Attractions in Edinburgh

The Old Town
Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995, the Old Town of Edinburgh is the most frequently visited area of the city. The charm of the steep and narrow streets is magnified by the views of the Edinburgh castle, perched atop a rocky crag at one end of the Old Town. Many of the city's most important landmarks are located in the Old Town, including St. Giles' Cathedral and the University of Edinburgh.

The Royal Mile
The succession of main streets that pass through the center of Old Town is often referred to collectively as the Royal Mile. The Royal Mile stretches from the Edinburgh Castle to the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Always bustling, it is lined shops, restaurants and historical buildings such as Parliament House and St. GilesĀ“ Cathedral.

Edinburgh Castle
Situated atop the rocky hillside known as Castle Rock, the Edinburgh Castle is more than just a historical attraction. It is the symbol of the city, appearing on the coat of arms of the city as well as in the logos of local sports teams and businesses. The castle is known to have been on Castle Rock since the 12th century when it served as a royal residence. By the 17th century, it was serving as a military fortress. Nowadays, the castle is the most visited attraction in Scotland with an admission fee.

St. Giles' Cathedral
St. Giles' Cathedral dates back to the 14th century. A parish church stood in its place before the present church was built. The distinctive crown steeple and the Thistle Chapel, which pertains to Scotland's greatest order of chivalry, are two of the most well known features of the cathedral. The Gothic architecture, collection of stained glass and memorials of distinguished Scots and Scottish soldiers are also noteworthy features.

The New Town
The New Town of Edinburgh has also been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The order and rationality of the Age of Enlightenment are reflected in the wide, elegant avenues and big, open squares. James Craig, a 22-year-old architect who won the city design contest, designed the city.

The Writer's Museum
The rich literary history of Edinburgh earned it the distinction of UNESCO City of Literature in 2004. The Writer's Museum is dedicated to conveying Edinburgh's literary history. Writers Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson are the main focus of the museum.

The Scotch Whiskey Heritage Center
Through a series of interactive displays, exhibits, and a ride in the style of an amusement park attraction, visitors learn about the history of Scottish whiskey dating back to the 15th century.