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Edinburgh

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edinburghEdinburgh, known as the "Athens of the North", is one of the most beautiful urban destinations in all of Europe. It comes as no surprise then to learn it's also one of the most visited. Millions of visitors make their way to the city each year, with both domestic and international travelers choosing "Auld Reekie" as their favored holiday destination. Tourists arrive in the city by road, rail and air. Edinburgh Airport is one of the busiest in the UK, with flights arriving from as far away as Toronto and Istanbul. Edinburgh's railway stations are connected to other Scottish destinations as well as London and a number of intermediary stations. A train journey from London takes 4-5 hours but rest assured, the length of the journey is offset by the scenery you'll see en route. Edinburgh is home to hundreds of hotels, which come in all shapes and sizes. From quaint boarding houses and boutique hotels to luxurious corporate hotels and budget options, there's a room to suit any traveler here. edinburghThe city's No. 1 draw is its historic buildings, which are beautiful and plentiful. Looming over the city below, Edinburgh Castle is one of the UK's most visited sites and a truly awe-inspiring sight. From the castle, take a stroll along the Royal Mile, a cobblestoned road that leads to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the official residence of the Royal Family. Along the way you'll be treated to a treasure trove of delights, including the Writer's House, the Museum of Scotland and a wealth of shops and bars. To see Edinburgh in all its glory, take an open top bus tour of the city. Most adopt a hop-on, hop-off approach which means you can take a closer look at anything that tickles your fancy. If you're looking for something a little different, try a ghost tour of the city. Edinburgh is purported to be one of the most haunted cities in the world, and there's nothing quite like a spot of ghost-hunting at dusk. Other city destinations worth a visit include the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh Dungeon and Greyfriars Kirk. The latter features a tribute to Greyfriars Bobby, a terrier that famously lived beside his master's grave. edinburghWhen it's time to eat and drink, you'll find an almost endless supply of pubs, restaurants and bars to choose from. From Michelin starred dishes to cozy pub grub, you won't go hungry here. Edinburgh also offers visitors a wealth of green spaces to enjoy. Top of the list has to be the famed Arthur's Seat, while the likes of Princes Street Gardens, the Royal Botanic Gardens and Holyrood Park all serve up fantastic views to be enjoyed. Other popular city attractions include: Edinburgh Zoo, Carlton Hill (and its neoclassical architecture), St. Giles Cathedral and the Georgian House. Golf enthusiasts will find a wide selection of courses while it's almost rude not to take a whisky tour when you're in this part of the world. Edinburgh's peak tourism periods come in the summer, particularly around the Edinburgh Festival, and around New Year's Eve, when the city celebrates its epic Hogmanay. Hotels are generally at capacity during these events so if you plan on visiting then, you'll need to book well in advance.

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