A Contradiction in Times

As Scotland's capital since the 11th century, Edinburgh has seen many dramatic events and patriotic passions over the centuries. Crowned by the impressive and imposing castle, the city manages to combine the ancient with the modern, with long streets flanked by rows of elegant Georgian houses standing side by side with modernist architecture, and a vivacious youth culture complements a legacy of culture and tradition.

The best way to experience this vibrant city is to stroll down Royal Mile, an ancient cobble-stoned street, and visit the many specialty shops selling whisky, bagpipes and tartan, or take to the green open spaces of Holyrood Park or the beautiful Princes Street Gardens.

Every year at the end of summer, the world-famous Edinburgh International Festival and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival take over the city for a celebration of dance, opera, music, theatre and comedy. The Edinburgh Military Tattoo, held at the same time, features pipe bands from all over the world performing with military precision.

Insiders' Tips

  1. Enjoy a Scottish festival: Join the locals in celebrations, from the infamous Fringe Festival to T in the Park.
  2. Dawdle down the Rose Street: Soak up the atmosphere, and some ale, from some of the finest pubs the country has to offer.
  3. Comb the Alleyways: Explore the shadows of the medieval castle with its cobblestone alleys, Georgian townhouses and superb Scottish architectural heritage.
  4. Gilmerton Cove: Lose yourself in the labyrinth of mysterious caverns and passageways lingering below the streets of Edinburgh.
  5. Ghosts and Gouls: Learn about the ghostly past of Edinburgh with a tour that walks you through creepy underground vaults and tells the most gruesome tales of Scotland.

For More Information

For maps, days tours and accommodation options, visit the Edinburgh chapter in our Britain & Ireland Essentials online brochure below.

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