Edinburgh: A Travellers Guide To Scotland's Capital

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If you’re looking for a broad mixture of great things to see and do, Scotland’s capital city is the place to be. Discover the incredible scenery, striking architecture, fine food, outdoor adventures and beautiful coast and countryside attractions.

Getting Around
Edinburgh is very tourist-friendly. It’s easy to get around by bus and tram, but this is a city designed and built to encourage visitors to walk around on foot - it’s the best way to get to know it. It gives you the chance to uncover the amazing views, secret gardens, hidden courtyards and stunning architecture. It’s no surprise that Edinburgh is the festival capital of the world, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  

But if the rich and vibrant history doesn’t excite you enough, it’s also a city that is rapidly growing in the services department. Five star restaurants, a rapidly growing bar and cafe culture, a spirited nightlife scene as well as the ever popular art scene. If you plan to shop ‘til you drop, Edinburgh boasts a rich and plentiful independent shop, boutique and gallery scene that are scattered across the city.

It’s a huge, yet compact city. Everything is within access and very easy to explore. But it’s not just the city centre that captivates tourists, so try and explore a little further afield. The villages of Stockbridge, Morningside, Duddingston and Cramond, all have their own personality and attractions that are fun for both family and couples.

When to go
Around August time, Edinburgh’s population doubles. Street parties, celebrations, fun fairs and bright lights dominate every corner of the city. It’s the peak of summer, and there is nowhere quite as vibrant and electric like Edinburgh. But one key thing to keep in mind is, you don’t come for the weather. It’s typically British in the sense that it could go from a scorching and sunny 25 degrees celsius to a wet and windy misery. But why let the weather stop you? Come prepared, and you’ll realise there is plenty to do in all weathers.  

If cosy evening in the pub by the fire doesn’t quite sound your thing, head on over to the International Science Fair and Imaginate Festival. August is the time where these attractions come round, so don’t miss out!

Speaking of festivals, here’s a list of the range of different festivals that crop up in August:
  • International Film Festival (June 18-29)
  • Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival (July 18-27)
  • Edinburgh Art Festival (July 31 to August 31)
  • Edinburgh Festival Fringe (August 1-25)
  • Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo (August 1-23)
  • Edinburgh International Festival (August 8-31)
  • Edinburgh International Book Festival (August 9-25)
  • Edinburgh Mela (August 29-31)

Programmes for the festivals are usually available 6-8 weeks in advance, although tickets for the Military Tattoo go on sale in early December each year, and the programme for the Edinburgh International Festival will be available in early March, with the Fringe programme appearing later on in the spring. For more information about the different festivals and attractions, check out The Edinburgh Festivals website (edinburghfestivals.co.uk).

Where To Stay
Edinburgh accommodation is usually extremely flexible and located conveniently for travelling families and friends. If being based in the city isn’t for you, there’s no harm in looking further afield in surrounding areas such as Glasgow, Stirling and Fife - all less than an hour away from Edinburgh by train.

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