Best-loved for its brooding castle and craggy setting, Scotland’s charming capital also hosts a dozen major festivals including Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the world’s largest arts festival. Rip-roaring Hogmanay celebrations welcome the New Year with fireworks and parades, while classic pubs and world-class restaurants keep the spirit alive year round.
Its contrasting medieval Old Town and Georgian New Town, with combined UNESCO World Heritage status, are perfect for exploring on foot. From the popular Princes Street Gardens, walk the cobbled alleys of the Royal Mile and Lawnmarket to the battlements of Edinburgh Castle. The nearby historic streets of Grassmarket are home to Candlemaker Row, and the delightful statue of Skye terrier Greyfriar’s Bobby. For spectacular views of the city, head to beautiful Holyrood Park. Its highest point, Arthur’s Seat, is an extinct volcano.
Edinburgh’s fairytale Dean Village connects to bohemian Stockbridge by the scenic Water of Leith Walkway. Just north on the Firth of Forth, Edinburgh’s pretty Leith district is a must for Michelin-starred dining experiences, or afternoon tea on The Royal Yacht Britannia.