Bookmark and Share Facebook View photographs from Edinburgh Youtube Logo Register for our email newsletter learning Zone

Edinburgh: The Capital City

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland. It is the second largest city in Scotland and the seventh largest in the United Kingdom with a population of about 475,000 people.

 Edinburgh is a historic city, with its medieval Old Town of narrow streets and the famous Edinburgh Castle perched high over the city centre. It is also a modern and vibrant city and is well known as the seat of law and government in Scotland and a hub for business and culture.

The city is located in the south-east of Scotland. It has excellent transport links with the rest of the UK and Europe, having an international airport on the outskirts of the city, motorway links to Glasgow in the west, Stirling and the Highlands to the north and England to the south, as well as several rail links to locations throughout Scotland and being on the main East Coast railway line from London, it is easy to travel down South to England.

For many visitors and tourists to Britain, Edinburgh is on the ‘must-see’ list of places to go. Many of the visitor attractions in Edinburgh are world famous, such as Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh Zoo, Holyrood Palace, the Royal Mile, Princes Street, Scott's Monument and the new Scottish Parliament building. However, there are also hundreds of other great places to visit in Edinburgh that are not so well known: places like the National Museum of Scotland, the National Gallery of Scotland, and the Edinburgh Dungeons. What ever your interests are, there is something for everyone in Edinburgh.

Over the years Edinburgh has hosted the Commonwealth Games twice and since 1947 has been host to the Edinburgh International Festival each August. The festival is a showcase for all the arts from theatre and cinema to music and dance. During the summer, the city hosts the famous Military Tattoo on the Castle esplandade.

Every new year, the city also hosts a huge street party and fireworks display. Edinburgh has always attracted students from all over Europe and beyond. There are now four universities plus a number of other colleges in the city and the student population numbers around 100,000.

The city has a close association with a number of famous thinkers and writers including David Hume, Adam Smith, Sir Walter Scott, Robert Louis Stevenson and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. In more recent times, Edinburgh has been the home of Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling and crime writer, Ian Rankin. Edinburgh has been named as the world’s first UNESCO City of Literature.

 For more information about Edinburgh please visit: or

Weather in Edinburgh

Like the rest of the UK, Edinburgh has a mild, temperate climate. Because Edinburgh is on the east coast of the country it enjoys more dry weather than the western half of the UK. The warmest months are July and August with an average maximum temperature of 18C and the coldest months are January and February with an average maxmum temperature of 6C.

Other useful information

Time: Greenwich Mean Time and British Summer Time (GMT+1). Clocks change to BST in late March and revert to GMT in late October.

Currency: Pound Sterling.

Global School of English is recognised by UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) as a branch of Glasgow School of English under Tier 4 Sponsor licence number 18EC8KTJ1 and is licensed to bring students into the UK on General Student Visas.

© Glasgow School of English 2016