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What gives Edinburgh its very special charm?

Edinburgh is an enchanting destination for a city trip. Not only is it packed with history, but it is also quite buzzing. With no fewer than 4 universities, the city is lively and full of cultural festivities.

Are you in autumn? Don't be put off by the chilly weather. Just go for a walk around the city. You will inevitably end up in a cozy pub, where there is live music and, of course, a drink with your name on it.

The charm of Edinburgh? Walk along the famous Royal Mile – from castle to palace – and you will quickly see what this means.

The Royal Mile: from castle to palace

The Royal Mile runs straight through The Old Town, from Edinburgh Castle to Holyroodhouse Palace. It consists of several smaller streets that together form a main road of about a mile between the two royal residences. High Street is one of them: a popular street with many pubs, shops and a beautiful cathedral; St Giles Cathedral.

The Old Town: back to medieval times

The Old Town is the old center of Edinburgh and the heart of the city. The narrow winding streets and medieval buildings take you back in time. Edinburgh Castle is located on top of the hill in the Old Town. Here you will find the oldest crown jewels in Great Britain and The Stone of Destiny: the symbol of the Scottish monarchy.

Palace of Holyroodhouse: a royal residence

The Palace of Holyroodhouse is located at the end of the Royal Mile in Edinburgh. A historic royal residence with a long history. The palace was once occupied by Mary, Queen of Scots. Now it is the official residence of the British king when he stays in Scotland. Fortunately, the palace is also open to ordinary tourists.

Victoria Street: Harry Potter's Diagon Alley

The colourful shops of Victoria Street are iconic to Edinburgh. The narrow winding street with old buildings was the inspiration for Diagon Alley from Harry Potter. For true Harry Potter fans, there are two (museum) shops here where you can find everything about the boy wizard.

Victoria Street Edinburgh
Victoria street in Edinburgh old town

Arthur's seat

Edinburgh is anything but flat. The city has considerable height differences, with the highest point: Arthur's Seat. This ancient volcano offers fantastic views over Edinburgh. Definitely worth the climb!

Edinburgh's cultural top 3

  1. National museum of Scotland. Does it rain all day? The National Museum of Scotland has very varied exhibitions and can easily provide you with a few hours of indoor entertainment
  2. Edinburgh Festival Fringe and Edinburgh International Festival: two fantastic summer festivals full of shows, theatre, dance and music
  3. Camera Obscura & World of Illusions is an interactive museum of optical illusions with entertainment for all ages: a must see when in Edinburgh
dfds ferries
If you want to take the ferry to Edinburgh from the Netherlands or Belgium, you take the DFDS ferry from IJmuiden (near Amsterdam) to Newcastle. The crossing to Newcastle takes 17 hours. From Newcastle it is about 2,5 hours travel (by car or train) to Edinburgh.
Traveling from France to Scotland? Read our ferry guide to UK from France with all possible options for crossing the channel by ferry

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  1. Palace of Holyroodhouse, is really worth the visit!

    • Hi Graham,

      I really have to agree here, with 16739+ positive reviews you can’t miss this palace, you can btw easily book this one here. Since this attraction can be fully booked, something you should do in advance.

      Thanks for the insights Graham!

      ~ Jochem

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