A city of history. A city of festivals. A city of sights.
A city for everyone!
Edinburgh is one of the world's most distinguished and spectacular cities. Its atmospheric medieval Old Town and majestic Georgian New Town have both been designated World Heritage Sites.
Its Festival attracts visitors in their thousands. In or near its centre it boasts world-class art galleries and museums, the renowned Botanic Gardens and an extensive Zoological Park. It is a treasure trove for shoppers in search of anything from rare books and malt whiskies to bagpipes and full Highland dress.
The capital of Scotland since 1437, the Old and New Town are UNESCO World Heritage Sites and there are over 4500 listed buildings within the city.
The historic centre of Edinburgh is divided into two by the broad green swath of Princes Street Gardens. To the south the view is dominated by Edinburgh Castle, perched atop the extinct volcanic crag, and the long sweep of the Old Town trailing after it along the ridge. To the north lies Princes Street and the New Town.
The Old Town has preserved its medieval plan and many Reformation-era buildings. One end is closed by the castle and the main artery, the Royal Mile, leads away from it; minor streets (called closes or wynds) lead downhill on either side of the main spine in a herringbone pattern. Large squares mark the location of markets or surround public buildings such as St Giles Cathedral and the Law Courts. Other notable places nearby include the Royal Museum of Scotland, Surgeons' Hall and McEwan Hall.
The New Town was an 18th century solution to the problem of an increasingly crowded Old Town. The city had remained incredibly compact, confined to the ridge running down from the castle. In 1766 a competition to design the New Town was won by James Craig, a 22-year-old architect. The plan that was built created a rigid, ordered grid, which fitted well with enlightenment ideas of rationality.
Today Edinburgh has something to offer for everyone. From historical sights to art to world famous festivals and celebrations.
To explore what you can do in the city on your visit select the 'Festivals' or 'Sights' pages from under the Edinburgh tab for some inspiration.