Edinburgh, capital of Scotland, is an architectural wonder – a melodic cacophony of Georgian and Victorian architecture with medieval style streets. On top of an old volcano, it is capped by the Edinburgh Castle which sits right in the center of the city on the volcano’s head. Contrary to popular belief, Edinburgh is not a completely “old style” city similar to the likes of Rome. It is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in Europe and provides a rich selection of museums and galleries. Battlements, peaks, and hills dominate the scene. For a nice taste of the modern and antique, you can’t get any better than Edinburgh which is world renowned for its neat dance clubs sitting side by side with 15th and 16th century Georgian masterpieces.
Things To Do In Edinburgh:
- Holyrood – The Holyrood section is Edinburgh’s answer to New York’s Broadway – a majestic stretch of museums and churches along with ancient buildings from centuries ago. The Palace of Holyroodhouse, an old monastery, is where the monarch lives and is still visited by the Queen every now and then. Take a tour of Holyrood and visit the Great galleries and the Throne Room.
- National Gallery of Scotland – This art haven sits right in the city center and comes equipped with the finest collection of European paintings dating back to the Renaissance and post impressionism periods. Launched in 1859, the museum holds works from Monet, Rembrandt, and Raphael among other notables.
- Edinburgh Castle – its parts date back to the 12th century with St. Margaret’s Chapel and is a sight to behold. It has important relics from the past dealing with Scottish influence during World War II and 15th century squabbles.
Where to Stay in Edinburgh
- The Balmoral: Winning the ‘2005 Edinburgh Hotel of the Year’ award by a Scottish magazine, this is a luxury hotel at its finest with a tall clock tower that looms over the city center. With more than 150 rooms and a recent reconstruction, business is booming at this hotel. The Balmoral also comes with plenty of bars and restaurants along with a champagne bar. If you’re in town for business, the Balmoral has business centers with 10 conference rooms and function suites.
- Apex International Hotel: This hotel is located smack in the middle of the Old Town. Its surroundings are medieval, but the hotel itself is a modern masterpiece of 175 rooms with two restaurants, business facilities, and dazzling views of the entire castle.
- The Howard: Priding itself on customer service, the Howard host some international renowned guests like presidents and actors on a regular basis. With 18 rooms and luxury suites along with all of the amenities like butlers, flat screen televisions, and Jacuzzi bathrooms – the Howard is where everyone goes to get pampered.
Events and All That Jazz:
Edinburgh is highly recognized for its bright and colorful cultural events throughout the year. The Edinburgh festival has to be one of the most decorated art environments in the world. From August 10 to September 2, the city turns into a mosaic of artists, musicians, and dancers performing their craft in virtually every space. Intercultural festivals include the Edinburgh Mela (September) which is a celebration of Indian, Pakistani, and Bangladeshi heritage with dance, art, and activities for everyone. It is widely noted that Edinburgh is one of the most diverse communities in Europe, similar to the likes of Madrid and Barcelona with their South American and African populations.
Another Edinburgh event worth mentioning is the Military Tattoo show. Set against Edinburgh Castle, military musicians from across the country like the Queens Colour Squadron and the Royal Air Force get together to celebrate with pipe and drumming music from Scotland’s best army regiments singing praises to battles and featuring fireworks and pipers.