5 fabulous reasons to visit Edinburgh

An image of the capital city of Edinburgh on a summer day
by Sarah Crake
12 May 2023

Since its grand opening in April, Virgin Hotels Edinburgh has fast become one of the hottest spots in the city. And the hotel was certainly talk of the town at the recent Scottish Hotels Awards where this new addition to Edinburgh’s vibrant hospitality scene scooped two top prizes: Scotland's Best City Hotel and Scotland's Best Newcomer.  

Just a stone’s throw from Edinburgh Castle, the hotel boasts fantastic views and multiple dining and drinking spaces; the plush Commons Club bar and restaurant, the latter that boasts a menu heaving with contemporary Scottish seasonal cuisine, and Eve, the perfect space to eat, drink, and be entertained with live entertainment from Thursday through Saturday until late. A blend of modern design and historical charm, the stylish yet warm and inviting interiors offer guests a cosy bolthole after a busy day of exploring – after all, it’s no secret that Edinburgh can get a wee bit chilly.  

An image of the Eve suite in Virgin Hotels Edinburgh
Virgin Hotels

Virgin Red members have several ways to earn and spend Virgin Points in the Scottish capital and many more reasons to pay it a visit.  

Take a trip down memory lane 

The ancient capital of Edinburgh is a treasure trove of historical gems, from the cobbled streets of the Royal Mile to the famous castle, there’s plenty on offer for history buffs. One of Edinburgh’s unique attractions is viewing the Honours of Scotland, the oldest Crown Jewels in Britain kept under lock and key in the castle.  

If you’re keen to take a wander away from the main tourist sights, A Walking Tour for Two with Virgin Experience Days will take you deeper into Edinburgh’s nooks and crannies. Follow your tartan-clad guide around the lesser-known corners of the city and uncover fascinating history, intrigue, and magic, all while earning 10 Virgin points per £1

Bewitching brews 

Known as one of the most haunted cities in Europe, Edinburgh has many tales to tell. This magical city has long been associated with stories of witches and wizards. In fact, one of the world’s most famous wizards was ‘born’ in Edinburgh, the city where the Harry Potter books were penned.  

So, if you’re in the mood for magic, why not visit the Museum of Witchcraft, Magic & Fortune-telling? This brand-new tourist attraction recounts the dark history of Scottish witchcraft and has some weird and wonderful items on display. Or for a truly spellbinding experience, why not try brewing your own fantastical teas with a Wizard’s Afternoon Tea for Two at The Cauldron via Virgin Experience Days? 

All hail the haggis  

Scotland is world-famous for its hearty cuisine and eccentric dishes, so it’s no surprise its capital has been named one of the UK’s top foodie destinations. Scotland’s national dish is the legendary haggis, and although this spicy meat pudding is only for the bravest of meat lovers, these days you’ll find veggie versions, too.  

The city is also the perfect place for seafood lovers, its proximity to the North Sea guarantees the catch of the day is always fresh and tasty. So, if you fancy sampling some of Edinburgh’s local delights, treat your tastebuds to a Gastronomy Tour. Book with Virgin Red and you’ll earn 10 points per £1 with Virgin Experience Days.   

Take a piece of Scotland home 

If you're in the mood for a shopping spree, Princes Street is the place to be. Home to a wide range of stores, from boutiques to high-street chains, this bustling street is the best place to find Scottish souvenirs, like traditional shortbread, handmade fudge, or even a made-to-measure kilt.  

If you’re in need of a pitstop, Waterstones is an ideal spot as its café has fabulous views of Edinburgh’s skyline and its dedicated Scottish section is a great place to source gifts. And if you’d rather avoid carrying your new books all the way home, Virgin Red members can earn one point per £1 when shopping online.   

Museums and murals 

If you’re keen to delve deeper into Edinburgh’s history and culture, the city has some must-visit museums and galleries. The National Museum of Scotland houses fascinating collections and an exciting programme of events for summer 2023, including fashion retrospective Beyond The Little Black Dress.  

Art lovers will rejoice to hear that Edinburgh has not one, but four National Galleries including The Portrait Gallery. Dubbed the prettiest museum in Edinburgh, the Great Hall is decorated with elaborate murals and topped with a bedazzling Zodiac ceiling, covered with 2,000 golden stars and 47 constellations. 

From stunning architecture to rich history, there's plenty to do in this sparkling capital city. And if you’re planning on taking the train to Edinburgh and book via Virgin Trains Ticketing, you’ll earn three Virgin Points for every £1 spent.  

For more stunning staycations and exciting rewards, find out more about Virgin Red.