You’ll quickly come to understand that, while Edinburgh is home to all these quirky and unusual things, it’s also a spot brimming with fun things to do, and some fascinating historical past.
What makes Edinburgh so special
There’s a reason Edinburgh has been inspiration to writers, filmmakers and authors for hundreds of years.
It has a timeless quality that makes you feel like you may be trudging through a Jane Austen novel, however it’s also kept innovating itself to very a lot be a modern capital.
Right here’s what makes Edinburgh so special.
Historical past. Everywhere you look.
Perched on one of many city’s large rocks (known as ‘Castle Rock’) is Edinburgh Castle; a fortress for more than a thousand years and one of the attacked places on this planet. The ‘Black Dinner’ at Edinburgh Castle even impressed Game of Thrones’ Red Wedding ceremony.
The Castle is residence to the Scottish Crown Jewels, the oldest building within the city, and a fantastic view.
Views on views on views
Arthur’s Seat, the core of a long-extinct volcano, dominates the Edinburgh skyline. From the top (it’s not a long walk however do put on good shoes – tourists in heels can have some very serious regrets) you get one of the best views of the town.
It additionally acts as a bit of a seasonal calendar, changing color with the weather (a carpet of yellow flowers in the spring, frosty white in winter).
And naturally, there’s Harry Potter. JK Rowling wrote a lot of the series in Edinburgh, and it’s easy to spot the way it inspired people and places within the books.
There are character names taken from Greyfriar’s Kirkyard (there’s the gravestone of Thomas Riddle and his son, the initially named Thomas Riddle, a McGonagall and a Moodie);
Castle-like faculties which impressed Hogwarts and twisting streets filled with shops that make you think you could be in Diagon Alley.
And of course there are the cafés where Rowling snuggled up with a cup of tea and a notebook to write down the tales.
Harry Potter mania is all over the place.
A lot of shops promote Hogwarts scarves, beanies and jumpers, themed pop-up bars serve drinks inspired by Butterbeer and Firewhisky, escape rooms problem you to defeat Voldemort;
A local improv group perform a Harry Potter themed show each Thursday night time and there are a number of shops dedicated to stocking Wizarding World merchandise.
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Deciphering Scottish slang
It won’t take lengthy after you arrive in Edinburgh to start seeing (or listening to) Scots (there’s a ‘Haste ye Back’ sign on the airport, which mainly means ‘come again soon’).
While it’s just like English, it’s actually its own dialect. Plus, there’s Gaelic, which additionally pops up from time to time, but is more frequent within the Highlands and Islands.
It doesn’t take long to pick up some slang, and locals don’t mind explaining what phrases mean to you (if you ask politely). It’s easier if you learn it in a Scottish accent.
Listed below are some phrases you’re likely to hear and see:
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No and Not (you’ll hear this rather a lot in ‘nae bother’ that means ‘it’s not a problem’, and ‘cannae’ or ‘canna’ which implies ‘can’t’)
Cow, typically only used with the amazingly adorable Highland Coo
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Old – you’ve most likely seen this one within the classic Hogmanay (or New Year’s Eve, if you wish to use the non-Scottish name) tune Auld Lang Syne (its writer Robert ‘Rabbie’ Burns) is celebrated each January on Burns Night (if you’ve ever dreamed of seeing a haggis stabbed with a sword, that is for you.)
Taps Aff/Taps Oan
Tops Off/Tops On. This is a must-know. If it’s going to be a hot, sunny day in Edinburgh (around 20°C), everybody will immediately discover a place to sunbake.
Angry/on a rampage/mad about one thing
This one is definitely a weather phenomenon where fog from the North Sea rolls over the town. You can see it creeping throughout from the water, giving the town a spooky vibe as the mist covers the skyline.
Making the most of Edinburgh’s cultural scene on the cheap
You don’t should look far in Edinburgh to discover a dose of culture, whether it’s immersing yourself in traditional Scottish music, artwork, meals and fashion, or taking in world-class festivals.
Know when the festivals are
Every August Edinburgh hosts six official festivals (and some unofficial ones). This implies the city is exploding with performers, artists and tourists.
Having the town so full of excitement, color and noise (there are fireworks each night during the Edinburgh Military Tattoo at Edinburgh Castle) is an amazing thing to be a part of.
There are literally thousands of new people to satisfy, pop-up bars and meals markets, and of course tons of shows to see.
The town is buzzing with noise, people and flyers (many people will attempt to hand you flyers – it’s fine to say ‘no’ to taking them, however be nice!).
Be a bit careful about the place you’re eating and drinking out, as a result of it’s becoming more common for bars and restaurants to tweak their costs to make the most of the tourist growth, and the crowds can be a little full-on.
During August it’s important to provide your self extra time to get to and from places in the middle of the town, as public transport may be delayed and it just takes extra time to walk in the crowds.
For those who’re in student accommodation make sure you check if you can keep during the month, as a lot of residences make the most of the university holidays and rent to visitors instead.
Plenty of locals get out of the town and it’s apparently a sign you’ve turn out to be a local when you start complaining about ‘the Fringe’.
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Make the most of summer when it’s here
Scotland actually does get a summer, there are nice sunny days, however you have to expect a rainy or overcast day after a good one. It does get to t-shirt and shorts climate (you’ll be astonished at how warm 21°C can feel).
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