How to be a tourist in your own city | Edinburgh

I wander Edinburgh with my camera, like it’s the first time I’ve set my eyes on the city. I appreciate its beauty, the buildings, the stone work. I adore how it looks in the rain and how the cobbles glisten when the light hits it or how the evening light hits the side of the buildings, making them glow like you have walked onto a movie set.

Here’s some of my top tips on how you can enjoy your own city, like a tourist, no matter where you live or how long you’ve lived there. Let’s start romanticising our hometowns and appreciate the things people start to take for granted after living somewhere long enough.

1: Look up.
I spend hours every week people watching. Sitting in cafe windows watching them walk by, you can tell exactly which ones are tourists because they are always looking up. You can wander Edinburgh for days and always find something new you haven’t seen before. Local commuters speed walk around the city, darting in and out of those walking slower and enjoying the view.

2: Hit the hot spots
As locals we often avoid the ‘tourist’ spots. The busy places and the ‘hidden gems’ aren’t so hidden. And we miss out. Sure they can be overwhelmingly busy and sometimes over priced, but I know so many people who live here who have NEVER visited inside Edinburgh Castle. Pick a quiet day and visit the Castles, the galleries and all those ‘tourist’ places you’ve never been.
Here’s – 49 things to do in Edinburgh

3: Join a local walking tour
Edinburgh has a LOT of tours, from magical Harry Potter tours, historical tours, even silent disco’s. You can jump on the ghost bus in the evening if you want extra spooky vibes or even go down the old vaults under the city. Or join a literary pub tour, there’s something for everyone and I guarantee something you’ve never done before.

4: Get a friend to show you around
One thing I love doing is wandering with friends. I love seeing which parts of the city are their favourites, the buildings they stop at or which coffee shop window their prefer to sit at. it brings a while new perspective and gets you out of that same walk to the same coffee shop. Get a friend to show you THEIR city for the day. You’ll be surprised at how many new things you’ll find.

5. Get the shots
Don’t forget to get some shots of yourself in all those places you see on social media. Don’t just save it for your holidays, put on your favourite outfit, grab a coffee to take away and off you go. Pick a few spots that are favourites, set up your camera or phone and get a few shots of you. Even if you never do anything with them, they are really lovely to look back on in a few years.

6: Book a table
We all have our comfort spots that we like to eat. New places pop up all the time, but we always find ourself at that familiar table. Why not book a table somewhere completely new? Try something a new place with a friend, or take a book and enjoy your own company. Edinburgh has some incredible new restaurants opened, you won’t be stuck for choice.

7: Have a sleep over
What could be more fun than a sleepover? When we think of booking hotels, it’s often because we are off on a trip, but booking a little staycation for the night can be such a treat. Imaging waking up with a castle view for the day!

You can read more on my newsletter, which is free and comes straight to your inbox:
Coffee Shop Journals follow @MyLittleEdinburgh on Instagram for more Edinburgh adventures or @MyLittleWildlings for family days out.

Have fun being a tourist for the day!

Zoë xo

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