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City Guide : EdinburghThe capital city, Edinburgh is perhaps the most spectacular city of Scotland... In addition to being a city of festivals, it has a magical atmosphere with its wildlife and natural wealth. When combined with the historical and cultural details dating back hundreds of years ago, a quite rich city emerges. Edinburgh Castle, situated on a long time extinct volcano, can be seen nearly from all parts of the city. These world renowned fortresses, in a sense, stand as it were like living witnesses of the mesmerizing historical depth of Edinburgh. Perhaps the first couple of things that catch a visitor's eye are the city's quite unique architecture and the abundance of green areas in it. This high contrast evident all around Edinburgh, creates a poetic city; one that has inspired numerous characters such as Sherlock Holmes, Harry Potter, and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
Parts of Edinburgh are so intertwined that you can reach all the key points of the city by walking. The city expands on seven hills, starting from the south bank of the river called “Linne Foirthe” in Celtic. Edinburgh, which has been the capital city of Scotland since the 15th century, has nearly become identical with the castle with the same name. Edinburgh Castle is perhaps the most significant touristic attraction in Scotland.
The large scaled Edinburgh Festival, which lasts all summer, gives the city a distinct atmosphere. The military music show “Edinburgh Military Tattoo” is organized in three weeks of August of every year, featuring international military orchestras at the entrance of the castle. The celebration of the last day of the year known as “Hogmanay” and the fireworks show organized as a part of that celebration are other colorful elements unique to the city.
The succession of streets you should take, without a doubt, for a unique historical journey to the old part of the city is called “the Royal Mile”. These streets start from the historical city center and go on until the Palace of Holyroodhouse. The building, which used to be the home of the Queen Mary of Scotland, is the official residence of the British Royal Family in Scotland, today.
Almost all of the streets in this region of the city, including the historical part, are on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Many structures, built in the neo-classical architectural style, located in the newer parts of the city were also included in the heritage sites list.
Surely another historical part of the city is Leith Harbour. Visiting the exhibition ship called Royal Yacht Britannia located in the harbour region, can provide you a journey into the inner side of royal life. After visiting this museum accompanied by an audio guide, you can have a hot cup of tea at the Royal Deck Tea Room-which is only used for having tea.
Culture & Entertainment
Tours of Edinburgh, by bus or on foot, have many discoveries to offer both literary and historical. Perhaps the most interesting and different one of the tours, is the one of ghosts and spirits. The feeling of mystery in the atmosphere of the city engulfs you at the first minute. The influence of writers such as Robert Burns, Robert Louis Stevenson, Ian Rankin and JK Rowling who note being inspired by the city of Edinburgh on every occasion, contributes greatly to the development of that feeling.
Visiting Rosslyn Chapel, taking a walk among legends, and discovering this structure which was mentioned in Dan Brown's international bestseller “the Da Vinci Code”, can be first on your list of mystical discoveries.
Edinburgh Castle may be of interest to you for not only its magnificent architecture; but also for the war museum within it. In this castle overlooking the city;you definitely should see Stone of Destiny, which also called the Stone of Coronation.The medieval bombard called Mons Meg, a supergun of the Middle Ages, is among items you should see at this castle.
Food & Drink
If there was a list consisting of the best cities to eat out at, Edinburgh would definitely be on it. Who knows, maybe because of the rich atmosphere of the city or because of the Scottish frugality; you can try great tastes fit for every palate and budget. Leith Harbour Region and the West Side have more to offer in terms of authentic tastes to try.
Edinburgh Festival City
When a large number of events, including the International Art Festival, the Alternative Art Festival, the Military Band Festival and the International Book Festival, all take place simultaneously in August. The International Art Festival in particular brings together world-class classical musicians, opera singers, dancers and theater actors.
A range of exhibitions, seminars and workshops also run throughout the festival. First held in 1946, the Alternative Art Festival, aka The Fringe, is the largest of its kind in the world, setting the stage for upwards of 40,000 performances in 250 different venues scattered across the city. For a better idea of how big and popular it is, just consider that close to two million tickets for the festival were sold in 2009.
Packed into the 25-day festival are 300 performances watched by an average of 74,000 people. I must hasten to add however that accommodation in the city is in short supply during festival month, so if you plan to be in Edinburgh in August it’s a good idea to reserve your hotel in advance.
But Edinburgh’s attractiveness is not limited to August. Capital of Scotland, Edinburgh is also the country’s second largest city and the seat of the Scottish Parliament. What’s more, both the old and the new part of the city are on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. But these districts are as different as night and day.
Old Edinburgh, aka the Old Town, preserves its medieval texture with a number of buildings dating from the Scottish Reformation, while the New Town exhibits an orderly 18th century grid which might be said to be the best example of classical European-style town planning. Must-see sights are rife in the Old Town, first stop being the famous St. Giles’ Cathedral and its stained glass windows.
This is also the city’s main meeting point. You need to set aside a whole day to complete the sightseeing tour, which includes St. Andrew’s Square, the Grassmarket, the National Museum of Scotland, Parliament Square and Edinburgh Public Library. One of the city’s most famous thoroughfares also runs through the Old Town: the Royal Mile.
Lined with cafes and restaurants, the Royal Mile is lively and entertaining all year long. But we recommend that you not confine yourself to this street. If you climb the steep and narrow lanes along the city’s main axis, you will reap your reward in the end when Edinburgh Castle rises before you in all its splendor. Have your camera ready!
KILTS, CASHMERE AND HAGGIS
Haggis is the traditional dish of the Scots. Made of internal organs like lamb liver, heart and lung, which are minced and stuffed into a casing of sheep’s intestine along with bulghur, currants and pistacchios, haggis is traditionally served with mashed potatoes or turnips.
Formerly a cistern and now a textile museum, shop and gallery, ‘The Tartan Weaving Mill & Exhibition’ is a popular stop with tourists in the market for kilts and cashmere. There is even a corner of the shop where you can try on and have your picture taken in traditional Scottish costume. Entrance is free at this venue, which can be toured in about an hour.
EMEL ERNALBANT - Photographer
The setting for films like Trainspotting, The Da Vinci Code and Harry Potter, Edinburgh is a favorite with many directors. Indeed, you will feel as if you are on a film set as you stroll through the city’s streets. So it will come as no surprise that famous author J.K. Rowling wrote her first book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, in an Edinburgh café.
Turkish Airlines has flights in both directions from Istanbul to Manchester, Birmingham or London. Edinburgh is within easy reach of all three cities by bus or train. For information: www.turkishairlines.com
If you are tired from traipsing through streets and museums, you can climb to the top of Arthur’s Seat, which rises to a height of 251 meters. Edinburgh is one of a handful of European capitals that boast a mountain, albeit a small one, inside the city limits. For more information about the city’s festivals, which host a slew of events in August: www.edinburghfestivals.co.uk
Ticket Sales Offices : Edinburgh
|Edinburgh Administration Office|
|Address||Edinburgh Airport, 3/79 Second Floor,Terminal Building, Edinburgh, EH12 9DN|
Call center: 0844 800 6666
0207 471 6666
|Edinburgh Ticket Sales Office|
|Address||Edinburgh Aiport , Ground Floor, Terminal Building, Edinburgh, EH12 9DN|
|Phone||Call Center: 0844 800 6666 / 0207 471 66 66|
|Fax||+44 (0) 131 333 12 04|
Every day: 09:00-17:00
|GLOBAL AIRLINE SERVICES|
|Phone||Call center: 0207 471 6666|
Edinburgh : Airport Information
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|Monetary Unit||:||Pound Sterling (£)|
|Phone Code||:||+44 - 131|