Edinburgh, capital of Scotland since the fifteenth century and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is unique in both its history and character. Like many medieval cities visitors could spend weeks exploring all it has to offer. However, most tourists have a limited time to dedicate to even the most fascinating places. So, here are a few experiences that will provide a taste of Edinburgh.
The Royal Mile is one of the most famous streets in the world, right up there with Broadway and the Champs Elysee. It traverses medieval Old Town, the historic heart of the city. You can take a detour and wander its labyrinthine network of narrow alleyways and cobbled streets. The Royal Mile boasts Edinburgh Castle at the very top and the Palace of Holyroodhouse, home of the queen when she visits Edinburgh, at the bottom. The best way to explore is on foot, although it is steep in parts. A stroll on the Mile leads you on a journey through Scottish history replete with medieval architecture.
The Scotch Whisky Experience offers a one-hour tour through 300 years of whisky history including a whisky barrel ride to the illicit stills of the Highlands. You will also receive an introduction to the art of nosing the “water of life” and separating your Glenfiddichs from your Lagavullins. After ending your tour with a free dram you can enjoy “A Taste of Scotland,” a traditional Scottish meal, in the Amber Restaurant.
Edinburgh Castle, atop Castle Rock dates back to the reign of King David I in the 12th century. It houses St. Margaret’s Chapel, the oldest surviving building in Edinburgh, the Royal Palace, the Scottish National War Memorial and the crown jewels.The admission price includes a complimentary guided tour of the castle offered by experienced and well-informed guides.
The Edinburgh Literary Pub Tour is a fun, two-hour walking tour through the literary history and culture of Edinburgh, and its great authors. You visit 4 or 5 different pubs during the course of the night, and hear interesting stories about authors like Walter Scott and Robbie Burns. The guides, who are actually actors, recite some poetry, in both English and Scottish. They do a bit of acting along the way. Their banter is sharp and witty.
When time is limited as it often is for tourists, these experiences will provide a taste of Edinburgh.
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