10 Do's and Don'ts are back, after a hiatus with Edinburgh in the picture.
Thanks to Danielle Ellis of Edinburgh Foody for sharing. "Edinburgh Foody is Edinburgh's longest running food blog written by Danielle, Caroline and Slaine. We are always happiest when tucking into a good meal made from Scotland's finest ingredients with a wee cocktail on the side!"
We have an amazing transport system of buses and a tram. You can go all over the city for just £4 a day. There are night buses to most areas too. Download the app to buy tickets (so you don't need to find change) and discover bus routes and timetables. It's one of the very best of its type.
It's a great way to get a flavor of the city. Choose one that has a live guide and you'll get lots of great stories including spooky ones!
-Explore Edinburgh's drinks
Gins and beer made in the city? There are many. Head for One Square that has 60 gins to try or Edinburgh Gin Distillery. And if you're here for a longer stay, you can even brew your own beer at Stewart Brewing, say a Popcorn Pilsner! The mixologists in our bars love nothing better than creating unique cocktails with ingredients created in the bar itself.
Hop on and off the museum bus to discover our two Modern Art galleries, the National Portrait Gallery and National Galleries. Fascinating exhibitions inside and out and renowned cafes in each one. "Starting at the Scottish National Gallery the bus runs a circular route to the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art and the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. A voluntary donation of £1 is requested." Current exhibit at Gallery of Modern Art is Modern Scottish Women | Painters and Sculptors 1885-1965 which opened on November 7 and runs until June 26, 2016.
Climb Arthur's Seat
Our very own extinct volcano Arthur's Seat in Holyrood Park is worth a climb. The views from the top are astonishing and if you look hard you might see where the sea once lapped.
Try haggis, neeps and tatties
If you like sausages, I assure you, you will love haggis. It's even better with a dram of whisky!
Don't assume it will be warm or dry in summer. Always bring layers and good walking shoes – we have lots of hills!
Bring the kids
Edinburgh is great for Kids. You can even entertain them for free! Pay a visit to Gorgie City Farm. The animals will keep youngsters amused for hours. Visit the Museum of Childhood on the Royal Mile and show the little ones toys from years ago. Ever seen a million pounds? You can at the Museum on the Mound.
Don't just visit in August.
We have amazing events all round including a Science Festival (March 26 to April 10, 2016) and Christmas and Hogmanay (New Year Festival) in addition to the Festivals during August. Check the list on Edinburgh Festival Cityin addition to the Festivals during August
Don't delay booking accommodation
The population of the city swells by a million during the August Edinburgh Festivals. Book your accommodation long in advance – unfortunately it will be pricey.
Don't miss the outdoors
We're the only European capital that has a park on one side of its main street. It's a leafy city, greenery everywhere you go. The Royal Botanical Gardens are a true oasis of peace. And when it's chilly pop into the palm house to warm up!
Don't park in the city
Parking is extremely expensive and limited. You don't need a car to get around town. If you do, download the RingGo app so that you can park without needing cash.
Don't rely on printed guides to eating out
We have more restaurants per head than any other city (allegedly). Follow some of the local bloggers from 2 The Kitchen via Jelly & Gin to The Usual Saucepans... to see which restaurants are up and coming. Fantastic ones open every week and the guides will be out of date.
Don't assume you can always get a table
Edinburgh is a small city and we love eating out. Always book the restaurant of your fancy as far in advance as possible. Often you'll find the best restaurants just off centre or down in Leith.
Don't skip the markets
A great place to find street food and the finest local produce, Markets listed on This is Edinburgh are held across the city, mostly on the weekend with special ones at Christmas and during August.
Don't think that whisky isn't for you
The story goes that there is a whisky for everyone and it's true! Visit the Scotch Whisky Experience as a starting point and you will be surprised.
You'll find that bank notes can look very different to those found in England. Although they are legal tender in England, sometimes you may encounter difficulty.
Don't wait to come back!
Once you've visited you'll be smitten. We'll see you soon.
(* Photo credits: Restaurant Martin Wishart dining room (top) from their website, Modern Scottish Women from Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Scottish Bills from Visit Scotland website, all others from their respective Facebook page's photo album)
It's been a while since the last 10 Do's and Don'ts , New Orleans (September 2014) was published.
This new installment on Turin was actually first published by Lucia Hannau on Turin Epicurean earlier today (June 6).
10 Do's and Don'ts in Turin
Our Twitter friend Serge the Concierge invited us to write this post following his do's and don'ts frame.
Naturally, there are many things to do and see here, but these are the basics.
1. Spend at least 5 days because Turin is amazing and 1 day isn't enough.
2. Start your day with a bicerin, the local decadent coffee made of espresso, cream and chocolate:P Life is short!
Via Garibaldi near Piazza Statuto
3. Walkdowntown as much as you can: from Piazza Statuto to Piazza Vittorio Veneto, going through Via Garibaldi, Piazza Castello, Via Po, Via Roma and Via Lagrange. There are many pedestrian streets and lots of shops, coffee places and beautiful palazzos, it will give you a sense of the city. if it rains no problem, we have over 12km/7miles of porticoes!
4. If you are staying somewhere with a furnished kitchen and you can cook, do your grocery shopping at the neighborhood market, even better at Porta Palazzo market, the largest open air market in Europe, located in the heart of Turin.
5. Try a different gelateria - gelato place, every day! Each gelato production is very different and each gelateria has its own specialties :D
6. Take advantage of aperitivo - aperitif! This Italian custom was born in Turin, so you'll experience first hand the real Turin lifestyle: after 6pm, most coffee shops cover their bars with finger food trays, lunch meats, bite size cheese portions, antipastos and even pastas! You can fill up your dish at least 2 for about 12Euros including a glass of wine or beer. This is indeed a scrumptious dinner on the budget!
7. Do visit in November because there are many things going on! On November 1 the light installations are turned up for the winter and each street displays a different pattern. The Turin Cinema Festival is around mid-November and during the last 10 days of the month there's the Chocolate Fest!
8. Do visit in April because our chocolate Easter eggs are huge and all the bakeries and coffee shops around town have amazing windows and displays
9. Visit the National Cinema Museum in Mole Antonelliana after lunch, so you can relax on the red velvet chaises longues, plus it's cool in the summer and warm in the winter. As this is the tallest building in Europe, the view from the top is just unbelievable!
Pepino in Piazza Carignano is a gelato institution
10. Take the city's piazzas like your living-room: when you are tired sit down in one of the manyhistorical cafés, order a velvety hot chocolate in the cold months, a vermouth before dinner or an iced coffee in the summer and enjoy your time and the people watching.
1. Don't rely on Milan's airports, land and depart directly from Turin (TRN) if you are flying, it's just more convenient.
2. Don't cross the street without checking the traffic in both directions and don't expect bus drivers to speak English; walk or use the metro (subway) it's quicker and easier.
3. Don't order wines from other Italian regions or countries! Piedmont is the Italian Burgundy because it produces top quality wines and you can easily try a new one at every meal.
4. Don't miss the Royal Palace of Venaria aka Turin's Versailles: in the summer you can have an early dinner in the royal gardens. If the King had his parties here, you can only imagine how beautiful it is!
5. Don't forget to visit the Queen's villa! This is a royal residence with one of the 3 urban vineyards in the world!! The Villa itself is beautiful and always open but before visiting the vineyard, contactBalbiano to know when it's open for the harvest (usually between the end of September and the beginning of October depending on the weather).
6. Don't skip the Egyptian museum!! You'll be amazed by its impressive collection of everyday objects, perfectly preserved papyri and mummies!
Agnolottini del plin
7. Don't be scared and try the local culinary specialties: Turin is a real epicurean capital with the most refined Italian cuisine. From risottos to desserts, a whole new culinary world will open up to you! Forget about the Italian food you already know.
8. Don't leave Turin without sampling local wines, beers, grappas and cocktails but: don't get wasted, Italians don't get drunk in public and usually have food with their cocktails. Turin has such a long spirits tradition there's always a new drink waiting for you.
"Sar.To 2014" to celebrate the Turin hometown of Italian fashion and its designers
9. Don't look for mainstream fashion designers! Turin is the leading capital of design and there are LOTS of very talented indie fashion designers making one of a kind handmade pieces, like:
10. Don't assume Turin is just an industrial city, there is always something going on: art festivals in October, Fashion week, lots of special exhibits all year round, free concerts in the piazzas (jazz, classical), electronic music and DJs week-ends, chocolate festival, sports events, parades, you name it!
XL Gianduiotto - Turin's staple chocolate, at the Chocolate Fest
(* All photos and illustrations courtesy of Lucia and Turin Epicurean)
10 Do's and Don'ts return with 10 Do's and Don'ts of New Orleans by Chef Alex Harrell of Sylvain in New Orleans. He spent childhood summers on the Gulf Coast learning how to cook seafood with his family . He's been at Sylvain since opening day in 2010.
- Spend a Sunday night in the courtyard at Bacchanal with wine and music. Bacchanal has mostly gypsy jazz from a varied line up on Sundays, favorites: the Courtyard Kings.
- Take a walk down Magazine street and explore all of the independent shops and restaurants.
- Beat the New Orleans heat with a stop at Hanson’s Sno-Bliz. My favorite is Satsuma with condensed milk.
- Spend a part of Tuesday or Saturday morning at the Crescent City Farmer’s Market checking out what is fresh and local. You get the best buys when produce is in mid-season and farmers have a lot of it. I love all of our local producers because of their passion for what they do. Some of these farmers and producers include Accardo’s Gourmet produce for heirloom tomatoes and peppers, Bellegarde Bakery for ciabatta and country breads, Cajun Grain for their brown jasmine rice and rice products, and our local dairies Ryal’s and Progress Milk Barn.
- Come to New Orleans at least once for Jazzfest, it’s an amazing time of the year in the city.
- After a night of music, get your strength back with tacos from food truck Taceaux Loceaux. My personal favorite is "Messin with Texas".
- As any New Orleanian will tell you, don’t waste your time on Bourbon Street. There are too many great neighborhoods in the city to explore.
- Don't think that you can come to New Orleans and not explore the city’s cocktail culture. French 75 bar, anything that Chris Hannah is pouring including their namesake cocktail and Ellipses and Dash, Sylvain for Sazerac and cocktails using the house made cola, Cure favorite is Mexican Bus Ride, but really anything they suggest based on your preferences., also Sobou with Barrel aged cocktails, and the Big Chief, these are all great places to do your research.
- Forget about tourist bus tours. Take in history of the city on foot, there are a number of great walking tours and museums that will offer information on the city’s past.
- Let's not forget City Park. With New Orleans Museum of Art and its Sculpture Garden, walking trails, and sporting opportunities there is plenty to do and see.
(* Photos of Martinique Bar and Three Muses from their websites, all others from their respective Facebook pages)