Burrowed beside long-dormant volcanoes and reigning over green moorlands, Edinburgh (or Ed-n-bruh in Scots speech) is known for more than its staggering landscape.
The Athens of the North, as Edinburgh is sometimes nicknamed, also claims a cast of near-mythic characters: Rebel leader Sir William Wallace (aka Braveheart); the tragic Mary, Queen of Scots; the Enlightenment thinkers David Hume and Adam Smith; “James Bond” actor Sean Connery; and prolific wordsmiths Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and J.K. Rowling – are all woven into this very old, yet very relevant city.
But if your impression is confined to bagpipes, tartans, crests and kilts, you’d be wrong. The second most-visited city in the United Kingdom (after London), Edinburgh offers an abundance of things to do.
History buffs will enjoy Edinburgh Castle, Holyroodhouse Palace and other attractions found along the Royal Mile. Those in search of an authentic live-as-the-locals experience will find it in the outer-lying neighborhood pubs, shops and parks. Shoppers will find retail bliss in New Town; art aficionados will enjoy the free Scottish National Gallery; and theater hounds will meet their match at August’s Edinburgh Festival.