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Edinburgh Uncovered: A Guide to Business Travel in the City

Sometimes it can feel like you’re living out a suitcase when you’re away on business. Whether you’re staying in a trade show hotel, or in five-star digs, it can take a while to get your bearings for a city and know your way around.

Scotland’s capital is a bustling hive of activity all-year round, making it one of the top destinations for corporate travel. With a number of public and trade events taking place at any given time; from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival to the Military Tattoo, here’s some tips for making the most of your time in the city.

Getting Some Zzzzz’s

From budget to luxury and trade show hotels, Edinburgh has no shortage of accommodation to suit all needs.

On the conservative side, the Travelodge on Central Rose Street is a bargain at £36 a night, for those not fazed by its lack of frills. Within throwing distance of Edinburgh Castle, it’s also an excellent location to be based, making it very popular with tourists and business travelers alike.

The Radisson Blu on the Royal Mile is a top trade show hotel, which attracts a business crowd. There’s parking and a fitness centre, as well as WiFi throughout.

Creating quite a stir in the city, the Carlton Hotel in Market Street just opened this summer. A boutique hotel oozing with facilities, it’s a great place to stay for business meetings. It has numerous meeting rooms for hire as well as an inspiring creative room to get all the juices flowing.

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Dining Out

When the excitement of in-room dining has worn off, you’ll want to find a local café or kitchen that serves great food. Well, you’re in luck! Edinburgh is known for its excellent cuisine, found on every corner.

Watch the world go by over a coffee and bun at Twelve Triangles in Brunswick Street. Or, for something heartier, make Snax Café your go-to, for that full-English you’ve been craving.

Cheap eats don’t come better than First Coasts, a popular spot with professionals. Boasting tasty local dishes, it’s hard not to resist ‘haggis, neeps and mash’ – a delight that must be tried at least once.

If money is no option, then the newly opened Fhior is another example of Scottish dining at its best. A good location for those looking to impress clients.

If you’re hoping to combine dining with meetings, then Timberyard is a good spot with its informal decor and crowd-pleasing menu.

For after hours, you’re spoilt for choice in this whisky-loving city. The Bow Bar is a fine example of this – a classic Scottish pub with more than 300 drams to choose from. If you’re looking for somewhere more vibrant, then Panda & Sons has a prohibition-era feel about it, with mesmerising cocktails served up before your very eyes!

Out and About

When you’ve been working hard at a trade show, hotels can be good place to escape from. Offering respite from a busy week, Newhaven Harbour is a tranquil setting to walk around. Leave the stress of working life behind you and relax in this picturesque town, just 20 minutes outside the main centre.

Closer to the city, a walk up to Edinburgh Castle is a rite of passage for anyone staying here; as are the gift shops on the way up and down.

Open daily from 10am - 6pm and with free entry, The Scottish National Gallery is worthy of your time. It’s hard not to be impressed with iconic pieces from Monet, Leonardo da Vinci and Vincent van Gogh gracing its historic walls.

Heart Pumping

If you’re missing your home routine, you’ll be pleased to know that there’s plenty of pay-as-you-go gyms in the area to use. Pure Gym is one such facility, with over six facilities to choose from. Day passes start from £5.99 for a single session.

If you prefer to enjoy the great outdoors, make sure you visit Holyrood Park. Great for a run, walk or hike it’s also home to Arthur’s Seat providing sweeping views across the city - you’ll be glad you make the trek out.

Big Events

Attracting A-listers and the media gaze, the International Film Festival comes to Edinburgh for a week in June. Showcasing the latest movies to watch, it’s the world’s longest continually-running film festival.

However, one of the big events that attracts tourists in their thousands, is the infamous Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Taking place once again between 2-26 August, expect the city to be packed with revelers, soaking up the culture and performances with more than 3,398 shows to choose from. If you’re staying in the local area, it’s the perfect excuse to leave your hotel and have some fun!

Finally, it would be remiss to not mention Edinburgh without covering New Years’. As one of the biggest annual events, nearly 150,000 people attend Hogmanay in the city for its three-day celebration. If you’re visiting on business during this time, be sure to book your hotel in advance, as they get snapped up early.

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