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About city Gallery Where to stay

After Glasgow, Edinburgh is the largest city in Scotland. It‘s one of the most beautiful places in the United Kingdom with a history no less fascinating than its tourist attractions.

Those who can’t imagine their lives without literature and reading would be hard-pressed to find a better place than Edinburgh. In 2004, the city became the world’s first UNESCO City of Literature – Edinburgh was home to many brilliant writers, whose legacy is now carried on by contemporary authors.

The city presents its visitors with a wide-ranging sightseeing and entertainment programme, which may make it difficult to decide where to begin. If that happens to you, we’d advise you to just walk along the main streets, collectively called the Royal Mile, with the Edinburgh Castle at one end and the official Royal Residence on the other. These streets are also home to the legendary St. Giles Cathedral, the entrance to the Real Mary King’s Close, and the Scottish Parliament building – a real masterpiece of modern architecture.

View down the historic Royal Mile, Edinburgh
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  View down the historic Royal Mile, Edinburgh

Once you settle down, we recommend you roam the narrow, cobbled streets of the Old Town and the elegant streets of the New Town, arranged in a spacious semi-circle. In total, the city has 4,500 state-protected architectural monuments and historic structures.

During the period between February and March, tourism in Edinburgh dies down significantly. Due to its maritime climate, temperatures in Edinburgh almost never dip below zero, making it a good place to visit with the whole family even during winter, and what's more, during this season hotels and restaurants offer the largest discounts. Tourists begin to come here mid-April and continue to do so until the end of September. Most of them come to Edinburgh for the festivals that the Scottish capital is known for worldwide – few cities organise as many.

Every August, this city hosts the Edinburgh International Festival, which is the largest festival in the whole of Europe. As soon as it begins, the city’s theatres, concert halls and squares become flooded with actors, eager to put on a good show. August is also the month of the annual Book Festival; while the beginning and middle of the summer are marked by two other important events – the International Film Festival, and the Jazz & Blues Festival.  In October, orators and lovers of debate flock to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, while science enthusiasts head to the International Science Festival that takes place in March-April.

Sunset views over Edinburgh
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  Sunset views over Edinburgh

Edinburgh has a very lively music culture – performers of various genres play here almost every evening. The best shows usually take place in the HMV Picture House and the Queen’s Hall.

If you’re going with your kids, make sure you visit the City Zoo – apart from the many different animals, here you’ll also be able to see all kinds of entertainment programmes, such as the daily Penguin Parade. School-aged children love the interactive educational exposition, called Our Dynamic Earth, while the bolder of teens can go on an evening tour that presents Edinburgh’s ghosts. Edinburgh also has the world’s largest indoor climbing wall that’s open both to beginners and experienced mountaineers.

Pub in Edinburgh
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  Pub in Edinburgh

It’s hard to get one’s head around the number of Edinburgh’s pubs, bars, restaurants and other inns, and whenever the Scottish culinary heritage in mentioned, a mental image of whisky – the country’s famous national drink – comes mind immediately. Few tourists fail to visit the Scotch Whisky Heritage Centre, located on the upper end of the Royal Mile. Here the visitors can go on a tour that consists of an educational programme about the drink’s history and manufacturing process, and, of course, an ensuing whisky tasting.

As for the national dishes, you simply must try the famous haggis. Traditionally, it is eaten on the birthday of the Scottish national poet Robert Burns, although most restaurants serve it at other times as well. If you haven’t tried this pudding, served in a sheep’s stomach, you can’t say that you’ve been to Scotland.

Where to stay

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