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Edinburgh Visitors Guide

One of Europe's most enchanting and picturesque cities, Edinburgh is situated astride a series of hills and overlooking the sea.

A mixture of excitement and enchantment, there is no wonder why it is so popular with tourists from all over the world. With streets steeped in history yet with a thriving modern cultural scene, ‘Auld Reekie’ manages superbly to create a balance between traditional and contemporary.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site at the heart of the city combines medieval Old Town, Georgian New Town and award-winning architecture, picture-postcard views, elegant terraces, and an abundance of shops, bars and restaurants. The Royal Mile is the spine of Old Town, linking Edinburgh Castle to the Palace of Holyrood House and the Scottish Parliament.

It is surrounded by steeply sloping streets and mysterious wynds. The New Town arose in the 18th century as the old area became too cramped. In 1766 James Craig won a competition for the best architectural scheme and the result was the creation of charming Georgian architecture which provides an eloquent backdrop to stylish shops, bars and restaurants, with Princes Street its focal point.

A few minutes away are the West End’s cobbled streets, which are ideal for boutique shopping. Once a medieval market place and site for public executions, the Grassmarket, in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle, is now known for eating, drinking and independent shops. Its cobbled streets, traditional buildings and quaint shops, pubs and restaurants make it a magnet for visitors. Leith, which is Edinburgh’s city quarter by the sea, is the home of the Royal Yacht Britannia. Only ten minutes from the city centre, the area bustles with restaurants, bars, bistros and boutiques and it also houses the stylish Ocean Terminal shopping complex, all of which contrasts once again to the historical architecture which presides imposingly over it. Edinburgh is also renowned for its annual Festivals, which start in the Spring and run through to December, with activities to entertain everyone.

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