There are several wonderful things to do in Edinburgh for couples who are looking for the most fascinating romantic things.
Edinburgh is a city full of marvelous accommodations, magical places, and world-class restaurants that will spice up every couple’s date night.
A romantic getaway to Edinburgh will bring special memories of grand neoclassical buildings and lovely gardens in Georgian New Town. There’s also a medieval old town for couples who like a nostalgic flair to their romantic trip.
If you’re planning a trip to the majestic city of Edinburgh, you will find so many romantic things to do with your partner. The following are the top date ideas for things to do in Edinburgh for couples:
Take a Romantic Stroll at the Famous Royal Mile
The Royal Mile is an experience that every couple must have because it’s located at the heart of Edinburgh and offers a variety of experiences. If you have a limited stay in Edinburgh and looking for a rich experience despite the time constraint, then you and your partner will have immersed yourself in the culture of the city by walking in the cobbled streets and exploring the different places that the city offers.
At the top of the Royal Mile, you and your loved one can gaze at the full glory of Edinburgh Castle. You can also enjoy 360-degree views from Edinburgh’s Camera Obscura and World of Illusions.
Visiting Scotland of course will never be complete without a Scotch Whisky experience from a place called The Scotch Whisky Experience. The Real Mary King’s Close is for couples who love some chilling stories while the St Giles’ Cathedral has stunning stained glass windows. Other notable places that you will discover during your romantic stroll with your loved one on the Royal Mile include The Scottish Parliament, The Palace Of Holyrood House, and The Heart of Midlothian. This place is also near the Edinburgh Waverley Station, a primary station in Edinburgh.
Explore the Edinburgh Castle
One of the most romantic places in Edinburgh is Edinburgh Castle looking just like straight from a fairytale and invokes lovey-dovey feelings in couples. This medieval castle is located on top of an extinct volcano right in the center of the city, making it one of the most visible places. The best way to get to the castle is by taking a romantic stroll down the Royal Mile.
Edinburgh Castle is not only a place for tourists but also where some of Scotland’s most important historical events took place. It has been a former royal residence, an army barracks, and a prison, and is now one of the most popular tourist destinations in Edinburgh.
Couples can explore the different towers, palaces, and dungeons while learning about the castle’s long and bloody history. The best time to visit Edinburgh castle is during the summer when there are several events taking places such as the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, comedy shows, and the Royal Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Marvel at Arts in Scottish National Gallery and Historic Artifacts at the National Museum of Scotland
Visiting the Scottish National Gallery and National Museum of Scotland is one of the most outstanding date ideas in Edinburgh where you and your partner can have something deep to talk about and connect over some majestic artworks and artifacts.
In Scottish National Art Gallery, the displays consist of arts from the 14th to 20th centuries from artists like Van Gogh, Degas, Velázquez, and Scottish artists including Sir Henry Raeburn and Joan Eardley. Admission to the gallery is free unlike other art galleries but you have to reserve your spot because the number of people entering is limited by Covid restrictions.
The Scottish National Art Gallery is open from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm daily. Make sure to have time to see the treasured paintings in this gallery.
Meanwhile, the National Museum of Scotland is a must-visit for every couple as it will allow you to learn about the country’s history and heritage. The museum has displays of historic artifacts, natural specimens, and scientific objects. It is open from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm daily but is closed on Mondays.
Be at the Gorgeous Calton Hill and See Panoramic Views of the City
Calton Hill is part of Edinburgh City’s Unesco World Heritage Site that offers an experience of basking in historic monuments. Couples who are history lovers will have a good time in this Acropolis-like setting.
There are a lot of things that you can do at Calton Hill. You can start by visiting the National Monument which is patterned after the Parthenon in Athens and is dedicated to soldiers who died in the Napoleonic Wars. Then, get a good view of the entire city from the Nelson Monument which was built in honor of Admiral Horatio Nelson.
If you and your partner are up for it, you can also climb the hill and enjoy a panoramic view of Edinburgh. The best time to go is during the night when all the lights from the city are turned on. Make sure to bring a jacket because it gets cold on the hill or a cuddle blanket that you can share with your loved one.
Take a Photo Together at the Dean Village
For a memorable photo as a remembrance of you and your loved one’s trip, head down to the picturesque Dean Village which is well-loved by photographers. The Well Court is an iconic place built in the 1880s as a home for mill workers and its facade has been well-preserved to give that nostalgic air of the past.
Walking in the streets, you will feel everything slowing down and even better if you’re hand in hand with your loved one as you feel the relaxing vibe of this small village.
The village is also on the banks of the river Water of Leith with a charming bridge and delightful little houses. Do not expect to see restaurants or shops like in the city center.
Take a Stroll at the Princes Street Gardens
Princes Street Gardens is a beautiful place and one of the most delightful Winter Wonderlands in Edinburgh during Christmas. This place even has a Christmas Market, an ice rink, and a Ferris Wheel during Christmas and you should visit this place for a date night if your trip happens to be during Christmas.
As one of the romantic places in Scotland offering stunning sceneries and landscapes, this place has an interesting history. It was once Nor Loch where many believed dunking would happen if a woman is suspected of witchcraft. The Loch was drained and turned into these lovely gardens where couples take romantic strolls.
Spend a Romantic Day at the Royal Botanic Garden
Another splendid addition to your trip with your loved one is a day spent at the Royal Botanic Garden. This is one of the best places to visit in Edinburgh and also one of the most romantic places in Scotland.
The 70-acre garden is home to around 13,500 plant species from all over the world. The stunning glasshouses are a must-see where you can find an incredible variety of plants. The Royal Botanic Garden is also a research center for plant science.
There are also many events held here like the Edinburgh International Science Festival and the Edinburgh Fringe. You can check the calendar of events on their website to see what’s happening during your trip.
Stargaze at the Royal Observatory
Stargazing is another one of the romantic things that couples enjoy spending time together and the Royal Observatory of Edinburgh is the perfect place to spend a date night to get closer to the stars. This place houses the largest telescope in Scotland and offers stunning views of the surrounding hills. If you’re visiting Edinburgh and want to bring your partner to see the observatory be in on a day trip or night trip, make sure that both of you wear comfortable shoes for uphill walking.
It is also important to know that the Observatory is only open to the public on select days in September and entrance is usually through reservations by large groups. Don’t worry though as there are a lot of tours that stop by the observatory and you can join one of these tours.
Climb at Arthur’s Seat
Arthur’s Seat is another popular attraction in Edinburgh and one of the most romantic things couples do together in search of the most spectacular views to share with loved ones. Couples will be greeted by a serene atmosphere, and fascinating wildlife, and experience hiking on an ancient volcano with breathtaking city views.
The best time to hike up is early morning or sunset when you can avoid the heat of the day and the large crowds.
The hike takes around two hours to reach the summit and it’s not difficult as the path is well-marked. It is important to be cautious though as some areas are steep with loose rocks.
Picnic at the Courtyards of the Craigmillar Castle
A romantic weekend in Edinburgh will be well spent with your partner if you enjoy an enchanting picnic lunch at the grounds of one of the most preserved castles in Scotland, the Craigmillar Castle. There are additional unique date ideas on the castle grounds including a tour of the labyrinth of chambers.
You can also share good views of the city from the high areas or stroll in the lovely gardens and captivating pasturelands.
If you’re joining a guided tour, please note that there could be changes to the plans if the weather does not permit a visit to the castle.
Swim at the Portobello Beach
Your romantic trip will not be complete without some swimming and sunbathing activity with your loved one and Portobello Beach is just a few miles from the city center. You may also get lucky and be able to join one of the popular Edinburgh events held by the sea including the international volleyball competition.
This is a great place to spend a summer’s day with your partner as there are plenty of beach bars, romantic restaurants, and cafes selling food and drinks.
To get to the beach, you can take a bus from the city center or cycle along the promenade.
Wander Around Cramond Island
Couples can spend a day away from the allure of an old town scenery and instead have time to have a unique island experience. Cramond Island allows every couple to walk across the island and marvel at world war 2 artifacts during low tide. The island also offers spectacular views of the city and the Forth bridges, especially on a sunny day.
If it’s high tide, you can also enjoy a South Queensferry cruise to the island where you can witness unforgettable sunset views.
You can also take a picnic box and share a good lunch with your loved one as part of your things to do for a date on the island while enjoying the views of the Northern section of the island.
Join an Edinburgh Festival
If your romantic trip happens to be on the lucky month of August, you and your partner are in for a treat with the almost month-long celebration of the Edinburgh Festival. The Edinburgh Festival is one of the best activities in Edinburgh for couples as it is a celebration of music, theatre, comedy, and the arts.
Couples can enjoy world-renowned performers while strolling along the Royal Mile or take in the atmosphere of the different festival venues. If you want to avoid the crowd, there are plenty of pubs and restaurants that you can go to.
Watch a Performance at the Edinburgh Playhouse
The Edinburgh Playhouse is the second largest working theatre in the United Kingdom and should be a place to visit for a romantic activity with your partner. You can have a good laugh over a stand-up comedy performance, watch a musical, or be teary-eyed over a play. The theatre is located on Greenside Place just a few minutes walk from Princes Street.
Make sure to book your tickets in advance to secure a seat. If you want to be a little extra and pamper your partner you can even purchase a ticket to the Director’s Box.
Visit the Mary Queen of Scots Monument
Perhaps another one of the most relaxing things to do in Scotland for couples is to visit the Mary Queen of Scots Monument. The monument is located in the New Town of Edinburgh and is a great place to learn more about Scottish history.
The monument was built in memory of one of Scotland’s most controversial monarchs, Mary Queen of Scots. You can read about her life on the plaques that are found on the monument. The best time to visit the monument is during spring or summer.
These are only some of the things that couples can do in Edinburgh. With its rich history, stunning scenery, and diverse culture, there is something for everyone in this beautiful city. So, what are you waiting for? Plan your trip today and enjoy a romantic getaway with your loved one!