Edinburgh more popular than Paris as top Valentine’s destination

Edinburgh has beaten Paris as a romantic destination.
Edinburgh has beaten Paris as a romantic destination.
Have your say

Edinburgh has proven more popular than Paris for Valentine’s day travellers according to a recent study.


Arthurs Seat  from Blackford Hill

Arthurs Seat from Blackford Hill

200 Voices: find out more about the people who have shaped Scotland

According to a new survey conducted by TripAdvisor, Auld Reekie ranks ahead of the French capital as one of the top 5 city picks for Spanish travellers to visit on Valentine’s day.

Falling just behind Amsterdam, Barcelona and London on the list, it’s in front of the more traditionally romantic city of Paris, which has long been associated with the holiday that lands on the 14th of February each year. So it’s certainly a surprise that Scotland’s drizzly mountains and neeps n’ tatties are more lucrative to travellers than the home of the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre for couples to enjoy the romantic holiday.

Manuela Calchini, Regional Director at VisitScotland, said: “We are delighted to hear that Edinburgh ranks above Paris, the traditional city of love, as a European destination to spend Valentine’s Day for Spanish travellers.

“From the awe-inspiring panorama atop Arthur’s Seat, to the grace and splendor of our beautiful historic castle, a romantic setting is never far away in Edinburgh.

“And with Michelin-star dining and a fantastic choice of bars and pubs there are a plethora of other places around the capital to create memorable moments with your loved one.”

To celebrate this, we compiled a list of the most romantic things to do in Edinburgh on Valentine’s Day.

1. Stay in one of Edinburgh’s world-class hotels

Edinburgh is a base for some of the finest luxury hotels in Europe, with the Caledonian Waldorf-Astoria at the top of Princes’ Street being an obvious choice. Five-star room and cuisine and convenient location makes it one of the most famous hotels in the city. If you’re looking for somewhere away from the street noise but the same five-star treatment, Prestonfield House is arguably the most luxurious and decadent spot, a beautiful hotel built on a vast expanse of greenery.

2. Walk up Arthur’s Seat

Much easier than it sounds. Arthur’s Seat is famous for it’s incredible views of the city and touted as one of the top ways to experience the Scottish winds at their most brutal, which is something to experience at least once. Pick a blustery day without rain - which admittedly, in February, is a slim chance - and hike up the rolling hills to the very top.

3. Take in a night of jazz and drinks

The jazz bar on South Bridge is famous for its authentic, New-Orleans-dive-bar feel. Underground and cosy, Tuesday is a great night to go when it’s less crowded and you won’t have to fight to get a drink. With the soaring saxophones and velvety vocal tones along with candlelit tables and a conversation at a low murmur, it’s the perfect atmosphere to wind down after dinner.

4. Sample Michelin-star cuisine

While Edinburgh’s restaurants are all full of fantastic food, for a special experience in fine dining, one of its most famous and most exclusive restaurants is The Kitchin. Founded by Tom and Michaela Kitchin, it serves nouveau cuisine in a low-lit restaurant on Commercial Quay. The food is usually five courses of small but significant dishes and as always, it is more about enjoying the experience than getting filled up. Book well in advance - this restaurant is just as exclusive as it says.

5. Single? Say No More

If you’re flying solo this Valentine’s Day, give Tinder a miss and meet some real people over at Paradise Palms, which is hosting their “Hot Singles” speed dating night. Each date lasts the length of a song spun by the DJ, ice breakers will be provided and there’s a free cocktail on arrival, which should make any awkward conversation by candlelight a little easier to deal with.