A tale of two cities, Edinburgh stands as one of the UK’s most exciting cultural cities.
There is plenty to explore…the Scottish capital is bound to medieval history and heritage with much of its Gothic infrastructure remaining in existence today, particularly in The Old Town of Edinburgh. While this city continues to embrace its rich heritage, Edinburgh exists to be a robust cosmopolitan city.
In terms of recognition, established disciplines, such as education, have long been associated with the Scottish capital. Notably, education avenues including the study of medicine, law, literature, science and engineering have all been at the centre of Edinburgh’s standards.
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With a growing population of over 500,000 people, the City of Edinburgh is a popular destination for tourists and students.
After all, given the cities favourable attractions, Edinburgh is the UK’s second most popular place to visit. Notably, some of the popular and famous cultural features include ‘Edinburgh International Festival’ and ‘The Fringe’.
Uniquely, the design of the city forces you to explore Edinburgh that can only be achieved on foot. More so, much of Edinburgh’s secret wonders lie beneath the city in the form of hidden tunnels, caves, and stairways.
Edinburgh offers plenty of exciting adventures that are just waiting to be discovered. So, here is our pick of some of the City’s best attractions to visit:
Identified as one of the UK’s most prominent landmarks, Edinburgh Castle is a popular attraction for anyone visiting or studying in the city.
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Perched neatly on top of Castle Rock, the castle overlooks the old town of Edinburgh. As Scotland’s most paid tourist attraction, visitors have the privilege of learning about the intense and complex history of this castle.
Today, the castle remains as a significant symbol to both Edinburgh and Scotland.
What better way to enjoy a day out than visiting the zoo. Edinburgh Zoo opened its doors in 1913 and is situated on Corstorphine Hill.
The Zoo sees visitors come in their masses, with over 600,000 people visiting each year. After Edinburgh Castle, this attraction makes it Scotland’s second most popular destination for tourists.
An interesting fact for you is that Edinburgh Zoo was the first zoo in the world to accommodate and breed penguins. Additionally, the zoo is the only zoo in the UK to accommodate giant pandas and koalas.
These aren’t the only animals that are habitats of the zoo with animals, such as lions, meerkats and zebras, also living here.
Our Dynamic Earth
A visit to Our Dynamic Earth is a must for the science advocates among you.
The science centre first opened its doors in 1999 and was originally classed as a Millennium Commission project that formed part of the regeneration process of the Holyrood region.
Image courtesy of Artem Beliaikin.
Uniquely, this modern building is considered as a recognisable landmark, as the roof imitates the features of a ship.
The science centre has a distinct purpose, which is to educate us on the geological formation of the Earth. Through the use of interactive exhibits and galleries, visitors get a front row seat in understanding how the Earth was formed ranging from the astronomical events from the Big Bang to glacial activity.
This experience also includes an understanding of how the wildlife both survived and became extinct during these processes.
National Museum of Scotland
Merged with the new Museum of Scotland in 2006, The National Museum of Scotland is another popular attraction that elegantly details the culture and history of Scotland.
Additionally, the museum hosts many artefacts and antiques from around the world. Adjacently lies the Royal Museum, which contains collections geared towards science and technology, natural history, and world cultures.
The two buildings are connected and are positioned next to each other on Chambers Street. The National Museum underwent renovation and in 2011 it reopened, later becoming a favourable point of interest with tourists, students and the locals.
Royal Yacht Britannia
Last but not least, is yet another popular Edinburgh attraction in the shape of Royal Yacht Britannia.
This majestic ”floating mansion” belonged to Queen Elizabeth II and was in service for over 40 years. The yachts 43-year career involved travelling all around the world clocking up a more than one million nautical miles.
The yacht is now open to the public allowing visitors to get a sense of life on board the Queen’s royal vessel. Some of the highlights aboard the yacht include experiencing The State apartments, the crew’s quarters, the honeymoon suite and the engine room.
Prior to embarking the yacht, visitors are treated to some old and new photographs accompanied by a telling history of Britannia.
When your experience concludes you can sit down and relax in the Royal Deck Tea Room whilst taking in the waterfront view with a spot of tea, scones or sandwiches.