Scotland's capital city is perhaps best known for its year round programme of festivals including the Edinburgh International Festival and Edinburgh Festival Fringe, which, since its inception in 1947, has grown into the biggest annual international arts festival in the world. Each August, the city welcomes thousands of tourists and performers from every corner of the globe to enjoy three exhilarating weeks of the very best in international opera, music, drama and dance.
The city's year round calendar of festivals and events, that attracts visitors and residents alike includes the Edinburgh International Film Festival, the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival, and the Edinburgh International Book Festival, the Edinburgh International Science Festival and Edinburgh’s Hogmanay - the world's best new year celebrations.
In 2016, Edinburgh was named cultural capital of the UK ahead of the likes of London, Manchester and Liverpool. The number of museums and galleries, libraries, listed buildings, and theatre and live music shows were key indicators used to rank the cities’ cultural impact.
Edinburgh's historical and cultural attractions, together with its annual calendar of events have made it the second most popular tourist destination in the United Kingdom after London, attracting over one million overseas visitors each year.
In 2004 Edinburgh became the world's first UNESCO City of Literature, an accolade awarded in recognition of its literary heritage and lively literary activities in the present.
Clean, compact and safe, Edinburgh regularly tops the list of European cities where people would most like to live. It has a diverse multicultural population and has something for everyone. The city is compact enough to see the sights, shop till you drop and experience the nightlife all without catching a bus.
If culture is what you are after, walk the Royal Mile to Edinburgh Castle or lose yourself in the Museum of Scotland and National Gallery. From large concert halls to intimate venues, there are enough live comedy and music venues in the city to ensure you'll never get bored.
After dark, take a Ghost Tour along the cobbled medieval streets and alleyways and learn about Edinburgh's bloody past, or, alternatively, dance until dawn at vibrant venues across the city's club land. Websites such as This is Edinburgh, The List and EdinburghGuide.com offer lots of suggestions for things to do and see in this wonderful city.