In fact, Scotland’s capital is the second most popular tourist
destination in the UK after London and is favoured by those with a
particular interest in festivals and culture.
Founded before the 7th century BC, Edinburgh is one of the oldest cities in the UK. Dotted with medieval landmarks including Edinburgh Castle – which is over 1,000 years old – the city in Scotland’s southeast is a dream for history buffs and thrill seekers alike.
There are also some more modern attractions such as the National Gallery of Scotland, which was renovated in 2011, and the Museum of Scotland, which as its monstrous support columns suggest, displays a wide range of Roman-era artefacts.
While the city’s museums and galleries are open all year round, many of Edinburgh’s most popular attractions are seasonal: during the summer, a catalogue of festivals attracts visitors from all over the globe. In fact, the city’s fringe festival, which spawned from the Edinburgh International Festival, has become the largest of its kind in the world.
The main attraction in winter is Hogmanay. Held annually on New Year’s Eve, the city rings in the New Year with a bang. Live music, ice rinks and other attractions entertain the throngs gathered on the streets of the city centre.
Sports fans visiting the city should make Murrayfield – the 67,500-capacity home of Scottish rugby – their first priority.
Unlike in most major cities, Edinburgh Airport is located conveniently close to the city centre – just 12km to be precise. A taxi ride to the city will set you back about £18 while bus company AirLink charges just a third of that price (for a return ticket) to bring you to the heart of the action. Getting around once you’re there is also quite easy as the city is served by an efficient transport network of buses, taxis, trains and trams. However, the city and all its delights are best viewed on foot, especially for those who want to get a true sense of its cultured past.
For those on a budget, here are five attractions that won’t infringe on your bank balance.