Located in Lothian, on the east coast of Scotland and near the calm banks of the Forth River is Edinburgh. The Scottish capital is the artistic, cultural and financial center of the country. This magical city full of history, legends and curiosities is considered one of the most beautiful and charismatic of northern Europe. Edinburgh has an exceptionally rainy weather, but far from being a drawback, the foggy climate makes the city even more charming, creating an atmosphere of mystery and melancholy. This lovely city is also known as Auld Reekie, for the large number of smoking chimneys that adorn the roofs of its oldest buildings.
The capital of Scotland since 1437, Edinburgh is the seat of government. UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Site, and today it is a unique destination for those who love history and culture.
Old Town of Edinburgh, the city’s most emblematic area, with distinctive winding streets and squares, rises over a hilltop as an ancient sentinel watching over its domain. A good way to start a tour of the capital is a visit to Edinburgh Castle–an ancient fortress built on a ridge–which has served as a military and civilian outpost throughout its long history. The castle houses the crown jewels of Scotland as well as the Scone Stone, a block of sandstone that during the Middle Ages was used in the coronation ceremonies of Scottish kings.
During summer evenings, the area around Edinburgh Castle hosts one of the most attractive events in the city. The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is a lavish military parade that gathers hundreds of pipers and military bands of the British Armed Forces and the Commonwealth of Nations, as well as the armies of other invited countries.
Very close to the castle, we find the legendary Royal Mile, where once the elite class built their residences. Delimited by Castlehill, Lawnmarket, High Street and Canongate, its narrow streets make it an ideal place to explore. Here, you are likely to find the most exclusive shops and fashionable boutiques, renowned restaurants and well-stocked pubs featuring the best Scottish beer, delicious sausages, traditional haggis, and one of the country’s symbols: whisky.
If the weather allows, be sure to visit Princes Street Gardens to enjoy an outdoor picnic. At the Gardens, you will find a monument erected in 1846 —by popular subscription— in memory of famous Scottish romantic writer Sir Walter Scott, author of unforgettable works such as Rob Roy and Ivanhoe.
Many people travel to Edinburgh during August for the International Theater Festival, which will take place from August 4 to 28 of 2017. During those days, the city becomes the epicenter of the performing arts. Companies and actors from around the world take to the streets and theaters, turning Edinburgh into a giant stage. Edinburgh also has excellent museums, including the National Museum of Scotland, which takes visitors through the country’s history; and the Scottish National Gallery, with a magnificent collection of artworks from the Renaissance to the Post-Impressionists.
After a visit to Edinburgh, you will surely want to return because the Scottish capital is as captivating as it is beautiful. ■