Edinburgh is Scotland’s capital city. It is located in the heavily populated “Central Belt” region of the nation. A place of deep history, Edinburgh has stunning architecture, including an imposing castle that sits overlooking the city’s atmospheric Old Town section. In addition to its historic attractions, Edinburgh is a great city for dining, nightlife and the arts. A number of concert venues and theater festivals make this a great place for tourists who are interested in culture. Whether you are hoping to spend time enjoying the arts and culture of a cosmopolitan city or getting in touch with the rich past of Scotland, Edinburgh is a great destination.

Getting Around

Princes Street

Photo: Mac Dor / Flickr

Getting around Edinburgh is simple. If you have packed the right clothing (a coat in winter, rain gear and a light jacket the rest of the year), then walking around the central areas of the city is a simple undertaking. Buses and a single (but very useful) tram line provide travelers with their best transit options. If you are using Edinburgh as a base, many other destinations in Scotland can be reached via rail.

Hotels

Balmoral Hotel

Photo: Setsuna80 / Flickr

Edinburgh has a number of world-class hotels, as well as plenty of mid-range and budget accommodations. Visitors who are seeking out the perfect place to stay while in this Scottish city can find hotels in Edinburgh here. If you are traveling in August, when many of the theater and art festivals held in the city take place, hotels must be booked well in advance. The same is true around the Christmas/New Year holiday season.

What to Do in Edinburgh

Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Photo: Mac Dor / Flickr

Edinburgh is a great city for sightseers, so a stroll to see the city’s best landmarks is on most itineraries, even for people who are in Edinburgh for a special event. The city is filled with culture, so a trip to a restaurant, theater or concert venue is usually part of every visitor’s plans. If you come in August, you will be treated to well-known events like the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, a celebration of avant garde theater. However, there are performances happening throughout the year, so there is no need to visit in August in order to appreciate the vibrant performing arts scene. In addition, cultural attractions can be found in a museum setting at places like the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. Some people simply want to wander the atmospheric Old Town center of Edinburgh on foot.

What to Eat and Drink

Dirty Dick's Pub

Photo: Mac Dor / Flickr

Edinburgh has a food scene that is quickly gaining international attention. It is possible to find Michelin-starred eateries in the city. A host of international cuisines are also available, with Thai, Indian and Middle Eastern cuisines all well-represented. Edinburgh boasts a great pub culture, with welcoming local watering holes, music venues, and night clubs with world-class djs.

Sights You Can’t Miss

Edinburgh Castle

Photo: Bert Kaufmann / Flickr

If there is one can’t-miss site in Edinburgh it is the imposing and impressive Edinburgh Castle, which sits overlooking he heart of the city. This castle has been in use for the past 1,000 years and is still in remarkably good shape. The William Scott monument and the Royal Botanic Garden are also on the top of many sightseeing itineraries.

Have you spent time in Edinburgh? Tell us what other information we should know about this great city in the comments section below.

Josh Lew
Josh Lew
Josh Lew has traveled widely in Asia and the Americas. He has contributed to popular travel sites like Gadling and Brave New Traveler and currently writes a weekly travel column for MNN. His work has also appeared on the websites of CNN and Forbes Magazine.

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