Visitors to Edinburgh need to be prepared to experience history, from the cobblestone streets to Edinburgh Castle that is symbolic of Scotland’s capital. Edinburgh is steeped in history, beginning with the Old and New Towns, which have more than 4,500 historic buildings and sites between them.
Edinburgh Castle, which sits high atop a hill overlooking the city, represents Old Town and its rich history. Old Town is home to Edinburgh’s most famous street, the Royal Mile that connects Edinburgh Castle with the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Walking the Royal Mile is where many people begin their visit to Edinburgh. After this trek, travelers may want to visit Grassmarket, a medieval market place where public executions once took place. The White Hart Inn, once frequented by Robert Burns, remains in business today.
New Town isn’t really new, since it dates back to the 18th century and is best known for its neoclassical architecture. New Town is where the city’s upper classes lived. Located here is the Scottish National Portrait Gallery containing faces of everyone from Mary, Queen of Scots to Sean Connery.
More than 200,000 people converge on the city every August for the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, an event that showcases the best military bands in the world. The city also boasts a number of other cultural events, including the Edinburgh International Festival, its signature summer festival; the Leith Festival, a traditional arts festival, and the Festival Fringe, the largest arts festival in the world.