About Edinburgh

With over sixty galleries, six major performing art theatres and a host of wide-ranging visitor attractions, there really is something for everyone in this vibrant and culturally-diverse city. Art, music, architecture, theatre, history, crafts… all aspects of cultural life are here!

Delegates can take advantage of the Edinburgh Pass, offering entry to many of the city’s most exciting attractions and exclusive offers from some of Edinburgh’s top retail and leisure operators, as well as complimentary bus travel in the city centre. The Old and New Towns of Edinburgh are designated as UNESCO World Heritage sites. Visitors can take an informative guided bus tour around the city or, if time allows, enjoy exploring it on foot, discovering the winding alleyways of the medieval city and the spacious crescents and terraces of the Georgian New Town. Delegates can visit the royal yacht Britannia or a historic house. For more informal fun, they can unwind with Scottish fiddle music and lively dancing in a traditional pub in the Old Town.


Shopping in Edinburgh is a wonderfully eclectic experience. Delegates can wander through the Old Town and explore the curiosity shops tucked away in quiet hidden wynds and closes – where they’ll maybe find their family tartan, luxurious cashmere or some beautiful Celtic jewellery. They can stroll along George Street for stylish boutiques and designer labels and visit the internationally renowned department store, Jenners, on Princes Street or the upmarket and stylish Harvey Nichols around the corner in St Andrew Square.

Eating Out

Edinburgh has more restaurants per head of population than anywhere else in Britain. Delegates may choose anything from African and American, Italian and Indian, Mexican and Mongolian, Thai and Turkish to, of course, traditional and modern Scottish food using the best local produce from Scotland’s natural larder – smoked salmon, venison, Scottish beef, seafood, cheeses, oatcakes and soft fruits are particularly popular!

Haste Ye Back!

With such a unique blend of traditional and modern it is not surprising that recent delegate research found that over 60% of delegates who visit the city on business intend to return as a leisure visitor within two or three years. Not only is there so much to explore and experience in Edinburgh, it also acts as the gateway to the rest of Scotland’s breathtakingly beautiful countryside.

10 things you probably didn’t know about Edinburgh

  1. Sunshine on Leith

Don’t listen to clichés about Scottish weather. With less rainfall than Rome, Frankfurt or New York, your chances of enjoying a crisp, clear day in Scotland’s capital city are good.

  1. Half Hangit Maggie

Edinburgh even has ghost stories without ghosts! Maggie Dickson was executed for concealing the death of her child in 1724. But on the way to be buried she sat straight up in her casket and it was decided that being already officially dead, she couldn’t be hanged again. She went free and lived for another 30 years. A pub bearing her name can be found in the Grassmarket.

  1. Spit on the Heart

Outside St. Giles Cathedral is the Heart of Midlothian, which marks the spot of an old public execution site. Local folklore says that to spit on the heart brings good luck.

  1. Crowded House

The wonder of Edinburgh’s festivals is well known. But did you realise that the city’s population doubles over the month of August to over 1 million?

  1. Name that city

As well as ‘Athens of the North’, Edinburgh has earned itself a few other nicknames over the years. The most famous is ‘Auld Reekie’, which translated from Scots means ‘Old Smoky’, a reference to the dense chimney smoke caused by industrialisation and closely built houses. Now, the air is fresh and clear and an abundance of parks means Edinburgh is surprisingly lush. Visit the secret city-centre oasis Dunbar’s Close, hidden just off of the Royal Mile.

  1. Biscuit brainchilds

Dolly the Sheep, chequebooks, even the rules of golf – Edinburgh is a hotbed of invention. A lesser known – but no less loved – discovery that the city can also lay claim to is the humble digestive biscuit, created by bakers McVitie and Price in 1892.

  1. Say cheese

A recent survey found Edinburgh Castle is Scotland’s most popular spot for a selfie. Ranked in the top 40 of world wide selfie hot spots, Edinburgh Castle was just behind the likes of the Eiffel Tower, Sydney Opera House and Empire State Building.

  1. Write here

As the first UNESCO City of Literature, there’s many a story to tell, none better than the fact that JK Rowling both started and finished the Harry Potter series in Edinburgh. The final lines were penned in room 552 of the Balmoral Hotel.

  1. Site for sore eyes

When walking through the city, from New Town to Old, take a look at the city’s stunning architecture. All of Edinburgh’s city centre is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

  1. Cultural hub

Home to over sixty galleries and six major performing art theatres – the jewel in the crown being the Edinburgh Playhouse Theatre. The UK’s largest theatre it’s played host to many world’s most successful musicals and some legendary bands and artists, including Bob Dylan, The Who and Johnny Cash.

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