Seconded on Arthur’s Seat, easily the best free thing to do. If budget permits then you could follow the climb with a pint at Scotland’s oldest pub The Sheep Heid which is on the southeastern side of Holyrood Park.
If you’re exceptionally lucky with the weather then Portobello Beach is nice for a stroll too
There’s absolutely nothing around there. It’s in a suburb surrounded by homes and a big Asda.
I dunno how you were planning to get to it - bus is probably your best bet, in which case I’d recommend the Golden Rule (trad but friendly) or The Fountain (modern but still a pub) in Fountainbridge, as they’re on the edge of the city centre and on the main bus routes.
In terms of free stuff - the National Galleries have been mentioned, Arthur’s Seat as well, second all of those.
There’s also the City Art Gallery, which sometimes has interesting stuff, and Stills, which is the local photography gallery.
The Parliament used to have exhibitions as well, I don’t know if they’ve started again but they were always free.
If the weather is decent take the bus to Portobello (beach) or up to Silverknowles (coast), there are some great walks. You can also get to the Pentland Hills relatively easily. Lothian Buses are really good, everything is a flat fare, and all their buses do contactless.
I posted on here a website that does self guided walking tours, that probably has something.
I’m on my way to Edinburgh right now for an overnight stay. Wondering if anybody has any reccos for us?
We’ll be looking for somewhere we can pick up a small quick vegan lunch near Waverly station when we get in.
Somewhere to have a drink in the evening. Looking for somewhere where we can sit down and have a couple of cocktails, somewhere chill, preferably somewhere with gender neutral toilets but not essential, gay bars are good if there’s any about that fit the bill. We’re at a gig at the Usher Hall and staying in Haymarket so anywhere within walking distance is good.
Any decent vegan breakfast within walking distance of Haymarket?
Paradise Palms and CC Blooms are both gay or gay friendly, though CCs is wrong side of town for Haymarket and Usher Hall - PP isn’t too bad though, since everything in central Edinburgh is very near by anyway, and that’s where I had this lovely thing before Wet Leg last month
For other more general cocktail bars I really like Lucky Liquor, Hoot the Redeemer, Panda and Sons - but can’t speak to how well they fit your other criteria. All pretty accessible anyway. Hey Palu is right by the venue too and very acclaimed but haven’t managed to get there myself yet