Edinburgh

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Edinburgh is one of the Europe’s most beautiful cities – dominated by the magnificent Edinburgh Castle perched on a volcanic crag in the city center and offering a spectacular view of the surrounding area. The architecture in Edinburgh is remarkable with over 16 thousand listed buildings. Take a hike up to Arthur’s Seat or stroll in the beautiful Holyrood Park, west of here is the legendary Royal Mile, a fascinating street full of history. The Edinburgh International Festival and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival are two events that bring many visitors from around the world.

Rising up in medieval splendor from its base atop an ancient, extinct volcano, Edinburgh Castle stands at the head of the Royal Mile in Old Town, the original city center with winding lanes and dark alleys. Opposite, the Georgian New Town provides a contrast with its ordered grid of elegant 18th-century architecture. While Edinburgh has a rich, cultural heritage and is home to many of Scotland’s museums and galleries, it is perhaps most famous for the Edinburgh International Festival, which runs for three weeks during August. During the festival the town comes alive with street performers advertising their shows, and visitors are sure to be entertained by comedians, and may even see one or two of their favorite actors sampling a barrel at the Scotch Whisky Heritage Center.

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Edinburgh is unique among Scotland’s cities. Tourism, its proximity to England, and its multicultural population set it apart. There’s up-to-the-nanosecond dance clubs in 15th-century buildings and firebreathers outside Georgian mansions: this is a place that knows how to blend ancient and modern.

Its superb architecture ranges from ancient churches to monumental Victorian masterpieces – all centered around the castle on a precipitous crag in the city’s heart. Pick any street to stroll – you’ll be wowed by sudden vistas of looming battlements, cold volcanic peaks and hills steeped in memory.

Edinburgh’s summer streets are enlivened by the buzz and high jinks surrounding the world’s biggest arts festival. The flip side is grim council housing estates, dubious weather and tartan kitsch; but don’t let that stop you. Edinburgh is a mixed bag but it struts an identity that extends much further than heroin addicts and the occasional display of kilts and bagpipes. In traditional Scottish fashion, it will leave you feeling whisky-warm inside.

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