In August the popular „Edinburgh Military Tattoo“ takes place on the castle esplanade. This impressive military show, full of bag pipes, drummers and dancers attracts thousands of tourists every year to such an extent that it is considered the best military festival in the world.
The medieval Old Town and the Georgian New Town contrast each other superbly. Both the Old Town and the New Town are of significant historical and architectural interest. Visible from afar, Edinburgh Castle overlooks the Old Town majestically, whilst the New Town shows some fine examples of the period of Enlightenment in the 18th Century. The iconic skyline of Edinburgh is best enjoyed from Calton Hill.
The Old Town stretches from Edinburgh Castle to the Palace of Holyrood. You can easily walk between the two on the Royal Mile. Here you can delve deeply into the history of Edinburgh, as the Royal Mile is strewn with historical buildings. There are merchant’s houses and the residences of noble men, medieval public buildings (for example Canongate Tollbooth and St. Giles Cathedral) as well as the many statues of important historical figures that line the route. At night the many pubs and bars come to life and there is always live music to be found. Or if you like ghost stories, why not join one of the many scary ghost tours and explore the dark alleyways, called the “closes”.
The New Town was built between 1767 and 1890 and the architecture and atmosphere could not be more different to the Old Town. Some of Europe’s finest examples of Neoclassicism can be seen here. The beautifully planned streets and exquisitely built houses have influenced not only the rest of Scotland but the whole of Europe.
Edinburgh is a great city to walk around. It is littered with many historical buildings and many green spaces, most noticeable Arthur’s Seat and Princes Street Gardens. The museums and galleries are also a must. And the huge variety of cafes and restaurants is perfect for a rest and a traditional snack, or how about a traditional Cream Tea?
The highlight of Edinburgh, however, is undoubtedly Edinburgh Castle, sitting on an imposing volcanic rock. The rock has been inhabited since the 7th Century and played an important part in the Scottish history. The building of Edinburgh Castle began in the 12th Century and took 400 years, but the main part of it was built in the 16th Century. From the castle, not only do you have a great view of Edinburgh but also of Arthur’s Seat, the Pentland Hills and the Firth of Forth.
Inside the castle sits the legendary „Stone of Scone“ (also called „Stone of Destiny“). This Stone was of great significance whenever a king or queen was crowned in Scotland until it was stolen by the English in 1296. It was only returned to Scotland from Westminster, where it was kept, in 1996. It has been in Edinburgh Castle ever since. You can also see the room in which Mary Queen of Scots gave birth to James I in the 16th century. Outside the castle sits the “One O’clock Gun”, which is still fired daily at exactly 1pm. In days gone by, seafarers used to set their watches by it, a tradition brought to Edinburgh from Paris.
Plan your stay in Edinburgh: https://edinburgh.org/
Relive the well-known television series by visiting film locations on a guided tour
Visit Scotland’s most popular distilleries, comfortable by train
Enjoy self-guided hiking and travelling by train