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Edinburgh - Sightseeing

Scott Monument


Edinburgh is probably the most visitor-friendly city in the UK and has a reputation of having some of the best visitor attractions available anywhere. Although large enough to have the feel of a big city, Edinburgh is also compact enough to be easily accessible to visitors. The centre of Edinburgh can be divided into two parts known as the Old Town and the New Town. This can be confusing since the ‘New Town’ was actually designed and built in the late 18th century.

The Old Town is the medieval part of the city, built around High Street and Canongate (these streets run into one another and are also known as the Royal Mile) with Edinburgh Castle at one end and Holyrood Palace at the other. Off this main street there are many narrow, steep and twisty streets and ‘closes’ (passageways for pedestrians, many with steep flights of steps). In the Old Town you will also find St Giles Cathedral, John Knox House, and a large number of tourist shops and museums. Opposite Holyrood Palace stands the strikingly modern Scottish Parliament building at the bottom of the Royal Mile.

Between the Old Town and the New Town there are three notable places: the main railway station (Waverley Station), Princes Street Gardens (a park) and Princes Street (the main shopping street in Edinburgh). There you will also find Scott's Monument - a memorial to the writer Sir Walter Scott - which is tall spire-like structure. Visitors can climb to the top and get great views over Edinburgh. Beyond Princes Street lies the New Town. Although originally built as houses, most of the New Town is now Edinburgh’s main business district. It does also hold the Edinburgh Botanical gardens, and many boutiques and antique shops.

Museums, Galleries and Visitor Attractions

National Museum of Scotland

Edinburgh is home to some of the best tourist attractions in the UK. Some of the most popular attractions include:


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