Edinburgh: 5 Unusual and Unique Things To Do

Edinburgh has plenty of unique hidden gems and unusual experiences on offer. Sometimes they’re hard to find unless you’re in the know. Although Edinburgh Castle is magnificent and Camera Obscura is absolutely worth a visit, it is always nice to immerse yourself in the not-so-known treasures of a city. 

Luckily, at Hotel Indigo Edinburgh, we’re experts on our neighbourhood. That means there’s not an inch of the city we don’t know, and not a hidden gem we can’t recommend. We love this place – and we want you to love it too.

So we’ve compiled a list of five things to do that are a little out of the ordinary! From historical explorations to magical moments, this list has something to get everyone excited about.

A statue of Greyfriars Bobby in Edinburgh

Eerie Exploration at Greyfriars Kirkyard 

This first activity might be slightly too eerie for some, but if you want to do something unusual in Edinburgh, then this might be right up your street. There are a handful of famous graves in the heart of the city and a couple of them reside in the same cemetery; Greyfriars Kirkyard. You can come and pay your respects at the hauntingly beautiful kirkyard and visit Greyfriars Bobby. 

The story of the Skye Terrier is a moving one. Greyfriars Bobby was the pet of local policeman John Gray for the last two years of his life. When John sadly passed away, Greyfriars guarded his grave at the Kirkyard for 14 years after his death. The story of this lovely little terrier was made into a film by Disney in 1961. Greyfriars Bobby is certainly a cultural icon! 

The other incredibly famous grave that lies in Greyfriars Kirkyard is that of a man whose name became superbly famous because of a book and franchise. One day, J.K Rowling was walking in the Kirkyard and came across a name that inspired her for the villain in her book series Harry Potter. The grave of Tom Riddle lies in the heart of Edinburgh. Although the innocent man was not aware of being a muse, many Potterheads come to see the resting place of Tom Riddle. Other headstones inspired J.K Rowling such as Moodie, Scrymgeour, Cruikshanks, Potters and McGonagall. It is also thought that the kirkyard itself is the inspiration behind the graveyard in which Harry Potter’s parents are laid to rest. 

Step Into An Artistic Haven At Summerhill

Summerhill offers another unusual experience in Edinburgh. It is a multi-award-winning independent venue with a usual array of diverse acts, performances, shows, and delicious food and drink. From music performances to independent films showcased at their very own cinema, it is worth looking at their website to see what is on during your visit. 

The Royal Dick restaurant and bar offers up delicious food all day on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and evenings Monday to Thursday. Sharing tapas, incredible burgers and huge sandwiches are what you will find on offer but to see the whole menu, you can click here

If you happen to be able to visit on a Monday then you are in for a real treat as they have their pub quiz every week at 7:30 pm. For an experience rich in art and culture, Summerhill is a sure winner. 

Immerse Yourself In Traditional Scottish Culture At Ghillie Dhu

If you have time in Edinburgh, it would be a real shame to miss out on the rich culture that the city has to offer. The Ghillie Dhu shows off some incredible Scottish traditions. Here, you don’t just see them, you can be part of them. 

Ghillie Dhu is a bar that serves traditional whiskey drams that you can enjoy while immersing yourself in live bands performing jigs and reels. Ghillie Dhu showcases the best of what Edinburgh has to offer and you are sure to be leaving with a smile on your face. The features of the venue echo the church that it once was with stunning high ceilings and parquet floor. If you happen to visit when one of their Ceilidh events is taking place, then you shouldn’t miss out! A traditional Scottish Ceilidh is a social gathering that involves Gaelic music and dance to accompany it.

To make sure you keep up to date with what is happening, take a peek at their website here.

Take A Journey Back Through Time At Riddles Court

For those who love travelling back in time and enriching themselves in history, a visit to Riddles Court is a fabulous alternative to the well-known museums in Edinburgh.

It’s an A-listed merchant’s tenement located on the Royal Mile. Each room tells a tale of a different period and it spans over 500 years of history. It is full of character and culture, and the building’s a real showstopper. Amazing paintings line the walls while authentic working fireplaces warm up the panelled room. 

Interestingly, the residence once hosted James VI of Scotland, so it’s even fit for royals! If you fancy a trip back in time and an unusual and unique experience, you can find out more information through their website or chat with our team at Hotel Indigo Edinburgh. Our staff is always happy to help lend a hand.

Mix Up Some Magic At The Cauldron

The last unusual and unique experience on our list is a visit to the Cauldron – a spot that’s far from your usual night out. In the heart of Edinburgh, it promises an experience that’s as quirky as it is memorable. Magic and mixology collide in this cocktail bar that’s far from ordinary. 

As you enter the Cauldron, the vibe transforms, and suddenly, you’re not just in any old bar – you’re entering a place where fantasy becomes a reality. Robes, wands, and a touch of enchantment set the stage for an interactive cocktail-making experience. The Cauldron isn’t satisfied with simply serving drinks; it’s about creating an experience where your cocktails bubble, smoke, and sparkle with a dash of magic. 

So, if you’re up for a blend of fantasy and spirits, throw on that robe, grab a wand, and get ready to be spellbound by the Cauldron’s unique brand of magic. Because when it comes to a seriously fun and magical time in Edinburgh, this is the place to be! Take a look at what they have on offer here.

We hope you enjoyed our list of quirky hidden gems in Edinburgh! If you’re looking for accommodation that’s also a little unique and out of the ordinary, why not consider booking a stay at Hotel Indigo Edinburgh? 

If giraffe-themed rooms tickle your fancy it could be right up your alley. We’re in the perfect location for all of these activities too, so you can have the perfect unique trip! You can visit our website here.

Our Edinburgh hotel lies within the Edinburgh UNESCO World Heritage site and occupies five original Georgian townhouses just moments from both Princes Street and Edinburgh Castle.

Our hotel in Edinburgh has preserved many of the original features including decorative stairwells and a unique cupola. The chic and contemporary interior reflects the life and vibrancy of Edinburgh today.

There are 60 individual Edinburgh hotel bedrooms and junior suites to choose from and our regular guests have their firm favourites. Each guestroom in our Edinburgh city centre hotel is individually decorated reflecting the neighbourhood story with details of Edinburgh’s rich history and Summer Festival traditions.

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We’re a hotel in Edinburgh city centre, minutes away from Waverley Train Station, Princes Street and St Andrews Square.

Boutique City Centre Streed, colourful shops

Food & Drink

Join us for breakfast, and fuel up for the day ahead with our selection of continental items and a-la carte dishes which are cooked to order using local produce where possible. You can’t stay at our Edinburgh hotel without trying a ‘Wee Dram’. We have a selection of fine whisky to take you around the most famous Scottish distilleries, with the occasional stop off in places such as Wales and Japan. Alternatively, try one of our craft beers or ‘softies’.

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