Edinburgh: Why you should visit - what to do, see and eat in Scotland's historic capital
Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland, and a must-visit destination for any tourist that enjoys historic attractions, as well as a thriving, bustling city.
The cosmopolitan city perfectly combines authenticity and a modern way of life, and there’s definitely something for everyone.
But what should you be looking out for when you spend a weekend break in Edinburgh?
Your first port of call should definitely be the world famous Edinburgh castle - Scotland’s number one paid-for tourist attraction.
The castle lies right in the heart of Edinburgh city centre, and is visible from most parts of town.
Stepping inside the fortress takes tourists into the story of its history, including the tale of England’s siege against Mary, Queen of Scots, right the way through to its naming of a national monument almost 250 years later, in 1814.
Just outside the castle’s entrance, tourists can enjoy another side to the city, in the Camera Obscura and World of Illusions.
The exhibit plays host to a number of interactive, mind-boggling illusions. Try walking through the exhibit’s Vortex Tunnel (a spinning tunnel) without falling over - I bet you can’t.
You also can’t visit Edinburgh without taking a walk down the iconic Royal Mile - a hotbed of shops, restaurants and pubs.
Hidden beneath the high street is the Real Mary King’s Close. Take a trip down the cobbled passageways to uncover secrets of the 17th Century Old Town.
After your tour of Edinburgh’s historic heritage and attractions, you can still head over to the city’s much-loved Christmas market.
The market lies right in the middle of the city, and is up and running from the middle of November until January 5.
The Forth 1 Big Wheel is an absolute must for the Christmas market. It’s a giant ferris wheel that gives tourist a terrific 360-degree view of the city. Top tip - head up the wheel at night for a beautiful view of Edinburgh’s bright lights.
If you’re around the market at 8pm, you may still be able to get tickets for La Clique Noël - Part Deux, an adult variety show that has to be seen to be believed.
The show, which first featured at the Edinburgh Fringe festival in 2004, includes a fire eater, live band, and an acrobatic gymnast.
When booking your trip to the city, it’s a good idea to stay at the centrally-located Edinburgh Grand hotel.
The building, which is Edinburgh’s newest five-star accommodation, features a number of luxurious apartments with great views of the city. Enjoy a drink on the balcony while overlooking the hustle and bustle of Edinburgh’s Princes Street.
While you’re out and about exploring the many hidden gems of the city centre, you’ll definitely be looking for the best places to eat and drink.
You can start your day right by heading ever so slightly north of the high street to Bross Bagels.
The chain provides a wide selection of bagels, from dessert-themed breakfasts to hot New-York style bagels.
In the evening, you can find Element hidden just off Princes Street. The bar doubles as a restaurant in the early evening, and is a great place to start your night - especially as it’s so central.
Edinburgh is full of small places to eat and drink, so you’ll never be left disappointed.