Edinburgh (Gaelic: Dùn Èideann) is the capital of Scotland located in the Central Belt region of the country. With a population of approximately 450,000 (1 million in the city region), "Auld Reekie" (Edinburgh) manages to combine both ancient and modern in a uniquely Scottish atmosphere.

91 things to do

All Places United Kingdom

Edinburgh Fringe Festival

As the name might suggest, this Festival developed on the "Fringe" of the main International Festival and offers more alternative performances, with an emphasis on comedy and avant-garde; it is now the largest arts festival in the world. Many shows offer cheaper preview tickets on the first two days of the festival or a 2for1 ticket special on two selected dates. There are a few sub-festivals that are part of the Fringe such as the ''[http://www.assemblyfestival.com/ Assembly Festival]'', ''[http://festival14.summerhall.co.uk/ Summerhall Festival]'' and ''[http://www.cthefestival.com/ CtheFestival]''. Part of the Fringe are also many free events (with donation if you liked the show) across the city grouped mostly under the ''[http://freefringe.org.uk/ PBH's Free Fringe]'' or ''[http://freefringe.com/ Free Festival]''.

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Edinburgh International Festival

The original that spawned all the rest. Founded in 1947 and still seen as more "high-brow" than any of its offspring. Surprisingly, tickets are often priced more reasonably than for many Fringe shows. Some events have ''preview'' performances at a much lower price. The final concert at the end of the festival takes place in the Princes Gardens and features an extensive firework show coordinated with the music. Get tickets early in advance if you want a seat. But it's also great to watch the fireworks and listen to the music for free on Princes Street.

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Beltane Fire Festival

Fire Festival marking the beginning of summer (evening of April 30). The festival has its origins in the pre-Christian Celtic festival of the same name, which was held to herald the coming of spring and to celebrate the fertility of the countryside. Drums, dancing, semi-nudity, pagan ritual, home-brew and lots of fire and fireworks. Crowds of around 12,000 enjoy the ceremony and spectacle every year. For the full traditional experience stay awake until dawn and head across to Arthurs Seat to wash your face in the dew.

Edinburgh Military Tattoo

One of the iconic images of Edinburgh for millions worldwide is the yearly Tattoo, kilted pipers skirling below the battlements of Edinburgh Castle. Although tickets sell out well in advance, persevering individuals are likely to find one or two tickets still for sale due to cancellations. Just be prepared to ask, ask, and ask again! There are usually fireworks at the end of the shows which can also be seen from e.g. the Grassmarket area.

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The Museum of Flight

It is home to a number of historic aircraft from across the history of flight, including British Airways Concorde G-BOAA. Remember to book in advance to see inside Concorde as these tickets are generally sold out on the day. Another rather good attraction (and well worth the look) is the De-Havilland Comet 4C, a modified version of the Worlds first jetliner.

Degree Show

Around the end of May the ''Edinburgh College of Art'' opens its doors and exhibits the works on art, design and architecture of their students. A similar event, the Masters Degree Show, takes place in August as part of the Edinburgh Art Festival. See the [http://www.eca.ed.ac.uk/eca-home/news-events ECA event calendar] for details.

St Andrew's Day

Celebrate St Andrew's Day, Scotland's national day on November 30. There are many free events on the nearest weekend in Edinburgh. ''Historic Scotland'' opens many of its sites for free (free tickets are required and can be booked [http://www.ticketgiveaway.co.uk/ online]).

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Glenkinchie Distillery

The Glenkinchie whisky is a Lowland whisky and is promoted as one of the six ''Classic Malts''. About 80% of the produced whisky is used for blending. The distillery is the closest Single Malt distillery to Edinburgh, about 25km southeast.

Guy Fawkes Night

Evening of November 5. With ticketed fireworks (£6.50) in the [http://www.edinburghleisure.co.uk/venues/meadowbank-sports-centre Meadowbank Sports Center] (East). Can be seen (for free) from several locations in the city.

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The University of Edinburgh

A prestigious university over 400 years old (established in 1582) with about 33,000 students. [http://www.ed.ac.uk/studying/short-courses Short (language) courses] are offered for everyone.

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Edinburgh International Film Festival

Now moved to June from its former slot in August, so that it no longer clashes with all the others! Centred around the Filmhouse Cinema on Lothian Road, though other cinemas take part too.

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Samhuinn Fire Festival

Fire Festival marking the beginning of winter (evening of October 31). Procession and enacted fight between the King of Summer and Prince of Winter with great accompanying percussion.

TLI English Language School

English language school in the central West End area of the city offering a range of English language courses to adults, TEFL courses and stunning views of Edinburgh Castle

Super Mums Childcare Agency

Round-the-clock baby-sitting is available short- or long-term at an hourly rate (3 hour minimum) and travel expenses home. Multilingual sitters are also available.

Hidden Door

Annual non-profit art, music, theatre, etc. event taking place in unused spaces in the city that change from year to year. End of May/beginning of June in 2016.

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Edinburgh College

Offers courses for UK and international students throughout the year and also runs an English Language summer school accredited by the British Council.

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EAC School

Large, well-established school, with premises on Frederick Street and Queen Street, in the city centre. Offers courses for adult and junior students.

OTHER   —  +44 131 477-7570 —  45 Frederick St

MacKenzie School of English

New (2008) school in a beautifully refurbished Victorian building on the edge of Leith Links. Generally catering to secondary school aged students.

Edinburgh College of Art

ECA is part of the University of Edinburgh and offers education in the areas of art, design, (landscape) architecture and history of art and music.

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Inlingua Language Centre

Courses include General English, Business English, Exam Preparation and many more. For adult students only. A varied social programme is offered.

Festival Cars

Minicabs - mostly saloon cars but also have people carriers with up to 8 seats. Let them know the number in your party when you book.

OTHER   —  +44 131 552-1777 —  Map

Meadows Festival

A free festival in the Meadows (South) on a weekend in early June with lots of food stalls, second-hand merchandise and live music.

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Huttons Shoe Repairs

Traditional cobblers established since 1923. The present proprietor is the 3rd generation of his family to run the business.

OTHER   —  +44 131 661-6164 —  11 Elgin Ter

Edinburgh International Book Festival

Takes place in a temporary village of marquees at Charlotte Square Gardens (West End of George Street, New Town).

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Heriot-Watt University

Established in 1821 with about 8,000 students (in Edinburgh). Gained university status in 1966.

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Alba English School

Low cost, flexible and high quality English classes for international students in Edinburgh.

Queen Margaret University

Dates back to 1875 and was granted university status in 2007. Has about 7,000 students.

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National Archives of Scotland

Find your Scottish ancestors in the archives. Also worth visiting for the architecture.

OTHER   —  +44 131 535-1334 —  2 Princes St

Minor Injuries Clinic

No appointment is necessary. Last patient admission 30 min before closing time.

Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh

The R.I.E. hosts the main Accident and Emergency (A&E) facility for the city.

Edinburgh School of English

Great location on the Royal Mile. Caters to both adult and junior students

OTHER   —  +44 131 557-9200 —  271 Canongate

Edinburgh Taxi

Minicabs, saloon cars, MPV's with 8 seats and chauffeur driven vehicles.

OTHER   —  +44 131 610-1234 —  Map

Edinburgh International Science Festival

Takes place annually in March or April. Emphasis on "hands-on" science.

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Imaginate Festival

Every May/June, an international festival of children's theatre.

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Edinburgh Napier University

Established in 1964, the university has about 18,000 students.

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Edinburgh International Television Festival

Predominantly a "closed shop" for industry professionals only.

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(this one has been known to stock Scottish notes on occasion)

OTHER   —  10-15 Princes Street

Forest Fringe

Takes place around the same time as the Fringe Festival.

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Repairs, Zip replacements, hems shortened etc.

OTHER   —  +44 131 553-3662 —  371 Leith Walk

Edinburgh Mela

Multicultural festival held in Leith.

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Central Radio Taxis

Black Cabs.

OTHER   —  +44 131 229-2468 —  Map

City Cabs

Black Cabs.

OTHER   —  +44 131 228-1211 —  Map


OTHER   —  118 Princes St


OTHER   —  8 George St


OTHER   —  +44 770 235-9916 —  Brunsfield

About Edinburgh

Edinburgh is on the east coast of Scotland's central Lowlands, situated on the southern shore of the Firth of Forth. Edinburgh's landscape is the product of ancient volcanism (both the Castle crag and Arthur's Seat are the eroded plugs of volcanoes) and more recent glaciation (carving out valleys south of the castle and the old Nor'Loch, presently the site of the Princes Street Gardens). Impress the locals by knowing that Princes Street is the ''correct'' spelling (dedicated plurally and not possessively for King George III's sons - hence the absence of an apostrophe). Don't make the mistake of pronouncing it Princess Street - though many of the locals won't know the difference! And watch out for these two commonly mis-pronounced streets as well: Cockburn (coe-burn) and Buccleuch (buh-clue) are nearly always gotten wrong, to the amusement of the locals.

Source: wikivoyage