Edinburgh travel guide featuring travel & tourism information, hotels, attractions, restaurants, shopping, Edinburgh, Scotland travel tips.
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Edinburgh Travel Guide


Overview

Edinburgh, Scotland

Known as “Athens of the North”, the Scottish capital Edinburgh is one of the most fascinating Enlightenment cities of Europe. With its characteristic Georgian style, lively festivals and unique example of how a city can be envisaged and developed as a work of art.

The capital of Scotland since the year 1437 and the second largest city after Glasgow, Edinburgh lies on the east coast of Scotland along the Firth of Forth, near the North Sea. The city is known for its highly aesthetic Medieval and Georgian architectures. Edinburgh was also known as "Athens of the North" due to its highly active urban scene as a major intellectual centre during the Enlightenment period thanks to the pioneering role of the University of Edinburgh.

In 2005 the Old Town and New Town districts of Edinburgh were listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. According to a census in 2001, the population of Edinburgh is around 448,000. From early August onwards, the annual Edinburgh festival, a collection of official and independent festivals, is held over about four weeks. Each year the number of visitors match the number of the city's inhabitants. Among the most famous events of the Edinburgh Festival are the Edinburgh Fringe (the largest performing arts festival in the world), the Edinburgh international Film Festival and the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

Edinburgh is one of the major European tourist destinations and attracts around 13 million visitors every year. It is the second most visited city in the United Kingdom, after London. Other annual significant events reflecting the city's uniqueness are the Hogmanay street party on December 31, Burns Night on January 25, St. Andrew's Day on November 30, and the Beltane Fire Festival on April 30.

Visit the Edinburgh Zoo for a super day, where is offered the largest and most brilliant wildlife attraction in Scotland. You will be able to see more than 1,000 admirable animals in this beautiful parkland in a day.

The Old Town of Edinburgh

The Old Town of EdinburghThe historic city center divides Edinburgh into two by the broad green swath of Princes Street Gardens. To the south lies the Old Town dominated by the view of the Edinburgh Castle and to the north lies the New Town and Princes Street. In the Old Town, history comes alive since the medieval structure of the city is almost completely preserved. The main road of the Old Town is the Royal Mile. Other attractions include the Royal Museum of Scotland and the St. Giles Cathedral. The famous Edinburgh Castle perches on the remnants of an extinct volcano. Additionally, the Old Town is known to have many vaults below the street level that were inhabited by the immigrants during the Industrial Revolution and which still fuel legends of an underground city.

The New Town of Edinburgh

Scott MonumentThe New Town was a solution in 18th century for raisingly crowded Old Town. The year 1776 witnessed a competition that were to decide who would become the designer of the New Town. James Craig, a 22 year old architect, won the competition and prepared a city plan in accordance with the idea of rationality characteristic of the Enlightenment period. The two main streets of the New Town are George Street and Princes Street, the latter being the central shopping street of Edinburgh with a few historic Georgian buildings. The New Town also contains the famous Charlotte Square which is designed by Robert Adam and regarded as one of the best Georgian squares in the world. On the whole, the New Town of Edinburgh is still regarded as one of the world's finest example of Georgian architecture and rational city planning.
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