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 Edinburgh still breathes the spirit of its past, with its streets running through town like scars of bygone eras. Yet, amidst this tapestry of history, the city gracefully blends ancient heritage with vibrant modernity. Walk the historic Royal Mile, where centuries of stories unfold, explore the bustling Princes Street, and discover the allure of Edinburgh's world-renowned festivals like the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. With remarkable architecture, tranquil green spaces, and a wealth of exciting attractions, it's no wonder this city has ignited the imaginations of countless authors and poets throughout history.


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The Scotsman —
The Herald —
The Scottish Daily Record —


Opening hours are usually Monday to Saturday 9am–6pm, and Sunday 11am–5pm


554,000 (2023)


VisitScotland Edinburgh iCentre
249 High Street, Edinburgh
+44 131 473 3820
Open daily 9:30am–5pm


Street view of the historic Royal Mile, Edinburgh, Scotland f11photo/shutterstock

The City

Edinburgh's origins can be traced back to the 7th century when it was settled by the Celtic Votadini tribe. By the 10th century, the city had become a prominent stronghold known as 'Dun Eideann' under Scottish rule. The construction of Edinburgh Castle atop Castle Rock in the 12th century solidified its power and played a crucial role in conflicts such as the Wars of Scottish Independence. In 1437, Edinburgh was officially declared the capital of Scotland.

Over the centuries, Edinburgh thrived as a hub of trade and culture. The establishment of the University of Edinburgh in 1583 further enhanced its reputation as an intellectual centre. The 18th-century Enlightenment era brought significant advancements in various fields, with influential figures like David Hume and Adam Smith contributing to Edinburgh's intellectual legacy.

In the 19th century, Edinburgh underwent a transformation during the Industrial Revolution. The city expanded beyond the boundaries of the Old Town with the construction of the Georgian New Town, showcasing stunning neoclassical architecture and becoming a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Edinburgh continued to evolve in the 20th century, facing both challenges and milestones. The city experienced significant growth and modernisation, with the establishment of renowned festivals such as the Edinburgh International Festival and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, solidifying its reputation as a cultural capital.

Today, Edinburgh stands as a thriving cosmopolitan city, blending its ancient heritage with a vibrant contemporary spirit. Its iconic landmarks, including Edinburgh Castle, Royal Mile, and Arthur's Seat, attract millions of visitors each year, while its world-class universities, dynamic arts scene, and bustling festivals contribute to its global appeal.

Street view of the historic Royal Mile, Edinburgh, Scotland f11photo/shutterstock

Do & See

Edinburgh offers a myriad of attractions and activities to explore. Begin by strolling along the historic Royal Mile, dotted with iconic landmarks such as Edinburgh Castle, St Giles' Cathedral, and the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Delve into the city's rich history at the National Museum of Scotland or take a ghost tour through the underground vaults. Immerse yourself in literary history at the Writers' Museum or visit the birthplace of Harry Potter at The Elephant House café. Don't miss the vibrant atmosphere of the Grassmarket, where you can enjoy lively pubs and charming shops. For breathtaking views, hike up Arthur's Seat or visit Calton Hill. End your day with a visit to the Royal Botanic Garden or catch a show at one of the city's renowned theatres.

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Old Town

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Edinburgh Castle


Royal Mile Guided Walking Tour

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Loch Ness, Glencoe & the Highlands Day Tour from Edinburgh

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Rosslyn Chapel

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National Museum of Scotland

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Camera Obscura & World of Illusions

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Edinburgh Zoo

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Scottish Parliament Building

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Palace of Holyroodhouse

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Scottish Seabird Centre

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Royal Botanic Garden

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Edinburgh Dungeon

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Festival Theatre

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Princes Street Gardens

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Arthur's Seat

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Royal Yacht Britannia

Scottish eggs on white plate with green salad, black olives and cherry tomatoes. Close up Vladislav Nosik/shutterstock


From traditional pubs serving hearty Scottish fare to elegant Michelin-starred restaurants pushing culinary boundaries, Edinburgh's dining scene promises to satisfy even the most discerning food lovers. The city is renowned for its fresh seafood, showcasing the finest catches from Scotland's shores. However, Edinburgh also embraces international cuisines, with a plethora of options including Italian, Indian, Thai, and more.

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Contini George Street

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Number One

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Mussel Inn

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Kanpai Sushi


The Witchery by the Castle

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Locanda De Gusti

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Restaurant Martin Wishart

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Britannia Spice

Group of friends enjoying a coffee together. Jacob Lund/shutterstock


Slip in best-selling author JK Rowling's shoes and let your imagination flow as she did while sipping on a good cup of coffee in one of Edinburgh's charming coffee shops. Whether you want to try your coffee with scotch (you have a good excuse: it is local!) or just enjoy a piece of pie, Edinburgh has it all. The wonderful array of cafés that are scattered around the city are the perfect spots where to relax your feet or escape from the rain.

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The Elephant House

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Union Brew Lab

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Union of Genius


Dovecot Studios Cafe

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Mary's Milk Bar


Mimi's Bakehouse

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Street view of the historic old town, Edinburgh, Scotland f11photo/shutterstock

Bars & Nightlife

From traditional pubs offering real ales and leafy beer gardens to upmarket cocktail bars, Edinburgh's bars and pubs are second to none. This thriving, modern capital city is as renowned for its nightlife as its history, so whether you're looking for top comedy, a traditional ceilidh — a Gaelic gathering with folk music and dancing — or an unforgettable club night, you are sure to find it here. Join the student crowd in Cowgate, drink whisky in upper-market George Street, or head to the more raffish Lothian road: the choice is yours!

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The Bongo Club


The Stand Comedy Club

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The Voodoo Rooms

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The Holyrood 9A



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Roseleaf Bar

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Bailie Bar

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Indigo Yard

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Ghillie Dhu

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The Jolly Judge

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Sheep Heid Inn


The Scotch Whisky Experience

Two attractive young female friends enjoying a day out shopping Andrea Obzerova/shutterstock


Edinburgh is the perfect place to indulge in some serious retail therapy and pick up memorable gifts for family and friends — and as the city is so compact, you can easily explore on foot and in the meantime enjoy spectacular surroundings.

Charming boutiques dot the picturesque Royal Mile, classy George Street is the place to go for designer labels, while high-end brands can be found on the prestigious Multrees Walk.

Explore the hidden gems of the Old Town's narrow ‘closes’, where you can find unique artisanal crafts, antiques, and local treasures. And don't miss out on the vibrant markets and independent shops that showcase Scotland's rich heritage and contemporary designs — it is granted that you will not leave Edinburgh empty-handed.

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Traditional Scottish Souvenirs

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Heritage of Scotland

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The Marshmallow Lady

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Victoria Street

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Waverley Market

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Edinburgh Farmers' Market

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Cadenhead Whisky

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Fudge Kitchen

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Sheila Fleet

street view of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK Richie Chan/shutterstock

Tourist Information

Edinburgh Airport (EDI)

Edinburgh Airport (EDI) is located 11 km west of the city, and connections to the city centre usually take between 25-30 minutes regardless of whether you go by bus, taxi, or rented car.

The Airlink 100 and Skylink 200 and 400 services provide fantastic connections across the city of Edinburgh. Tickets can be bought in advance online, at the bus stop, or from the driver.

If you arrive by night, take the night bus N22 (from stop D). This bus runs from the airport via South Gyle to the city centre and to the Ocean Terminal in Leith between 12:45 am and 4:15 am seven nights a week. It departs every 30 minutes.

There is also the bus service 35 (from stop F) that runs to the city centre and to the Ocean Terminal. It departs every 15 minutes Monday to Saturday daytime and every 30 minutes in the evenings and Sundays.

Taxis are located on the first floor of the multi-storey car park opposite the main terminal building.

Edinburgh Airport has a car hire centre where you can find all the major car hire companies. It is conveniently located with direct access to the terminal and easy to book in advance via the airport website.

Address: Edinburgh Airport, Edinburgh


Phone: +44 131 357 6337


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Best Time to Visit

Late spring and summer's longer days and warmer temperatures make these periods the best time to visit Edinburgh. It's important to note that Edinburgh's weather can be unpredictable, with rain showers occurring throughout the year. Therefore, it's advisable to pack layers and be prepared for changing weather conditions regardless of the season you choose to visit.





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Passport / Visa

Citizens of the European Union member-states, Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland, Switzerland, and Overseas Countries and Territories (OCT) only require a valid passport to enter the UK. Residents of a further 10 countries do not require entry visas for stays under 6 months: the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, South Africa, Hong Kong, and Malaysia. Nationals of some further countries do not require a visa but need to hold an entry certificate. Use the UK Government website to check for specific requirements.





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Public Transport

There are various bus companies operating in Edinburgh. The largest are First Bus and Lothian Buses, you can use both to get around town or explore the surrounding coast and countryside. For both companies, you can purchase tickets on the bus, in shops, online, or in the mobile app. However, Edinburgh is a small and fairly compact city, and most destinations in the city are within walking distance.





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Unoccupied taxis are indicated with a light on the top. You can also book a taxi by contacting the following companies:

City Cabs
+44 131 228 1211

Central Taxis
+44 131 229 2468





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Stamps are available from post offices and newsagents, and you'll find several post offices in the city centre, with the most central being the Tollcross Post Office, located on Home Street.

Address: 33 Home Street, Edinburgh


Phone: +44 131 229 1109


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There are several major pharmacy chains in Edinburgh that provide a wide range of pharmaceutical products and services. These include Boots, LloydsPharmacy, Superdrug Pharmacy, and Well Pharmacy.

Address: Boots, 101-103 Princes Street, Edinburgh


Phone: +44 131 225 8331


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Country code: +44
Area code: 131





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The United Kingdom uses the Type G electric plug, which is one with three rectangular pins in a triangular pattern. And it operates on a 230V supply voltage and 50Hz.





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