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Who, What, When, Where and How? Your Quick Guide to Edinburgh

From the history-soaked medieval tenements of Old Town, to the sweeping elegance of the Georgian New Town, Edinburgh is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Its many historic sites, fantastic museums and countless attractions has made it a favourite destination for tourists and locals alike.

To help you make the most of your time in Scotland’s vibrant capital, we’ve put together a quick guide to Edinburgh. To find out more about all that Edinburgh has to offer, you can also take a look at our more comprehensive Edinburgh Guide.

Who To See

The first stop in our guide to Edinburgh is a trip down memory lane. Take a walk to 16 South Charlotte Street and call in on Alexander Graham Bell’s birthplace. Visit the Communicate! Gallery at the National Museum of Scotland and learn all about Bell’s amazing achievements in the “Pioneers and Personalities” section. Alternatively, toast modern-day telecommunication with a pint and a selfie at The Alexander Graham Bell pub.

Animal skeleton hanging from ceiling of National Museum Scotland

 Image title Wildlife Panorama, National Museum of Scotland by dun_deagh is licensed under (CC BY-SA 2.0)

What To Do

No guide to Edinburgh would be complete without a visit to the city’s most famous attraction – Edinburgh Castle. For centuries, battles and sieges were fought over this iconic fortress and countless monarchs lived and died within its walls. Perched on a volcanic rock overlooking the city, its bloody history has beckoned travellers from all over the world. Home to the crown jewels of Scotland and the oldest surviving building in the city (St Margaret’s Chapel), it’s well worth a visit.

When To Go

With so much to do all year round, there’s no real “right” time to visit Edinburgh. The cold winter months herald in the festive season and the start of the Christmas Festival. The city is transformed into a winter wonderland with all its lights, fairs and festivals, and Hogmanay is the perfect way to welcome in the New Year.

Once winter is over and spring has sprung, Princess Street Gardens blossom with a kaleidoscope of colours. Summer and autumn signal the start of warmer days and greater festivals. In August, the population of Edinburgh doubles as people flock to the city to take part in the festivities. No matter when you choose to visit, make sure you have a decent pair of walking shoes and a sturdy umbrella.

Princess Street Gardens in Edinburgh

Image title East Princess street Gardens by Leandro Neumann Ciuffo is licnsed under (CC BY 2.0)

Where To Stay

The Parliament House Hotel is situated in the heart of Edinburgh. Combing Jacobean and Georgian buildings, it has been transformed into a fifty-three-bedroom hotel of ancient charm and local character. Perfectly positioned at the foot of Calton Hill, the hotel’s tranquil setting belies its city centre location. With loads of specials throughout the year, we offer affordable accommodation to anyone looking to visit Edinburgh.

Parliament House Hotel seating area

How To Get Around

Undoubtedly one of the most important parts of any guide to Edinburgh is navigating your way around this busy city. With a labyrinth of streets and walkways, it’s hard to find your bearings. While taxis are plentiful in the city, they do come at a price. Riding the many busses and trams is a great way to get around. They come around every few minutes and you can choose from a variety of ticket options to make exploring the city more affordable. If you’re planning on seeing more than just Edinburgh, Waverly Station’s many train links will connect you to the rest of Scotland and the UK.

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