Edinburgh is a lively, vibrant city that is split into the Old Town and the New Town, each with a distinct feel. This city has been the capital of Scotland since the 1400s and is an important city in the UK today.
The Old Town is known for its beautiful ancient buildings and cobbled streets with lots of history, while the New Town is known for its neoclassical elegance and its more modern history.
The New Town actually started being built in the mid-1700s, so it is not actually very modern by most standards. The city is spread out over rocky hills by the sea, with much to explore on these ancient cobblestoned streets.
Edinburgh Castle, located in the Old Town, is one of the most important buildings in the city and has history dating back to the 11th century. It was used as a royal residence and as a place for the military in the early years. From the mid-1700s until the early 1900s, the British Army then used the castle as their main base in Scotland. Situated on top of a rocky hill, there are great views looking out over the New Town. Today, some of the highlights here include the Royal Palace, the Castle Vaults, the Stone of Destiny and more.
Real Mary King’s Close
The Real Mary King’s Close, also in the Old Town, is an interesting underground attraction. The City Chambers were built on top of Mary King’s Close, which was sealed off centuries ago, thus preserving the area underground.
The Close has remained unchanged and visitors can get a glimpse into what the area really looked like in the 16th-17th centuries. Costumed characters guide visitors on a tour through the underground city, leading through the crumbling remains of what once was.
The Holyrood Palace is the official Scottish residence for the royal family, but it is most well-known for being the home of Mary, Queen of Scots. Tours inside take visitors through Mary’s Bed Chamber, the royal apartments, the Great Gallery, and there is a plaque in the location where her favorite secretary bled to death.