Edinburgh is the capitol city of Scotland and is one of the most popular destinations in Europe. It is a unique city with a mix of old and new architecture and much of Scotland is traversed in History. The following guide is a list of suggestions for what not to miss during a visit to Edinburgh.
1. Edinburgh Castle
The most visited castle in Scotland and the most visited attraction in Edinburgh. Edinburgh Castle is traversed in history just like the city, there is much to explore inside the castle and much information available about its importance in Scotland's history.
2. Scott's Monument
Located in the heart of the city center, the monument is dedicated to one of Scotland's most famous artists, Sir Walter Scott. It costs just a few pounds to climb the monumental winding stairs and from above you enjoy some fantastic panoramic views of the city. This is best done on a sunny or clear day so you can enjoy the best views.
3. National Museum of Scotland
One of the most popular museums in Scotland, you can easily miss half a day making your way through all the exhibitions inside. There are numerous interactive exhibits that will keep most kids (or adults) entertained.
4. Eat at Hotel Balmoral
Probably the most famous hotel and certainly one of the most iconic hotels in Edinburgh. Balmoral offers the highest standard of luxury and is located downtown on Princes Street. Number One Restaurant offers some of the best food in Edinburgh and has a coveted Michelin star.
Take a ghost tour of Edinburgh
Edinburgh is a great city to stroll in, but at night with its many streets and narrow streets it can be a little scary. So why not discover all about Edinburgh's rocky past with tours exploring the origins of Jekyll and Hyde or learn about Paranormal Underground on one of the many tours available from Mercat Tours. They are informative and fun.
6. Go Shopping at Jenners
Known as the "Harrods of the North", Jenners was one of the oldest independent retailers in the world until its acquisition by House of Fraser in 2005. It is located initially on the price routes and inside you will find a selection of wide range of luxury goods and clothes as well as some fantastic and unique architectures, the products and interior of the building are well worth a look.
7. Enjoy Hogmanay in town
Hogmanay is the Scottish word for the New Year and the New Year is a big deal in Scotland with many holidays and many drinks taking place. In Edinburgh you will find one of the largest street parties in the world. The main streets are flooded with thousands of people and there is a variety of entertainment. The street party is looking for tickets that are free to get and there are also paid events in the Princes Street Gardens that include a popular band (2011 is Primal Scream). There are no better people in the world to celebrate with than the Scots.
8. Edinburgh Zoo
In Edinburgh you will find the Scotland Zoo, famous for its Penguin Parade and a great day for kids. The zoo has over 1,000 animals and is only a few kilometers from the city center (easily accessible by bus or car). There are various events and activities that take place throughout the year, with full details of current events on their website.