The capital of Scotland and one of the most dramatic cities in Europe, thanks to its collection of Medieval and Georgian architecture. It covers over 259 km2 with a population of nearly half a million. Now the home of the Scottish parliament (in a stunning new building worth a visit), it has world famous universities, listed buildings and major cultural events that bring in over 13 million visitors each year. The castle is stunning, with amazing views from the ramparts of the city below and out over to the lowlands of Scotland.
Starting with the massive Hogmanay (New Year’s Eve) street party and firework display (200,000 visitors in 2007), the cultural year includes the Edinburgh Fringe arts festival in August, the Military Tattoo (lots of men in kilts playing bagpipes and sweaty soldiers in shorts humping cannons) and the International Film Festival. As the city gets so busy in the late summer, it is important to plan a visit there carefully to make sure you have accommodation.
The permanent historic sites, museums and galleries make this a wonderful city to visit at any time. Nearby are great golf courses and stunning landscapes and fine old houses and castles, many open to the public. For urban tourists, the city has full amenities, great shops and a wide range of bars and places for eating and clubbing. It may not be the hippest place in Europe but it offers a lot for the GLBT community - Edinburgh's gay life is centered largely around the New Town's Broughton Street. There are many clubs and bars and there is constant theme changing to keep the local community interested.
Most of the Old Town and New Town districts have been preserved and have been UNESCO World Heritage Site listed since 1995. During the Festivals the sheer number of tourists can make the place a bit overwhelming, but the atmosphere is fun, with street entertainers, events and spontaneous shows on every corner. The city is a global tourist attraction and now famous as the home of Ian Rankin, the writer and the setting for his many Rebus detective novels.
Events calendar Edinburgh
Pride in Edinburgh
Edinburgh as start page
Are you an events organiser?