5 Hidden Gems for Days and Nights Out in Edinburgh (On a Budget)

Anyone who lives in or visits Edinburgh will know the Scottish capital as a great place to be whatever the weather and it is rightly renowned as one of the more visually captivating cities in Europe.

There is also a huge amount to enjoy in Edinburgh in terms of restaurants, bars and sights to see. But not all that’s great about the city will be obvious to first-time visitors or even long-term residents.

So here are a few hidden gem attractions in Edinburgh that might not be obvious destinations of choice but which could be ideal if you’re working within a tight budget.

Michael Neave Kitchen and Whisky Bar

Our first spot is a bit of an up-and-comer and it’s a restaurant run by a young man with big ambitions to make his mark on the cuisine scene in the Scottish capital.

The Michael Neave Kitchen and Whisky Bar serves fantastic food and has an incredible list of whiskies for visitors to choose from. The really good news though is that you can settle in for a very fine meal at low cost if you book on a weekday lunchtime.

The Secret Arcade

Next up is the Secret Arcade, which, as its name suggests, is rather off the beaten track but well worth checking out if you have an opportunity. The Secret Arcade is in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town and is a self-proclaimed “vodka drinker’s paradise”. Prices are reasonable and the atmosphere is reliably lively and if you are indeed a vodka drinker then you will be truly spoilt for choice with over a hundred on offer at the venue on Cockburn Street.

Tapa Restaurant

If you’re looking for amazing places to eat out in Edinburgh then there is no shortage of options and plenty of reasonably priced contenders. Among the best kept secrets though in this context is a Spanish tapas eatery called Tapa, which you’ll find tucked away along Shore Place in Leith.

There are often voucher deals available on the restaurant’s many meal options, which are generally of traditional Spanish heritage and which are sure to tantalise even the most sullen of taste buds.

The staff are very friendly and attentive and there really aren’t many more welcoming or better value restaurants anywhere in Edinburgh.

The Water of Leith

A popular walkway since time began, the Water of Leith is now a much cared for conservation site and a wonderfully relaxing and endlessly interesting place to spend time. It doesn’t cost a penny of course but it is a great investment of any visitor’s time in Edinburgh.

Recent additions to the surroundings include a series of Water of Leith sculptures by Andrew Gormely, who has positioned several eerily human-like figures at various points along the waterway.

The West End

Perhaps the West End of Edinburgh can only tenuously count as a hidden gem but there are other areas of the city that tend to be more popular with tourists and which somewhat steal the limelight.

But the West End districts are well worth visiting and taking in whether you’re in town for a short stay or on a permanent basis. There is more going on in the area with each year that passes and a massive amount of cultural and historic destinations to investigate without breaking the bank or overstretching any budget.


John Baird is a personal finance and insolvency expert from Scotland Debt Solutions. He specialises in advising people on how to manage their money and deal with their personal debt problems.

Your Comments

About Edinburgh247

If you are a local business owner you can claim your free listing..

Please submit your ratings, comments and reviews to make this web site more useful for everyone.

**We have free cinema tickets to give away to anyone who submits a 250+ word review. Simply contact us after you post to claim your tickets :-)

Get Our Email Updates

Find Us On Social Media