Edinburgh is a gateway to Scotland and a truly great destination for a city break. Edinburgh combines old and new in a unique Scottish atmosphere. The town, seat of the Scottish Parliament, rises on a set of volcanic hills and is actually made up of two parts. The older part of Edinburgh stands on a rocky peak, while the newer part of town was built below in the 19th century. Classified as UNESCO World Heritage for its medieval quarters, Edinburgh is more than a city of art and history. Between its pubs and its international festival, this city is also perfectly suitable for those who like to party and have fun.
Photo Credit: Saffron Blaze
When to go to Edinburgh?
Edinburgh, or the whole of Scotland really, has the reputation of being a rainy city and not without reason. Even in summer, temperatures rarely come above 25 degrees and the weather can flip in a moment. Make sure you have a raincoat or umbrella at the ready, even in summer just in case. If you go to Edinburgh in spring, the weather will be nice and mild.
Edinburgh also regularly hosts a variety of festivals, so make sure to watch their calendar. They host anything from Science Festivals to the Imaginate Festival over spring and summer. During the winter months, there will be an ice rink, crafts markets and other attractions.
Photo Credit: Festival Fringe Society
Even though the climate is not the most attractive, Edinburgh is a city full of history. A major artistic centre in the 18th and 19th centuries, it has among its followers such great names as Robert Louis Stevenson, Charles Dickens and Robert Burns. From its medieval houses in the older parts of town to the Georgian elegance of newer build properties, Edinburgh has the well-deserved reputation of being one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
Edinburgh is compact, but do not limit yourself to its centre. Explore Leith and the Stockbridge, Morningside, Duddingston and Cramond districts, all of which have a special charm and character. Edinburgh is also supremely located to explore some of Scotland’s most beautiful lakes and mountains. If you have a spare day, consider a tour to Loch Ness or other parts of the Scottish Highlands.
Photo Credit: Tm
What to see in Edinburgh
In addition to the festivals, the city holds many architectural marvels so it’s impossible to get bored. Start the tour from Royal Mile, the street that connects Holyrood Palace with Edinburgh Castle, the latter being perched at the top of one of the highest points in the city. The royal fortress is in excellent condition, and the visit is highly recommended. The Palace of Holyrood houses the gallery of the Queen and the works of art from the royal collection.
Edinburgh is also home to many different museums, including the National Gallery of Scotland. Scotch Whiskey Experience at the gates of Edinburgh Castle is the perfect place to discover the beauty of Scottish whiskies.
The best pubs in Edinburgh
Another emblematic image of Scotland, the traditional pub is a place that seduces you with its conviviality and warm atmosphere. Go to Grassmarket and Cowgate and High Street where Edinburgh’s best pubs are located. It is also an opportunity to taste Scottish culinary specialties such as haggis (a belly of stuffed sheep) or stovie (a kind of hashish parmentier).