Things you absolutely must do in Edinburgh before you leave

This article is from 2016

Things you must do in Edinburgh before you leave

credit: Chris Scott

Here for the Fringe? Don’t go home without eating well, drinking poorly and learning the local’s ways

Drink some Buckfast up Arthur's Seat
If it's not a right-of-passage then it should be. Grab some tonic, wait for the sunrise, and clamber up Arthur's Seat (but, you know, be careful). The view is well worth it and the mind-blowing colours the sky turns are a great backdrop for some post-late night show memory making.

Visit The Baked Potato Shop
You know the one we mean. The Baked Potato Shop on Cockburn Street is world-renowned for its veggie and vegan carb delights. Their fillings (chili, haggis, avocado salad) are pretty divine, and so's their quick service. Plus, you get massive spuds for your buck, and it's vegan, so (mostly) guilt-free.

See a really terrible free show
We're not saying every free show is terrible – far from it. Some free shows are absolutely worth the cash you'll bang in their hat at the end (always pay them – don't be That Guy). But 'doing the Fringe' isn't really 'doing the Fringe' until you've walked out of a sweltering basement halfway through a set. You do you – it's not like there's nothing else to see.

See a really amazing show
On the other hand, you're in the middle of the biggest arts festival in the world. There is something to see in every venue you can imagine (and some you can't). Check out our top-rated shows list to see who's blowing critics' minds across the board. Go see something you'll be able to bore your pals back home about.

Play the leaflet game
Tourists should avoid the Royal Mile. They don't, but they should. If you want to make the never-ending trek more fun, we present The Leaflet Game: collect as many flyers as you can on your way up the mile, and see how many you can hand out, promoter-style, before you reach the top. Winner gets a scotch egg.

Don't rub Greyfriars Bobby's nose
You'll want to – you really will, but as inhabitants of Edinburgh we implore you: please don't. Our little Greyfriars Bobby statue, situated near the grave of his master, has been considered a good luck symbol for many years, but all the nose-rubbing has made it go all weird and we don't like weird. We keep trying to fix it and it keeps failing, so do us a favour and leave him alone. We literally don't know what else to do to preserve him.

Get a selfie with a D-lister
The occasional big-name pops up in our fair city at this time of year (our pal swears his girlfriend's friend saw Josh Hartnett one time …) but who needs A-listers when you could get the D? You're bound to bump into that one guy from Hollyoaks or an ex-Blue Peter presenter and no one will believe you unless you take a photo and plaster it all over social media.

A Greyfriar's Bobby Statue
George IV Bridge, Edinburgh, EH1 1EN
B The Baked Potato Shop
56 Cockburn Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1PB
With regular queues out the door, this vegan fast food joint has been filling tatties and tums since 1983.