Recommendations for Glasgow and Edinburgh?

• Any recommendations for things to do, see or eat in Edinburgh and Glasgow?
• Day trips from either?
• Ideally, how many days to spend in Edinburgh?
• How best to get from Edinburgh to Glasgow?

I ask, because I’ve unexpectedly landed a December sit in Glasgow. I think I’ll fly in early to Edinburgh and sightsee before my sit.


@Maggie8K as you’ve previously mentioned that you enjoy an afternoon tea you can visit the Mackintosh tea rooms designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh and it his last surviving tea rooms, (originally opened in 1903 )

Some more suggestions here


Thanks much, @Silversitters!

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I also enjoyed the art deco in Glasgow

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Edinburgh is my favorite city! My first trip there I had planned to stay for a month and I stayed 3. Then I returned later to stay for 5 months. Then I went again this past January for a month. Since you’ll be there in December go to the Christmas market of course. Hogmanay is great fun too! If you are there then try and get a ticket to be in the torchlight procession and also go to the candlelight concert at St. Giles.

Go to the castle and palace, wander about princes street and the royal mile. I don’t eat out a lot so I can’t really recommend restaurants. But my daughter loves the fish and chips at the pubs. Usher Hall is great if you enjoy classical music and Edinburgh Playhouse for musicals.

If you want to do a day trip or two from either Glasgow or Edinburgh, Rabbie’s Tours are the best. They have wonderful small group tours that go to a number of great destinations. I’m not usually a tour person, but I don’t like to drive in other countries and there are some places in Scotland that are harder to get to without a car. Most of the tours are fairly long so might need to be done before or after a sit.

I haven’t spent much time in Glasgow so can’t say much there, I’m sure others here can.

Have fun!


@systaran, thank you for all of those recommendations!

@ExploreDreamDiscover, that’s great to hear. I happen to love afternoon tea and art deco. Thank you!

Edinburghs Christmas market is amazing, it takes place in a beautiful park right in the centre, right near the train station. It’s a proper winter wonderland type of feeling with ice rink and hot toddy’s etc, and sparkly lights everywhere.

If you happen to love art, then The Burrell Collection at Glasgow is great, it’s not directly in the centre, but just a short distance out and easy to get to on the bus.

Hope that helps.


Sounds great, @HappyDeb! Thank you!

I too will benin Scotland beginning March 1, my first overseas sits snd my second trip to Scotland. This thread is really helpful. My sit is in Dunbar so not far from Edinburgh so I plan on exploring beforehand and after. My previous trip to Scotland was in 2016 and we only spent time in the Inner Hebrides and the Western Highlands. I’m super excited to return and plan to spend at least a month in Scotland, plus I also have a sit confirmed a few week’s later in Yorkshire.


Check out the awesome Edinburgh Castle, stroll the Royal Mile, and visit Holyrood Palace. For art lovers, the Scottish National Gallery is a must. Oh, and don’t forget to hike up Arthur’s Seat for an amazing view!

In Glasgow, you gotta see Glasgow Cathedral, explore the trendy West End, and hit up the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. Music fan? Catch a show at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall!

For day trips, consider Stirling Castle, Loch Lomond, or the cute town of St. Andrews.

To get from Edinburgh to Glasgow, take a train. It’s fast and easy, around 1 hour or so.

Enjoy your trip and let me know if you need more info! :scotland:


Thank you for all of those tips!

Visit the Johnnie Walker Experience in Edinburgh on Princes St. The National Museum of Scotland is also well worth a visit. Train from Ed to Glasgow quickest form of travel. In Glasgow, visit Kelvingrove and the Burrell Collection.

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Edinburgh remains my favourite city in the whole world, albeit the busiest one! I never tire of seeing Edinburgh Castle, walking around the outside perimeter and through the grounds of the old church around the side. This old church has so many interesting graves and headstones. Also walking around the outer perimeter gives you the full sense of the Castle’s height and mastery of the build.

Walking the Royal Mile and a visit to Holyrood Palace, the official Scottish Residence of His Majesty The King is wonderful, as is St Giles Cathedral, built in the 14th century. Inside is incredible.

Another thing I loved was visiting the Royal Yacht Brittania, which you can actually go on. The yacht of Her late majesty, Queen Elizabeth the 11 and other royals. Very interesting. @Maggie8K I know you stayed on the Queen Mary so you would probably love this. Being a Royalist I certainly did!

I think you will love Edinburgh far more than Glasgow, both cities are chalk and cheese. Glasgow is ok, it’s more industrial, but Edinburgh is stunning and the history is just overwhelming everywhere you look. You need two days AT LEAST IMO to see Edinburgh.
You can walk for miles and miles and your jaw won’t stop dropping the whole time :laughing:

Train from Glasgow to Edinburgh is best. It takes you right smack bang into the heart of Edinburgh and it’s quick. Everything is within walking distance pretty much from there. Take good walking shoes! Discover all the nooks and crannies and alleyways that are everywhere. This is where the magic is. Food everywhere, you will be spoilt for choice.

Another nice day trip from Glasgow is to get the ferry over to the Island of Bute, lovely wee Scottish island. Township of Rothesay. Visit Mount Stuart (Google it, amazing history and inside is mind-blowing) Hop on Hop off bus will take you everywhere. Lovely island I have spent months on. King Charles was the Duke of Rothesay and now Prince William is.

Do I love Edinburgh? After three visits, you bet your sweet bippy I do!


I came to Edinburgh more than a week ahead of a THS sit starting in Glasgow, with time to sightsee leisurely. After only my first day, I already love Edinburgh.

Yesterday, I wandered about on foot without any itinerary and happened on various beautiful sights, including Greyfriars Bobby’s statue and the church and lovely cemetery. Greyfriars Bobby - Wikipedia

I serendipitously ended up having afternoon tea here: It was one of the best tea experiences I’ve enjoyed worldwide. It was beautifully decorated for Christmas and they played holiday instrumentals. The food was delicious and I lingered over three pots of tea, because they didn’t rush you.

I also walked to the Christmas market, which was wonderful, especially with the beautiful scenery in the backdrop. Later had terrific fish and chips, sticky toffee pudding and an unexpectedly well-made negroni. On my way, I ended up outside the castle, which I’ll visit during my stay.

Today, I’ll probably do a hop on, hop off bus tour, to get the lay of the land. And must have some whisky, because Scotland, LOL.

This was the second tray, following the savory tray of treats!

Christmas market:

Tried haggis in spring rolls, which wasn’t to my taste, LOL, but I like trying things.


Thanks much for all of your recommendations, @ziggy! I can certainly see why you love Edinburgh. Such a beautiful, romantic city. Such nice people, too!


The free walking tours in Edinburgh — there’s one of the old city and one of the modern city are fab. You are expected to tip the tour guides. The writers museum with exhibitions of Sir Walter Scott, Robert Burns and Robert Lewis Stevenson is wonderful too.

I second the suggestion of Rabbie’s tours. I took one from Glasgow that went to Glencoe, Glenfinnan Viaduct, Loch Lomond, Mallaig and went through but didn’t stop in Fort William (disappointed as wanted to see more of it). Next time I do this I’ll take a motion sickness med. Gorgeous scenery.


Thanks for all of the recommendations, @mars!

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I took the ScotRail from Edinburgh Waverley Station to Glasgow Central Station for £14.70. It took 1.5 hrs as it’s a commuter train not a high speed train. Enjoy Scotland!

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I’m loving all the love for Edinburgh @Maggie8K - it’s the city where I was born!

I think everyone’s given you the recommendations I’d have given you, but if you’d like a little sea air, I’d recommend getting a bus out to Portobello beach. I think it’s the number 26 that heads out that way from Princes Street. It’ll be chilly, but it’s a lovely walk on a sunny day, and there’s a few cafes along the way as well.

Hope to see you sharing more of your trip!


@Maggie8K I’m so jealous! I’m tentatively planning to go back to Edinburgh in the spring. Enjoy your time there!