romantic things to do in Edinburgh for couples, but one of the best activities is heading out on a sightseeing cruise.
Thanks to the city’s location, you can explore the Firth of Forth on a cruise, which is quite relaxing.
This Firth of Forth sightseeing cruise lasts for 1.5 hours and will offer you scenic views of three bridges, the city skyline, and Inchcolm Island. You’ll also have onboard commentary during the tour, so you’ll get to learn about Edinburgh and the surrounding area as you go along!
13. Head to the Scotch Whisky Experience Tour
There’s nothing more Scottish than trying some of the country’s whisky. Whisky distillation has been taking place in Scotland since 1494, and there are lots of popular brands to choose from.
Luckily, there are plenty of awesome whisky tours in Edinburgh! One of the most popular options is Holyrood Distillery, although there are plenty of other choices too.
This scotch whisky tour lasts for around an hour and includes a guided tour, whisky tasting, and you’ll get your own crystal tasting glass, so you’ll have a cool souvenir.
14. Try a chocolate-making class
There are many unique things to do in Edinburgh for couples. However, if you’ve got a sweet tooth, then here’s the perfect activity for you!
This chocolate-making class lasts for 1.5 hours and includes an interactive tour, where you’ll get to learn all about the Aztec history of chocolate. You’ll also get to sample a variety of chocolates, including spicy chili and whisky-infused choccies.
Not only that, but you’ll get to make your own personalized bar of chocolate with your favorite flavors, so you’ll have the perfect souvenir. It won’t take up too much time from your itinerary either!
15. Relax in Princes Street Gardens
No trip to Edinburgh is complete without wandering around Princes Street Gardens. These gardens are some of the most beautiful in the city, and it’s certainly worth spending an hour or two relaxing here.
Princes Street Gardens have been around since 1820 and cover an impressive 37 acres. Overlooking the gardens is Edinburgh Castle, and you’ll get fantastic views of this iconic landmark from below.
There’s also a cafe within the gardens if you’re looking to pick up a small bite to eat or a drink. Or this is another great picnic spot if you’re on a budget!
Author Bio: Jack and Abbie are an adventure-loving couple with a passion for travel. They are the content creators behind A Couples Calling. Throughout the years, they’ve hiked in the Indian Himalayas, explored the Amazon Rainforest, and swam with sharks in Sri Lanka. *Photo credits for Portobello Beach, Edinburgh Castle, Arthurs Seat, and the Princes Street Gardens are attributed to them.