Travel guide to Edinburgh

Facts

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Local name
Edinburgh
Inhabitants
448,900
Timezone
GMT (Greenwich Mean Time), as in the rest of Scotland.

Best time to visit

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As previously mentioned Scotland's weather can change very quickly. Edinburgh is no exception. Whilst it can be warm and sunny during summer it can be frightfully cold in winter. No matter when you decide to visit it is always best to carry an umbrella and bring suitable clothing.

Literature

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Lonely Planet Edinburgh mini guide, Insight Guide to Scotland, DK eyewitness guide to Scotland, Scotland the Rough Guide, Scotland Where to stay hotels and guesthouses 2000

Culture and entertainment

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Edinburgh is alive 24 hours a day. It has an array of festivals each year and is home to the world's biggest arts festival. With its enormous selection of arts and music venues, you'll never be stuck for something to do. Pubs, bars and cafes open late, some of which have live music and can be found on Leith Walk, Broughton Street and under the arches of Cowgate. Whether you prefer to dance the night away or simply just watch a film, there are nightclubs that remain open until the early hours and film lovers will find both repertory and multiplex cinemas. Hogmanay: is a winter festival with around 50 indoor and outdoor events taking place, some of which are free. The Virgin/McEwan's street party takes place on December 31st. Childrens Festival: 28th May - 3rdJune, imaginative performing arts for children across Scotland. Jazz and Blues Festival: 28th July - 4th August is the longest running jazz festival in the UK. A multitude of venues open their doors for international jazz artistes playing to over 50,000 music lovers. Military Tattoo: 4th Aug - 26th August, Scotlands annual military spectacular set against the impressive floodlit Edinburgh Castle, with military Bands, display teams, dancers and acts from around the world. Fringe Festival: 6th - 28th August, An annual festival with performances happening 'everywhere' including on the streets for further information see www.edfringe.com. Book Festival: 12th - 28th August, Edinburgh's book festival takes place annually with readings, lectures, demonstrations and workshops taking place. Film Festival: 13th - 27th August, anything worth watching, will be shown. Be the first to see an amazing range of movie premieres. International Festival: 12th August - 1st September, Edinburgh's greatest celebration of the arts held annually and attracting people from around world.

Accommodation / Hotel

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Being such a popular city Edinburgh has a vast amount of accommodation to suit all tastes and budgets whether you prefer a family guesthouse or luxury hotel. You can also choose to camp or stay at one of the colleges or the University which open late June to late September. All accommodation with the exception of Hostels has been inspected by the Scottish Tourist Board and rated accordingly. It gets exceptionally busy during Easter and between May to September, so always book in advance to avoid disappointment. For further details on accommodation see Book your hotel in Edinburgh here

Local transport

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Taxi

There are a number of taxi ranks offering cheap rates available. Some useful numbers: Radiocabs 0131 225 9000 Central Radio 0131 229 2468 Capital 0131 228 2555 City 0131 228 1211

Other transport

Edinburgh is best seen on foot, allowing you to search every 'nook and cranny'. However bicycles are available for hire if you are willing, and able, to tackle some of the steep hills. Central Cycle (0131 228 6333) at Lochrin Place off Home Street, hires bikes for around £10 - £15 a day.

Special conditions

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Edinburgh gets busy, especially on a Friday and Saturday night with people out drinking so take the usual precautions, always keep your valuables with you and avoid unfamiliar areas and Calton Hill at night.
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