Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, is the perfect amalgam of tradition with modernity. It is a huge city where one can find medieval castles jostling for visitors’ attention along with modern avenues of interest. The splendid museums, galleries, restaurants, interesting festivals and buzzing night-life make it a great tourist destination.
The festival program of Edinburgh has been considered unequaled by that of any other city in the world. Visitors can try to align their tour to Edinburgh along with the dates of organization of festivals spanning from early-August to mid-September. The weather is pleasant here during this time and the atmosphere is nearly euphoric which happens to heighten the amusement.
The most popular festivals include New Year celebrations, Edinburgh International Festival, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival, Edinburgh International Film Festival, Imaginate Festival, Edinburgh Mela and Edinburgh International Science Festival. Tourists can visit most historic and other important buildings free of charge during the Edinburgh Open Day event.
The city is overlooked by Edinburgh Castle, which is over a millennium old and still in use. This is a magnificent fortress, famous for its grandeur, and a must visit place. Palace of Holyroodhouse is home to Queen’s gallery where visitors can have a look at the magnificent collection of Royal Arts.
St Giles' Cathedral is the church of patron saint of the city, St Giles. It has an imposing building and is known to have splendid architecture. One may even visit the Mary King’s Close, which is situated opposite St Giles’s Cathedral, for having a slice of medieval history of the city. It is an 18th century church and has been well preserved for around three centuries.
The Edinburgh Zoo is another place fit for family visit and enjoying a picnic. Do not miss the world renowned penguin parade in the zoo. Pay a visit to the Royal Botanical Garden for enjoying a stroll around lovely plants. The nice gardens here provide ample opportunities for enjoying some time with the family.
Other historic and important places here include Gladstone's Land, Greyfriars Kirkyard, Camera Obscura, Scottish Parliament, Scott Monument and Royal Yacht Britannia. The Royal Yacht Britannia has been recently opened to public visit and certainly among best modern era attractions for the visitors.
Edinburgh is also home to some of the finest museums and galleries one may find in the region. These include Royal Museum, Museum of Scotland, National Gallery of Scotland, Scottish Natural Gallery, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art and Fruitmarket Gallery.
To have a magnificent view of the surroundings, tourists can travel to Arthur’s Seat, an extinct volcano towards east of the city. The ascent is not too difficult as the total height is only 251m. Another place to have a splendid view of the region is Salisbury Crags, nearby Arthur’s Seat.
When in Edinburgh, do not forget to collect memorabilia, enjoy the local cuisine and of course, taste the world famous Scotch whiskey. There are few places worth visiting around the city, including Forth Bridges, East Lothian, West Lothian, Falkirk Wheel, Glentress Mountain Biking Center and Pentlands Hills Regional Park.