7 Reasons to spend Valentine's Day in Edinburgh


19th Jan 2024 Travel

4 min read

7 Reasons to spend Valentine's Day in Edinburgh
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, treat your loved one to a trip to the romantic city of Edinburgh, and do it in style
If you’re looking for a memorable, romantic trip that’s not too far for Valentine’s Day, then the Scottish capital city and cultural hub. From the iconic and historic luxury hotel The Balmoral and stunning landmarks like Edinburgh Castle and the Scott Monument, through to enjoying some delicious Valentine’s drinks and food, Edinburgh is your destination for a magical Valentines’ Day, anniversary or engagement celebration.
With so many sights and experiences in this bustling, beautiful city, here are seven special reasons to surprise your loved one with an Edinburgh break this Valentine’s Day.

1. Stay at The Balmoral

Deluxe Castle View Room at The Balmoral
Having celebrated its 120th anniversary in 2022, royal families, celebrities and heads of state have all stayed at this majestic five-star luxury hotel in the heart of Edinburgh. With stunning views of sunsets over Edinburgh Castle and the Scott Monument—especially from their Deluxe Castle View Rooms—this is the perfect place to stay for a romantic Valentine’s getaway.
"The Balmoral's Deluxe Castle View Rooms are perfect for a romantic Valentine's getaway"
Combining modern design and classic architecture, the hotel itself, with its incredible clock tower, is an Edinburgh landmark and part of the skyline. It’s not just the stunning surroundings either, the incredibly friendly and helpful Balmoral tartan-wearing staff go above and beyond to make The Balmoral one of the best hotel experiences you’ll ever have. There's also a spa, gym and a 4 AA Rosette restaurant Number One, serving Scottish cuisine. The perfect Scottish setting for romance.

2. See Scott Monument and Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle and the Scott Monument
Seeing the landmarks of Edinburgh is a must and two of the most historic and striking are just a short walk from The Balmoral. These incredible structures are perfect to visit with a hot drink in hand from coffee shop The Milkman on the nearby sloped Cockburn Street.
The Scott Monument is a Victorian Gothic monument dedicated to Scottish author Sir Walter Scott. Based on Princes Street (the same street as The Balmoral), the 200-feet high tower and statue inside are a mighty tribute. Edinburgh Castle, atop Castle Rock overlooking the city, dates back to the 11th century and offers the perfect opportunity to learn about fascinating Scottish history and enjoy the awe-inspiring views as well.

3. Afternoon tea at the Palm Court

The Balmoral's Palm Court for afternoon tea
Afternoon tea at The Balmoral's Palm Court will most likely be the most magical  you’ve ever enjoyed in your life. The serene and sumptuous, award-winning afternoon tea is unmatched for elegant atmosphere. The Balmoral’s Palm Court afternoon tea features palm trees in the corners, a sparkling glass dome and Venetian chandelier, lights-adorned trees, impeccable service and a live harp player on a balcony. 
"Afternoon tea at the Palm Court will most likely be the most magical you've ever enjoyed in your life"
The decadent setting is paired beautifully with afternoon tea that includes a stunning selection of loose-leaf teas (spectacularly poured from a height tableside), fresh pastries, delicious sandwiches and indulgent, heart-shaped Valentine’s sweet pastries. The love is truly in the air in the spell-binding Palm Court.

4. Visit the Scottish National Gallery and National Museum of Scotland

Scottish National Gallery
Edinburgh is a cultural city, with some of Scotland’s (and the world’s) finest museums and art galleries. Why not wander the halls with your loved one and take in the atmosphere as you absorb and enjoy history and art. Here are two of our favourites.
The Scottish National Gallery, on The Mound close to Princes Street, houses Scotland’s national collection of fine art, from the Renaissance onwards, in a striking neoclassical building. Romance and Reality Scotland 1800-1895 is highly recommended. The National Museum of Scotland includes Scottish archaeological finds (as well as artefacts from around the world) and the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition is well worth a visit too.

5. Whisky experience at SCOTCH

The Balmoral's SCOTCH whisky bar
Kilted Whisky Ambassadors will take you on a journey through Edinburgh’s largest whisky collection at The Balmoral’s SCOTCH whisky bar (five whiskies at £75 per person).
"With over 500 Scottish whiskies, enjoy a dram at SCOTCH and be guided by friendly experts"
With over 500 Scottish single malts and blends from the Highlands, Lowlands and beyond, take a seat in an armchair and enjoy a dram! Sipping on "the water of life" has never felt more right than in this welcoming bar with friendly and informative Whisky Ambassadors.

6. City view and monuments at Calton Hill

View of Edinburgh from Calton Hill
A short walk from The Balmoral beyond Princes Street’s east end is Calton Hill (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), a hill that offers spell-binding panoramas of Edinburgh without too much uphill effort. It’s an ideal spot for a romantic photo or two of you and your partner, or just capturing the inspiring beauty of Scotland’s capital city.
Calton Hill is also home to some impressive monuments and buildings, including the National Monument, Dugald Stewart Monument, Nelson Monument, Robert Burns Monument, Political Martyrs’ Monument and the City Observatory.

7. Drink cocktails at Bar Prince

The Balmoral's exclusive Valentine's Day cocktail Cupid's Dream
A perfect way to end your romantic trip to Edinburgh is by heading back to The Balmoral for delectable cocktails at the glamorous Bar Prince. Take a seat at the bar to watch the bartenders mix up close or take a table to enjoy some privacy.
With its mix of classic and bespoke cocktails, there’s something for everyone. Try the Cupid’s Dream exclusive Valentine’s Day cocktail—Champagne with notes of rose and violet—or opt for the sweet flavour of the non-alcoholic Blueberry Smash and smooth cherry of the Be-Berry to round out a spectacular trip to Scotland’s capital.
Banner photo credit: The Balmoral 
Keep up with the top stories from Reader's Digest by subscribing to our weekly newsletter