Scotland's inspiring capital - Edinburgh

Discover one of Europe's most inspiring cities - we're sure the 100,000 students who live here would agree!


Tourist activities

Royal MileIf you're new to Edinburgh then you'll be in for an exciting surprise when you discover how many festivals, cinemas, theatres, galleries, museums, parks and other opportunities are available to you; it's a city made for tourism, whatever your budget.

Perhaps the city's two best known events are Edinburgh's Hogmanay - theworld's biggest New Year street party -and the Edinburgh festivals headed up by the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Last year 1.4 million tourists came to Edinburgh to attend one of the many festivals in August. This is a month that you will definitely not want to miss.

A walk around the city - via the Tourist Information Office on Princes St - will reveal plenty of interesting buildings, parks and sights to see. Many galleries and museums are free, and through the summer your walking tours will echo to the sounds of buskers from all over the world.

There are some important dates in the Scottish calendar:

street performer

  • 25 January is the night when Scots at home and abroad celebrate the life of Scotland's favourite poet - Robert Burns. His works are recited and everyone is treated to the traditional Scottish meal of haggis, neeps (turnip) and tatties (potatoes).
  • 30 November is the day of Scotland's patron saint, St Andrew after whom Scotland's flag is named.
  • 31 December sees the capital's world famous New Year spectacular with several days of celebrations leading up to the street party itself.

Looking for ideas?

Try these sites for a start.

Edinburgh Inspiring Capital

City of Edinburgh Council Tourism & Visitor Attractionscity street

Time Out Guide to Edinburgh

Edinburgh Guide

Find out what's on in the city

The List

'Must Do' Edinburgh sights

Edinburgh Castle- the British Travel Awards'UK's top heritage attraction fortwo years running

Botanic Gardens- over 70 acres of landscaped grounds provide a tranquil havenin the city

Edinburgh Zoo- home to giant pandas Tian Tian 甜甜, Yang Guang 阳 and more than 1,000 other animals

The Palace of Holyrood House- the Queen's official residence in Scotland

Mary King's Close- a secret warren of hidden underground streets,frozen in time since the 17th century

Our Dynamic Earth- a journey through our planet's past, present and future, with interactive exhibits and impressive technology

Royal Yacht Britannia-home tothe Royal Family for 44 years, this shiphas sailed overone millionmiles around the globe

Scottish Parliament - striking from the outside, and just as fascinating inside, visit the seat of politics in Scotland

Museums & galleries

City of Edinburgh Museums & Galleries

National Galleries

National Museums of Scotland

Explore Scotland

Living and studying in Edinburgh is the perfect excuse to see the rest of Scotland. With heaps of events and attractions a train, bus or car trip away, you can cover a huge amount of ground while you're here. Go to a ceilidh to learn and take part in some traditional dancing accompanied with Scottish music provided by a live ceilidh band. Take time to visit some of Scotland's ancient castles, whisky distilleries and the countryside and towns in the breathtaking Highlands - with so much to do it may be difficult to find time to study.

Why not visit (take a deep breath!)...

  • ...Aviemore Ski resort, Ben Nevis, Braemar Highland Games,
  • Burns an' a' That festival, Cairngorms National Park,
  • Fort William Mountain Festival, Hebridean Celtic Festival,
  • Isle of Rum music festival, Loch Lomond, Nessie hunting,
  • RAF Leuchars Airshow, Rosslyn Chapel (of The da Vinci Code fame),
  • Shetland's Up Helly Aa,Stirling Castle, Skye Festival,
  • Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, St Magnus festival,
  • Strathaven Balloon Festival, T-in-the-Park,Trossachs National Park,
  • the Wallace Monument, World Pipe Band Championships, and
  • the West Highland Way...
  • And that's just the tip of it. Get your friends together, get organised and get there!

    Accommodation needn't be a problem - Scotland hasa network of youth hostels to choose from. Or you can get in tune with nature at one of our many campsites. Just don't forget the midge repellent!

    Find out about all of the above attractions - and more - at:

    Visit Scotland

    Highlands Tourism

    Historic Scotland

    Young Scot-information for 16-26 year olds

    Scottish Tourist Board events calendar


    From a one-day tour to the highlands, or a week-long adventure to the Orkney Islands, these tours won't break the bank.

    Haggis Adventures

    Wild in Scotland
    MacBackpackers Tours