Guns & Butter: Edinburgh Travel Guide


Edinburgh Travel Guide is part of the Punxsutawney TPOL Trip Report.

TPOL’s Guns & Butter Travel Guide is the best way to see as much as you can in as little time as possible. Here’s how it works – A trip is composed of two factors: Labor And Lazy. The opportunity cost (what is given up) for relaxing and being Lazy is gained by being adventurous in the form of Labor and vice versa. The guide includes inefficient activities i.e., tourist traps that should be avoided and aspirational activities that are worth doing but may be impossible to see given the constraints of time and resources.

What to do in Scotland? That’s what I said when I landed in Edinburgh.


With Covid, most pubs closed by 11. Since I arrived at midnight, that option was out. Luckily, I have a friend whose nephew lives there. An hour after landing, I found myself at 4042. There’s a bar in the front and a dance floor in the back which played all the classic hip-hop hits.

TPOL’s TIP: The address is 40-42 Grindlay St, Edinburgh EH3 9AP


I don’t recommend staying at the Moxy hotel which is located at ‘everyone’s favorite neighborhood’ (see Moxy Edinburgh: Not My Favorite Hotel).


If you have been to the campus of the University of Toronto, you’ve been to Edinburgh. The Moxy is actually in the heart of the University of Edinburgh’s campus, so my Toronto comparison was especially true.

Edinburgh Castle

I just stayed at a castle in Spain (see Guns & Butter: Ribera Del Duero, Madrid Travel Guide (Vino Edition)), but this one was a bit more impressive. Seeing Edinburgh Castle is a mandatory stop, though going inside is not.

Royal Mile

If you ever go to Shanghai, skip going to E. Nanjing Road. It’s a tourist trap. The same can be said of the Royal Mile which starts from the castle. The mile is full of the following: tourists, cashmere boutiques, whiskey stores, and sweet shops. It’s too busy for my taste.

Cross the Bridge

Trying to get away from the crowds, we crossed the bridge to see Edinburgh from the other side.


Looking to satisfy your pho fetish? There are plenty of places that claim to make pho. Finding one that did proved challenging (see Pho Edinburgh: Disappointing Adventure).

Football Match at a Pub

To get excited for the castle, we stopped at Footlights which is at the foot of the mountain. After the walking tour, we returned to the same pub to watch Scotland take on Israel in a World Cup Qualifying game. They were down for most of the game, and the country was tense.

Here’s the reaction after a poorly placed PK.

Here’s the reaction when they won:

Bloggers often write about the cliche ‘authentic, local’ experience. This was it. And it was genuine.

TPOL’s Tip: The address is 7 Spittal St, Edinburgh EH3 9DY

Local Food

Have you ever tried haggis? While not as wild as my goat brain in Marrakech (see Medina, Marrakech: The Definitive Guide To Lamb Brain, Tongue, Eyeballs & More Food), it isn’t the most conventional of foods. Wiki describes it as “A savory pudding containing sheep’s pluck, minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock, and cooked while traditionally encased in the animal’s stomach.” Most pubs serve it. We went to Last Drop to give it a try. It was nothing special in comparison to the locally made grapefruit-infused gin.

A row of bar serving Haggis.

Wash down that Haggis with Scotland’s Tennent’s Lager.


Salt N Vinegar may go on the list for best shawarma in the world (see The Best Kebab in the World). It’s quality meat in a substantial size wrap. It’s a great way to cap off a day of exploring Edinburgh.

TPOL’s Tip: The address is 75 Lothian Rd, Edinburgh EH3 9AW

A Note on Weather 

Some might ask for sunnier skies but gray and overcast is what I envisioned Scotland to be.


I saw what I needed to see in Edinburgh.

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