16 brilliant things you can only do in Edinburgh

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Whilst our cousins over in the West may have the music scene and the English Capital may be able to boast a few more sunny days over the space of year, there’s plenty of things that are exclusively Edinburgh that we can be more than proud of.

1. Accidentally bump into a Proclaimer

Hands up. We may not be able to decipher which one of the bespectacled Reid brothers we’ve spotted as they strolled across the Meadows or made their way down Leith Walk – but we appreciated all the same.

2. Pay your respects to Lord Voldemort

If you happen to be a secret Slytherin convert or you’re just Harry Potter daft, you can take a stroll into Greyfriars Kirk and glimpse the gravestone of Tom Riddle – which is said to have influenced a young J.K. Rowling who wrote her first Harry Potter around the corner at The Elephant House coffee house.

3. Drink on the street

Yep. Due to some ancient Scots law, drinking alcohol on the streets of the Capital is still an acceptable past-time. Although, a police officer can confiscate it if you’re getting too rowdy. Don’t attempt to use the defence ‘WOW247 said it was okay’.

4. Refuse to use public transport on principal

Despite the fact that over 4 million are said to have used Edinburgh’s shiny new tram system since it finally got underway – there will be always be a stubborn band of city-dwellers who would rather walk over hot coals in particularly cheap flip-flops than use a tram. You weren’t there, man.

5. Have the entire world of comedy turn up on your doorstep

It’s the world’s biggest Fringe Festival and it just keeps getting bigger. Although you may hear the odd complaint from the local about the arrival of the Edinburgh Fringe – the fact that the world’s funniest talent is putting on 30 shows within walking distance of your front door is a major plus.

6. Douse your chips with Edinburgh chippy sauce

Edinburgh’s own Frankenstein monster: part-vinegar, part-water, part-mysterious third ingredient which other cities haven’t quite worked out yet.

7. Shout ‘I’m in the best city in the UK!’ in the street (and be factually correct)

Guys, it’s official. According to sites such as USwitch and Money Supermarket – the ‘Burgh is the best place to live in the UK. Take that, Wolverhampton!

8. Spit on the cobbles without getting in a stooshie

It’s a city tradition (and not just for the Hibs fans). The Heart of Midlothian marks the site of historic public executions and, although it’s now seen as a good luck tradition, spitting as you walk past was originally as a way to show your disdain for those pesky criminals.

9. Re-enact *that* scene from Trainspotting

Don your running shoes, put your earphones in, crank up ‘Lust For Life’ and relive cinematic history.

10. Go for a walk around town and and unintentionally end up mountaineering

There’s something about standing at the very bottom of Arthur’s Seat which makes it seems like a mere gentle stroll. Twenty minutes later and you’re hanging off a steep cliff face – basking in glorious views of the city but genuinely considering a call to Mountain Rescue.

11. Get a half-day on Friday (note: schoolchildren only)

We’re not sure how Edinburgh youths have managed to wangle their way into this particularly Continental set-up, but it’s a free-for-all on Friday afternoons as school kids across the city run from the school gates and into their two and a half day weekend.

12. Complain that your pizza isn’t quite crunchy enough

If you can still make out what toppings your pizza originally had and the grease isn’t burning a hole through your brown takeaway bag – then it’s just not deep-fried enough.

13. Head out on an ‘arthouse cinema crawl’

As previously mentioned, the Glaswegians may have the upper hand when it comes to live music – but we can happily avoid a trip to a big soulless multiplex where the staff are secretly spitting in your popcorn. A true cinebuff could start with a morning show at the Filmhouse, before wandering up for an afternoon flick at the Cameo and finish their cinematic trilogy on the comfy sofas of the Dominion.

14. Get yourself lost in a student union

Whilst many Universities SUs consist of one understocked bar in an abandoned social club – the University of Edinburgh has a entire building straight from the grounds of Hogwarts. The building on Bristo Square is the oldest student union building in the world and includes a staggering six bars.

15. Be the last man standing on a night-out by 3am

Our club nights end particularly early because Edinburgers are such efficient partiers – absinthe shots by midnight followed by three hours of non-stop dancing. We keep things open until 5am during the Fringe, just to give the visitors a chance at reaching our levels of clubbing zen.

16. Legitimately ask someone if they ‘ken Ken?’

Well, do ya ken?