Edinburgh: the City of Fun and Men in Skirts

After visiting Edinburgh, we understand why locals spend hours talking about the weather. It changed like a capricious mistress: sun and rain alternated all day. But nothing could spoil our days in the beautiful, mysterious capital of Scotland – one of the oldest cities in Europe.          

Street musicians in Edinburgh

Our first impressions of Edinburgh – it’s a city of laughter, joy, fun and music. This vibrant city has a special aura and freedom of spirit.    

Princess street

At the same time, traditions have a very strong influence in Edinburgh. In broad daylight, you can see men wearing the traditional “kilt” or some garment with typical Scottish patterns. And of course one can listen to skirls – the traditional local wind instrument, the “bagpipes”. No Scottish wedding would be complete without the piper and groom wearing kilts.

Traditional scottish piper

Central garden in Edinburgh

Edinburgh is also known as a location for shooting films, for example, Cloud Atlas, The Da Vinci Code and Harry Potter. By the way, JK Rowling, the author of Harry Potter, wrote her first book, The Philosopher’s Stone, here in an Edinburgh café. At that time, it was called Nicholson’s Restaurant, but nowadays is known as the Spoon Café Bistro.


We were surprised to discover that Edinburgh is a very green city. The big central garden in the very heart of the Scottish capital attracts thousands of tourists and locals every day.

The floral clock

The real pearl of the garden is the amazing Floral Clock and it tells the correct time. Dating from 1903, it’s the world’s oldest floral clock, and there is a different theme every summer. This year, the floral clock theme is dedicated to the 10th anniversary of Edinburgh as the world’s first UNESCO City of Literature.  

Edinburgh Castle

Another amazing view from the central gardens - Edinburgh Castle was built in the 12th century on the rock formed after a volcanic eruption millions of years ago. It used to be a fortress and was a royal residence for centuries. Today the castle is open to tourists.

Princess street

The main street in Edinburgh is Princes Street, where most of the trains from London terminate. It’s the best place for shopping and panoramic views of the Old Town.

Calton hill

Like Rome, Edinburgh was built on seven hills. We couldn't miss visiting one of them, Calton Hill, with great views of the city. If you have time, we really recommend coming here in the evening to watch the beautiful sunset.

Holyrood palace

Scottish parliament

After a stroll and dinner in Princes Street, we visited Holyrood Palace, the official residence of the British monarch in Scotland and seat of the Scottish Parliament - and probably one of the weirdest buildings in Edinburgh. Opened in 2004, it is constantly criticised because of its too modern and abstract architecture, for its high running costs and for the location of the building – just opposite the Palace. Despite this, the building has won a number of different architectural awards and it is open to the public.           

The Royal Mile

Holyrood Palace is the starting point of the famous Royal Mile, the street that stretches for one mile (1.6 km) from the monarch's residency to Edinburgh Castle. So follow us towards the fortress...      

Open-air entertainment

But don’t run! There are a lot of historical places, unique buildings and open-air entertainment.


Street piping

And more piping. Maybe I will miss this melody when I get home... 

St Giles Cathedral

St Giles Cathedral in the middle of the Royal Mile.

City tour

Edinburgh castle

After a couple of hours exploring all the sights, we came to the finish line – the end of the Royal Mile and the main historic place in the city, Edinburgh Castle. 

Royal Mile

  1. Locals call Edinburgh “Auld Reekie” (Old Smoky), which marks an era when the city's buildings and homes burnt a lot of coal and wood for heat.
  2. The capital of Scotland is only the second largest city after Glasgow.
  3. The rocks and hills in Edinburgh were formed by a volcano.
  4. Edinburgh has more Michelin-star restaurants than any other city outside London.
  5. The official animal of Edinburgh is... a unicorn.

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Written by

I still remember my first trip. It was to London. I fell in love with this city the moment I saw it. Just - "click", and my heartbeat quickened. I was chosen by it. Red and funny double-decker buses, serious black cabs, the gorgeous Buckingham palace... That's it! I am your admirer forever! From that moment I have visited many places and have been to many countries. Traveling became my passion. My long lasting love, which I hope will never end.

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