Romantic things to do in Edinburgh, Scotland – a complete guide to the best activities for couples (plus where to eat and stay).
When you think of romance, Paris always comes first to mind. It’s hard to beat the sparkling lights of the Eiffel Tower, the sunsets over Champs-Élysées and, of course, the famous French cuisine. However, the City of Light wins the first place only if we talk about a modern romance.
If you look for chivalry and a medieval kind of romance, there is only one place to go – Edinburgh. I’ve always wanted to visit Edinburgh, because of its haunted look. Still, I was quite surprised how romantic is the city in fact.
The city pulls you out of reality and takes you back to a medieval world, full of enchanting castles, kings and everlasting love. It’s a perfect choice not only for a romantic getaway but also for a honeymoon.
Romantic hotels in Edinburgh to stay
Often, a hotel can make or break your trip. This is especially true when it comes to a romantic vacation. To have a truly romantic weekend in Edinburgh, check out these three fabulous hotels in the heart of the city.
The Principal Charlotte Square – Well priced luxury
The Principal Edinburgh Charlotte Square is a posh hotel that everyone should experience at least once. The outstanding design is elegantly modern with touches of Scottish charm. It’s a perfect place to stay for couples.
9.2/10 Rating – See hotel images and 1,270+ guest reviews
The Witchery by the Castle – Best rated
The Witchery by the Castle is the most lavishing and romantic hotel in the city. This is the number one place to stay if you look for a special trip or a honeymoon. Located in the heart of medieval Edinburgh, the hotel features unique indulgent suites that will satisfy even the most capricious taste.
9.5/10 Rating – See hotel images and 240+ guest reviews
The Balmoral Hotel – Classical luxury
This 5-star luxury spa hotel is housed in a stunning historical building from the end of the 19th century. Situated between the Old and the New Town, the hotel features amazing views of the city. It’s an exceptional place for a perfect retreat with your loved one.
9.2/10 Rating – See hotel images and 1,080+ guest reviews
10 Romantic things to do in Edinburgh, Scotland
Watch the sunset at Calton Hill
The views over the city from Calton Hill are incredible during the day. But in the evening, the hill becomes one of the most romantic places in Edinburgh. It’s the perfect spot to watch the sunset with your loved one.
Go early, at least an hour before the sunset, if you want to find a free bench.
Explore Edinburgh on a classic Mini Cooper
Make your first-time to the city unforgettable. Take a private tour of Edinburgh on a classic Mini Cooper with your partner. Finish the tour with a delicious lunch (or dinner) of typical Scottish cuisine. It’s the most romantic way to see the city if you have a limited time!
See the most stunning view of Edinburgh Castle
Standing on a high extinct volcano, the Edinburgh Castle is pretty much visible from everywhere. However, for a truly remarkable view, you should go to the National Museum of Scotland. The panorama from its rooftop terrace is outstanding. Hug your partner and enjoy the lovely view together.
The museum is free to visit, so you can go only for the view from its terrace.
Immerse in the romantic Outlander novels
Outlander is the most romantic series (and books) for Scotland. You have a chance to go behind the scenes with this Outlander walking tour. You’ll trace the real events that inspired Diana Gabaldon for her books. Plus, you’ll learn more about the Jacobites, Royal Stuarts and the Scottish clans.
Have a picnic at Princes Street Gardens
It’s a perfect activity for couples if you are lucky with the weather and catch a few sunny days. The views of the castle from Princes Street Gardens are one of the best. If you aren’t in a mood for a picnic, just grab something to drink and enjoy the view of the castle from any of the wooden benches.
Explore the tiny closes on the Royal Mile
The Royal Mile is the street that connects Holyrood Palace and Edinburgh Castle. This famous street is soaked in a medieval atmosphere, lavish architecture and live Scottish music.
Numerous tiny streets (called closes) extend the Royal Mile. And while the latter is full of tourists because of its popularity, the closes are almost empty. Wander hand in hand with your loved one on these tiny streets and discover the fascinating architecture of medieval Edinburgh.
The most famous close of all is Mary King’s Close. It is located under the Royal Mile and still looks exactly as it was in the 17th century. You can visit Mary King’s Close only on a guided tour.
Take a whisky master class experience
If you (or your partner) are a scotch drinker, this whisky master class is a must. You’ll not only learn how the ingredients and ageing methods influence the colour and flavour. You’ll see as well the famous Diageo Claive Vidiz whisky collection. It’s the largest collection of Scotch Whisky in the world. This is an unforgettable experience for every whisky lover.
Get lost in the picturesque Dean Village
Dean Village is the most charismatic place in Edinburgh. With its peacefulness, the village is like a frozen picture from the 19th century. The little alleys and bridges along the Water of Leith River are great for long romantic walks.
Tour a desolate castle
As a must-see, the Edinburgh Castle is stuffed with crowds of tourists. And because of that, it loses a little of its romantic charm. Still, there is one castle close to the city centre, that ensures you a lovely experience. It’s the Craigmillar Castle.
The place is calm and peaceful. There is a great chance to have the well-preserved ruins of the castle only for yourself.
To get there take bus number 14 (towards Greendykes) and get off at Craigmillar Cross Roads. Then walk 800m to the castle.
Take a walk on a causeway to Cramond Island
What could be more romantic than a walk on the beach? A walk on a causeway, of course! You can walk to Cramond Island at low tides for some fantastic views of Firth of Forth. Also, there are few military fortifications from the WWI and WWII.
Keep in mind to check the times of the tides listed on the beach, not to get stuck on the island.
You can reach it by taking bus 41 from the city centre to Cramond Glebe Road. From there it is 500m to the beach.
5 Romantic restaurants in Edinburgh (and other places to have a bite)
If you look for a nice place for an afternoon tea, look no further. Mimi’s Bakehouse is the best choice. The freshly prepared sandwiches and mouth-watering cakes are the perfect addition to a good cup of tea.
Address: 63 Shore, Edinburgh EH6 6RA, UK
Mary’s Milk Bar
Mary’s Milk Bar is the best place for gelato and chocolate in Edinburgh. The gelato flavours are heavenly with different ones every day. What makes it worthy to be on this romantic list is not only the food but also the view of the castle.
Choose your flavour and eat the gelato outside on the Grassmarket Square for some amazing views of the castle.
Address: 19 Grassmarket, Edinburgh EH1 2HS, UK
Monteiths combines a chic cocktail lounge with a romantic restaurant. Located just off the historic Royal Mile, it’s a lovely place for an intimate dining. The menu is seasonal and the quality of the ingredients is great.
Address: 61 High St, Edinburgh EH1 1SR, UK
If you look for a special romantic dinner, there is only one place to go – The Witchery. It’s really atmospheric – a spectacular dining room with a unique gothic décor and candle lights.
Address: 352 Castlehill, Edinburgh EH1 2NF, UK
The Ship on the Shore
The Ship on the Shore is an absolute must for seafood lovers. The great atmosphere, faultless service and the delicious local seafood are a guarantee for a fantastic dinner.
Address: 24-26 Shore, Edinburgh EH6 6QN, UK
Take a day tour to Loch Ness and Highlands, the most picturesque region of Scotland.
Find out more about the history of the city by taking a guided tour of Edinburgh.
Visit the famous Royal Yacht Britannia and get an insight into how the royals travelled.
Find self-guided walking tours and historical insights in DK Eyewitness Travel Guide Scotland.
If you haven’t planned your itinerary yet, check out this Edinburgh itinerary.
Find out why you should take a day tour to Highlands and Stirling Castle.
Visitors often combine Edinburgh with Glasgow. Check out these great affordable hotels in Glasgow City Centre.
If you’re planning to rent a car, compare the car rental prices in Europe.
|I'm a travel blogger based in Sofia, Bulgaria. Travelling has always been my passion and I love to discover new places and cultures. I want to show you how easy it is to organize your vacation all by yourself.|
Subscribe to my newsletter and get details about my trips, where I stayed, how much the trip cost plus complete map of my itinerary.