If you are planning to visit Edinburgh, chances are that you have already prepared a list of the best tourist attractions of the city you will be visiting. But, these attractions are quite common and most of the times you will find these places crowded with both tourists and locals.

I have been to Edinburgh couple of times now, I consider myself lucky as I was able to explore some of the hidden gems of the capital city of Scotland. So, if you are looking to make your trip exciting, make sure you have been to these top 7 lesser known hidden gems in Edinburgh.

Fringe Festival

If you are visiting in the month of August, then you can get to witness the world’s largest arts festival here. This festival attracts some of the popular names and the unknown names in the arts industry. This festival boasts that it has ‘something for everyone’ and every time you get to see something new here.

Fringe Festival has lots of things you get to explore for the first time including – kids’ theatre, boylesque, modern dance, circus, breakdancing, cabaret, and live music. Well, I won’t be wrong in saying that this festival celebrates international art and culture. Attend this festival and you will have something to fill every hour of your day.

Where: EH1 1QS

Jupiter Artland

holyrood palace garden

Opened in 2009, this garden has quickly become a major part of the art scene of the UK. It covers a total area of 200-acre and it takes around two hours to explore this magnificent gem. One thing that makes this place interesting is that this place is full of surprises. Here, you get to explore pre-eminent collections of modern sculpture. Entering the park, first, you get to see Charles Jencks ‘Life Mounds’ (make sure you click some photos) and Jim Lambie’s jovial creation (a unique blend of colours).

You also get to explore artwork by 4 new artists including – Peter Liversidge, Cornelia Parker, Jim Lambie, and Nathan Coley. Some of the permanent displays comprise of iconic pieces by Antony Gormley and Anish Kapoor. When you are done exploring the striking artwork of Jupiter Artland, you get to relax and taste some of the best variety of freshly baked cakes, coffee, tea, soups, and sandwiches. If you are visiting along with your kids, then this café has a separate kid’s menu as well.

Where: EH27 8BB

Sicilian Pastry Shop

You will find this bakery on Albert Street and it is a must-visit if you love the sweet stuff. It is a family-run bakery and this is the place where you get to enjoy some of the best Sicilian pastries. Don’t expect the shop to be too swanky, as it is a small shop but the cakes and other items are fresh, creative, delicate, and colourful.

This place remains crowded most of the times and you may have to be a part of the long queues to order, remember this place is closed on Sundays. It is the variety that makes this place a hidden gem of Edinburgh including – Gluten free brownie, Almond Bakewell Tart, Carrot Cake, Cheesecake, Chocolate Cake, and Cream Swan (my favourite). It’s not just the variety that makes this place special but it is the reasonable price you have to pay for tasting these heavenly items.

Where: EH7 5LG

Cramond Beach

walk on the beach

Your itinerary is not complete without visiting Cramond Beach, it is located towards the west side of the island. This small sandy beach is quite popular amongst both the locals and the tourists alike. The whitewashed houses, along with the beach, make this beach more appealing. This is a perfect place to enjoy cycling and enjoying a leisure walk with your family members or loved one while enjoying the impressive views of Firth of Forth. For refreshments, you can visit the nearby pub or the coffee shop.

Where: EH4 6NU

Yellow Bench Café

I have to admit; this was a complete surprise for me. Yellow Bench is a café and it is quite popular in Crighton Pl, Edinburgh, mainly because of the bench outside the café saying ‘By sitting on this bench I am open to have a conversation with a complete stranger’.

I had the chance of meeting the owner, Monika. With this café, she is making a small effort of bringing people together over a good plate of food. Well, only let down of this place is that it only offers Polish food. The café’s downstairs is used as a meeting place for the art lovers and music groups. The place is also used to organise different events as well.

Where: EH7 4NY

Mimi’s Bakehouse

This is another bakery at Leith. Opened in 2010, this bakery is an apt place to enjoy the best cakes, coffee, belly busting breakfast, and a laid-back afternoon tea. I really regret that I wasn’t able to try everything at this bakery, but I have promised myself that I will the next time I visit this place. For breakfast, you can opt for savoury French Toast or Mimi’s French Toast Stack.

For the lunch, you can order Mimi’s special macaroni, Vegi Chilli Bean Bowl, Sublime Summer Salad, Coconut Crispy Chicken and the list goes on and on. How can I forget a variety of different cakes you get to enjoy – Vanilla Cupcakes, Chocolate Cupcakes, Traybakes, and Mixed brownies.

Where: EH6 6RA

Stockbridge Market

Dedicate your Sunday exploring the vibrant Stockbridge Market. This is a great place to shop for fresh seafood, vegetables, fruits, jewellery, and different bakery treats. You can buy hand made chocolates, artisanal beers. Enjoy shopping for the souvenirs, visit the vintage shops, quirky pubs, small cafes to finish off an eventful day.

Where: EH3 6TQ