• Elaine Mendoza

Edinburgh, A Priceless Experience On A Budget


Edinburgh is a city for the dreamers, the artists, the writers, the poets, and the foodies.  Whether it’s the castle that strikes your interest or stories of the nearby Loch Ness Monster, it has something for YOU.  Scotland’s capital city deserves long walks not just on its famous Royal Mile but to explore the World Heritage sites on both the Old Town and New Town. Whether you are visiting the Fringe Festival in August or the Winter Festivals, this city has enough culture and heritage to keep you in awe of this enchanting city.    However, traveling in a country with British pounds scares a lot of travelers and it does not have to be this way.  Below are some pointers on making your trip to Edinburgh an affordable one.

Affordable housing:    Are hostels something that scare you because you get visions of drunken late night visitors and noisy backpackers?  Think again. The Castle Rock Is right beneath the castle and close to all major attractions.  The best part is that you do not have to stay in a dorm room. They have private accommodations starting at only 45 pounds!  Does this look like a hostel to you? It is more like a private castle on your budget.

Budget Friendly Eating: Edinburgh has enough variety and budget friendly places for your palette.  The following three places caught my attention not just for the excellent food, but thrifty enough to not make you feel afraid to visit a country with British pounds:

Oink is a sandwich shop that serves all things pork.  Imagine Latin-American chicharrones (pork rinds) meets South Carolinian pulled pork and together they create this yummy quick stop for your crispy yet juicy pleasure.  I would suggest going earlier in the day to get the freshest product possible.


Rocksalt How about lunch for less than 5 GBP?  Away from the tourist path, go to Rocksalt where you can get a homemade soup and Sandwich deal for $4.50 GBP.   Cairngorm Coffee:  Fish and Chips are predictable when you visit the U.K., but is healthy eating your priority? Head to Cairngorm Coffee for a menu that will keep you coming back.  From Turmeric lattes to a grilled cheese with a sweet chili jam that will make your eyes pop out in anticipation, a must stop for healthy food that doesn’t taste healthy.


Museums:   Head to The Writers’ Museum, The Scottish National Portrait Gallery, and The National Museum of Scotland.  You can literally spend a whole day full of art and culture and not pay a penny.

Writer's Museum

Elephant House: A Harry Potter Fan?  Why not head to The Elephant House and sit in the back room to see the physical space where J.K. Rowling once started writing Harry Potter.  To add to the experience, why not get scones and tea to spark your own creativity while looking out the window with views of Edinburgh castle?

Free Walking Tours:  Speaking of Harry Potter, take an excellent Free Walking Tour of Edinburgh,  which dedicates a part of the tour to Harry Potter fans as well as history enthusiasts. Is it possible the George Heriot School inspired Hogwarts?

Don’t forget to tip them!  If history is not really your thing, there are ghost tours, pub crawls, free tastings of Whisky if that is more to your liking. In addition, hiking Arthur’s Seat or Castle Hill is an experience to remember for those that like to incorporate physical activities as part of their trip. The city is so beautiful that it actually makes you look good too! I mean, I do not look like this every single day of my life. Everything is better in Edinburgh. Even you!

Search for Nessie The Loch Ness Monster:   Finally, no trip to Edinburgh would be complete without your personal visit to find the Loch Ness monster.  Timberbush Tours offers incredible value for a full day trip to the Highlands, Glencoe and Loch Ness.  Loch Ness is the largest body of water in Britain by volume. In other words, all the lakes and rivers of Wales and England could fit in it.  For this reason, “Nessie”, its most elusive inhabitant has been seen since the 6th century. The trip is only 42 pounds if reserved online or 40 pounds at concession.  Take a trip and maybe you will meet this monster eye to eye on your next visit.


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