Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland
Edinburgh definitely is one of the most special places, at least for me personally. Not only because we have been living there for several years.
Although Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland, it is only the second largest city in Scotland, the largest being Glasgow. It is home to just over half a million people, although in summer the city’s population can even double during the touristic season.
The city hosts many different festivals throughout the summer, so tourists from all over the world come there to see those and even participate. In addition, Edinburgh’s Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Scots have done their best to make it easy to get to the city. At Edinburgh Airport, a variety of airlines live together in a friendly way. Prior to the pandemic, the airport handled almost 15 million passengers a year. For example, Riga, which is a city of similar size, accommodated only half of it (7.8 million passengers).
Getting from the airport to the city centre is very convenient. To get to the city centre, you can take a bus (airport shuttle) or a modern tram (Edinburgh has only one tram line operating from the city centre to the airport). The fastest is the AirLink bus (route No. 100), which has some other stops between the airport and the city centre.
Edinburgh can also be easily reached by flying to the nearby Glasgow Airport or the slightly more remote Aberdeen Airport (there are five much less important international airports in Scotland).
And of course, train and bus routes connect Edinburgh with many other British cities. I have also written separate blog about the road network in Scotland.
Places and things definitely worth seeing in Edinburgh
Even if you haven’t been to Scotland, you’ve probably heard words like Edinburgh Castle, the Old Town, the Royal Mile, Holyrood, Walter Scott and Arthur’s Seat. The good news is that most of Edinburgh’s attractions are relatively close together. In addition, there are many events in the city that are worth attending if you are lucky enough to be in the city at that time.
Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo
Undoubtedly, the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, which takes place every summer in the courtyard of Edinburgh Castle (in 2022 from August 5 to 27). Military orchestras from different countries take part in the show and delight the audience with military marches, marching and other passionate performances.
Admission to the event is quite expensive, ranging from £ 60 to over £ 600. The cheapest tickets theoretically cost £ 30, but it’s a small sector on the very edge of the arena. Tickets must be purchased well in advance, preferably several months before you decide to go there. In any case, if you’ve given away £ 60 for the show, you won’t feel overpaid after the grand event – it’s really worth seeing!
Edinburgh Castle is certainly the most famous tourist destination in the capital, if not the whole of Scotland (mysterious Lake Loch Ness could compete with it).
Edinburgh Castle is on an ancient volcano and can be seen from a distance before you even enter the city. The top of the volcano has been inhabited since the Iron Age, but the royal castle has been located there since the 12th century. Until 1633, the castle was a royal residence, but since then it has also played an important role in Scottish history.
The castle is the most visited tourist destination in Scotland (over 2 million visitors a year) and the second most visited in the UK. The entrance fee to the castle is quite expensive (in my opinion, compared to what you can see there), £ 18. However, to see the large courtyard of the castle and the city panorama from the top of the cliff, you do not have to pay at all – you can enter it for free and spend as much time as you want. However, it will not be possible during the military show period, because there are stands for spectators installed at the time.
This blog covers just a few things you can see in the Scottish capital, I will continue posting about something else soon. If you are elsewhere in Scotland, you can also read my blog about the Scottish Highlands, the Isle of Skye in the west of Scotland and Stirling.