Destination: Edinburgh
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Essence of Edinburgh

Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland, with everything a capital should have - a sense of history, superb architecture, great museums and a vibrant cultural life. Its townscape rates among the finest in Europe, the streets and squares punctuated by spires and cupolas and dotted with leafy spaces. Its compact centre is ringed with village-like suburbs that retain their sense of identity, while the proximity of hills and sea adds to the city's beauty. With its face set confidently to the future as Scotland's longed-for autonomy becomes a fact, Edinburgh is experiencing a new sense of purpose and pride, making this a perfect time to enjoy its pleasures.

The 10 Essentials

If you have only a limited period to enjoy Edinburgh, to ensure some unforgettable memories make time for at least a few of these.

Spend a leisurely morning walking down the Royal Mile, making sure you explore its evocative wynds and closes to get a real sense of Edinburgh's history.

Seek out one of Edinburgh's many vantage points to enjoy the full panorama of the city's superb setting - climb Arthur's Seat, stand on the Castle ramparts or walk up Calton Hill for some of the city's best views.

Take an open-air bus ride around the city's main sights to get your bearings.

Take a couple of hours to stroll around the Georgian splendour of the New Town, one of Europe's finest and most elegant examples of 18th-century town planning.

Relax in Princes Street Gardens, where you can have lunch, catch a band concert, admire the Castle's silhouette and set your watch by the Floral Clock.

Head away from the centre to hunt for presents and souvenirs in the enticing small shops in areas such as Stockbridge, the Grassmarket and Victoria Street.

Sample some Scottish food and drink - specialities range from shortbread and haggis to Edinburgh rock and malt whisky, and you're bound to find something to enjoy.

Track down some local entertainment; in summer choose from Festival events or the Tattoo, while in winter there's everything from Celtic Rock to Scottish pantomime.

Join the Saturday afternoon crowds in Princes Street to get a feel for Edinburgh's people, then head for one of the smart café-bars in George Street.

Climb the Scott Monument for views up and down Princes Street and across to the Mound and Castle.


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