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Traumhafter Blick auf Edinburgh, Bild: Shaiith / shutterstock

Edinburgh – steeped in history and modern at the same time

Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, is more suitable than almost any other city for an eventful, exciting short trip. Both the medieval core and the New Town with its neoclassical buildings offer plenty of sights that are worth discovering. Much of Edinburgh’s centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and offers unique attractions for visitors interested in history and culture. The city also has many green spaces and even an extinct volcano, so that nature lovers will not miss out here. Edinburgh , with its approximately 500,000 inhabitants, is also a modern and young city known for its many festivals and a varied gastronomic scene.

Top attractions in Edinburgh

Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh Castle, Image: Michal 11 / shutterstock

One of the oldest surviving buildings in Europe has a decisive influence on the city’s image: Edinburgh Castle towers above the centre on Castle Rock, an extinct volcanic cone. The imposing building from the 12th century is at the top of the list of attractions in Great Britain. The castle houses the Scottish Crown Jewels and the so-called “Stone of Providence”, which was part of the coronation ceremonies, among other things. It is also home to the National War Museum. Every day at 1 p.m., the One O’Clock Gun, which originally served as a time for sailors, is fired from the fortress. Today, of course, this ceremony is only a predominantly tourist event.

Edinburgh’s real local mountain, however, is the 251 m high “Arthur’s Seat” in Holyrood Park, where the official residence of the British Queen in Scotland is also located. It is worth visiting the interiors and the impressive ruins of Holyrood Abbey. A stroll through the beautiful royal gardens is also one of the highlights among the many things to do in Edinburgh. The view from Arthur’s Seat, which is also of volcanic origin, extends over the entire city to the Highlands.

Explore the city on foot

Edinburgh is a metropolis that can be easily experienced on foot, as many of the most important sights are located along the Royal Mile. This promenade runs from west to east across the old town and most of the historic buildings are in its immediate vicinity. Probably the most important church in Scotland, St. Giles Cathedral, which was probably built as early as 1120, is also located here. At the end of the Royal Mile, an extremely modern house stands out among the many historic buildings. It is the Parliament of Scotland, which is very controversial among the population due to its extraordinary architecture. For this very reason, however, it is one of the most popular photo motifs in the city for tourists.

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Old Town Edinburgh
The Old Town of Edinburgh, Image: f11photo / shutterstock

If you are interested in literature or architecture, you can take a detour to the Scott Monument in the Princess Street Gardens. The 61.11 m high tower in Gothic style was built in honour of the poet Sir Walter Scott and was completed in 1844. Built in sandstone, the monument is decorated with numerous figures and also features the heads of the 16 most famous Scottish writers and poets. From the observation deck you can enjoy a beautiful view of the surroundings.

The former royal yacht “Britannia”, which was decommissioned in 1997, is now moored in the harbour of Edinburgh. It can be visited and is at the top of the tourist popularity scale. For most visitors, it is an extremely impressive experience to walk in the footsteps of the royals here and to take a look at the magnificent cabins as well as the crew quarters and the engine room during a tour.

Enjoy culinary delights

What would a trip to Scotland be without whisky? In Edinburgh, there are plenty of opportunities to learn about the production and history of Scotland’s national drink, as well as take part in tastings. The best thing to do is to stroll along the 1.8 km long Royal Mile and turn into the small, cobblestone streets of the old town, the so-called Closes, again and again. Here you will find charming restaurants, cozy cafes and nice shops everywhere. The small market square Grassmarket is also a popular meeting place for locals and tourists alike. The fantastic view of the castle from here is said to have inspired the author J. K. Rowling to write her Harry Potter novels.

For most travelers, a visit to a museum is simply part of a short trip to a foreign city. The Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh is not only a great tip for rainy days. Culture enthusiasts as well as natural history fans and technology freaks will get their money’s worth here, as the museum consists of two parts, namely the National Museum and the Royal Museum.

Although Edinburgh has an extraordinary number of attractions to offer, many holidaymakers also want to get to know some other parts of the country. Since the capital is relatively central, many beautiful destinations can be reached on day trips. The world-famous loch Ness and the Highlands are about three and three and a half hours from Edinburgh respectively and the drive there already gives fantastic impressions of Scotland.

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Edinburgh impresses with an extremely pleasant atmosphere and, with its many sights, is definitely a worthwhile destination for a city trip.

General information

Stockbridge Edinburgh
Elegant Georgian and Victorian terraced houses in Stockbridge, Image: Doubleclix / shutterstock

Edinburgh, located on the east coast of Scotland, is known for its historical and cultural significance. It is a city that combines modern urban life with rich history, which is evident in the well-preserved historic buildings and modern developments.


The climate in Edinburgh is typically oceanic, with mild summers and cool winters. Temperatures in summer rarely exceed 22°C, while the winter months remain cool, rarely dropping below freezing, and occasionally experiencing snowfall.


  • Edinburgh Castle: Perched atop an ancient volcano, the castle is one of the city’s most important landmarks and offers sweeping views over Edinburgh.
  • Royal Mile: The central street of the Old Town connects Edinburgh Castle to Holyrood Palace and is lined with medieval buildings, shops, museums and cafes.
  • Holyrood Palace: Official residence of the Queen in Scotland, known for its impressive premises and adjacent Holyrood Park.
  • Arthur’s Seat: An extinct volcano and highest point in Edinburgh, from which you can enjoy excellent views over the city.
  • National Museum of Scotland: Offers a wide range of collections covering Scottish history, culture and natural sciences.


  • Visiting festivals: Edinburgh is famous for its festivals, including the Edinburgh International Festival and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the largest arts and cultural event in the world.
  • Exploring nature: In addition to exploring the city, the surrounding hills and coastlines offer excellent opportunities for hiking and nature watching.
  • Whisky tastings: Participate in whisky tours and tastings to experience Scotland’s most famous drink.


Edinburgh is a cultural centre with numerous theatres, museums and galleries. It is also a center of the literary world, known as the home of writers such as Sir Walter Scott, Robert Louis Stevenson, and J.K. Rowling.


Scottish cuisine in Edinburgh features traditional dishes such as haggis, neeps and tatties, Scottish salmon and game. The city is also known for its modern and international cuisine.


Edinburgh is easily accessible via Edinburgh Airport, which offers direct flights from many international destinations. The city is also connected to an excellent rail and bus network, allowing for easy connections within the UK.