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.
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The Scottish Daily Record
Opening hours are usually Monday–Saturday 9am–6pm, Sunday 11am–5pm
Edinburgh and Scotland
VisitScotland Information Centre
3 Princes Street, Edinburgh
+44 845 225 5121
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.
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 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.
Royal Mile Guided Walking Tour
Loch Ness, Glencoe & the Highlands Day Tour from Edinburgh
National Museum of Scotland
Camera Obscura & World of Illusions
Scottish Parliament Building
Palace of Holyroodhouse
Scottish Seabird Centre
Royal Botanic Garden
The Edinburgh Dungeon
Princes Street Gardens
Royal Yacht Britannia
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.
The Witchery by the Castle
Locanda De Gusti
Restaurant Martin Wishart
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.
The Marshmallow Lady
Union Brew Lab
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
The Holyrood 9A
The Jolly Judge
The Sheep Heid Inn
The Scotch Whisky Experience
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.
House of Fraser Jenners
Sheila Fleet Stockbridge Edinburgh
Heritage of Scotland
Cranachan & Crowdie
Miss Katie Cupcake
Edinburgh Farmers' Market
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.
Phone: +44 844 448 8833
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.
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
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/
Unoccupied taxis have are indicated with a light on the top. You can also book a taxi by contacting the following companies:
+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 in the city centre, with the most central being the Tollcross Post Office, located in Home Street.
Address: 33 Home St, Edinburgh
Phone: +44 345 611 2970
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
Country code: +44
Area code: 0131
240 Volt, three-pin socket.