Edinburgh is Scotland's capital. It is an exciting blend of traditional, cultural and modern. The city appears to be split into two contrasting areas, separated by Princes Street Gardens. The Old Town, with its narrow lanes and cobbled streets, is steeped in history, while The New Town boasts orderly, elegant Georgian buildings and Neoclassical architecture. A bustling, cosmopolitan city, Edinburgh has something to suit everyone, from designer shops, museums and art galleries to lively bars, restaurants, clubs and the theatres. And, of course Edinburgh Castle, which dominates the skyline and provides spectacular photo opportunities.
Edinburgh is very accessible and easy to get around. By foot is the best way, as most of the popular tourist attractions are all close to hand. The open-topped bus tours, which depart from Waverley Bridge, are a great way to familiarise yourself with the city, and you can hop on and off as you please. Edinburgh has two main train stations: Waverley, just off Princes Street, and Haymarket, in the west end. Both provide excellent rail liks to the rest of Scotland as well as south of the border. Glasgow can be reached in just under one hour. Buses are another option for getting around. They are frequent, cheap and cover the whole of the city.
With regards to climate, the best time to visit Edinburgh is between between May and September, when the weather is considerably milder. There will probably still be rain during this time but the days are longer. In June/July it does not get dark until 10.00pm. Although winter (especially New Year) is still a very popular time for visitors, it can be very cold, and daylight hours are much shorter. August and September are the busiest times for visitors due to the Festival.
|Edinburgh Climate Chart|
|The following are approximate daily temperatures for Edinburgh:|
You will be spoilt for choice whilst in Edinburgh, particularly around festival time (Aug-Sep) when there are innumerable concerts, stand-up comedians and shows, as well as the world famous Military Tattoo. This is a great time to visit the city, as it is even more vibrant than normal and there is a constant buzz of activity. Edinburgh Castle, steeped in history, is well worth a visit. The Scottish Crown Jewels and the Stone of Destiny can be seen here, while the Esplanade offers magnificent views over the city. The Palace of Holyrood and Royal Museum of Scotland are also popular, as are the many art galleries on offer. Edinburgh Zoo is always a favourite, especially with children, as is the Museum of Childhood.
Edinburgh boasts an abundance of restaurants. Whether you want to try traditional Scottish fare or want an international or ethnic option, there is a wide choice available to suit all tastes and budgets, in both the New and Old Towns. Some Scottish specialities to try include porridge or smoked kippers for breakfast, scones, Scotch pies, Scotch broth, Aberdeen Angus steak, venison, Scottish salmon and, of course, Scotland's National Dish, haggis - all washed down with a whisky, or Scotland's other favourite drink, Irn-Bru.