Not only is Edinburgh the capital of Scotland, it’s also the city with the strongest UK economy outside of London. This makes it a prime destination for business trips. However, its relative isolation and distance from England’s capital make staying overnight a necessity. So what is there to do for business men and women with only one evening to get a snapshot of the glorious city of Edinburgh?
The city’s most iconic attraction is the castle. Even in summer the last entry is at 5pm, but don’t let that discourage you, the best views of the castle come after it closes. As the sun sets, the 12th century stronghold’s looming walls are bathed in a golden glow. The esplanade (which remains accessible after the castle has closed) provides exceptional views of the surrounding countryside in the dwindling light and is a great place to see the castle’s awe inspiring stature illuminated after dark.
If history and breath taking scenery don’t float your boat then it’s still worth venturing out of your hotel in Edinburgh to grab dinner, sup on some local whisky or take in a show. The city has plenty of places to do all three and is separated into two sections, the Old Town and the New Town. Both are littered with great places to eat although the Old Town leads the way in authentic experiences. Brew Dog, the local, self-styled ‘ale brewing rebels’, have a pub here and it is a must for beer fans. Almost everywhere offers ‘traditional’ whiskies but you’d be hard pushed to better those on offer at Amber Restaurant (last orders 7.30/9pm) which is attached to the official Scotch Whisky Experience tour. Weary travellers with a relaxed dining experience or quiet drink in mind should head to the Grassmarket where low key restaurants and pubs nestle in the shadow of the castle.
Edinburgh is famous for its festivals which occur between July and September every year. They cater for everything from arts, culture, military and music through to comedy. Obviously if you have the fortune to be visiting during this period, there’ll be far more in the way of evening entertainment. However, it’s worth noting that hotel prices will increase as well.