A trendy hangout sitting in the shadows of a grisly past. Packed with lively pubs, eateries and atmosphere, the Grassmarket lurks within the lower levels of the Old Town of Edinburgh.

A short walk from the Royal Mile within Edinburgh’s Old Town, the Grassmarket is a popular attraction for a number of reasons. Not only are you spoilt for choice for colourful and atmospheric places to eat, when the conversation runs dry there is the location’s grisly past as a subject to fall back on. Burke and Hare, the infamous murderers at large who served the medical community with fresh cadavers,operated beneath the castle in the Grassmarket. Aside from Edinburgh’s  deadly duo, the hangman’s noose could be seen in full swing as this was the location of many a public execution…today we have the X-Box, DVDs and the bowling alley for our entertainment pleasure!

If you head up along Candlemakers Row from the Grassmarket you will spot Edinburgh’s most photographed tourist attraction, that of the cute statue of Greyfriars Bobby.

It can be said that Edinburgh offers some of the best restaurants in the country so all you ‘Foodies’ reading this, beware those expanding waistlines! Being a studenty neighbourhood, the emphasis is largely on cheap, cheerful and delicious. You won’t find any stuffy atmospheres around here, instead expect a lively ambience. Popular restaurants in the Grassmarket currently include, Ristorante Gennaro, Mamma’s American Pizza Co and The Mussels and Steak Bar and if you turn up Victoria Street, the delights of international cuisine tempt you further. Mariachi’s is a  lively Mexican eaterie, the French restaurant Maison Bleue, Khushi’s Indian restaurant and the Thai Orchid restaurant upon Johnstone Terrace.

Victoria Street offers snazzy boutiques, a dusty bookshop, as already mentioned, a healthy variety of restaurants and cafes, an internet cafe and a very steep climb to the Royal Mile. So severe is the gradient of Victoria Street that mountain climbing experience would be an asset as well as an oxygen tank at the ready for when you reach the top! I may exaggerate, just a tad! This street has a jewel in its crown to make the strenuous walk all the more worthwhile…it has a Christmas Shop! Let it be Christmas every day!