In order to get ahead of the crowds, start your day at Edinburgh Castle when it opens at 9.30am to see the Scottish Crown Jewels and Stone of Destiny. Afterwards, you can follow the Royal Mile on foot to explore various quirky shops, pubs, restaurants and narrow closes steeped in history.
If you want to get an idea of what you are seeing as you go, there are a wide range of walking, cycling and bus tours available.
Jump aboard one of the open-top tour buses where the fantastic onboard guides will supply an entertaining and knowledgeable insight into this fascinating city (multi-language tours are available). The buses will allow you to jump on and off at your leisure to visit attractions like the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Edinburgh Dungeon and the Scottish Parliament and provide a great introduction to the city.
There are plenty of cafés and eating places scattered around the city centre for a quick lunch. If you’ve spent the morning in the Old Town area (and you could easily spend several days there), cross North Bridge to the other part of Edinburgh’s World Heritage Site, the Georgian New Town.
Later on, head back to the Royal Mile for a meal in one of Edinburgh’s many international or Scottish restaurants followed by a walking ghost tour.