A bustling and vibrant city, steeped in history and host to a variety of colourful festivals throughout the year, there is no shortage of things to do in Edinburgh. Read on to discover what this fantastic city has to offer, no matter what type of weather has been conjured up. With its imposing castle dominating the skyline, emboldening the elegant walled ancient city with its narrow alleyways and staircases. The city is filled with street entertainers, boutiques, cafes and quality restaurants. It’s a lush city too, encircled with green peaks and grassy parks dotted within the city’s neighbourhoods that run out along the Forth of Firth and down to the ports at Leith.
Edinburgh is the arguably the most exciting and culturally varied city in Scotland. It’s biggest rival Glasgow is a short drive to the west so it is possible to spend time in both cities on your break. In the heart of the city is the Royal Mile and Edinburgh Castle, which has been home to royal family for generations. It’s also home to some of the most eye catching and unique architectural wonders north of the border. The city is situated around seven large hills and a deep valley, so bring comfortable shoes because there are some impressive slopes and stone staircases to conquer right in the thick of Edinburgh.
The city is packed with restaurants, museums, outdoor places of interest, amazing shopping options, night spots and live entertainment venues. Top of most people’s list will be a journey to visit Edinburgh Castle. There is a helpful section on the website to help you plan an itinerary to make sure that you see all the best bits in accordance with the length of your visit. Unmissable is the Stone of Destiny, the Great Hall and the Royal Palace. Make sure that you book tickets in advance because queues can be very long, especially in the summer time.
Edinburgh is also home to Arthur’s Seat, a popular city zoo, the National Gallery of Scotland, and the mysterious, abandoned 17th century wonder, May King’s Close. Dating back to Roman times the city is not short of places of historical interest to add to your itinerary. Arthur’s Seat is a gorgeous hilltop look out that characterises all the views to the east of the city. The hill is part of the Holyrood Country Park. The base lies one mile from the centre of the city and although its 250 metres high there are paths to the summit that make it a relatively easy ascent. It’s worth it too for some grand photo opportunities to capture the iconic city and the outlying area. Edinburgh Zoo is the largest in Scotland and is a fun and educational day out for all the family, so make sure you add a visit to your list of places to go. Name an animal, bird or reptile and this zoo probably has at least one in residence. Art lovers can revel in classical to modern works in the National Galleries permanent collection and a constant stream of visiting exhibitions and events.
The city’s most famous festival is the Edinburgh Fringe Festival which showcases comedy and theatre from the more experimental and abstract corners of performance arts. Taking place in August, the city transforms into a gigantic swirl of colourful, avant-garde creativity and action. The Edinburgh Film Festival has also cultivated a great international reputation for itself and its also open to the public so if cinemas your ‘thing’ then book ahead to see some interesting films before they get a general release.
Like any vibrant city there is a good listing guides to events, food and drink, and places to go and Edinburgh is no different. Check out The List for an up-to-date compilation of activities in and around the city.
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