Holiday Inn Express Edinburgh - Royal Mile
With spectacular history at nearly every turn, Edinburgh is a wonderful city full of sights to behold and attractions to experience. From the world-renowned Edinburgh Castle, to the bustling Royal Mile, to St Giles Cathedral and the Royal Yacht Britannia, there are many things to discover in the capital of Scotland. Away from major points of interest, Edinburgh is also home to vast amounts of shops, restaurants and festivals throughout the year.
Thanks in part to having various major attractions, countless shopping opportunities, and an international airport near to the city centre, it should come as no surprise that Edinburgh is a top destination choice for many travellers across the globe. With an assortment of historical sites and museums, the area is ideal for those that are eager to learn and experience Edinburgh’s heritage. Away from historical charms, the city provides plenty of other family-friendly attractions – including Edinburgh Zoo, interactive activities and sport-related fun – that will delight visitors of all ages. And although Edinburgh is a thriving metropolis, this doesn’t mean that nature lovers are left out. This is best emphasised by Holyrood Park, which possesses spectacular views from the famous hill fort known as Arthur’s Seat. With numerous hostels and inexpensive hotels, the city is also suitably equipped for backpackers that are looking to travel on the cheap. So no matter what budget or preferences you have, Edinburgh is a great holiday choice – to the point where you’ll struggle to fit everything in!
Although Edinburgh boasts an array of highly rated things to see and do, there are a select amount of attractions that are virtually essential to visit. First of all, Edinburgh Castle is arguably the biggest landmark that the city has to offer. Centrally situated and dating back to at least the 12th century, this striking fortress dominates the skyline thanks to its position on Castle Rock. Edinburgh Castle also benefits from various museums and exhibitions, helping to solidify its status as a world-famous visitor attraction. To get a sneak peek at the luxurious history of the royal family, the Royal Yacht Britannia is a popular attraction with travellers. With an extensive amount of rooms and decks to explore, this yacht – notably used by Prince Charles and Diana for their honeymoon – has many facts and interesting areas to discover. Additionally, the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh provides a tranquil setting that dates back to 1670, the Edinburgh Dungeon is a uniquely interactive experience with plenty of chilling thrills, and the National Museum of Scotland is where you can explore the diverse history of the country all under one roof.
Have you got any sort of inclination towards shopping when you are travelling? Well you’re in luck when it comes to Edinburgh, as it contains a seemingly endless supply of stores where you can purchase whatever treats and gifts you desire. If staying in a central hotel, you will be close to popular areas such as the Royal Mile and Old Town, where you will find a varied combination of independent establishments and high street retailers. In addition, the city is home to various shopping centres, with Ocean Terminal – which is a spacious complex with many shops and great sea views – one of the most highly regarded examples. Oh, and if you are just stopping off at the airport for a few hours, don’t worry – this area also features a healthy selection of stores! So no matter where you go in Edinburgh, opportunities to shop will never be far away.
If you have a keen interest in food (and who doesn’t?), the restaurant options in Edinburgh are incredibly exciting and diverse. In fact, you will find every kind of international cuisine when exploring the city – along with your traditional Scottish fare, of course. And even if you are on a budget, there are plenty of establishments available where you can grab a cheap – and delicious – bite to eat. When in search of a place to drink, Edinburgh is also spoilt for choice when it comes to bars and nightlife choices. From trendy nightclubs to old-fashioned watering holes, you will no doubt find the ideal option that matches your interests. Although with that said, one place to mark down on your ‘to visit’ list is the Sheep Heid Inn. Known as Scotland’s oldest pub and serving drinks since 1360, the Sheep Heid Inn features a tasty food menu, a refreshing drinks list complete with local ales, and even the oldest surviving bowling alley in the country!
Throughout the year, Edinburgh hosts a range of major festivals. Yet when it comes to the best time to visit the city in terms of festivals, August is the month of choice. This is because several festivals are all running at the same time during this period. This includes the well-known Edinburgh Festival Fringe, which is recognised as the largest arts festival in the world, and you will find performances from those in the fields of comedy, theatre, dance, music and many more. Other festivals scheduled during August are the Edinburgh International Festival, Edinburgh International Book Festival and The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. At other times of the year, you will find the Edinburgh International Science Festival in April, the Edinburgh International Film Festival during June, and New Year celebrations via Edinburgh’s Hogmanay.