To the east sits Edinburgh, Scotland's capital, a picture postcard city, full of tourist hot spots and high-class restaurants. To the west lies the country's biggest city, Glasgow, the edgier, artier sibling. Scotland's two major cities have a long-running and (usually) good-natured rivalry. So we're pitting them against each other in the city break stakes. Which comes out on top as a weekend escape?

Starting Points: Character and History

A UNESCO World Heritage site, Edinburgh is overflowing with history, with its famous castle, home to the Scottish Crown Jewels, looming over the famous Royal Mile, which leads to Holyrood Palace, the Queen's official residence when she's in town.

With its beautifully preserved buildings, cobbled streets and hidden alleyways, the old city is really what defines Edinburgh's character as a tourist magnet. Don't miss the Real Mary King's Close, a series of underground passages and rooms that lay hidden for over 200 years, but which you can now tour.

Meanwhile, over on the banks of the Clyde, Glasgow doesn't go in quite so much for the mega-attractions you'll find in Edinburgh - hence its reputation as a grittier city more defined by local life. That said, the city still has its share of impressive architecture; Glasgow Cathedral is a Gothic gem, while the Provand's Lordships, a house dating back to the 14670s, is full of curios.

And that's before we've even mentioned Charles Rennie Mackintosh, probably the city's greatest artist and designer. Although his masterpiece, the Glasgow School of Art, is currently being rebuilt after two fires, you can still enjoy his work at the Scotland Street School, in the city centre, and House of an Art Lover, which sits in a corner of Bellahouston Park.

Foodie Face-off: Where's Best for Eating out?

There's a certain cache to dining in Edinburgh. At last count Edinburgh had four Michelin-starred restaurants, with the Kitchin often winning the plaudits as the best. Tom and Michaela Kitchin are champions of the farm-to-table concept; expect French-inspired cuisine in a cool, contemporary setting.

For a touch of romance, there's the Grain Store, which is big on Scottish produce, while Pickles is a quirky café-cum-bar with a menu based round cheese, pickles and pates.

Glasgow's food scene is no less thriving with, much of it centred around Finnieston, with its modern bars, restaurants and cafes. Also popular are the seasonal menus at Ubiquitous Chip in the West End, and also look out for Roastit Bubbly Jocks, for Scottish food with an international twist.

The city has a great reputation for Indian food too, and it's rumoured that the tikka masala was invented here. Mother India is an institution and genuinely one of the best Indian restaurants in the UK. The West End in general has an impressive concentration of excellent restaurants on Argyle Street, while Byres Street is legendary for its range of places to eat.

Getting Arty: Galleries and Landmarks

Edinburgh is home to a clutch of big hitters in the cultural stakes. The National Museum of Scotland features an eclectic collection, ranging from the Lewis Chessmen to Dolly the Sheep. There's also the Scottish National Gallery, an imposing neoclassical building with paintings by the likes of Degas and Rembrandt.

In August the Fringe dominates, and it pays to book accommodation (and everything, actually), months in advance to beat the crowds.

For sheer variety, though, Glasgow is hard to beat. The Kelvingrove Art Gallery boasts a collection that includes works by Van Gogh, Monet and Dali, as well a good dose of Scottish history.

Hockneys and Warhols are among the works hanging on the walls at the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) in the city centre, while for something even more experimental try the Centre for Contemporary Art. Glasgow also makes a big play (quite rightly) of the fact that most of its museums and galleries are free.

Enjoying the Outdoors: Green Spaces

Edinburgh is one of the greenest cities in Europe, and there are great views from Arthur's Seat, the highest point of Holyrood Park. To escape the crowds head for the Royal Botanic Gardens - perfect for a picnic - or you hit the beach, with sandy stretches of coast along the Firth of Forth Portobello and Gullane.

Glasgow has its fair share of green space too, from the city's oldest park, Glasgow Green, to the historic Necropolis, a fascinating Victorian garden cemetery, as well as Kelvingrove Park. The Botanic Gardens has two glass houses to explore, including the stunning Kibble Palace.

You can head out of the city too with Loch Lomond and the often-overlooked Trossachs National Park just half an hour's drive away

Where's Best for Drinking a Dram?

Of course there's common ground too, and how better to toast an honourable draw between these two fine cities, than a dram or two of whisky?

Edinburgh is home to the Scotch Whisky Experience on the Royal Mile, while nearby the World's End is a fantastic atmospheric pub dating back to the 16th century that's all dark wood and alcoves. Rose Street is another great place to discover a few of the city's best inns.

Glasgow pays tribute to the national drink with the National Whisky Festival in January, and the Glasgow Whisky Festival later in November. In between, pay a visit to the Pot Still, home to over 700 different whiskies. There's a distinctly modern drinking culture also centred on Finnieston's Argyle Street too; just take Lebowski's - a cocktail bar inspired by the eponymous Coen Brothers film, with well over 20 kinds of White Russian on its menu.

You probably saw it coming, but we just can't call it. Although we're calling it a tie, hopefully you've now got a decent idea of the very different draws in Scotland's two major cities - we'll leave you to make your own mind up.