Scotland’s enchanting capital Edinburgh is a city of striking contrasts. Perched dramatically on an extinct volcano, the world-famous Edinburgh Castle is visible from almost any point in the city, a constant reminder of Edinburgh’s long and fascinating history. As you explore the city’s striking architecture, tranquil green spaces and exciting attractions, you will soon understand why so many authors and poets have been inspired to create iconic characters like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Sherlock Holmes and more recently Harry Potter.
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Edinburgh and Scotland
VisitScotland Information Centre
3 Princes Street, Edinburgh
+44 845 225 5121
Set on the southern shore of the Firth of Forth, Edinburgh has been the capital of Scotland since 1492.
Edinburgh breathes still the spirit of its past and forever holds marks of its history, its streets running through town like scars of distant memories. The most significant maybe is the Royal Mile, which goes right through the Old Town and ends at The Palace of Holyroodhouse, once the home of Mary Queen of Scots and now the British Royal Family’s official Scottish residence.
On both sides of this famous street, lays a unique combination of the cobbled streets and narrow lanes of the Old Town and the elegant Georgian grandeur of the neoclassic New Town - built when the Old Town became too putrid to be inhabited. This blend makes Edinburgh so peculiar and even described as one of the most beautiful cityscapes in the world. The Old and New Towns in Edinburgh become a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995.
Edinburgh, laid over its six hills, is a historical and cultural bubble marked by Medieval and Georgian influences, from the small crooked streets of the Old Town to the gardens and neoclassical buildings of the New Town. Watching over the city, Edinburgh Castle is where past rulers took up their quarters and where you can find both the Country Crown's jewels and the Stone of Destiny, used for coronations.
Camera Obscura and World of Illusions
The Scotch Whisky Experience
National Museum of Scotland
The Scottish Parliament
Palace of Holyroodhouse
Scottish Seabird Centre
Royal Botanic Garden
The Edinburgh Dungeon
Princes Street Gardens
Royal Yacht Britannia
Edinburgh is the perfect city to dine out in style, with a spectacular variety of restaurants serving up mouth-watering cuisine in atmospheric surroundings. Whether you are looking for Michelin-starred dining, hearty Scottish fare or food from around the globe with a Scottish twist, you’ll for sure find delicious dishes to suit every taste and every budget.
The Holyrood 9A
Locanda De Gusti
Restaurant Martin Wishart
The Witchery by the Castle
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 cafes that are scattered around the town are the perfect spots where to relax your feet or escape from the rain.
Le Cafe Bleu
Brew Lab Coffee
Union of Genius
Dovecot Cafe by Leo's
Mary's Milk Bar
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!
The Bongo Club
The Stand Comedy Club
The Voodoo Rooms
99 Hanover Street
Michael Neave Kitchen and Whisky Bar
The Jolly Judge
The Sheep Heid Inn
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.
Classy George Street is the place to go for designer labels, while high-end couture such as Louis Vuitton and Versace can be found on the prestigious Multrees Walk or in the luxury shop Harvey Nichols. Nearby, you will find Jenners department store, a real Edinburgh institution offering a range of shops in a grand Victorian building.
One thing is for sure, you will not leave Edinburgh empty-handed, the city caters to all tastes, styles and budgets.
Traditional Scottish souvenirs
Jenners - House of Fraser
Sheila Fleet - Orkney Designer Jewellery
Heritage of Scotland
Cranachan & Crowdie
Miss Katie Cupcake
The Marshmallow Lady
Edinburgh Farmers' Market
Edinburgh Airport is only 11 km west of the city, but it will take nearly 25-30 minutes to get to the city regardless of whether you go by bus, taxi or rented car.
From the airport, take the Airlink express bus no.100, just outside the main entrance (Stop D). This bus runs to Waverley Bridge (close to Princes Street and the main rail and bus stations). It departs every 10 minutes during the day and the journey time is 30 minutes. Tickets can be bought in advance online, at the bus stop, or from the driver.
If you travel 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 Ocean Terminal in Leith between 00:45 and 04:15 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 on to Ocean Terminal. It departs every 15 minutes Monday to Saturday daytime and every 30 minutes in the evenings and Sundays.
Taxi prices to and from the airport vary and many of the vehicles are adapted for disabled people. Taxis are located on the ground 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 such as Hertz, AVIS, Europecar, Alamo, Budget and Sixt. It is conveniently located with direct access to the terminal and easy to book in advance via the airport website.
Phone: +44 844 448 8833
There are a number of bus companies. The largest are First Edinburgh 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 on the mobile app.
Edinburgh is a small and fairly compact city though, and most destinations in the city are within walking distance.
Lothian Buses - Internet: www.lothianbuses.com/index.php
First Edinburgh - Internet: www.firstgroup.com/ukbus/scotland_east/
Unoccupied taxis have an illuminated light on the roof. Many companies offer a call-back service, which means that the taxi company calls and by giving two rings notifies you that the taxi is waiting.
+44 131 228 1211
Central Radio Taxis
+44 131 229 2468
Stamps are available from post offices and newsagents and you will find several post offices just in the city centre, but one of the most central is Tollcross Post Office, located in Home Street:
Address: 33 Home St, Edinburgh
Phone: +44 345 611 2970
To find details on your nearest healthservices including pharmacies, dentists, GP (doctors) surgeries and hospitals visit the NHS24 website (www.nhs24.scot) or give them a call (111).
Here are some examples of pharmacies:
Royal Mile Pharmacy - Alphega Pharmacy
67 High St, Edinburgh
+44 131 556 1971
Edinburgh University Pharmacy
6 Bristo Pl, Edinburgh
+44 131 668 2182
Lindsay & Gilmour Pharmacy
257A Leith Walk, Edinburgh
+44 131 554 6591
Country code: +44
Area code: 0131
240 Volt, three-pin socket, adapter needed.