FEATURE – Edinburgh, the best wee city in the world!

We’ve now been promoting Edinburgh for over five years and we’d like to think we get the message of how much we love our city across to our readers.

Every day spent in Edinburgh is special, but these photos show just how fantastic our city looks all year round. The pictures also illustrate some of the many great things you can do if you are living in or visiting Scotland’s capital.

Enjoy!

Updated June 2016

This is often the view as you fly into our city.

Edinburgh from the air

Edinburgh from the air

This is the classic Edinburgh view from Calton Hill.

Classic view from Calton Hill

Classic view from Calton Hill

We have a total of three castles in the city. First up is the world famous Edinburgh Castle.

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle from the Scott Monument

And Craigmillar Castle.

Craigmillar Castle

Craigmillar Castle

And last but not least, Lauriston Castle.

Lauriston Castle

Lauriston Castle

We’ve got two Pandas at Edinburgh Zoo.

Edinburgh Panda

Edinburgh Panda

And a smaller selection of animals at Gorgie City Farm (free).

Gorgie City Farm

Gorgie City Farm

We have an extinct volcano that you can walk up.

Arthur's Seat, an extinct volcano

Arthur’s Seat, an extinct volcano

And right next to Arthur’s Seat we have Salisbury Crags.

Salisbury Crags

Salisbury Crags

Both of which have incredible views of the city.

Edinburgh Castle from Arthur's Seat

Edinburgh Castle from Arthur’s Seat

We have the Palace of Holyrood House at the foot of the Royal Mile.

Holyrood Palace at the bottom of the Royal Mile

Holyrood Palace at the bottom of the Royal Mile

We have a statue in memory of a loyal dog – Greyfriars Bobby.

We have a statue in the memory of a dog called Bobby

Greyfriars Bobby

Every day (except Sundays) the One o’ clock gun is fired from the ramparts of Edinburgh Castle. On certain days of the year, such as the Queen’s birthday, we have 21-gun salutes.

Cannon firing at the Castle

Cannon firing at the Castle

We have a Floral Clock in the centre of town.

The 2014 Floral Clock

The 2014 Floral Clock

And hotels that look like this.

The Balmoral Hotel, Princes Street

The Balmoral Hotel, Princes Street

And shops that look like this.

Jenners department store

Jenners department store

This is the National Museum of Scotland in Chambers Street.

National Museum of Scotland

National Museum of Scotland

This is inside the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.

National Portrait Gallery

National Portrait Gallery

We have many other art galleries in Edinburgh including the Scottish Gallery of Modern Art.

Modern One

Modern One

We have the Scott Monument in the city centre.

The Scott Monument

The Scott Monument

And if you climb the 287 steps to the top, you get a view like this.

Summer view from the top of the Scott Monument

Summer view from the top of the Scott Monument

And in leafy St Andrew Square, we have the Melville Monument.

The Melville Monument

The Melville Monument

On the top of Calton Hill is the Nelson Monument.

The Nelson Monument

The Nelson Monument

And also up Calton Hill, you can climb over our Athenian acropolis. It’s also known as ‘Edinburgh’s disgrace’ as it was never finished.

Acropolis on Calton Hill

Acropolis on Calton Hill

You can also spend hours wandering around the Royal Botanical Gardens.

The Botanics

The Botanics

You can explore spooky old streets that lie under the Royal Mile.

The Real Mary King's Close

The Real Mary King’s Close

Or the fascinating Gilmerton Cove.

Gilmerton Cove

Gilmerton Cove

Hours of fun can be had at the Camera Obscura and World of Illusions.

Put your head on a plate

Put your head on a plate

Pay a visit to Gladstone’s Land.

Gladstone's Land

Gladstone’s Land

We have the amazing St Mary’s Cathedral (Scotland’s largest).

St Mary's Cathedral

St Mary’s Cathedral

And St Giles’ High Kirk on the Royal Mile.

St Giles'

St Giles’

Edinburgh has over a hundred green spaces in the city.

The Meadows

The Meadows

Inverleith Park

Inverleith Park

Poppies at Figgate Park

Poppies at Figgate Park

And in spring, Princes Street Gardens looks like this.

Princes Street Gardens

Princes Street Gardens

And in autumn like this.

Princes Street Gardens

Princes Street Gardens

And also in autumn Liberton Kirk turns bright red.

Liberton Kirk

Liberton Kirk

We have two beaches in Edinburgh.

Portobello

Looking out from Portobello Beach

Looking out from Portobello Beach

Portobello on a summer's day

Portobello on a summer’s day

And further along the Edinburgh coast line is Silverknowes / Cramond beach.

Silverknowes / Cramond beach

Silverknowes / Cramond beach

Cramond Island is only accessible at low tide.

Tourists heading out to explore Cramond Island

Tourists heading out to explore Cramond Island

We also have the Union Canal that runs through the city and connects to Falkirk and Glasgow.

The Union Canal runs through the city

The Union Canal runs through the city

The boat house on the Union Canal

The boat house on the Union Canal

Also running through the city is the beautiful Water of Leith.

A foot path runs alongside the Water of Leith

A foot path runs alongside the Water of Leith

The Water of Leith Walkway and St Bernard's Well

The Water of Leith Walkway and St Bernard’s Well

And one end of the Water of Leith finishes at The Shore.

Reflections at The Shore

Reflections at The Shore

Have a boat? No problem. Newhaven Harbour is one of many places you can moor it.

Newhaven Harbour

Newhaven Harbour

You can also explore Edinburgh by bike using the off-street cycle paths across the city. Full routes are on the excellent Innertube map.

Cycle paths across the city. pic credit Anthony Robson.

Cycle paths across the city. pic credit Anthony Robson.

Edinburgh has great wildlife. You can birdwatch at Duddingston Loch and squirrels can be spotted easily in Princes Street Gardens and the Botanics.

Squirrel in the Botanics

Squirrel in the Botanics

And this heron is often spotted in the Water of Leith and Inverleith Park.

Herons are regularly spotted

Herons are regularly spotted

We have an amazing bus service 

Lothian Buses

Lothian Buses

And we finally have a tram service.

An Edinburgh tram

An Edinburgh tram

Festival city

Edinburgh is the home of the Fringe which is the world’s largest arts festival. The city explodes with activity every August.

Street performer at The Mound

Street performer at The Mound

The Royal Mile during the Fringe (taken from St Giles' roof)

The Royal Mile during the Fringe (taken from St Giles’ roof)

Performer promoting her Fringe show on the High Street

Performer promoting her Fringe show on the High Street

Edinburgh is also the home of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo every August which in incredible to watch and has a rather impressive backdrop.

The 2014 cast ensemble

The 2014 cast ensemble

And also every August, one of our favourite Edinburgh festivals, the International Book Festival takes place in Charlotte Square. Edinburgh is also a City of Literature.

The Book Festival on a sunny day

The Book Festival on a sunny day

And to close the Edinburgh international Festival every year, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra plays in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle accompanied by a fireworks display.

Fireworks concert

Fireworks concert

August also see the Edinburgh Art Festival take place.

One of the Edinburgh Art Festival's 'Hello' flags flying from the Camera Obscura.

One of the Edinburgh Art Festival’s ‘Hello’ flags flying from the Camera Obscura.

You can check the dates of all Edinburgh’s festivals. We’re not known as the festival city for nothing!

Tourist Edinburgh

Edinburgh is an all year round tourist destination and loved by all visitors. We think certain tourists are extremely cute.

A Chinese girl pleased with her new kilt.

A Chinese girl pleased with her new kilt.

We’ve got bagpipers in the street.

A bagpiper

A bagpiper

Shops with great names.

Shops with great names

Thistle Do Nicely

And a couple of gold postboxes.

One of the two gold postboxes in honour of Sir Chris Hoy

One of the two gold postboxes in honour of Sir Chris Hoy

We often have parades down the Royal Mile like this.

Marching down the Royal Mile

Marching down the Royal Mile

And we’ve got thousands of chimneys.

Auld Reekie

Auld Reekie

And gorgeous streets like this.

West Bow / Victoria Street / Grassmarket

West Bow / Victoria Street / Grassmarket

Food and drink

You get great all-day breakfasts in Edinburgh.

Served up at The Haven

Served up at The Haven

You can get a good coffee all over the city and can treat yourself to a cup of tea and a scone (or two).

Tea and scone from Bon Papillon

Tea and scone from Bon Papillon

And we even have a bakery open through the night.

Storries on Leith Walk

Storries on Leith Walk

Bruntsfield is home to Artisan Cheesecakes

Best cheesecake in Scotland

Best cheesecake in Scotland – Artisan Cheesecakes

We have pubs like the Theatre Royal.

Theatre Royal Bar, Greenside Place

Theatre Royal Bar, Greenside Place

And in the White Hart Inn offers husband day care.

The White Hart Inn

The White Hart Inn

Architecture

Other fabulous buildings in Edinburgh include:

Fettes College.

Fettes College

Fettes College

George Heriot’s school.

George Heriots school

George Heriots school

Donaldson’s School 

Formerly Donaldson's School

Formerly Donaldson’s School

And inside the Royal Bank of Scotland at St Andrew Square looks like this.

Inside the RBS

Inside the RBS

Edinburgh is home to the Scottish Parliament

Scottish Parliament

Scottish Parliament

We have a little village that looks like this.   Link to article on Dean Village.

Dean Village on the Water of Leith

Dean Village on the Water of Leith

And one that looks like this.

Swanston Village

Swanston Village

And urban gardens that look like this.

Stockbridge garden

Stockbridge garden

We have wee spots off the main streets like these.

The Vennel

The Vennel

Ramsay Garden

Ramsay Garden

Lady Stair's Close

Lady Stair’s Close

White Horse Close

White Horse Close

Circus Lane

Circus Lane

Edinburgh weather

We do have interesting weather in Edinburgh. Sometimes it’s super sunny like this and everyone soaks up the rays.

Summer in Edinburgh

Summer in Edinburgh

Sometimes it rains. A lot.

A rainy night on the Royal Mile

A rainy night on the Royal Mile

And other times the haar engulfs the city.

Haar engulfing the Old Town

Haar engulfing the Old Town

And we mean really engulfs the city.

George Street, July 2014

George Street, July 2014

It can often be rainy and sunny at the same time.

A rainbow at Silverknowes

A rainbow at Silverknowes

We get incredible sunrises and sunsets.

Granton sunrise

Granton sunrise

Sunrise Hogmanay 2014

Sunrise Hogmanay 2014

City centre sunset

City centre sunset

Edinburgh looks amazing in the snow.

The view from Salisbury Crags

The view from Salisbury Crags

And when it does snow, we just carry on as if it was any other day.

Snow? No problem.

Snow? No problem.

And at Christmas time, Edinburgh looks like this.

2015

2015

The famous Dome decorations

The famous Dome decorations

We have a torchlight procession on the streets of the city centre the night before Hogmanay, led by Shetlanders.

Torchlight Procession

Torchlight Procession

And we end every year with a big street party. Photo courtesy of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay.

Bringing in the New Year Edinburgh style

Bringing in the New Year Edinburgh style

And the morning after the night before, we take a dip in the sea…..

The Loony Dook

The Loony Dook

Edinburgh and its people

We have Tom Gilzean, an Edinburgh legend. At the age of 96, the veteran stills collects money for charity on the streets of Edinburgh.

Tom Gilzean, aged 95 and still collecting money for charity on the streets of Edinburgh

Tom Gilzean, aged 96 and still collecting money for charity on the streets of Edinburgh

Every December we dress up as Santa and go for a run.

The Edinburgh Santa Run

The Edinburgh Santa Run

A local likes to play his piano on the beach.

Ben Treuhaft plays on Portobello

Ben Treuhaft plays on Portobello

You can often see this guy on Princes Street looking for donations for his ‘skill’ of balancing upside down in a bucket. As someone puts a coin in, he shouts out ‘thank you’.

Buckethead man

Buckethead man

We like to put scarves on our trees

Leith Links

Leith Links

Our shops have cool displays like this one in the Drum Vault

Animal playing the drums

Animal playing the drums

Edinburgh has its own Wild West.

Edinburgh's Wild West in Morningside.

Edinburgh’s Wild West in Morningside.

Every year, taxi drivers give up their time and take special needs kids to the seaside, starting with a parade through town.

The Edinburgh Taxi Outing 2016

The Edinburgh Taxi Outing 2016

And we definitely have a sense of humour.

Leith, an area of Edinburgh twinned with Rio

Leith, an area of Edinburgh twinned with Rio

Other things to do in the city

There are many more attractions and things to do in Edinburgh that we haven’t mentioned in this article as there are just so many to chose from!

Here’s the links to some of the other things you can do in town.

The Royal Yacht Britannia

Walking and ghost tours by The Cadies and Witchery Tours and Mercat Tours

Scotch Whisky Experience

John Knox House

Theatre performances, concerts and live music all over the city.

The Beltane Fire Festival (30th April) and Samhuinn (31st October)

Several museums to visit.

Rugby at Murrayfield Stadium

Football at Easter Road (Hibernian) and at Tynecastle (Heart of Midlothian).

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Not visited Edinburgh yet? What on earth are you waiting for?

Edinburgh at dusk from the Nelson Monument on Fireworks night

Edinburgh at dusk from the Nelson Monument on Fireworks night

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