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Melissa McDonald, City Break Specialist

"Visiting Edinburgh is an experience rich in culture and history. Step back in time as you explore the historic Royal Mile where St Giles' Cathedral, Mary King’s Close, and the Palace of Holyrood reveal the city’s intriguing past, or relax in the Princes Street Gardens after a day of high street shopping with views of Edinburgh Castle reigning over the city."

Edinburgh at a glance

A cosmopolitan city rich in history and culture, Edinburgh is brimming with superb architecture, top museums and a vibrant nightlife. With a dramatic cityscape stretching from iconic castles and cathedrals to dormant volcanoes, gardens and glimpses of the North Sea, this short break destination is hard to beat.

Acting as the capital of Scotland since the 15th century, Edinburgh’s history dates back much further with evidence of habitation beginning around 8500 BC. Today superbly preserved architecture such as the Georgian New Town and the medieval structures of the iconic Royal Mile continue to tell Edinburgh’s story through the ages. A wealth of museums can also be found throughout the city exhibiting a treasure trove of history, art and culture.

Known as the ‘Athens of the North’, Edinburgh has long been a centre for education and discovery. During the Scottish Enlightenment, Edinburgh brought to the world’s stage a series of innovators whose impact on the world of science, economics and literature is immeasurable. Visionaries such as Alexander Graham Bell, Adam Smith and David Hume all held a strong connection with Edinburgh, and today their accomplishments are still heralded in the city with museum exhibits, statues and plaques preserving their legacy.

Perfect if you’re looking for:

  • Historic attractions
  • Art and culture
  • Vibrant nightlife

Getting around

Edinburgh has an extensive public bus network that operates throughout the city centre and beyond. Taxis are also readily available in the city centre.

City of Literature

Edinburgh was the first city to be elected a UNESCO City of Literature. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Robert Burns and Sir Walter Scott once called Edinburgh home and today the literary connection continues with well-known authors such as Ian Rankan, J.K. Rowling and Alexander McCall Smith all claiming inspiration from their beloved city.

The Edinburgh Festival

Every summer the city plays host to a number of large festivals collectively known as the Edinburgh Festival. Attracting thousands of visitors each year, the Festival brings a number of art, drama, music, literature and comedy performances to the city, making the selection of evening events hard to top. But there is plenty happening in this vibrant city when the festival isn’t in full swing, with a large number of venues including theatres, clubs, cinemas and pubs with live music open year around.

Get your tailor-made city break itinerary

Osprey Holidays can create a fabulous short break to Edinburgh designed completely around your needs. We can arrange whatever you need, including:

  • All travel and transfers on days of your choice
  • Accommodation from our handpicked range of Edinburgh hotels, to suit your budget and requirements

Our award-winning team can provide expert advice and recommendations, from general questions to tiny details. Contact us now for your tailor-made itinerary.

Important information
Population 471,700
Languages English
Currency Pounds Sterling
Visa Information No visa required for EU citizens
Average temperatures

(monthly highs °C)

Interesting facts

Are you brave enough to experience one of Edinburgh's ghosts tours? It's a great way to learn about the city's darker history.

Distance from airports
Edinburgh Airport 6 miles
Railway stations
Edinburgh Waverley

Things to do in Edinburgh

  • Edinburgh Castle: Enjoy stunning views of the city from the castle dating back to the 12th century.
  • Ghost Tour: Spooky tales of the city’s past are brought alive on a journey through the old closes and wynds of the Old Town.
  • Palace of Holyroodhouse: The Queen’s official Scottish residence lies at the foot of the famous Royal Mile.
  • Edinburgh Zoo: Book a visit to see the giant pandas in this popular city attraction!
  • Arthur’s Seat: One of Edinburgh’s seven hills, Arthur’s Seat offers a variety of different walks and provides the best views of the city.
  • National Museum of Scotland: The new galleries at the National Museum of Scotland re-opened in July 2011 after extensive refurbishment. The museum today houses a fascinating array of treasures from around the world, taking in the natural world, world cultures, science and Scottish history.