The Old Town
The medieval Old Town is Edinburgh’s heart and soul and its Castle dominates the city. Strolling through its narrow streets is a small journey to times long past.
Old Town boasts numerous historic sites and buildings – the Royal Mile, the Parliament House and Gladstone’s Land, now a six-story museum, are prime examples.
The cathedral of St. Giles, with its magnificent 15th century crown tower is Old Downs most famous site. There an open spire supporting a sculptured turret houses the imperial crown of Scottish kings.
Book enthusiasts will also have the chance to visit Scotland’s National Library, while their friends or family can enjoy a walk through the Mercat Cross, Old Town’s hub.
Away from the crowded buildings, at the lower end of the Royal Mile, is Holyrood, with its famous Palace (the British sovereign’s official residence in Scotland). Visitors crowd the site, especially Holyrood Park, featuring a freshwater loch teaming with birdlife, and the surrounding beautiful scenery, including:
- Salisbury Crags, a series of bold cliffs at the top of a spur of Edinburg’s highest peak, Arthur’s Seat. Below the foot of the cliffs lies the famous Radical Road – do your best to learn how this famous site came into existence.
The Crags are offered for photography lovers, with spectacular views of the city, but also for actual lovers who love romantic seclusion.
Climbing is also allowed, but climbers need to apply for a free permit. Most climbers use bouldering already installed but also free climbers often accept the challenge.
- Arthur’s Seat is an ancient volcano and the main peak of the local hills and mountains. Offering panoramic views over the city – truly spectacular scenery.
Here as well, except for a paradise for ramblers, the site is ideal for climbers, photo addicts and couples. There is a fort there which is 2000 years old and in good condition.
Princes Street Gardens
The Princes Street Gardens, laid out between the Old and New towns feature rows of flowers set out in beds, that change several times a year, and a floral clock planted in 1903.
A bandstand, an outdoor dance floor and numerous monuments has made the Gardens one of the most visited places in Edinburgh, especially for families and amateur florists.
The New Town
The New Town came into existence in 1767, and was initially designed for people of certain rank and fortune.
When built, the New Town was deliberately designed without shops or places of entertainment, but today is alive with shops, bars and cafeterias. Prince’s Street is a mile long and ideal for shopping.
Another excellent sight is the Georgian House, especially for those who love a glimpse of the past; it is furnished, from kitchen to bedrooms, with all the appurtenances of late 18th-century Edinburgh elegance.
Couples and families also love the Royal Botanic Garden, especially when the great rhododendrons are in bloom.
Her Majesty’s Yacht Britannia, in use from 1954-1997, is well worth a visit: just follow in the footsteps of royalty as you step aboard the Queen’s floating royal residence.
Mary King’s Close is a “must visit” area: an old Edinburgh close under the Old Town, the site is shrouded in tales of ghosts and hideous murders of plague victims that were walled up and left to die. Its hidden “haunted” alleyways won’t fail to excite your imagination.
Children and adults also crowd Edinburgh’s Camera Obscura, a world of illusions and magic, enjoying the fascinating Show and 5 floors full of a great range of optical experiences.
Scotland is the earthly paradise of all “Scotch” buffs around the globe. If you are among them, the Scotch Whisky Exhibition has a great variety of high tech exhibits, barrel rides and tastings.