The city of Edinburgh has served as the cultural and political capital of Scotland for almost a thousand years. The fascinating city is the second most-visited city of the United Kingdom.
The vibrant past of the city can be seen throughout the quirky landmarks and intimate landscapes. Edinburgh has been called The Athens of the North, boasting inspiration for famous people such as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and JK Rowling. The mystical moorlands contain within themselves the tragic story of Mary, Queen of Scots.
The first place to visit in Edinburgh is the iconic site of Edinburgh Castle. The 11th Century Gothic building is perched on top of an extinct volcano. The massive structure includes historic halls and rooms filled with echoes of the past. The surrounding land has amazing panoramic views of the entire city and the gardens are perfect for picnics.
From the castle, you can wander down the Royal Mile. It is the oldest and most famous street of Edinburgh lined with historic buildings, churches and local shops that you can explore. The cobblestoned street is always a hub of activity with entertaining scenes of street theatre, fire-throwing bagpipers and guided rooftop tours.
If you are an art aficionado, then a visit to the National Gallery of Scotland will be most enjoyable for you. The entry is free and the gallery is filled with art displays that span years and provide an interesting look at the Scottish culture.
For a taste of the local cuisine, try the haggis. It is Scotland’s most famous dish, made with sheep’s meat and seasoned with onions and oatmeal. With Edinburgh’s ideal location, there is fresh seafood available around the year and you can always find British comfort foods such as fish and chips. There is also an array of international cuisines available in Edinburgh, from Italian to Thai.
The Elephant House is a world famous café known as the place where JK Rowling came up with the idea of Harry Potter. She spent most of her time writing it in the back area of the cafe overlooking the Edinburgh Castle.
Edinburgh’s social scene is legendary. From New Town filled with enough retails to provide a shopping bliss, to the Fringe Festival held every year that breaks records for its entertainment, Edinburgh has it all.
The drinking and party scene is on right through the night with some of the finest pubs and whisky bars. No matter what time of the night you go out, you can always find Scottish revelers dancing along the flickering firelight of bonfires or festival fireworks.
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