Things to do in Edinburgh
Edinburgh is truly a beautiful city that has an aesthetic that perfectly matches the dour clouds that are always above. Filled with culture, wonderful buildings and museums spending time in the Scottish Capital will certainly be an easy job for any visitor to Europe. Things to do in this city include seeing natural wonders like Arthur’s Seat, taking in wild festivals like the yearly New Year’s Festival Hogmanay, and visiting world class museums like the Museum of Scotland.
The summit of Arthur’s Seat is actually an extinct volcano that runs near to Edinburgh at the highest point of Holyrood Park. To get to the top of Arthur Seat one can take a wonderful walk that starts at St Anthony’s Chapel. Be sure to wear some comfortable and reliable walking shoes as the hike can be a bit strenuous. Once you get to the summit you will be greeted with wonderful views over the city and the surrounding country side of the Kingdom of Fife. Though people often think the name Arthur’s Seat comes from the Knights of the Round Table, it more likely comes from the 6thcentury Arthur of Strathclyde who was a Scottish noble man.
Edinburgh is known primarily for two times of year; the Edinburgh festival in August and Hogmanay, the end of the year festival, in late December. Hogmanay is the uniquely Scottish way of ringing in the New Year that sees a variety of different events take place in the Princess Street Gardens and along Princess Street. December 29th involves the torch light procession through the Princess Street gardens, while the 31st is an uproarious street party along Princess Street that chimes in the New Year. Be warned that booking a hotel at this busy time of year is always a chore so book early and bring in the New Year with the Scots.
National Gallery of Scotland
Sitting in the beautiful Princess Street Gardens is the National Gallery of Scotland. Along with an amazing collection of works by the Scottish greats of art are pictures by Rembrandt, Van Gogh and Monet. After wandering around the twisting art filled halls it is recommended that visitors to the gallery pop next door to the Royal Scottish Academy. Though the museum is a lot smaller than some of those found in Paris or London it still creates an intimate location to soak in the art. The in-house café is highly recommended for a post art viewing snack and coffee.