How to perfectly show your parents around Edinburgh when they come to visit

Because they expect us to know everything


For every parent, saying goodbye to their children as they drop them off at uni for the first, second, third or even fourth time is heartbreaking. Their baby, whom they have looked after for eighteen years has finally grown and it is time for them to leave the nest.

As students, we put on our bravest of faces – we pretend we are fine when stuff gets us down. We are adults, we don't need hugs anymore, we're not kids. Apart from the fact – I REALLY NEED A HUG.

So, when the 'rents announce they are coming up to visit, it's all very exciting. We are going to get fed, have a break from work and even though we totally don't need it, we will be receiving the love and affection we've been craving since they drove away on that very first day.

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Thing is, parents assume we know everything about the city we live in. They ask "you haven't done the castle?", "where is Greyfriar's Bobby?" or "what do you mean you haven't met Nicola Sturgeon yet?"

They expect us to be culture vultures. Yes, we do live in a beautiful city, bursting with historical magic. However, uni work prevents us from revelling in it and the closest we get to exploring Edinburgh is a trip to the local Sainsbury's.

But, don't you worry my sweets. I've got you covered. From someone who has been that Edinburgh tour guide. Here is your guide to taking your parents around Edinburgh.

The university buildings

Let's start with the basics. After making sure they don't get hit by a bike or converted to Mormonism in the Meadows, you can awkwardly walk through the uni traffic and point at the glistening architecture of innovation we call our lecture theatres , sadly admitting that the buildings on the prospectus are not for the likes of us.

Then, you want to be taking them to Teviot and strictly informing them that you spend a lot of studying here on your laptop for hours on end. Yes mum, I am the modern Hermione Granger and no I don't spend all my money on nachos.

Actually, speaking of nachos, you need to try the nachos, they're supposed to be amazing..

Dem nachos thoooo

Food and drink

For students, drinking means clubs. However, we can't be taking the fam to Hive can we? Instead, think simple, think Spoons.

The Caley Picture House on Lothian Road is more interesting than you think. As you perch yourself on the high stools in this newly converted cinema house, proudly inform your Dad that he is sitting in the same room that Pink Floyd and AC/DC performed in. He'll love it.

After a few in the Caley, Lothian Road or Rose Street have many independent pubs, bars and restaurants that all have their unique Edinburgh charm.

For food, La Favorita on Leith Walk have the best pizzas in the city. For breakfast/brunch newly opened Brewhemia on Market Street or The Tron in Hunter Square both hit the spot perfectly.

Finally, for a quick coffee Black Medicine on Nicolson Street and Brew Lab on S College Street will go down a treat.

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Arguably the best Wetherspoon's in the whole of the UK

The touristy stuff

I shall break this down.

For the culture-seekers we have Edinburgh Castle, the National Library, the Scottish National Art Galleries and Dean Village – all are bursting with lovely Edinburgh history.

For the families, the National Museum has something for everyone, as does Camera Obscura and Princes Street Gardens. For the outdoorsy types, get windswept off Arthur's Seat or take it easy on Calton Hill.

However much you love or hate the monarchy, The Royal Yacht Britannia at Ocean Terminal is quite interesting, you get to see the Queen's bedroom – which is pretty damn cool right?

Oh and if you want to torture them, a trip down Princes Street never goes amiss and at this time of year the Christmas Markets are open until the 6th January – the time for mulled wine is now people.

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Feeling the tru bru on Calton Hill

So yeah, when you're finding yourself stuck for ideas. Just think, we live in Scotland's capital. There is always something to do. Just rack that over-worked brain of yours and get exploring. You'll soon find there is something to do on every corner..