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A compact city that is easily accessible on foot, Edinburgh is comprised of different 'villages', each with their own distinctive character.

At the heart of the city lies the Royal Mile, a succession of streets lined on either side by towering tenements that are among the busiest in Edinburgh. Nearby you'll find the Grassmarket, a former medieval market place that sits in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle, now filled with lively drinking holes and restaurants.

Explore the city's cultural hub in the West End, home to many of its top arts venues including the Usher Hall, The Filmhouse and the Royal Lyceum Theatre, and find some of Edinburgh's best attractions located just a short distance from Haymarket including Murrayfield Stadium and Edinburgh Zoo.

Uncover a myriad of cafés, boutiques and galleries in the bohemian enclave of Stockbridge situated by the Water of Leith, and follow the route of the river to reach the vibrant district of Leith. Resting on the shores of the Firth of Forth, the Royal Yacht Britannia is now berthed here beside Ocean Terminal Shopping Centre.

From the atmospheric cobbled streets of the Old Town to the beautiful Georgian avenues of the New Town, Edinburgh’s architectural landscape is one of dramatic contrasts which reflect its rich and intriguing past. Allow yourself to be transported back in time as you wander its atmospheric streets, from the iconic Royal Mile leading to the medieval fortress of Edinburgh Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse, to bustling Princes Street where the towering Scott Monument stands. You can learn more about the city’s fascinating past at countless world-class museums and historic attractions such as the National Museum of Scotland and The Real Mary King's Close.

A fantastic shopping destination, Edinburgh is perfect for those looking to indulge in a spot of retail therapy. Find all your favourite high street brands on Princes Street, browse in upmarket department stores like Jenners and Harvey Nichols, and uncover quirky independent shops in the Grassmarket.

Enjoy a drink in one of the traditional pubs found in the Old Town or at one of the many chic bars located across the city. Afterwards you can experience its superb culinary scene at acclaimed restaurants, some Michelin-starred, which offer mouthwatering dishes prepared by talented chefs using the finest local ingredients.

Visit in August when the city gets swept up in the energy and excitement of the Edinburgh Festival, the largest arts festival in the world. Witness the breathtaking spectacle of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo and choose from a dazzling array of entertainment encompassing comedy, theatre, dance, opera, art exhibitions and much more.

There are few destinations that can promise a New Year’s Eve experience as unforgettable as Edinburgh. Celebrate the Scottish tradition of Hogmanay at the Scottish capital’s world famous street party which culminates in a spectacular fireworks display against the backdrop of Edinburgh Castle.

  • Crocuses on Leith Links
    Leith Links
  • The exterior of Bute House in Charlotte Square, Edinburgh
    Bute House in Charlotte Square, Edinburgh
  • View from the packed stand of fireworks going off trackside and bands on the pitch of a large stadium
    Pre-match fireworks before the RBS Six Nations match at Murrayfield Stadium (image: Scottish Rugby)
  • An antiques fair in the Grassmarket, Edinburgh, during the festival
    Grassmarket, Edinburgh
  • Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh
    Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh
Looking across The Shore in Leith, Edinburgh


Boasting its own distinct character, Leith is a hub of lively eating and drinking spots, creativity and cultural diversity.

The National Trust for Scotland buildings in Charlotte Square, Edinburgh, designed by Robert Adam

Old Town and New Town

Explore Edinburgh’s beautiful Old and New Town and discover an incredible array of historical and cultural attractions.

Scottish rugby player runs with the ball (image: Scottish Rugby)

Haymarket and West End

Explore the cobbled shopping streets of the West End or discover great family days out just a few minutes from Haymarket.

A fringe performer on a unicycle on the bustling Royal Mile during the Edinburgh Festival

Royal Mile and Grassmarket

Edinburgh's Royal Mile is the heart of Scotland's historic capital. Just a short walk away is the eclectic Grassmarket.

Looking down on Princes Street

Edinburgh city centre

Central Edinburgh has two distinct parts divided by Princes Street, which runs roughly east-west under the shadow of the Castle.

A line of buildings on Portobello promenade. Image © Lee Kindness


Visit Edinburgh's seaside to relax on the beach, stroll on along the promenade and pop into shops, bars and cafes.