Scotland's capital since the 15th century, this remarkable and beautiful city on the east coast is not only a much prized and loved part of the United Kingdom, but it is one of Europe's most visited places.
There is no doubt that the city's appeal has a lot to do with its wonderful historic architecture. Its listed buildings number above 4,000 and amongst these are quite a few which can be traced back to the end of the Middle Ages and the Reformation era. Old Town is invested with an extra degree of quaint charm since it retains its original layout from the Middle Ages, offering up some wonderful buildings.
New Town may sound as if it stands as a contemporary contrast to Old Town, though it too possesses a wealth of history and beauty. Dating from the 18th century, it was developed to expand the city and afford accommodations.
While its foundations are far from modern, it stands in contrast to Old Town's medieval heritage in that it was designed during the period of Enlightenment, a worldwide movement of which Scotland's capital was at the centre.
Both towns together manage to contain two periods of history which have allowed the city to become the great place it is today. With its steep hills and winding streets, the local topography greatly contributes to its attractiveness. Perhaps it is a combination of all these factors which make it one of Europe's most coveted destinations.
Where there is such a distillation of beauty and history, there is always a reverence for quality of life, just one of the reasons why the city is the natural home of such renowned events the Festival period which is made of smaller festivals, including the legendary Tattoo with its powerful pipers. It is a city of festivals and celebrations. Even during those times of year which are comparatively quiet, there is always something on the go. Included are the Fringe, Book and Comedy Festivals, making it a mecca for theatre goers and art lovers of every variety.
Edinburgh Bed and Breakfasts are among the best and those who visit them can expect a stay invested with the spirit of the city. It is a rare treat to be able to situate yourself in the heart of the city, with the wealth of local pleasure and leisure pursuits right on the doorstep, all the while being watched over by the magnificent castle which looms like a wise old giant from the hill.
While not all Edinburgh Bed and Breakfasts have been furnished to reflect the period features of the properties in which many are located, those which have opted for a modern touch almost all have done so with an idea to creating a rich aesthetic. An aesthetic which speak of a contemporary artistic talent to marry the traditional with the modern and those looking to experience the contrasts between the old and new will not be disappointed.
Art and artists have long been associated with the city and Edinburgh Bed and Breakfasts have quite a formidable aesthetic heritage to aspire to. From the unmatched splendour of staying in a beautifully maintained Georgian town house, replete with antiques and furnishings which perfectly conjure images of the past, to those just outside of the city itself, offering rustic accommodations in typically beautiful local countryside, there are special places for every kind of visit, need and personal preference.
Whether staying in an intimate and cosy family-run Edinburgh Bed and Breakfast, ensconced in more luxurious apartment-style lodgings in the city centre, or have chosen one of the lovely local hotels, all will have a wealth of information about the sights and activities. If you're visiting during the Festival or are planning to experience the long festivities which surround Europe's biggest Hogmanay celebration, then many Edinburgh Bed and Breakfasts offer deals over the period.
Most will require a minimum stay of two or three nights, but they are one of the best ways to experience the city at its brightest without digging into entertainments funds. Funds which can will certainly not go to waste.
During the day there are the historic sights to see, the museums and galleries to visit, perhaps a quick ale in a quaint pub which has been the haunt of famous writers and rubious old scholars for a dog's age. The local Edinburgh Zoo is widely known for being Britain's best and is certainly worth a visit with the kids, as is the Dynamic Earth attraction, filled with fun and facts to amuse and inform the young and curious.
Of course, this is Scotland at it most beautiful and as such there are golf courses in abundance in every direction, but there is no need to venture further than the Princes Street Gardens to while away an afternoon.
Few pleasures can compare to a gentle day in the gardens with a few tasty morsels from one or two of the specialist food shops which stock everything from prize local cheeses and cured sausages to excellent wines. At night, the city transfigures into a hive of lights and buzz. This is the time for eating, drinking and maybe catching a show, some good music or some stand-up comedy.
From a romantic trip to a city which lends itself to leisure and love, to a family vacation where every day yields a host of unexpected delights, to a wild New Year weekend or a deliberate dash to catch some innovative theatre, Edinburgh Bed and Breakfasts are the perfect place to base yourself to get the most out of your trip and the city itself.