The first thing you notice about Edinburgh is its beauty. The cobble streets, tight quarters, the castle, the Gothic architecture of many of its buildings- it jumps out at you. While the city has a modern section, the charm of old Edinburgh permeates the whole city.
There is history everywhere you look in this city. One of the real charms of Edinburgh is that it is very walkable and you almost trip over the history where you go. Some of the great things I tripped over while I was there:
The Royal Mile – Historic street from the Castle to the palace. A great place to people watch, sight see, and eat.
St. Giles Cathedral – This not-technically a cathedral cathedral (cathedrals need a bishop and this one has none) is very old and very beautiful. Located between the Castle and the Palace, it’s a good place to see stunning Gothic architecture and good stained glassed windows.
Little alleys and squares – All through Edinburgh, you encounter little alleys that lead into little squares and backyards. It’s very medieval and quite beautiful.
The MacKenzie Poltergeist – Supposedly the spirit of King Charles II’s torturer, George MacKenzie, roams Greyfriars Graveyard clawing at people and leaving marks. In fact, Edinburgh is a great city to take a ghost tour in as it is supposedly one of the most haunted in the world.
Edinburgh Castle – Not the best castle in the world but it has an interesting history, a daily cannon fire, great views, and historic artifacts in it.
The Scott Memorial – Climb up the stairs for a good view of the city.
The Elephant House– Have a tea where J.K Rowlings penned Harry Potter.
Rosslyn Chapel – This famous church is a Da Vinci Code lover’s dream. Even if you don’t believe in any of that, the detailed carvings are impressive.
There’s more to Edinburgh than just what I listed. This is only the tip of the iceberg. Edinburgh is a great place for people who like art. I missed a few international film and art festivals by about a month. I really enjoyed Edinburgh. It’s a major tourist destination but not really. It lacks a lot of the crowds and in your face pandering that many other cities have making it a relaxing place to visit.