Wednesday, 13 December 2017

5 Mistakes To Avoid When Visiting Edinburgh (From a Local)

Do you ever travel somewhere and afterwards think 'I had a great time but I wish I hadn't done x, y and z'? Sometimes I feel that way and it got me thinking about the sort of mistakes that people would make in Edinburgh. Having lived there for a few years and being raised 20 miles away, I feel like I'm in a pretty good place to give some advice on mistakes that tourists often make that can easily be avoided. So whether you're planning a trip or just like reading travel fails... here we go! 

1. Getting the tram to and from Edinburgh Airport.
Edinburgh's trams opened a few years ago and haven't been met with much happiness from the general public because a) they were expensive and b) the routes appeal to tourists more than they do residents of the city. The trip to the airport on the tram is slightly more expensive than the bus (only £1 but ok) and the journey is the same time. But the buses run 24/7 whereas the trams run only roughly between 6am and 11pm which may not be the best for those early morning/late night travellers. I've heard of people buying a return trip for the trams and then realising that they need to get back to the airport when the trams aren't running and then having to buy another ticket for the bus anyway. 

2. Avoiding haggis.
This traditional Scottish dish is often avoided by tourists because it isn't the most appetizing sounding thing but that's a true mistake! My favourite way to eat haggis is in some sort of fritter - deep-fried smaller bites. Delicious! And if you're vegetarian then you're in luck because veggie haggis is nicer than the real deal. I'd recommend Heads and Tales for haggis bonbons, Whiski Rooms for your traditional meal and Illegal Jacks serve up haggis is your classic Tex-Mex dishes for the brave. Haggis tacos anyone?

Photo by Charlotte
3. Pronouncing 'Edinburgh' incorrectly.
If there's one thing that I've learnt living abroad it's that people don't know how to pronounce Edinburgh correctly so here we go: Edin-burr-uh. It's not pronounced with a hard g on the end like Pittsburgh and the burgh part is not pronounced with an o on the end like the boroughs of New York. 

4. Not having change for the bus. 
Edinburgh bus drivers will not give you change on the bus so unless you want to be paying more than you have to - make sure you have coins. You'll need £1.60 for an adult ticket.  If you want to make the most out of the buses, buy a day ticket for £4.00 and take unlimited trips around the city. You can get anywhere in the city limits on these tickets so make the most of it and head to Portobello or South Queensferry.

5. Umbrellas.
When I first moved to Edinburgh I was a young, naive fresher. On my first day of class it was raining so I thought 'better grab my umbrella'. WRONG. By the time I'd made it to class, I'd given up on the umbrella and I haven't used one in the city since. Edinburgh is a very windy city so you'll be much better off with a good rain jacket to brave Edinburgh's somewhat random weather.

Best of luck with your trip and if you want some recommendations, check out my list of 10 cheap things to do in Edinburgh.

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