Edinburgh Travel Guide

Arthur's Seat, Edinburgh

Introduction and Overview

The Edinburgh Travel Guide provides an overview of the main attractions and places of interest in the city and highlights useful tourist information and tips for visitors.

Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland and from a visitors perspective the city has a plenty going for it, a scenic setting, historic visitor attractions, entertainment and the city is renowned as a cultural hub.

The city is home to some of the best galleries and museums in the UK, art aficionados and culture vultures will be especially at home here.

The setting for the city is striking; the city is perched on a number of now extinct volcanoes and rocky crags which rise from the flat landscape of the Lothians. Whilst there is plenty of history and tradition in the capital city, the city also prides itself on being modern and dynamic.

It is a city that attracts international festivals with some of the world's leading performers, galleries with avant-garde art, and plenty of restaurants, bars and clubs that all combine to create a cosmopolitan atmosphere with a noticeable Scottish flavour.

Edinburgh Castle dominates the skyline in the city and with over a thousand years of history it is not surprising it is a big tourist attraction, over a million people visit each year.

Views from the top of the castle are a joy to behold, there are truly stunning views of the city in all directions. Looking north the mountains of The Kingdom of Fife are visible in the distance, looking below you will see the famous Princes Street Gardens.

Edinburgh City Centre has long been described as one of the most scenic in Europe. The area blends a fine mix of historical and cultural attractions with great shopping facilities and acclaimed architecture.

Princes Street is one of the main shopping streets in the city with a wide choice of high street and designer stores. There is also the Scott Monument and the National Gallery of Scotland to see.

George Street includes a number of neoclassical buildings and a choice of jewellers, bars, clubs, restaurants and up market boutiques.

The West End and Haymarket areas are located close to the city centre. The West End is known for its cobbled Georgian shopping streets here visitors can find traditional pubs, delicatessens, boutiques and designer stores.

Haymarket is located to the west of the city, Murrayfield Stadium the home of Scottish rugby is located a short distance away and Edinburgh Zoo is located close by offering a great day out for the whole family.

Grassmarket is a historic market square that is a favourite meeting place for locals, students and visitors. The area includes a number of pubs, clubs and wide choice of retail shops and retains its medieval architecture giving it plenty of character. Visitors can enjoy some wonderful view of Edinburgh Castle from the area.

The Royal Mile is approx one mile long in the heart of the city connecting Edinburgh Castle with the Palace of Holyroodhouse. The area includes a number of tall tenements which include stairways and closes creating a hidden underground area.

Among the attractions are the historic St Giles’ Cathedral and the contemporary Scottish Parliament building.

Edinburgh’s Old and New Towns are wonderfully preserved and are included in the Edinburgh World Heritage Site. The Old Town is a medieval town characterised by its cobbled streets and narrow alleyways. There are a number of tenement buildings dating back to the Reformation era that have been well preserved.

The New Town offers a contrast to the Old Town, the cobbled streets and alleyways give way to a tidy, orderly grid system with wide streets. There are a number of neoclassical buildings to see including Georgian House located in Charlotte Square.

Attractions include the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, whilst there are a choice of bars and eateries on George Street

Leith is located north of the city centre and has long been established as the port of Edinburgh. The area is known for its creativity with a number of artworks and galleries located here, including the Corn Exchange Gallery.

There are a number of acclaimed restaurants, eateries and bars in the scenic Shore area with the Ocean Terminal Shopping Centre and the Royal Yacht Britannia among the top attractions for visitors.

Edinburghh is a popular city to visit with a number of attractions and points of interest in the city. With a celebrated arts and cultural scene it combines history, culture, arts, festivals and parties ensuring there is something for all visitors to the city.

The city has become a popular short breaks destination in recent years with good transport links to the rest of the UK.

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