The medieval city of Edinburgh has been recognized as Scotland's capital since the 15th century. It thus is home to both the Scottish Parliament and the Royal palace of Holyroodhouse.
With its centralized location the city with a population of 500,000, serves as a popular tourist destination as well as a University center.
Some of the major attractions include The National Museum of Scotland, National Library of Scotland, National Gallery, University of Edinburgh, The Edinburgh International festival, The Fringe, Edinburgh Castle the palace of Holyroodhouse and the UNESCO world heritage sites of Old Town and the 18th century New Town.
One of my favorite attractions is the Queen's 412' Royal Yacht Britannia which is now permanently berthed at Edinburgh's Ocean Terminal and serves as a museum and an eye opener to the secret life of extravagance and opulence enjoyed by The Royals.
The cobblestone streets of The Royal Mile runs in a downward slope from Edinburgh castle to Holyrood Palace. On a sunny day its one of the most picturesque places anywhere and from Edinburgh castle it affords fabulous views of New Town and the surrounding country side.
When in Edinburgh do as the Scots do, and partake in a drink at anyone of their 200 pubs.
Its a steep climb from the 18th century New Town into the Old town.
The Queens Guards on patrol outside Edinburgh Castle
On a sunny July afternoon, Princess Street Gardens is a popular place to sun bathe and or take in a Cheddar and onion sandwich, a millionaire for desert and wash it all down with an Irn-Bru to the sweet sounds of bag pipers.
Public Transportation around Edinburgh is convenient and efficient. As seen here in New Town.
Edinburgh's efficient transportation and centralized location is ideal for using it as a base to explore numerous other attractions.
Just 30 minutes away via public transport lies Edinburgh's Caribbean like beach front, Portobello Beach.
A mere 45 minute commuter ride takes one to the quaint seaside town of North Berwick.
Another popular day trip from Edinburgh is to the small Ferry town Queensferry, where a ferry can be had to Inchcolm island and its 12th century abbey.
No trip to Edinburgh or Scotland would be complete without taking in a Scottish Premier league game. But be warned - the stadium does't sell alcohol.
After a busy day sight seeing in Edinburgh, its coffee and treat time. Edinburgh has many sweet shops.
Summer months are the best time to visit Edinburgh, as the summer days are long with the sunset around 9 pm and temperatures in the low 20's Celsius / low 70's Fahrenheit. Edinburgh as a National Capital is well serviced by direct flights from North America and Europe. Prices are high especially for food, drink and lodgings; however public. Transportation is reasonable and public museums are often free.
Overall Edinburgh is a great base for many day trips and is well worth a visit as it appears clean and relatively safe, though some of the locals may live up to the Scot dour stereo type.