The Ultimate Edinburgh Bucket List

Prepping your Edinburgh bucket list ? We think it sounds like a pretty great idea to us…

Whether you prefer architecture or artisan crafts, a cup of coffee or a dram of whisky, or even just a scenic hike, there is everything you could ever want (plus lots more) here. With so much to do, we thought we’d help you out by collecting suggestions from guests and our very own team of staff members to help forge the ultimate Edinburgh Bucket List.

Check it out below…

Edinburgh’s… Hiking

Edinburgh Bucket List - CoDE Pod Hostels

– Arthur’s Seat is an extinct volcano dating back 2,000 which has unbeatable views across the city. You’ve probably heard of it before (and for good reason). 10/10 photo opportunity.

– Corstorphine Hill is the peak of one of Edinburgh’s most charming woodland walks. Head along for some of Scotland’s famous fresh air.

– If you’re looking to stay close to the city centre, head for the trail of Calton Hill. If you reach the top, there are even Athenian acropolis ruins waiting for you.

– For an easier, more relaxed climb we recommend Blackford Hill. Take as long as you want for your stroll to the top but when you get there, you’ll definitely want to check out the Royal Observatory and add some astronomy to your trip.

– Pentland Hills, at the south of the city, covers 50 square miles of hills and is home to nine reservoirs. Slightly outside of Edinburgh but still reachable by public transport, it offers a quiet hike away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Edinburgh’s… Food & Drink

– For THE most delicious vegan cinnamon rolls and bagels, it’s got to be The Bearded Baker. It also opens its doors to our four-legged friends too, so really it’s a no-brainer?

– It was the first shop in Glasgow’s city centre to roast its own coffee and now Gordon Street Coffee has brought its perfectly-crafted blend to Market Street in Edinburgh. If you’re a coffee connoisseur and want your caffeine fix, this is absolutely where you want to go.

– Head underground to our vaults at The CoURT for a unique beer tasting experience which will give you the opportunity to try local ales and get to know your fellow travellers.

– Established in 1968 and found on a cobbled street in the heart of Edinburgh’s City Centre, Hendersons Restaurant went vegan in 2015 and hasn’t looked back since. Visit for some wholesome yet delicious food which is made using fresh, local and organic ingredients.

– If you’re a Harry Potter fan in need of a caffeine fix, head to The Elephant House where JK Rowling penned the wizarding world over coffee and cake.

– Enjoy your food and drink with a view of the famous Edinburgh Castle and head to Cold Town House in the Grassmarket. With pizza, prosecco and craft beer, there really is something for everyone. Just be sure to get their early to reserve your spot (and a blanket) as their rooftop bar gets busy quickly and doesn’t take reservations.

– If you fancy getting off the beaten track, you’ll want to head to Panda & Sons. Designed to look like a barbershop, you’ll be disappointed if you go in looking for a fresh cut but on the upside, you will discover one of the city’s best hidden cocktail bars so we think it’s a pretty good substitute…

– Dreamt about going to Hogwarts? Close your eyes at The Dog House and sip on a butterbeer and it will feel like you are!

– Hoot The Redeemer is another secret bar in Scotland’s capital city. If you enjoy unusual decor and obscure cocktails, this is where you want to be. If you’re feeling brave, you can even have a claw arcade machine pick your next drink. Think Insta photo opportunity x100.

Edinburgh’s… Sightseeing

Edinburgh Bucket List - CoDE Pod Hostels

– We are very proud to say that The National Museum of Scotland is in the top 20 of the most visited museums and galleries in the world. So, why not add a little science and history to your visit? We promise you won’t regret it.

– Take a walk along the infamous Royal Mile and soak in the atmosphere of the capital city. And hey, if you fancy a rest or a freshen up before heading out to explore more, our very own The CoURT is located here – perfect!

– You may have already seen Edinburgh Castle while climbing Arthur’s Seat or enjoying a drink and some food in the Grassmarket, but it’s still absolutely crucial that you see it up close and personal.

– Take a walk in the beautiful Princes Street Gardens.

– Visit Greyfriars Kirkyard, a 16th-century cemetery that is one of the oldest in Edinburgh. Not only does this place have a really interesting history, it’s also somewhere JK Rowling visited for inspiration when writing Harry Potter. Wander among the graves to see if you can spot the headstone of Thomas Riddell and you may also find the surnames of Gryffindor’s Head of House…

– Experience Edinburgh Fringe Festival – it needs no explanation why…

– Wander along Victoria Street – one of the city’s most famous (and photogenic) spots – and take a photo with a backdrop of colourful buildings and cobbled streets. There are also a variety of quirky independent shops if you fancy treating yourself too.

– Immerse yourself in nature at the Royal Botanical Gardens.

– Whether you want to be educated, entertained or a tiny bit spooked, the city has a number of tours you will want to tick off your bucket list. Personally, we recommend The Real Mary King’s Close. On this tour, you will discover what it was really like for the people who lived, worked, and died on the Close as you wind through narrow underground passageways which are hidden below the city.

How many do you think you’ll be able to tick off our Edinburgh Bucket list?

Image sources: Photo 1 and Photo 2.