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Guide to Edinburgh

The ‘Athens of the North’ is an excellent choice for a traveller seeking variety.  Edinburgh is a bustling city, full of history, with countryside tranquillity on its doorstep.

Scotland’s cultured capital has it all.  It is an ancient and modern city with an array of great festivals, museums, galleries, parks, gardens, pubs, restaurants and a very famous castle.

Edinburgh Castle is the city’s most famous and most-visited landmark.  Sitting high on volcanic Castle Rock, it can be seen from the Old Town and New Town.  It dates back to the 12th-century and is still in use today. Walk up to the esplanade via the cobbled streets of the Royal Mile for an appreciation of old Edinburgh.  If tartan tourism appeals this is also the place to indulge. 

While in the neighbourhood, make a booking at the enchanting Witchery by the Castle restaurant, set in a 16th-century underground building.  It takes its name from the many women burned at the stake on Castlehill.  These days, the steak tartare is better known.

Downhill from the Castle you’ll find the lively Grassmarket area.  Walk down colourful Victoria Street to experience city’s unique structure.  Here you’ll find independent shops, bars and restaurants.  One thing you’ll notice about this city is the versatile range of drinking and dining options. There is something for all tastes in Edinburgh.

Winding away from the Old Town, via the city Mound, head towards Prince’s Street for a stunning view across to the New Town.  Below the Mound sits the National Gallery of Scotland and the Royal Scottish Academy, which attracts some internationally esteemed exhibitions throughout the year.

From the Mound you can see the gothic Scott Monument, which pays tribute to Scottish author Sir Walter Scott.  Ascend the 200 feet (61 metres) tall tower for panoramic views of the city centre.

The Monument is a good reference point.  It sits on Princes Street, along from the tourist office, Balmoral Hotel, Waverley Train Station and by Princes Street Gardens. The Gardens date back to the 18th-century and were created after the draining of former Nor Loch, located here.  In summer, it is a great place to relax.

On the other side of Princes Street, sits the New Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, dating back to the mid-17th century.  Here you’ll find Edinburgh’s elegant Georgian architecture, art galleries, independent shops, bars and cafes.  If you take a closer look you might spot former homes of Edinburgh’s literary heroes, JM Barrie and Robert-Louis Stevenson, who once lived here.

Edinburgh has much to offer in and around the city, which extends to the bohemian Shore area, where the Royal Yacht Britannia rests.  Take a bus tour before settling on your favourite area to relax and sample a whisky.

Don’t forget to check out the festival calendar before you visit. August is Edinburgh’s biggest festival season.


Guide to Exploring Edinburgh


Top Hotel Deals

See all 680 Hotels in Edinburgh
£56
The City Suites

The City Suites

Western Harbour Midway, Edinburgh
4.0
of 5, from 178 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in Leith, this apartment is within 3 mi (5 km) of Royal Yacht Britannia, Edinburgh Playhouse Theatre, and Princes Street Gardens. Palace of Holyroodhouse and Royal Botanic Garden are also within 3 mi (5 km).

£82
Apex Grassmarket Hotel

Apex Grassmarket Hotel

31-35 Grassmarket, Edinburgh
4.2
of 5, from 929 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Set on the cobbled Grassmarket, this contemporary hotel is overlooked by Edinburgh Castle, and is within 500 metres of The Royal Mile and Princes Street gardens.

£60
Dalmahoy Hotel & Country Club

Dalmahoy Hotel & Country Club

Dalmahoy Hotel & Country Club, Kirknewton
4.4
of 5, from 357 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

This family-friendly Kirknewton hotel is located near the airport, 2.9 mi (4.7 km) from Heriot Watt University, and within 6 mi (10 km) of Gyle Shopping Centre and Edinburgh Corn Exchange. Edinburgh Zoo and Our Dynamic Earth are also within 9 mi (15 km).

£94
DoubleTree by Hilton Edinburgh Airport

DoubleTree by Hilton Edinburgh Airport

Edinburgh International Airport, Newbridge
3.8
of 5, from 465 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in Ingliston, this hotel is 0.5 mi (0.8 km) from Royal Highland Centre and within 6 mi (10 km) of Murrayfield Stadium and Edinburgh Zoo. Gyle Shopping Centre and Heriot Watt University are also within 6 mi (10 km).

£65
Edinburgh Marriott Hotel

Edinburgh Marriott Hotel

111 Glasgow Road, Edinburgh
4.1
of 5, from 447 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located between Edinburgh Airport and Zoo this hotel is a 5 minute walk from the Gyle Shopping mall and Edinburgh Business Park. Local bus stops outside the hotel and runs between airport and city centre.

Mackenzie Guest House

Mackenzie Guest House

2 East Hermitage Place, Edinburgh
4.1
of 5, from 18 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Located in Leith, this guesthouse is within 2 mi (3 km) of Easter Road Stadium, Royal Yacht Britannia, and Palace of Holyroodhouse. Edinburgh Playhouse Theatre and Arthur's Seat are also within 2 mi (3 km).

Royal Mile Residence

Royal Mile Residence

217 Royal Mile, Edinburgh
4.7
of 5, from 3 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

These apartments are located throughout the area in Edinburgh.

£70
Motel One Edinburgh-Royal

Motel One Edinburgh-Royal

18-21 Market Street, Edinburgh
4.2
of 5, from 484 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Located in Old Town, this hotel is steps from Edinburgh Dungeon, St. Giles' Cathedral, and Real Mary King's Close. National Gallery of Scotland and Scott Monument are also within 5 minutes.

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