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Edinburgh feels like a city from a fairy tale. It is a walkable place full of stunning churches, ruins, winding paths, and of course the grand castle. Hike up to viewpoints to gape at the country’s beauty, or enjoy the view from ground level. Check them all out, and then get over to Edinburgh itself!
The short walk up Calton Hill is pretty much vertical, but the sight of Scotland unfolding before you makes this hike worth it. From here you can gaze upon all of Edinburgh’s monuments, Holyrood and Edinburgh Castle. The space is always bustling with international students chatting on the lawn, and tourists photographing their kids with the Nelson Monument. Every spring, a Fire Festival comes to the hill and crowds gather to be a part of the tangible spirit of the event. This iconic Edinburgh spot is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
This museum has many more treasures than you might think. The museum is dedicated to illusion, lights, magic and vision illusions. One room is full of mirrors with lasers shooting from the walls. Another includes a vortex tunnel, which cannot be defined in mere words. The top of the museum is an intimate lookout deck, with a 360-degree view. Use the binoculars to find intricate details in the medieval alleys, or on a clear day enjoy the panorama with your own eyes. Guests can also use the sophisticated camera to look down on the Royal Mile and the castle. The camera allows guests to ‘pick up’ passers-by with papers and manipulate the image.
Sir Arthur’s Seat is a dormant volcano. Its last eruption was over 300 million years ago. It still feels like an ancient piece of the earth, with a somewhat mystical solemnity. These craggy rocks lie on the city’s edge and can be easily reached by foot from the city. It’s neighbored by a misty lake, with swans and ducks who are quite friendly. Sir Arthur’s Seat is part of Holyrood Park, which also includes all the neighboring hills and fields. You can enjoy the hills and fields of the park, or you can keep climbing to the highest peak, Sir Arthur’s Seat.
Visiting this castle will take you back in time. Wind your way up to Castle Rock, and by the time you are in the fortress, you’ll almost be able to see kings and ladies make their way around the grounds. There are little spots of serenity and quiet reflection throughout the site, however it is the most visited landmark in Scotland, so expect crowds. The castle always has something going on, from 1pm daily gun salutes to performances and educational events in the Queen Anne Building . This national symbol is truly a grand and dazzling place. Look around the courtyard, view the Royal Jewels, and let the vision of Scotland stun you.
Princes Street is hectic and dotted with shops and chain stores. However, the park that runs along the street is an oasis the bustling shoppers. Mirroring the main street of consumerism, Princes Street Park lies at the foot of the looming, formidable castle. The gardens are filled with lush trees, gleaming fountains, and intricate statues. You can spend time at The Mound, a square with excellent museums where you will often find men in kilts playing the bagpipes. The whole plaza has an exciting, high-culture vibe. The park is divided into two parts. The west part is home to a stage and a seating area to enjoy the performances. The eastern section is home to the Scott Monument, a tribute to Scottish author Sir Walter Scott. Anywhere you decide to hang out, you can enjoy the relaxed vibes and the towering sites of the surrounding city.