Most of Edinburgh‘s unsung gems are hidden in plain sight; its nooks and crannies conceal everything from tiny museums to 17th century gardens and world-class cocktail bars. (Source: buzzfeed.com).
Many of these attractions are situated near some of the most touristed areas of the city, but they still manage to go unnoticed.
Tucked away pubs
Bramble’s reputation is clearly known, it’s renowned for some of the best cocktails in Edinburgh, but you could easily walk right past its un-marked exterior. Located at basement level below a tailor shop on Queen Street, its dimly-lit, intimate atmosphere is perfect for sampling their expertly crafted cocktails.
The Jolly Judge
The Jolly Judge is hidden in one of the busiest areas in the city, just off The Royal Mile, within James Court. It’s a cozy, traditional-style pub with beamed ceilings, a log fire place, and a wide selection of whiskies and ales.
Dunbar’s Close Garden
Hidden in plain sight near the East end of The Royal Mile, Dunbar’s Close Garden sits between the Canongate Kirkyard and a non-descript tenement building. Its roots date back to the 17th century, when a community of wealthy local citizens tended to gardens in the area. Manicured bushes and flowers abound, and stone benches offer a sheltered slice of serenity in a bustling area.
Lesser-known attractions & tours
Surgeons’ Hall Museum
The collections at Surgeons’ Hall Museum are fascinating, and slightly more gruesome than the city’s other museum exhibits. It houses one of the oldest collections of surgical pathology in the world, with an extensive array of tissue and bone specimens on display. You can also see the death mask of William Burke, one of the country’s most infamous serial killers.
The Writers’ Museum
The Writers’ Museum is tucked away in Lady Stairs Close, near Deacon Brodie’s pub on The Royal Mile. The works of famous Scottish writers such as Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott, and Robert Louis Stevenson are displayed in a historic building dating back to the 1600s.
The Farmers Market sits off Lothian Road in a scenic spot directly below Edinburgh Castle. There are dozens of producers selling specialty items such as organic eggs and meat, seasonal produce, local honey, artisan baked goods, and ready-made lunch options from some of the city’s best cafes and street food purveyors.