Visitors flock to the cultural and historic heart of Scotland to enjoy the city’s atmosphere and its many landmarks, parks and gardens.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1995, Edinburgh's incredibly rich history and culture goes back so much further. Wander down the medieval side-streets of the Old Town or past the spectacular Georgian avenues and homes of the New Town, and enjoy the aesthetic charm of the city. Always in view and perched high on an ancient volcano, is Edinburgh Castle, which defended the city against attack for hundreds of years.
A good starting point is The Royal Mile, a series of cobblestone streets which lead you right from the castle to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, as well as taking you past some of Edinburgh's best loved landmarks. Among them you'll see St. Giles' Cathedral and Parliament House.
Explore Princes Street Gardens that runs the length of the main shopping area of Princes Street. Around this stunning park, you’ll find memorials and monuments, including the Gothic Scott Monument built as a tribute to Scottish author Sir Walter Scott, and from which you can enjoy remarkable views of the city.
For the most rewarding views however, take a hike to the top of an extinct volcano, Arthur's Seat or to Calton Hill, with its impressive monuments.
To find more beautiful spaces to enjoy, try a little further afield. Dean Village for example lies in the countryside yet is just five minutes from the heart of town. While away a few relaxing hours in the port district in some of the great bars, cafés and restaurants. This is also where you’ll find the decommissioned Royal Yacht Britannia, which was used to take the British royal family all across the globe in over 40 years' service and is now a museum, open to the public.
Edinburgh is a fine city to visit all through the year. However some of the best times to visit are December and August. In the summer months, Edinburgh hosts some renowned arts festivals to which visitors flock from far and wide. The most famous of these are the Edinburgh Fringe and the Edinburgh Art Festival. At Christmas the city takes on a magical feel with plenty of attractions and markets, and at New Year, join in with the famous Hogmanay street party, a great way to round off the year and welcome in a new one.