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Edinburgh may be dubbed the Athens of the North, but in truth it is an exceptional and unique city. While it's surpassed in size by Glasgow, Edinburgh is Scotland's most popular attraction as well as its capital. It is home to the Scottish Parliament and features a historic combination of Georgian and Medieval architectural styles. Not surprisingly, its Old Town and New Town have both been named as UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Edinburgh's major drawcard each year is the world-famous Edinburgh Festival, which is held in August. This 4-week collection of festivals generally attracts as many visitors as there are permanent residents in the city.
The Royal Mile, Edinburgh Castle, and Holyrood Palace all reside in Old Town. The area is filled with budget hostels, pubs, restaurants, and tourist attractions. Other places of interest in Old Town include Greyfriar's Kirkyard, St Gile's Cathedral, Mary King's Close, and the Royal Museum of Scotland. The Edinburgh Vaults are also located in Old Town.
Old Town, along with neighbouring New Town (see below), was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995.
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The New Town, located just north of Princes Street Gardens, is home to many shops, banks, restaurants, and internet cafes. Along with vast amounts of commercialism, New Town has a great view of Edinburgh Castle. The Scott Monument is also located in this district, which gives incredible views of the city.
You can experience the 'real' Edinburgh by walking down Leith Walk (or hopping on a bus). Leith has lots of bars such the infamous Port o' Leith (expect dancing on the bar Friday and Saturday night) and the quaint Roseleaf (cocktails in teapots). Young professionals tend to live in Leith as the council tax is unaffordable in The Old Town. On a nice day a stroll along Barnton beach is recommended.
These neighbourhoods lie just north of New Town and contains the Royal Botanic Garden.
South Queensferry rests at the foot of the Forth Rail Bridge on the banks of the Firth of Forth. There are many quaint restaurants along the shore as well as ferry docks that lead to numerous places around the Firth.
Portobello Beach is a quick bus ride out of the city. If you do like to be beside the seaside this is the place for you.
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Hogmanay Festival is the Scottish celebration of the last day of the year and is part of the festive events. On December 31st, Edinburgh holds one of the largest in the world as it spans for a three day spectacular. It begins with a massive torch light procession from Parliament Square to the Son et Lumiére on Calton Hill, ending in fireworks to signal the beginning of the festivities. The city hosts an all night street party and features many popular bands/DJs/live entertainment by the impressive Castle. Loony Dook takes place on New Years Day where the brave (or crazy) wade into the freezing waters of th River Forth.
Edinburgh has a typical maritime climate with cool summers and mild winters. June to September is summer season with temperatures between 16 °C and 18 °C and nights around 11 °C. Winters are still above zero, even at night. The highest and lowest temperatures possible are 28 °C and -9 °C. Precipitation is evenly distributed throughout the year, with autumn and winter being the wettest time and spring being the driest time. May is the driest and most sunny month of the year.
|Avg Max||6.2 °C||6.5 °C||8.7 °C||11.1 °C||14.2 °C||17.3 °C||18.8 °C||18.5 °C||16.2 °C||13.2 °C||8.7 °C||6.9 °C|
|Avg Min||0.3 °C||0 °C||1.5 °C||3.1 °C||5.7 °C||8.7 °C||10.3 °C||10.2 °C||8.4 °C||5.9 °C||2.1 °C||0.9 °C|
|Rainfall||57 mm||42 mm||51 mm||41 mm||51 mm||51 mm||57 mm||65 mm||67 mm||65 mm||63 mm||58 mm|
Edinburgh Airport (IATA: EDI, ICAO: EGPH) is about 10 kilometres from the city centre. Flights to Europe and Canada reach dozens of locations. Low-cost airline Ryanair has many flights, including to Alicante, Berlin, Bologna, Bordeaux, Bournemouth, Bratislava, Bremen, Brussels, Cagliari, Dublin, Gdansk, Girona, Frankfurt-Hahn, Haugesund, Krakow, Lanzarote, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Limoges, Málaga, Malta, Marseille, Palma de Mallorca, [[Pisa, Poznan, Oslo, Rome, Shannon, Stockholm, Tenerife-South, Weeze (near Düsseldorf), Wroclaw and Zadar.
To/from the airport
Edinburgh is well connected by good roads and signs both in and out of the city are good as well. Note that for a first time visitor driving into central Edinburgh can be a bit of a nightmare, especially during rush hours.
Taxis are fairly expensive. The minimum charge is £1.50 (£2.50 at night) for the first 300 metres or so.
Many local trains depart from Waverley Station and run to the outer edges of the city, such as South Queensferry. There is also a two bus companies that provide service to the area, Lothian and First. Buses typically require exact change. Check with the bus company for the current rate.
Edinburgh is a very walkable city. Most of the major tourist attractions are within walking distance of the Royal Mile. The charm and beauty of the city make your feet the perfect mode of transportation.
Maxies Bistro & Wine Bar is a fantastic place to eat when up the Castle end of the Royal Mile, with a great menu and fabulous atmosphere, especially on a sunny day where you can sit out on the terrace. Address: 5b Johnston Terrace, Edinburgh, EH1 2PW
A nice Italian on george street is Centotre, 103 George Street, Edinburgh, Lothian EH2 3ES, United Kingdom, tel: +44 131 225 1550, fax: +44 131 225 2578, Transit: Edinburgh Rail Station (900 metres). Close to some nice shops if you are in for a lunch, also a great location for heading to some nice cocktail bars afterwards.
Drinking in Edinburgh is a good night wether you are out for the pubs or out to enjoy the nightclubs, there is something for everyone. For a social gathering around the pubs The Royal mile is a good place to start as well as some great places in the grass market places such as The Beehive (18-20 Grassmarket, Old Town, Edinburgh EH1 2JU, United Kingdom, tel: +44 131 225 7171, Transit: Edinburgh Rail Station (800 metres).
If you are looking for a more modern and somewhere you can also enjoy a great atmosphere with a more young feel to it then try george street:
There are many places to enjoy the nightlife in edinburgh whatever your taste is you will find it here. Although try to stick to the one area as a lot of pubs and clubs are spaced out decide where you are heading first to avoid spending your night travelling from place to place! Enjoy.
|A Flat Apart||23 Fountainhall Rd||Apartment||-|
|Argyle Backpackers||14 Argyle Place Marchmont||Hostel||85|
|Ashdene House||23 Fountainhall Road||Guesthouse||-|
|Aynetree Guest House||12 Duddingston Crescent (Milton Road)||Guesthouse||85|
|Ballantrae Hotel||The Ballantrae Hotel/Apartments 8-12 York Place||Hotel||85|
|Bank Hotel||1 South Bridge Royal Mile||Hotel||-|
|Belford Hostel||6/8 Douglas Gardens||Hostel||82|
|Ben Craig House||3 Craigmillar Park Newington||Guesthouse||-|
|Blacket Garden Flat||46c Blacket Place||Guesthouse||-|
|Brodies Hostels||93 High St The Royal Mile||Hostel||78|
|Budget Backpackers||37-39 Cowgate Grassmarket||Hostel||87|
|Bus Station Backpackers Edinburgh Hostel||30a Dublin Street||Hostel||-|
|Caledonian Backpackers||3 Queensferry Street Edinburgh EH2 4PA||Hostel||75|
|Castle Rock Hostel||15 Johnston Terrrace||Hostel||90|
|Cowgate Tourist Hostel||96 Cowgate||Hostel||80|
|Dalmore Lodge||14 Downie Terrace Edinburgh||Guesthouse||-|
|Drumorne Guest House||82 Willowbrae Road||Guesthouse||-|
|Edinburgh Backpackers||65 Cockburn St EH1 1BU||Hostel||82|
|Edinburgh Central||9 Haddington Place||Hostel||83|
|Edinburgh Metro||11/2 Robertsons Close Cowgate||Hostel||82|
|Euro Hostel Edinburgh Halls||4/2 Kincaids Court (cnr Guthrie St) Cowgate||Hostel||83|
|Glenallan Guest House||19 Mayfield Road||Guesthouse||-|
|Glenfiddich Apartment||Annandale Street Leith Walk||Apartment||-|
|Granville Guesthouse||Granville Guesthouse 13 Granville Terrace||Guesthouse||84|
|Grassmarket Hotel||94-96 Grassmarket||Hotel||84|
|Grosvenor Gardens||1 Grosvenor Gardens||Hotel||85|
|High Street Hostel||8 Blackfriars Street||Hostel||88|
|Inchgrove House||8 Forres Street Edinburgh||Guesthouse||85|
|Mansion James Craig Court||James Craig Court 27-31 James Craig Walk||HOSTEL||-|
|Edinburgh Regency Guest House||12 Granville Terrace||GUESTHOUSE||85|
|Lantern Guest House||3 Windsor Street||Guesthouse||84|
|Let's Edinburgh||Dalry Gait||Apartment||86|
|Martin's Guest House||5 Granville Terrace||Guesthouse||76|
|McDonald Road||6 McDonald Road Edinburgh||Hostel||-|
|Merith House Hotel||2-3 Hermitage Place Leith Links||Hotel||81|
|Minto Guest House||23 Minto Street||Guesthouse||85|
|Murrayfield Hotel||18 Corstorphine Road||Hotel||-|
|Northumberland Hotel||31-33 Craigmillar Park Newington||Hotel||82|
|Park View House Hotel||14 Hermitage Place Leith Links||Hotel||83|
|Portsburgh Court||56 Lady Lawson Street Edinburgh||Hostel||84|
|Princes Street Backpackers East||5 West Register Street||Hostel||80|
|Regent House Hotel||3-5 Forth Street||Hotel||83|
|Royal Mile Backpackers||105 High Street||Hostel||87|
|smartcityhostels Edinburgh||50 Blackfriars Street||Hostel||83|
|St Christopher's Edinburgh||Above Belushis Bar 9-13 Market Street||Hostel||83|
|Student Residences Queen Margaret University||Musselburgh East Lothian||Hostel||84|
|Central Hotel||139 Cowgate||Hotel||-|
|The Thistle House||1 Kilmaurs Terrace Edinburgh EH16 5BZ||Guesthouse||85|
|The Westend Hostel||35 Palmerston Place as above||Hostel||87|
|Pollock Halls - Edinburgh First||Pollock Halls 18 Holyrood Park Road||Hostel||84|
|The Hostel||3 Clifton Terrace EH12 5DR||Hostel||83|
|Blossom||8 Minto Street Edinburgh||Guesthouse||81|
|Edinburgh Nights Hostel||87 Shandwick Place||Hostel||-|
|Art Roch Hostel||2 West Port Grassmarket, Edinburgh||Hostel||-|
|A Room for Two||109 / 1F2 Grove Street Edinburgh||Guesthouse||-|
|Portsburgh Square||10 Portsburgh Square Edinburgh||APARTMENT||-|
|The Richmond Hotel||20 Leopold Place London Road||Hotel||-|
|Herald House Hotel||70-72 Grove Street||Hotel||-|
|Edinburgh House Hotel||90-92 Pilrig Street||HOTEL||84|
|Edinburgh City Bed&Breakfast||7B West Maitland Street||Guesthouse||-|
|5 The Sandaig||5 East Hermitage Place Leith Links||Hotel||-|
|MW Town House||11 Spence Street||Guesthouse||-|
|Piries Hotel||4-8 Coates Garden Haymarket||HOTEL||84|
|A-Haven Townhouse Hotel||180 Ferry Road||Hotel||-|
|Ballantrae at The West End||6 Grosvenor Crescent West End||Hotel||83|
|The Lairg||11 Coates Gardens||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Chalmers Street||36 Chalmers Street Edinburgh||Hostel||83|
|Panmure||32 Carlton Road Edinburgh||Apartment||84|
|Lady Nicolson Court||38 Potterrow||Apartment||83|
|South Bridge Apartments||39 South Bridge,||Apartment||-|
|Culane House Hotel||9 Hermitage Place||HOTEL||-|
|Acer Apartments||5 Ritchie Place Edinburgh||APARTMENT||-|
|Murrayfield Rooms||102 Corstorphine Road Edinburgh||APARTMENT||-|
|Relax Guest House||11 Eyre Place||Guesthouse||-|
|Abcorn Guest House||4 Mayfield Gardens||Guesthouse||87|
|The Old Schoolhouse Hostel Apartments||5 Drummond Street Edinburgh||Hostel||-|
|Barony House||20 Mayfield Gardens Edinburgh||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|The International Guesthouse||37 Mayfield Gardens||GUESTHOUSE||84|
|Allison House||17 Mayfield Gardens Edinburgh EH92AX||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Highfield Guest House||83 Mayfield road||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|The Beverley||40 Murrayfield Avenue||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Alpha Guest House||19 Old Dalkeith Road Edinburgh||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Kariba Guesthouse||10 Granville Terrace||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Auld Reekie Guest House||16 Mayfield Gardens, Edinburgh EH9 2BZ||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Mrs Marlyn Blackley B&B||7 Cambridge Gardens Edinburgh||GUESTHOUSE||84|
|Aonach Mor Guest House||14 Kilmaurs Terrace||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Gil Dun Guest House||9 Spence Street||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Sonas Guest House||3 East Mayfield||GUESTHOUSE||84|
|Smart at IQ||69 Grovestreet||APARTMENT||-|
|Adventure in the Meadow||Kirkhill Estate Gorebridge||Campsite||-|
|City Centre Hostel||1 Inglis Court||Hostel||-|
|Haggis Hostels||5 West Register Street||HOSTEL||85|
|Summer Hostel - Cowgate Campus Accom||Ziggurat - Wellgate House 200 Cowgate||HOSTEL||83|
|Kirkhill Mansion||Kirkhill Mansion||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Boreland Lodge Hotel||31/33 Borland Road Inverkeithing Fife||Hotel||85|
|Thrums Hotel||14 - 15 Minto Street||Hotel||-|
|Edinburgh Euro Lodge Hostel||39 Atholl Crescent Lane Edinburgh||HOSTEL||-|
|Edinburgh Playhouse Apartments||81/3 Hopetoun Street||APARTMENT||84|
|Halls of Residence - Jewel & Esk College||24 Milton Road East||APARTMENT||-|
|Art House Central Hostel||8 Blenheim Place @ Royal Terrace||HOSTEL||-|
|Euro Lodge||39 Athol Crescent Lane||Hostel||-|
|Light House Hostel||20 Gilmore Place||HOSTEL||89|
|By The Mile B&B||Flat 5, 3 Coinyie House Close South Gray's Close, 40 The High Street||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Royal Mile Apartment||Apartment 2F2 17 Milton Street||APARTMENT||-|
|Mansion Festivals- Fountainbridge||123 Fountainbridge West Tollcross||APARTMENT||-|
|Summer Hostel - Beaverbank Campus Accom||17 Beaverbank Place||HOSTEL||82|
|Cloudberry Apartment||26 Dalkeith Road||APARTMENT||-|
|Masson House||18 Holyrood Park Road||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|46 Pilrig Street||46 Pilrig Street||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Kingsway Guest House||5 East Mayfield||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Snoozebox Hotel Edinburgh||Snoozebox Village New Street||Hotel||-|
|Lyncliff Hotel||4 Windsor Street||Hotel||-|
|Capital West End||3 Torphichen Street||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Calton Apartments||H/O: Abbey Hotel 9 Royal Terrace||Apartment||-|
|The Glenrose||15 Mayfield Gardens||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Ritz Hotel||14-16 Grosvenor Street Haymarket||HOTEL||-|
|Brooks Hotel||70-72 Grove Street||Hotel||-|
|Tania Guesthouse||19 Minto Street||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Malone's Old Town Hostel||14 Forrest Road||HOSTEL||-|
|Edinburgh Church Apartments||15/1 Caledonian Road||APARTMENT||-|
|Summerhostels - Meadowcourt campus accom||13- 29 Meadow Court, Sciennes,||HOSTEL||-|
|Alba Hills Guest House||33 Mayfield Gardens||Hotel||-|
The easyInternetcafe at 58 Rose Street in New Town is easy to find with its' bright orange logo. It has good rates, a helpful staff, and an extremely convenient location.
Internet cafés can be found in many cities and towns. All UK public libraries provide access, often branded as "People's Network", usually at no or little charge, though there is usually a time limit. Some hotels/hostels also offer internet access, including wifi, but most times at a cost. Using the internet on your personal phone can become expensive very quickly, with carriers charging 100's of times the local rate for data. To avoid these expensive roaming charges, you can hunt for wifi at a local cafe or hotel, or rent a mobile hotspot via several providers including DATAPiXY, and XCOM Global.
See also: International Telephone Calls
The country calling code to the United Kingdom is: 44. To make an international call from the United Kingdom, the code is: 00
In case of emergency, call 999 or 112 from any phone. Such calls are free and will be answered by an emergency services operator who will ask you for your location, and the service(s) you need (police, fire, ambulance, coastguard or mountain rescue). You can call this number from any mobile telephone as well, even if you do not have roaming.
Although the number is declining, you can still find payphones in many public areas, especially stations, airports etc. You can usually pay with cash and sometimes by creditcard or, for international calls, special phonecards are still available.
Mobile phones are heavily used. The main networks are T-Mobile, Vodafone, Orange and O2. 3G data services are available, usually priced per megabyte and coverage is usually very good in the UK, however it may lack in rural areas. Roaming on your personal phone plan can be expensive. To manage costs, consider purchasing a local UK SIM card for your phone. Several companies offer local SIM cards including Telestial, and CellularAbroad.
The Royal Mail provides postal services in the United Kingdom. The Royal Mail's store fronts are called Post Office and offer services ranging from sending letters and packages to foreign currency exchange. Use the branch locator to find the nearest Post Office branch. There will be at least one post office in any town/city and there are quite often post offices in larger villages. It's common for a post office to be incorporated into a grocery store, where there will be a small counter located at the back of the store for dealing with post related matters. All post offices are marked with signs that say 'post office' in red lettering. Post boxes can be found at any post office and standalone large red post boxes on the streets or red boxes in the sides of public buildings.
For sending packages overseas, it might be a good idea to check prices and services with international companies like TNT, UPS or DHL.
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Ask Kate T. a question about Edinburgh
I stayed for 3 days in Scotland last 2011. I will go back again this June. Hopefully I can help other travelers by answering queries about transportation, hotels, food, and places to see. While locals would definitely be more knowledgeable, its nice to hear feedback from tourist like me :)
Ask hotelstvedi a question about Edinburgh
I'm the accommodation finder, reviewer and booker for www.Hotels.tv here in Edinburgh. I also have a blog that highlights everything great going on in Scotland's capital city.
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