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20 Romantic Things to Do in Edinburgh for Couples

With its rich history, world-famous architecture and wealth of beauty spots, there's no shortage of romantic things to do in Edinburgh for couples that are looking to reconnect on a date night or a short break.

The city's stunning views and rich historical heritage creates a unique backdrop in which to enjoy a decadent evening meal or luxurious weekend getaway alike. (If you've ever wanted to stay in a romantic luxury suite in a 16th century historical building at the gates of Edinburgh Castle we have got you covered!)

From magical afternoon teas to fabulously fun activities in Edinburgh for couples looking for something a bit different to the ordinary, we’ve put together our favourite ways to enjoy the city on a romantic trip together to help you make the most of your visit.

1. Soak up the Vistas from Arthur’s Seat

Take a hike up Arthur's Seat, an extinct volcano in Holyrood Park, and enjoy panoramic views of the city. Lace up your boots, grab a flask, and head up the iconic peak, located just minutes from the city centre.

The trail is well signposted and, although not a challenging hike, the views from the top are unparalleled. With views of the city and beyond stretching out across the horizon, soak up the vistas together from the shadow of Arthur’s Seat. 

2. Stroll the Sands Of Portobello Beach

Portobello Beach

Boasting clean sands and far reaching views, Portobello Beach is the perfect backdrop for a romantic stroll away from the hustle and bustle of the main city. 

Located just a few miles from Edinburgh‘s city centre, this popular seaside destination features two miles of sand and a stunning stretch of open water to appreciate. If you prefer warmer waters, however, you can also retreat to one of the nearby swimming pools, including a Victorian indoor pool which features original Aerotone and Turkish baths.

Not to mention, you can always nip into a local restaurant, café or ice-cream bar to satisfy your sweet tooth, or shop at one of the beach’s local gift shops. 

3. Visit The Witchery - Edinburgh’s Most Romantic Hotel

Join us for dinner or a romantic stay at The Witchery. Awarded the AA’s Best Restaurant with Rooms Scotland, there is no better place to reconnect than our iconic, candlelit dining rooms. The exterior exudes an old-world charm, and once inside, you’ll be transported to a realm of opulence and history, creating a perfect atmosphere for a romantic evening for two. 

Enhance your meal with a carefully curated selection of wines. Our extensive wine list offers a variety of choices to complement your chosen dishes, allowing you to indulge in a magical experience as you raise a glass to togetherness.

4. Explore the History Of Dean Village

Dean Village Edinburgh

Edinburgh is world-renowned for its quirky architecture and historical landmarks. There’s always a hidden gem tucked around the corner ready to explore, with the picturesque Dean Village situated only five minutes away from Princes Street.

Quirky houses and cobblestone streets offer a tranquil refuge for those looking for a peaceful stroll located away from Edinburgh’s main shopping street.

Nestled along the tranquil Water of Leith, which encompasses several points of interest including Colinton Village and the Union Canal, Dean Village was once a milling community founded in the 12th century and you can still see traces of its past history today. 

5.Indulge in Afternoon Tea for Two

There’s nothing quite like sampling the quintessential delight that is afternoon tea complete with a delicious spread of sandwiches, scones and cakes all washed down with a pot of speciality tea.

The Scottish capital offers a wealth of different styles to explore but if you fancy enjoying yours in an enchanting candlelit historic dining room, we offer afternoon tea like no other.

 The Witchery Afternoon Tea offers a bewitching blend of our own house brew or choose from an assortment of the finest teas to enjoy. You can also feast upon a selection of savoury delights that includes haggis complemented by pineapple chutney and classic sandwiches complete with a palette of exquisite pastries and cakes crafted by our talented pastry chefs. 

Choose a classic afternoon tea, or include a sparkling glass of champagne.  

6. Wander the Halls of Edinburgh Castle 

Edinburgh Castle

If you’re looking for some of the best views of Edinburgh, you really can’t beat standing atop Castle Hill which of course is where the capital’s famous landmark resides. On a clear day, you can admire the glorious scenery laid before you and walk in the footsteps of past figures in history including soldiers, kings, queens.

The castle itself is one of the oldest fortified places in Europe and an iconic part of Old and New towns of the Edinburgh World Heritage Site.

7. Be Inspired by The National Galleries of Scotland

National Gallery of Scotland

For those interested in Edinburgh’s cultural offerings, be sure to pop into the National Galleries of Scotland. It’s completely free to enter and open to all art enthusiasts and casual passersby alike.

Inside you’ll discover one of the greatest art collections in the world, including famous artworks from notable artists including Rembrandt and Constable, and incredible highlights from the modern art world.

The National Galleries of Scotland frequently feature new exhibitions and displays so it’s worth planning your visit via their official website to get the lowdown on what’s on now and coming up in the future. You can also pop in for a casual coffee or browse the venue’s gift shop. 

8.Take a Walking Tour of the City

Underground Vaults Edinburgh

Edinburgh features a wide range of walking tours across the city; from traditional history tours to unconventional adventures that will educate and make you laugh out loud alike.

Of course, a walking tour is a great way to explore the city on foot, discovering the local landmarks from those in the know. It makes for a fantastic date idea, with specialist interest tours available including the Original Harry Potter Locations Tour, Comedy Walking Tours and Food & Drink Tours.

If you’d prefer to simply take in the historical sights of the city, exploring the Underground Vaults by candlelight is an absolute must. 

9. Discover a Treasure at the National Museum Of Scotland

Museum of Scotland

There’s plenty to see and do over at the National Museum of Scotland. A treasure trove of historical and cultural treasures, you can explore a range of fascinating and fun exhibits that document everything from Scottish history to science, technology, fashion and world cultures and a whole lot more. 

In addition to its all-round galleries that are open to the public for free, be sure to keep an eye on upcoming exhibitions and events to discover where your next visit will take you.

10. Explore The Royal Mile at Night

Royal Mile

Explore The Royal Mile in the evening when it's beautifully lit up. The quiet and mystical atmosphere adds a touch of magic to the experience as you enjoy a stroll, hand-in-hand, through the streets.

Together, explore quiet nooks and historic closes when the streets are less busy, giving you the chance to spend some quality time together in the capital. 

11. Uncover Hidden Gems at the Water of Leith Walkway

Stroll along the Water of Leith Walkway, a peaceful riverside path that winds through the heart of the city, offering a tranquil escape. Along the way, discover romantic bridges, hidden gems and beautiful views to admire together. For the perfect day, grab a coffee or hot chocolate and enjoy your water-side stroll in the city. 

12. Sample Gins on a Canal Boat Cruise

Lochrin Belle

If you're looking to while away a few peaceful hours, consider a romantic gin cruise along Union Canal in a quirky purple boat with the Edinburgh Gin Tasting Cruise. 

A two hour trip, organised by events company Lucky White Heather Drinks, includes the knowledge and expertise of specialist gin hosts on board and lets you sample four different gins from across the country. Explore the flavours and story of each tipple as you cruise on along to Fountainbridge. 

13. Take in the Sight of Calton Hill at Sunrise

Calton Hill

Rise early and head out to catch the sunrise from Calton Hill for a romantic start to the day. The view of the city waking up is simply enchanting as daylight sweeps across the skyline of Edinburgh, smearing the city in shades of orange and pink. This spot has become a famous viewpoint for seeing stunning views across Edinburgh. 

14. Relax at the Royal Botanic Garden

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

Spend a relaxing day at the Royal Botanic Garden, wandering through its various themed gardens and enjoying the serenity together. Visiting the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is not only an educational experience but also a chance to enjoy the beauty of nature in a peaceful and well-curated setting. For those on a budget, this is a fantastic way to spend an afternoon, as the admission is free. 

15. Experience the Thrill Of Axe Throwing

Black Axe Throwing

The art of axe throwing has been around for centuries, and while it may sound like a violent act of historical terror, it's actually one of several quirky activities in Edinburgh for couples or friendship groups seeking thrill and excitement in their leisure time.

Believe it or not, the activity is even considered an unconventional twist to romantic getaways as couples seek unique experiences beyond traditional dates. Take a look at Black Axe Throwing and Game of Throwing if you'd like to ignite a little friendly competition on your next date night.

16. Enjoy a Taste of the Scottish Whisky Experience

The Scotch Whisky Experience

The Scotch Whisky Experience on the Royal Mile offers guided tours and tastings, providing a romantic and educational experience and a great day out - a memory you can both cherish forever. Experience the five-star activity and learn all about Scotch Whisky over the past 30 years. Prices start from £23. 

17. Battle it out at the Boom Battle Bar

Boom Battle Bar Edinburgh

Get set to take on your significant other at Edinburgh's Boom Battle Bar. This unique sports bar has a wealth of fun activities for couples and friendship groups alike, including axe throwing, augmented reality darts, crazier golf and shuffleboard. 

Perfect for couples whose idea of romance is a casual date night, you can find Boom Battle Bar in Edinburgh's Omni Centre. Be sure to book games online via their website. 

18. Visit Prestonfield House

Quietly nestled, with Arthur’s Seat at their back, Prestonfield House is only a ten-minute car ride from Princes Street and offers a haven of tranquillity and romance in Edinburgh. Dine by candlelight in the decadent and luxurious Rhubarb restaurant, or spend the night in one of their opulent rooms or unique suites for an unforgettable stay, steeped in romance.

With a rich history and a reputation for delivering elegance and excellence, Prestonfield promises a romantic visit for any couple.  

19. Attend St. Giles' Cathedral

St Giles Cathedral Edinburgh

Attend a classical music concert or service at St. Giles' Cathedral. The stunning architecture and soul-stirring music create a romantic ambience, perfect for any couple looking to cosy up and enjoy all the rich culture that the city has to offer.

Afterwards, enjoy a nightcap in any of the ambient bars and restaurants that surround the beautiful cathedral. You can find details of upcoming events and performances on their website.

20. Climb the Scott Monument

Walter Scott Monument Edinburgh

Built in the 19th century, the Scott Monument stands as a testament to Edinburgh's rich literary and cultural history. The monument's association with Sir Walter Scott adds a layer of cultural significance, making the climb not just a journey for scenic views but also a connection to Scotland's past.

Climbing the Scott Monument on Princes Street in Edinburgh is a captivating experience that offers panoramic views of the city, creating a memorable and magical adventure, especially at dusk when the city begins to glow. There is a small admission fee for entering the monument.