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 Scotland’s enchanting capital of 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 it has served as inspiration for so many authors and poets.

currency

Pound Sterling, £1 = 100 pence

phone

999
112

newspaper

The Scotsman
The Herald
The Scottish Daily Record

hours

Opening hours are usually Monday - Saturday 9:00 to 18:00, Sunday 11:00 to 17:00.

population

482,005 (2011)

info

Edinburgh and Scotland
VisitScotland Information Centre
3 Princes Street, Edinburgh
+44 845 225 5121

Street view of the historic Royal Mile, Edinburgh, Scotland f11photo / Shutterstock.com

The City

Located on the southern shore of the Firth of Forth, Edinburgh has been the capital of Scotland since 1492.

Edinburgh still breathes the spirit of its past, with its streets running through town like scars of distant memories. The most significant is probably the Royal Mile, which goes right through the Old Town and ends at The Palace of Holyroodhouse, once home to Mary, Queen of Scots and now the British Royal Family’s official Scottish residence.

On both sides of this famous street lays the unique combination of the cobbled streets and narrow lanes of the Old Town and the elegant Georgian grandeur of the neoclassic New Town. This blend makes Edinburgh's historical centre so peculiar, described by many as one of the most beautiful cityscapes in the world. The Old and New Towns of Edinburgh became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995.

Street view of the historic Royal Mile, Edinburgh, Scotland f11photo / Shutterstock.com

Do & See

Laid among many hills, Edinburgh is a historical and cultural city 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. On the top of the city lies the Edinburgh Castle, 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.

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Old Town

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Edinburgh Castle

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Camera Obscura & World of Illusions

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Rosslyn Chapel

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National Museum of Scotland

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Edinburgh Zoo

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Scottish Parliament Building

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Mountain Biking

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Palace of Holyroodhouse

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Scottish Seabird Centre

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Royal Botanic Garden

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The Edinburgh Dungeon

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Festival Theatre

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Gilmerton Cove

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Princes Street Gardens

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Arthur's Seat

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Royal Yacht Britannia

Love fish and chips because it is so delicious and comforting. This one I have in a restaurant in Edinburgh, Scotland. It was surprisingly great. Maybe because we did not really expect much. Kawin Towe / Shutterstock.com

Dining

Edinburgh is the perfect city to have a dinner night out, with a spectacular variety of restaurants serving mouth-watering cuisine in vibrant atmospheres. Whether you are looking for Michelin-starred dining, hearty Scottish bites, or food from all around the globe, you’ll certainly find delicious dishes for every taste and budget.

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Contini Ristorante

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Pancho Villa's

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Britannia Spice

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Number One

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Mussel Inn

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The Holyrood 9A

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Kanpai Sushi

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Dubh Prais

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Wildfire

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Locanda De Gusti

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Hendersons

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Restaurant Martin Wishart

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The Witchery by the Castle

Group of friends enjoying a coffee together. Jacob Lund / Shutterstock.com

Cafes

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.

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Elephant House

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The Marshmallow Lady

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Casa Amiga

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Brew Lab Coffee

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Union of Genius

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Dovecot Cafe by Leo's

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Lovecrumbs

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Mary's Milk Bar

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Mimi's Bakehouse

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Eteaket

Street view of the historic old town, Edinburgh, Scotland f11photo / Shutterstock.com

Bars & Nightlife

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!

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The Bongo Club

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The Stand Comedy Club

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The Voodoo Rooms

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Tigerlily

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Frankenstein Pub

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Roseleaf Bar

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Dragonfly

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Bailie Bar

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52 Canoes

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99 Hanover Street

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Epicurean

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Indigo Yard

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Michael Neave Kitchen and Whisky Bar

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Eastside Edinburgh

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Ghillie Dhu

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The Jolly Judge

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The Sheep Heid Inn

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The Scotch Whisky Experience

Two attractive young female friends enjoying a day out shopping Andrea Obzerova / Shutterstock.com

Shopping

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 brands can be found on the prestigious Multrees Walk. In its surroundings you will come across Jenners department store, a real Edinburgh institution that hosts a wide range of shops in a majestic Victorian building. It is granted that you will not leave Edinburgh empty-handed.

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Closes

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Victoria Street

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House of Fraser Jenners

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Waverley Mall

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Sheila Fleet Stockbridge Edinburgh

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Heritage of Scotland

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Cranachan & Crowdie

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Miss Katie Cupcake

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Cadenhead Whisky

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Grassmarket

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Edinburgh Farmers' Market

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Doodles

street view of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK Richie Chan / Shutterstock.com

Tourist Information

Edinburgh Airport

Edinburgh Airport is located 11 km west of the city, and connections to the city take usually 25-30 minutes to get to the city regardless of whether you go by bus, taxi or rented car.

Airlink express bus number 100 operates from the airport 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 takes 30 minutes. Tickets can be bought in advance online, at the bus stop, or from the driver.

If you arrive by night, take the night bus N22 (from stop D). This bus runs from the airport via South Gyle to the city centre and tothe 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 the 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 first 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.

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Phone: +44 844 448 8833

Website: www.edinburghairport.com

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Best Time to Visit

Late spring and summer's longer days and warmer temperatures make these periods the best time to visit Edinburgh. However, rain can be expected at anytime in Edinburgh and throughout Scotland, even in summer.

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Passport / Visa

Citizens from EEA countries or Switzerland then you must have either a valid passport or a national identity card issued by a EEA country, which is valid for the whole of your stay. Citizens from non-EEA countries must hold a valid passport before visiting Scotland and the UK. Depending on your country and/or stay duration, you might need a visa. Check out visa policies for the UK at https://www.gov.uk/browse/visas-immigration

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Public Transport

There are various bus companies operating in Edinburgh. 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 in the mobile app.

Edinburgh is a small and fairly compact city though, and most destinations in the city are within walking distance.

For more information check the companies' websites.
Lothian Buses: www.lothianbuses.com/index.php
First Edinburgh www.firstgroup.com/ukbus/scotland_east/

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Taxi

Unoccupied taxis have are indicated with a light on the top. You can also book a taxi by contacting the following companies:

City Cabs
+44 131 228 1211

Central Radio Taxis
+44 131 229 2468

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Post

Stamps are available from post offices and newsagents and you will find several post offices in the city centre, with the most central being the Tollcross Post Office, located in Home Street.

Address: 33 Home St, Edinburgh

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Phone: +44 345 611 2970

Website: www.postoffice.co.uk

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Pharmacy

To find details on your nearest health services including pharmacies, dentists, doctors, and hospitals, visit the NHS24 website (www.nhs24.scot), or call 111 in case of emergency.

Here are some major 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

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Phone: 111

Website: www.nhs24.scot

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Telephone

Country code: +44

Area code: 0131

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Electricity

240 Volt, three-pin socket.

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