Have you been planning to visit the beautiful, harmonious, and hilly capital of Scotland? Edinburgh offers many renowned attractions, museums, excellent cafes, and restaurants when you get hungry after your big walks and just want to chill, wine, and dine. If you love historic architecture, you can discover its medieval Old Town, and stylish Georgian New Town full of neoclassical buildings and amazing gardens, including the Royal Botanic Gardens. 

If you are a nature lover, you must see the Royal Botanic Gardens of Edinburgh. It is not only well-priced but has amazing glasshouses where you can wander for hours. You could familiarize yourself with every climate zone in the world, as each room offers a uniquely authentic experience. You can experience humid rainforests with exotic plants, Mediterranean flowers, the alpine climate, and desert cacti. What’s more, it is also quite well-maintained. 

If you want to explore a truly versatile cosmopolitan city, where you can immerse yourself in its magical Gothic and Georgian architecture, Edinburgh is a great choice. Another popular name for Edinburgh still affectionately used by locals today is Auld Reekie, meaning Old Smokey. The name came from the smog pollution and scents of the Old Town. In the 17th century, the buildings were tall and narrow, and their chimneys produced a lot of smoke…

Edinburgh’s Worldwide Recognition

​​Edinburgh has been voted by its readers in a Rough Guide poll as the fourth most beautiful city in the United Kingdom, as well as one of the most beautiful in Europe. Only Paris, Florence, and Rome came before the capital, London was ranked only fifth. Even though it is an expensive city with similar prices to London if you want to dine out and spend on entertainment, but Edinburg appears to be slightly less expensive than London generally. 

In 1995, The Old and New Towns of Edinburgh gained UNESCO World Heritage status. The striking contrast in their architecture and streetscape as well as their unique and quality features are said to be unparalleled in European cities. Edinburgh appears to be one of the six World Heritage sites in Scotland. Some famous sights to visit in this area: Sir Walter Scott’s Waverley Valley, by the urban viaduct, and North Bridge, by the Mound.

Edinburgh Castle and a Fun Fact

The famous Edinburgh Castle is built on Castle Rock hill, overlooking the capital city. The castle has a long history of being a royal residence, military base, prison, and fortress. If you visit the castle you can walk in the footsteps of former kings and queens, soldiers, inmates, and even pirates. Sounds exciting, doesn’t it? The castle has also given a home to famous movie sets, such as One Day, Shallow Grave, and Chariots of Fire. 

In the 17th century, the local people of Edinburgh reportedly came up with a solution to treat baldness. They rubbed burnt ashes of dove’s droppings onto their scalps. Even though it did not work effectively, since it was quite popular back then, many people appear to have tried it. In 1930, Edinburgh also gave birth to the renowned movie star Sean Connery (James Bond).

Edinburgh’s Landscape, Famous University and the Origin of Getting Off Scot-free

Edinburgh’s landscape was formed thousands of years ago by a glacier when its shifts and movements shaped the earth beneath the city to what we can see today. In 1824, Edinburgh reportedly established the first fire brigade in the world, led by James Braidwood. The fire brigade was formed following a series of disastrous fires in the Old Town. London’s fire service was famously set up by Braidwood as well, eight years after the Edinburg one. 

In 1582, The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh’s globally recognized public research, development, and innovation university was granted a royal charter by King James VI. It officially opened in 1583, being one of Scotland’s four ancient universities, as well as the sixth oldest English university operating without a break. The university has provided its students with more than 425 years of world-class education

A famous and sad crime of Edinburgh, when a schoolboy shot a soldier. It happened on a public holiday when everyone had a day off except schoolboys. While protesting, some

schoolboys barricaded their bedrooms in the hope to escape the school. 

When the army appeared to settle things, a schoolboy picked up a gun and killed a soldier. The boy was luckily an important lord’s son and wasn’t punished. After this incident, England made jokes about the Scottish Capital, and the “getting off scot-free” saying was born.

Venues You Shouldn’t Miss in Edinburgh in 2022

You can see many statues in Edinburgh, but if you take a closer look, you will see they are either men or animal statues, except one female piece: Queen Victoria at Leith Walk. The Edinburgh Zoo appears to be the only zoo where you can see Giant Pandas and Koalas in the UK. Even an elephant from Sri Lanka once lived in the castle that was loved and spoiled a bit with beer.

In April 2022, The Edinburgh International Harp Festival will be held. It is still being planned as a hybrid in-person festival with a virtual element to enjoy listening to and learning about harp music safely. If you are interested, you should block these days in your calendar even though there isn’t detailed information available yet. The festival will take four nights and three days between the 8th of April and the 11th of April. The venue will be at a different, new place!

In June 2022, Fatboy Slim, Madness, Snow Patrol, and Biffy Clyro will perform on the stage of the Big Top at the Royal Highland Center. The brand new Big Top music event is planned to be held annually. Following all the mayhem and uncertainty of the last two years of the pandemic, the artists are very keen to get back on stage. Perhaps so are the fans, so this is great news!

In August 2022, The Edinburgh International Festival will be held, which has become a traditional annual venue since 1947, lasting over three weeks. The festival’s rich program list includes classical music, theater, opera, and dancing. Besides the festival, the venue also offers an ongoing educational program for all ages from primary school pupils to adults. Early reservations are highly recommended if you want a reasonable price. 

In September 2022, ICCA (The International Council for Commercial Arbitration) will be held in Edinburgh’s EICC venue, one of the world’s most excellent venues for conferences. You can pre-register for tickets online, should you be interested.

Endnote

Edinburgh being a truly unique gem offering plenty of interesting experiences, including a rich history, culture, arts, venues, hiking, sightseeing, sports, and education is one of the European capitals that is worth visiting and is on the bucket list of many individuals. 
Meanwhile, others also enjoy regularly returning to the capital. With the world changing state due to the pandemic, from 2022, already many new promising events are being planned. It could be the perfect place to get away from work and chill a bit!

Photo by Adam Wilson on Unsplash