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The Best Things to Do in Edinburgh During Spring

Edinburgh in spring is one of my favourite places to be. Sure, it’s worth a visit at any time of year, even in winter, but there’s something special about Scotland in the spring!

The weather is getting warmer, blossoms are in abundance, and there are so many things to do.

When is spring in Edinburgh, you might wonder? It really lasts from March until June, but I think the best time is probably around April and May. I’ve always looked forward to these months every year since I moved to Edinburgh! It means the winter is over and the best days of the year are ahead of us.

Edinburgh in Spring - Blossoms around Edinburgh Castle

There’s always something happening in Edinburgh so you can be assured you’ll find plenty of things to do at any time of year, but with each change in season the cityscape changes, and I love it.

In the winter it’s dark and cold, but the city is covered in lights in the lead-up to Christmas and there’s delicious food to be had and mulled wine to be drunk at Edinburgh’s Christmas, as well as hot whisky of course!

Edinburgh on a sunny summer’s day is one of the best places to be, with the historical buildings bathed in sunshine and plenty of green spaces to have a picnic or a BBQ.

In autumn in Edinburgh, the green spaces turn orange and yellow and it’s a fall lover’s playground with leaves everywhere.

Then there’s spring, which I think has to be one of the best times to visit Edinburgh. So what are the best things about spring in Edinburgh?

Visit Edinburgh in Spring Scotland

The weather in Edinburgh in spring

Edinburgh is a city of changeable weather, sometimes with all seasons in one day! The good thing about spring is that the weather is warming up, and the daylight hours are getting much longer.

Because of its position in the north Edinburgh has super long days in summer, but in April you can already expect it to be light until about 8.30 pm, which means beautiful evenings that have you already getting the summer feels.

The weather is unpredictable during most of the year but April and May have the average lowest rainfall, which is definitely a reason to visit Edinburgh in spring!

It’s not peak tourist season yet

The busiest time in Edinburgh has to be August because of all the Edinburgh Festivals during that month. The city is absolutely buzzing, the vibe is amazing and there’s all the added fun festival stuff to do.

But when I say busy I mean it because the population can basically double and you’ll find all the major tourist attractions can be very crowded or even booked out.

Spring is a great to time visit Edinburgh because the summer crowds haven’t started yet, but you can still have all the benefits of better weather and all the best things to see and do in Edinburgh.

Visit Edinburgh in Spring Scotland

Blossom trees everywhere

Spring in Edinburgh means flowers blooming wherever you look. There are some amazing green spaces right in the city, so make sure you get out of the cobbled streets and explore.

Holyrood Park has Arthur’s Seat at its heart, and the Salisbury Crags to wander along, but there are also the Princes Street Gardens right in the city centre. They can be a welcome break from the hustle and bustle of the Old and New Town.

However, the Meadows has to be my favourite Edinburgh park in springtime. Its tree-lined paths are lovely to wander at most times of the year, but in spring when they’re in full pink blossom bloom they’re just stunning.

Visit Edinburgh in Spring Scotland

Edinburgh International Science Festival

Edinburgh has 11 annual festivals, not to mention all the little independent ones too.

August has the most festivals at one time, so it’s a really popular time to visit, as well as New Year when Hogmanay happens. However, the first festival of the year is the Edinburgh International Science Festival, held in spring! It has some really fun and different events to experience.

If you’re in Edinburgh in spring then I’d definitely recommend it as an add-on to any itinerary. It’s an especially good festival for families and if it’s during the Easter holidays then it’s a great time to come to Edinburgh with kids!

Visit Edinburgh in Spring Scotland

May is Whisky month

May is Whisky month in Scotland, so what better time to come to Edinburgh and have a dram?!

It’s a great time to visit Edinburgh anyway, but adding in a whisky tasting has to be one of the best things to do in May.

There are distilleries all over Scotland, but if you’re in Edinburgh I recommend a visit to the Scotch Whisky Experience. I took their Masterclass last year and learnt so much about whisky, and how to identify what I actually like.

If you think you don’t like it, maybe you just haven’t found the right one yet!

Spring in Edinburgh Scotland

Visit the Royal Botanic Gardens for spring blooms

The Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh are just north of the city centre, so sometimes visitors to the city don’t venture out there to visit.

But if you want to see something off the usual tourist path in Edinburgh then spring is a beautiful time to visit. There are new blooms everywhere, and it’s a great place to take a picnic to explore with children.

Visit Edinburgh in Spring Scotland

Enjoy the Beltane Fire Festival

Beltane was a celebration to herald the return of the summer, and at the Beltane Fire Festival in Edinburgh you can witness and join in the celebration that stretches back to the Iron Age.

The Edinburgh festival is the largest in the world of this kind and involves everything from drums to fire shows.

Walk along the Water of Leith and Dean Village

The Water of Leith passes through or nearby many of Edinburgh’s great attractions, including Dean Village.

Once a hidden gem in Edinburgh but getting more and more popular, this little village is like stepping back in time. But don’t just visit Dean Village not explore any of the rest of the Water of Leith.

You can walk along to Stockbridge to check out the great cafes and boutique shops there, or even go as far as Leith and the Shore, which has an amazing array of restaurants and eateries that tourists often miss as they stick to the centre of town.

In spring you can expect to see a mix of new plants coming to life, and hope that the sun is shining on the Water of Leith during spring in Edinburgh!

Beer gardens are starting to open up around this time and you’ll find a few in the area near here (check out Edinburgh’s beer gardens here.)

Visit Edinburgh in Spring Scotland

New spring menus and delicious food on offer

If you’re wondering what foods to try in Scotland then you’re most likely going to come across haggis, neeps and tatties, and a full Scottish breakfast, but Scotland is more than just those options!

While I’d highly recommend you just order haggis and don’t think about what it is, there are plenty of other things to try.

In spring Edinburgh restaurants often change their menus to lighter fare and use delicious seasonal options.

I don’t often think of Edinburgh as a seafood destination, despite its proximity to the ocean, but a recent visit to Ondine Restaurant definitely changed my thinking on that one! They offer great seafood options, paired with some of the best wines I’ve tried (including in Spain!) and I would eat their dessert every week if I could.

What to pack for spring in Edinburgh

Spring in Edinburgh may mean warmer weather and less chance of rain, but it’s still Scotland after all!

The weather can be changeable, so if you’re wondering how to pack for Edinburgh in spring then it’s all about the layers!

By spring in Edinburgh I’ve (mostly) shunned my winter coat and moved on to my summer one (yes, summer coats exist in Scotland!). Now is the time for a more lightweight trench coat, but I’d still recommend an infinity scarf in case the wind gets up (they’re my favourite!).

If you’re wondering when the best time to visit Edinburgh is, then spring is more than worth a look!

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52 thoughts on “The Best Things to Do in Edinburgh During Spring

  1. Mimi & Mitch says:

    Wow blossom trees in Edinburg too! In my head these are like for Japan you know? haha. There are many things to do there, spring sounds like a plan to have less people indeed!

  2. Global Girl Travels says:

    I’ve always dreamed of visiting Edinburgh and your photos did not help to quell this desire. I have seen mostly guides on Edinburgh for winter so this is a welcome change. It looks even prettier for spring! I guess that’s the perfect time to book a trip should I make my way to Scotland soon!

  3. The Travel Ninjas says:

    Edinburgh must be gorgeous in the spring. And missing the peak tourist season is big plus. We already like whiskey too, so May be the best time for our next visit. We’d love take that masterclass.

  4. Alice Chen says:

    Edinburgh sounds a lot like my hometown with the changing weather! I always like visiting when there are less people. Those cherry blossoms are gorgeous as well! I think you’ve sold me!

  5. Arzo Traves says:

    I visited Edinburg once and loved it (cannot remember which time of the year it was). Spring seems like a great time to visit, and the lovely pictures bring back so great memories (good reminder not to visit in August).

  6. Iza Abao says:

    I would probably join a food tour if I were to visit Edinburgh. What are the names of the dishes? They both look so delicious. I just checked out the Ondine Restaurant. They have an exquisite seafood menu.

  7. Vicky @ A Backpack Full of Adventures says:

    Ahhh, I really need to go to Edinburgh now! My best friend and I were hoping to go for a long weekend at the end of last year but it didn’t happen (not yet, anyway) – but we’re still dying to go. I’ve never been to Scotland before and know how beautiful Edinburgh is supposed to be! It must be even more so in spring, when the sun is finally out and all the flowers are in bloom!

  8. Reshma says:

    I loved your previous posts on the festivals and events in Edinburgh and now the flower blossoms and whiskey look tempting. I would love to try all of these If I go to Scotland!

  9. Abhinav Singh says:

    Guess April and May are good time to visit many places. Looking at those blossoms it reminds me of the jacaranda blossoms I saw in Bhutan in April and tons of rhododendrons flowers during the high altitude trek Roopkund. It’s a pleasant time to travel.

  10. C-Ludik says:

    Lovely photos, brought back memories ! I particularly like the pictures of the blossom trees. I fully agree that Edinburg is a wonderful city 🙂 . And the Lemon Meringue Mille Feuille tastes so so good… Now, I want to go to Edinburgh again right now !!

  11. Felicia Broccolo says:

    Wow I never knew all of these things about Edinburgh! Makes me miss it soo much! Those trees are gorgeous, and I couldn’t say no to whiskey month!! haha great post, thanks so much! 🙂

  12. Sally says:

    I love these photos, Sonja! I’ve never been to Edinburgh, but have always wanted to go- and missing the cold winter seems like a no-brainer to warm-blooded me! Thanks for all of these neat suggestions and yummy dining inspirations!

  13. Kathi says:

    Edinburgh looks so beautiful in bloom! Maybe I can convince Thomas to take a day, come through for a day trip and hike up Arthur Seat – I’ve never been! Glasgow is blooming as well – Kelvingrove Park is a visual feast at the moment 🙂

    • Migrating Miss says:

      Definitely! It’s so nice right now with all the blossoms, and Arthurs Seat is covered in those pretty yellow flowers. I went for a walk the other week and it was so nice. Let me know if you come through!

  14. Laura says:

    Love Edinburgh! So true that is a great place to visit all year round. It’s definitely one of those places where there’s always something going on. I’m craving a trip back there for sure.

    • Migrating Miss says:

      A lot of people think because it’s north and colder that they just want to come to Scotland in the summer, but it’s actually beautiful at every time of year, for different reasons! 🙂

  15. Sara says:

    That science festival sounds like so much fun! I have been dying to go to Scotland but haven’t got the chance yet. Love your post 🙂 Will have to remember if I end up there in the spring time !

  16. Emma says:

    There’s so much I still have to see in Edinburgh! Spring seems like an ideal place to go, especially since it’s low tourist season (and I’m used to the unpredictable weather!)

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