Edinburgh Visitor information

Edinburgh

An Introduction to Edinburgh

Edinburgh is the second largest city in Scotland (after Glasgow), the country's capital, and the seat of the Scottish Parliament. Owing to its spectacular, rugged setting and vast collection of Medieval and Georgian architecture, including numerous stone tenements, it is often considered one of the most picturesque cities in Europe.

The city attracts 1 million overseas visitors a year, making it the second most visited tourist destination in the United Kingdom, after London.

Activities of interest in Edinburgh

Edinburgh is a vibrant city, offering many activities and historic sites. Princes Street is the place to shop and the Royal Mile is home to thriving pubs and restaurants. Edinburgh Castle, which stands over the city, St Giles Cathedral, which dates from 9th century and the Edinburgh Vaults where visitors join a ghost tour, are just a few of the places of interest.

The city is well-known for the annual Edinburgh Festival, a collection of official and independent festivals held annually over about four weeks from early August. The number of visitors attracted to Edinburgh for the Festival is roughly equal to the settled population of the city. The most famous of these events are the Edinburgh Fringe (the largest performing arts festival in the world), the Edinburgh International Festival, the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, and the Edinburgh International Book Festival. Other events include the Hogmanay street party (31 December), Burns Night (25 January), St. Andrew's Day (30 November), and the Beltane Fire Festival (30 April).

Getting to Edinburgh

By Car: Leave the M1 motorway at Junction 8 and follow A720 and A71 to Edinburgh City Centre.

By Train: All trains to Edinburgh go to Waverley Station, off Waverley Bridge at the east end of Princes St. This is where the main ticket booking office is located.Taxis collect passengers from the station concourse. All trains to the north and to the west coast, including Glasgow, also stop at Haymarket station.

By Bus: The city's new bus station is in St Andrews Square, only a few minutes' walk from Waverley station. This is the terminal for all coaches from England, from other towns and cities around Scotland and also for local services to outlying towns and villages. There are left luggage lockers at the Terminus.

By Air: Edinburgh International Airport is 8 miles west of the city centre on the A8 Edinburgh-Glasgow road.