There is something about any city on a brisk autumn day. The air is crisp, the leaves are dancing like ballerinas as they descend from the trees, aromas of artisanal coffee beans smell all the more better, and folk are cozily starting to wrap up warm in their knits and scarves. Ask anyone when to visit Edinburgh and they will tell you any time. However, let it be known that Scotland’s capital is particularly lovely to see during the autumn season.
The Streets Are Free From Flurries Of Fringe Crowds
The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is a whole other world and artistic playground. From famous acts to newbies on the cusp of their career, folks are spoiled for choice. However, every rose has its thorns — the crowds that go hand in hand with the Fringe are, at times, spiky. Visit during autumn and be free from hoards of people bustling about trying to not be late for the next play.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
The Castle Looks Especially Stunning
The Castle acts as Edinburgh’s ever present eyes watching the dots below transition from one activity to the next. Whether on an official tour or observing from afar, flip matters around and make sure to visit the Castle during autumn. Every time you will see something new and different upon and inside these whispering walls.
It’s true. The skies may be grey and the days dreich, and yet the city takes to it like a duck to water. Clamber up the majestic Arthur’s Seat or Calton Hill and delight in panoramic views of the city, as it undergoes the seasonal transitional known for a kaleidoscope of colours. Try it and don’t be surprised with a sight for sore eyes.
The Leaves Turn All Kinds Of Captivating Colours
Congregate to any park and notice the leaves. You can’t miss them. Appreciate what were once a multitude of bright greens and see how they have undergone an inevitable transformation into the most resplendent assortment of colours. Expect rusty oranges, ruby reds, dull browns, and alluring yellows. The Royal Botanic Garden, Princes Street Gardens, and The Meadows are great places to watch the leaves turn and fall.
The Farmer’s Markets Are On Point
Visit any of the many farmers’ markets in Edinburgh and prepare to be mind blown with the extensive amounts of fruits, veggies, meats, breads, fish, eggs, olive oils, and more. As the season change, so does the produce, which all comes straight from Scotland’s natural larder.
Theatre Seasons Are In Full Swing
It is no secret that Edinburgh is Scotland’s comedy capital and home to the largest open arts festival in the world. Autumn may not be the official Fringe season but don’t let this deceive you — the city is bursting with theatres all raring to go with a myriad of sell-out performances. From Tony award winning numbers and classic plays, to meaty theatre, stand-up acts, and musical displays, delight in a jam-packed time of theatre galore. The Playhouse, Traverse, and The King’s Theatre are all great spots to start with.
It’s A Great Shopping Spot
Once autumn arrives, the days get cooler and require an extra layer or two. From luxury designer fashion and high street brands to bespoke boutique finds, charity shops, and vintage stores, Edinburgh has an abundance of must-visit shopping places to tide you over the seasons. Tour the streets and pick up that staple winter hat, coat, or scarf. Finish the look with layers of tartan, tweed, and cashmere — you won’t have to search far.
The Scottish International Storytelling Festival Transports Audiences
Edinburgh is home to the Scottish International Storytelling Festival, an epic celebration of live storytelling. What started in 1989 is now an integral part of Edinburgh’s vibrant literary scene. Via the art of storytelling, this festival transports audiences to the deepest depths of their imaginations and allows the thoughts to run free. This momentous festival occurs every October.
The City Is Spooky At Times
Those unafraid of the supernatural and gruesome are more than often intrigued with Scotland’s ambiguous and dark past. During the month of October, many come to venture on a ghost tour, explore the dungeons, The Real Mary King’s Close, and the Vaults.
Edinburgh Gets Into The Festive Spirit
During late autumn, fans of the popular holiday film Elf are drawn to Edinburgh like Rudolph to a sleigh. Come November, the Winter Wonderland springs up in the Princes Street Gardens and the city is filled with festive cheer and happy people. From ice-skating and mulled wine to the European Christmas Market and the Big Wheel, folks cannot help but partake in the celebrations before December.
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Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.