Beneath the shadows of the more than thousand year old Edinburgh Castle, comedians, filmmakers, actors, artists, authors, businesspeople and tourists clatter across Edinburgh's cobblestoned streets. Just like you, they've come for business and play, but also to snag a seat at any number of the city's important cultural festivals. Accommodation books up fast throughout the year here, so make sure to reserve your boutique Edinburgh hotel early to guarantee your prime location near all of the most intriguing cultural and historical sites.
Serving as the capital city of Scotland since the 15th century, Edinburgh has long been a cultural, social and political hub. Begin your stroll through history at Edinburgh Castle itself, St. Giles Cathedral or the iconic Scott Monument, which provides excellent views atop a mere 200 steps. The 150 year old Camera Obscura also provides a stunning 360-degree panorama of the city.
The Greyfriars Kirkyard, also located in Old Town, provides a healthy dose of history, with many famous names on the stones and highly dynamic tour guides to regale visitors with tales of ghosts, grave robbing and English invasion. Alternatively, the Scottish Parliament will provide a much more modern look into today's government. Be sure to snag a pair of free tickets to watch the parliament in session -- just be ready to watch a much more dynamic approach to parliamentary debate than you'll find at home.
Alternatively, take your cultural meanderings inside to the Museum of Scotland, the National Gallery of Scotland, the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, or any of the boutique galleries along St. Stephen Street. Here you'll find the distinctive Millenium Clock, pottery dating back to the Roman era, and world class seasonal exhibitions.
Those looking for a little bit of fresh air will find a number of options. A stroll along the Water of Leith will occupy an idyllic afternoon, as will a meander out to the Pentlands Hills Regional Park just south of the center, which provides ample views of the city's tallest buildings. Or, pack a picnic lunch and eat beneath the blooms at the Royal Botanic Garden or the Princess Street Gardens, the latter of which sits right in the heart of the city.
Looking to get a little shopping in? Princes Street, Cockburn Street and Victoria Street are all sure to satisfy, with both large retailers and boutique shops on offer. Princes Mall, St. James Mall and Ocean Terminal are also popular options. If you're going to be headed to a rugby match at Murrayfield Stadium or a football (soccer) match at Tynecastle Park or Easter Road Stadium, make sure to buy a jersey while you're out and about so you can support the home team in style.
From Old Town to Leith and the West End, Edinburgh is chock full of dining options sure to suit any palette. If you're a fan of fried food, you can get it in just about every form here, including fried pudding. However, there are a number of Michelin rated restaurants available, and ethnic cuisine that spans the globe.
No guide to Edinburgh would be complete without exploring the city's many festivals. Attend the Edinburgh International Festival for a glimpse of the festival that preceded all others; the Edinburgh Military Tattoo for your fill of kilted bagpipers; the Edge Festival to see some of today's top bands; or of course, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, which invites artists of numerous disciplines to perform in what is now the largest festival of its kind. Just be careful not to trip over the countless barkers as they try to usher you into their shows up and down the Royal Mile.
Edinburgh is easily reached via the M8 motorway, as well as by bus, train and plane. When you arrive, ensure you've got a comfortable and quiet place to rest up at night by booking into one of our boutique hotels in Edinburgh. With world class amenities and helpful staff, your stay with us will keep your rested and ready to embrace all that this dynamic city has to offer.