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Book cheap holidays to Edinburgh

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Discover the Scottish Capital of Edinburgh

Located on Scotland's east coast, about an hour north of the border with England, Edinburgh enjoys a stunning location on the Firth of Forth, and sits in the shadow of dormant volcano Arthur's Seat. It has been Scotland's capital since the 15th century. It's historic Old and New Towns are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and the city is home to the biggest arts festival in the world, the Edinburgh Fringe, every August.

What To Know Before Visiting Edinburgh

Flights to Edinburgh arrive from several UK destinations, including flights from Manchester and from all the major London airports. The city's tram link takes you from the airport directly into the city centre, and there is an excellent bus network which is the best way to get around while you're enjoying city breaks in Edinburgh. As you would expect, everyone speaks English and uses the same currency as in England, so you will have no problems having English bank notes accepted.

When Is The Best Time To Visit Edinburgh?

Scottish weather is notoriously unpredictable; you can have cold, wet days in summer, and mild, sunny days in winter! Be prepared for all weather conditions, no matter when you travel. By far the liveliest time to enjoy package holidays to Edinburgh is in August, when the Fringe Festival and the International Festival take place. The city is incredibly vibrant during this time, with street performances taking place along the Royal Mile, as well as many free shows alongside paid performances by some of the biggest names in comedy.

Christmas and New Year is another great time to spend a weekend in Edinburgh. December sees the city's Princes Street Gardens transformed into a Christmas market, while on New Year's Eve (or Hogmanay as it's known in Scotland), the main street becomes a huge street party venue, complete with live music and an impressive fireworks display at midnight. Entrance to the street party is limited so buy wristband tickets in advance if you want to join the celebration.

What To Do In Edinburgh?

  • Climb the dormant volcano Arthur's Seat and enjoy spectacular views of the city and across the Firth of Forth; or if you prefer, you can always tackle the smaller Calton Hill, which still has great views of the city centre.
  • Take the train to South Queensferry to get an up-close view of the Forth Rail Bridge and the two road bridges, including the recently-opened Queensferry Crossing.
  • Head to Portobello where you can stroll along the promenade, and even take a dip in the Firth of Forth if you're brave enough!
  • Take a night-time walking ghost tour to learn about Edinburgh's gruesome history, including body snatchers Burke and Hare.
  • Enjoy a leisurely cruise along the Union Canal, complete with afternoon tea.

Places To Visit In Edinburgh

There is no shortage of historic buildings and museums for visitors to enjoy on package holidays in Edinburgh. If you want to spend your weekend in Edinburgh learning about history or culture, check out some of the best attractions below:

  • Edinburgh Castle.
  • Palace of Holyroodhouse – where the Queen stays when she is in Edinburgh.
  • Britannia – the former Royal Yacht is now moored in Leith and is open to the public as a museum.
  • National Museum of Scotland – exhibits from prehistoric Scotland up to the present day.
  • Royal Botanic Gardens – escape the noise of the city with a relaxing stroll through Edinburgh's historic gardens.
  • The National Galleries – comprising the National Gallery on Princes Street, the National Portrait Gallery on Queen Street and the National Gallery of Modern Art in Dean Village.

What To Eat In Edinburgh?

Edinburgh, and the whole of Scotland in fact, is famous for its whisky, and most bars and restaurants will stock several different varieties. You can even visit distilleries in the Borders by taking an organised tour with a local company or via the Borders Railway. Scotland's other national drink is Irn-Bru, a sugary fizzy juice which is made to a secret recipe. Irn-Bru is so popular in Scotland, that it is the only country in the world where Coca Cola is not the top-selling soft drink!

When it comes to food, there is only one delicacy you must try while enjoying city breaks in Edinburgh: haggis. This traditional Scottish dish is lamb mixed with onion, suet and oatmeal – stuffed inside a sheep's stomach. Before you get too squeamish, most modern haggis now uses artificial casings, but the result is just as tasty. It is traditionally served with "neeps and tatties" – turnips and potatoes to non-Scots – and oatcakes. Cullen Skink, a strongly-flavoured fish soup made with smoked haddock, is another popular Scottish dish, usually served as a starter or lunchtime snack.

What To Bring Back From Edinburgh?

There is no shortage of souvenir shops in and around Edinburgh's city centre, all selling tartan scarves and stuffed Loch Ness monsters. If you want to bring back souvenirs with a difference, why not go for a really good bottle of local whisky or try a bottle of Edinburgh Gin, distilled locally at their new facility in the city centre.

Splash out on your own kilt if you have developed a taste for Highland dress. Many kilt shops do great deals on items that were formerly for hire, or you can take back a cosy woolly jumper from the original Edinburgh Woollen Mill shop on Princes Street. Don't forget presents for family and friends too; Scottish shortbread or tablet, a sweet made from condensed milk and sugar, are always popular.

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