Food, drinks and bikes: make the most of your Edinburgh adventure!
Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, replete with castles, Victorian cottages, pubs, shorelines and harbours, is one of the best cities in Europe to take a tour. Old Town features Arthur’s Seat, Scottish Parliament and Holyrood Palace, as well as The Elephant House café where JK Rowling penned Harry Potter. New Town boasts spiffy boutiques, a smattering of architectural icons and styles, as well as Calton Hill and the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. Traditionally, the Scottish bring to mind images of whisky and haggis. Modern Edinburgh, however, perseveres as a gourmet coffee hotspot, craft cocktail haven, and oasis of fresh local produce and cheesemaking.
Edinburgh Food Tours
One might venture to say that food tours are the only proper method of exploring Edinburgh.
1. Eat Walk Edinburgh
Eat Walk Edinburgh provides you with an excellent array of tours for your first foray into the city. Choose between the brunch walking tour or the afternoon sightseeing adventure through Old Town and New Town. This tour combines locally-sourced Scottish food, along with tastings of Scottish gin, whisky and beer. It covers your lunch and dinner plans and the tour guide offers maps afterwards. On top of all that, it gives you the opportunity to get a full overview of the city, making it the ideal day-one excursion.
2. Edinburgh Food Safari
Edinburgh Food Safari offers another formidable pair of food tours, hoping to show you around their own neighbourhoods as they would a friend. Tap deep into the historical and bohemian Broughton for a local cheese sampling, haggis, scones, and Argyll smoked salmon. Or go on a breakfast outing that cools off around lunchtime with gin-smoked salmon and Scottish mussels. We highly recommend bandying together at least 5 participants for the Gin Safari. Visit the historic Pickering’s distillery, sip G&Ts with Fever Tree Tonic Water along with gin-smoked salmon.
3. A Wee Taste of Edinburgh
A Wee Taste of Edinburgh concentrates their focus on a single tour, comprising 4 stops at locally-sourced Scottish eateries. Saunter through the two neighbourhoods of Morningside and Bruntsfield for each stop, then to cap things off, toward the drink tasting, and finally, to a centuries-old golfing pub.
4. Red Bus Bistro
Red Bus Bistro caters to romantics, with bus tours featuring gin, tea, and Harry Potter. Each tour takes place concurrently, so you can change gears at any moment aboard the bus. They make several stops, including Waterloo Place, Edinburgh Castle, The Elephant House, and more. For those taking vacation in December, we highly recommend you take advantage of their seasonal Edinburgh Christmas Tour. Dinner is served while you ride the double-decker and you can book the exclusive hire of the bus, too, to dine privately with friends and family.
Edinburgh Whisky and Brewery Tours
As you may have already noticed, good drinks are a big part of Edinburgh culture. Take a tour to get acquainted with where whisky is made – and where to drink it!
5. Little Fish Tours
Little Fish Tours reveals just how big the pond really is, serving free daily tours, a castle tour, a trip to the museum, and a whisky tasting tour. Offering a skip-the-line entry to the castle is one of their main claims to fame. Nevertheless, we encourage you to take on the Whisky and Folklore tour, sampling 4 whiskies from various regions of Scotland. Along the way, their guides regale you with fantastical and historical tales. We truly believe there’s nothing more quintessentially Scottish than that!
6. Edinburgh Expert
Edinburgh Expert is pure dead brilliant. Get thorough footing along the Royal Mile, Old Town and New Town with this walking tour company. We raise our drinks to their top-of-the-line Whisky Tour, however, beginning at the end of the Royal Mile in Old Town. Take a guided tour of the historic Old Town and then indulge in a tasting of select Scotch whiskies. Reservations exclusively upon request, mind you.
7. Scottish Whisky Tours
Scottish Whisky Tours does one thing and exceptionally well. Tour guide Ronnie Berri is a Keeper of the Quaich. He’s specialized in providing these tours to aficionados and the well-to-do alike. Offering whisky tours taking place in a day, two or more, your choice, each reservation is fit to your schedule. Certainly, we must point you towards the 3-day North Highland Tour. Journey through 6 proper distilleries, or combine it with the Speyside Region tour and extend the trip another day longer. We couldn’t put it better ourselves, so we’ll leave it to Ronnie to show you Scotland at large and hope you don’t get bladdered.
8. Scotbeer Tours
Scotbeer Edinburgh Beer & Brewery Tours offer incredible historical insight and hooch to boot! Get up close and personal with brewmasters, receive tutored tastings, and even bring your dog, if you fancy! They offer a history of the city through beer, according to their website. According to us, their most unique offering is The Leith Taproom Tour. This journey takes you down to the shore and through the brewing quarter part of town. Gain exclusive access to local breweries and sample the latest in craft food and drink along the way.
Unique Edinburgh Tours
Here are just a few more ways to discover the city: get a unique perspective from people who have been affected by homelessness, or take part in these free tours and bike tours, too.
9. Tartan Bike Tours
Tartan Bike Tours has a wealth of bike tours geared specifically to your desires. Take on a guided tour, a self-guided tour, or customize a tour for your clan. The self-guided tours are fascinating, offering pre-programmed routes with GPS devices for each cyclist. Their most popular tour is the half-day Auld Reekie Bike Tour takes place along the railways and waterways of yesteryear. The lightly trafficked trip makes available both hybrid bikes and pedal-assisted electric bikes, for a price. If you’re more hardcore, they offer full-day trips, too, that we consider exquisite.
10. Edinburgh Bike Tours
Edinburgh Bike Tours ought to please nearly everybody. They have guided tours of downtown Edinburgh, a water-feature tour, family outings, and the Highlands. The Beyond Edinburgh Bike Tour is our favourite, alas. Eyeball historic buildings on this coast-to-coast trip starting in Leith and ending in Musselburgh district. Make a pitstop or two for coffee along the way and bond with your kindred cyclist folk. For sure, this is not a casual jaunt!
11. Edinburgh Free Tour
The Edinburgh Free Tour is ideal for day trips to the capital. Meet in front of The Royal McGregor whisky bar morning and afternoon for daily departures. See the Castle, the National Museum, the Martyr’s Memorial, the Mercat Cross, and so much more on this two-hour tour. For those with a bit more than money for whisky, however, we wholeheartedly suggest the Loch Ness Tour. Advertising as the best in Scotland in 1 day, we’d have to agree. Depart from Edinburgh with a guided driving tour of Loch Ness, Glencoe, and the Highlands on this unforgettable tour.
12. Invisible Cities – Edinburgh
Invisible Edinburgh offers one-of-a-kind tours by professionally trained locals affected by homelessness. Get the real Scottish perspective on life with tours dedicated to the history of women in Edinburgh, urban sprawl in the Royal Mile, and many more. Our highlight is the History of the Trainspotting Generation Tour, a walking tour based in Leith. Don’t miss this once in a lifetime opportunity to really connect with the city and make an impact for those who need it most.
Be sure to check out our company’s local food tours, too: