Charming Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland and one of the most stunning cities in the British Isles. Start your visit to Edinburgh with a walking tour or open-top bus ride around the city. As you will quickly learn, Edinburgh's interesting mix of beautiful and historic architecture is one of the city's greatest attractions. In the city center, Old Town is an inspiring neighborhood of medieval buildings and churches, complimented by the Georgian constructions in adjoining New Town. Above it all, Edinburgh Castle rises on a windy bluff overlooking the city, lending majesty to the landscape.
The best time to visit Edinburgh is during the city's long, warm summer months. During late August, the celebrated Edinburgh International Festival brings music, dance, theater, and art events to the city from world-renowned artists. Edinburgh can be chilly in the winter, though the townsfolk certainly do their best to keep their cheer in the wintry months. The annual tree-lighting ceremony and Santa parade make Christmas in Edinburgh magical.
No matter when you choose to visit, don't miss:
-Edinburgh Castle: Built on a hilltop, this impressive medieval castle was home to a series of Scottish kings; today, it is a museum that holds Scotland's crown jewels.
-Arthur's Seat: Standing over Holyrood Park, this dormant volcano offers a great view of the city below.
-City Art Center: Enjoy the best of Scottish art at this nine-story city museum, which features historic and contemporary work.
-Royal Botanic Garden: Don't miss the opportunity to wander around this charming and perfectly tended public garden.
-National Gallery of Scotland: The country's national gallery maintains an impressive collection of Medieval, Renaissance, and modern art.
-Scotch Whisky Experience: At this fun and unusual museum, you can learn about the history of Scotland's famous liquor, as well as its distillation process.
There are lovely vacation rentals, from apartments to luxury condos, available in Edinburgh's city center. If you want to enjoy the beauty of the Scottish highlands, look for a spacious villa or private home outside the city center.
As featured in USA TODAY and recommended by Travel + Leisure in its annual Villa Guide:
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