Top 5 free Dates in Edinburgh
1. Take a walking tour
Meet your date and explore the city. Walk the cobbled alleyways of the Old Town, discovering hidden courtyards. Or meander along the Water of Leith Walkway, with its six naked men (statues, obviously).
Even better, head to Starbucks on the Royal Mile to join one of Sandeman’s free walking tours – an Edinburgh institution. Don’t worry, this is no dry history lesson. Enthusiastic guides will engage you as they inject humour and theatre into the city’s stories.
You’ll see everything from the sites of executions to cloned sheep and the birthplace of Harry Potter. It’s free, but by the end you’ll want to tip.
2. Go museum hopping
Museums may not scream great date – but they might surprise you. Every new exhibit is a potential conversation starter. With so many of the city’s museums offering free admission, don’t just pick one. Instead museum hop your way along the Royal Mile.
See the collar and bowl of Greyfriars Bobby, dress up in replica costumes and watch the city grow beneath your feet at the Museum of Edinburgh. Then head to enjoy the lives and works of some of Scotland’s greatest wordsmiths at the Writer’s Museum. What could be more romantic than reading Burns’ famous love poems together? Finish it off with some toy nostalgia at the Museum of Childhood.
3. Enjoy live entertainment
Edinburgh bangs with live entertainment, from music to stand up comedy and theatre – and the best thing is, much of it is free. So grab that events calendar and get out there with your date to enjoy it.
Traditional pubs with live music are always a winner. Whistlebinkies (South Bridge) offers free entry seven nights a week and is the best place to catch local up and coming acts. Or head to Sandy Bells or the Royal Oak for folk music, fiddles and guitars.
For comedy, The Stand (on York Place) boasts ‘Whose lunch is it anyway?’ a free laugh out loud improvisation show – a great way to break the ice.
And if you’re dating in August, don’t miss the Free Fringe. With over 360 free shows in 22 venues around the town, there’s sure to be something date worthy.
4. Couple up on galleries
Arty types or not, the Scottish National Gallery (on The Mound) and the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (located on either side of Belford Road) offer free admission and are top date locations.
Begin at the former, and soak up one of the best collections of fine art in the world. Look out for masterpieces from the likes of Raphael, Van Gogh and Monet. Peaceful and thought-provoking, it’s a great place to explore with a date.
Next, hop on the free Gallery Bus which will take you to the latter. Explore its extensive collection of Dada and Surrealist art and literature, including works by Paolozzi, Matisse, Picasso, Warhol, Dali and Miro. Finish off with a stroll around its stunning parklands.
5. Soak up the scenery
You don’t need money in your pocket to enjoy great scenery (usually), and in Edinburgh you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to romantic panoramas. Number one free scenic spot has to be Arthur’s Seat. Climb the slopes of this extinct volcano then sit and enjoy the stunning cityscape as you get to know each other a little better.
Alternatively, pay a visit to the Royal Botanic Gardens, which offer free admission (gardens only). Explore the Rock Garden, the Scottish Heath Garden and the Chinese Hillside with its winding paths, waterfall, traditional T’ing and breathtaking views of Edinburgh Castle.
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