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City Art Centre
City Art Centre, 2 Market Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1DE
Admission Free

Dynamic Earth
Holyrood Rd.
Apr-Oct daily 10am-6pm; Nov-Mar Wed-Sun 10am-5pm
Bus: 1 or 6
Admission charged
About a decade ago, a beer distributor donated its Edinburgh brewery to the city with the provision it be used for a permanent attraction with educational benefits for the community at large. The result is a stone amphitheater capped by a translucent tent. An interconnected series of galleries celebrate the natural diversity of the physical earth, with emphasis on the seismological and biological processes that led to the physical world we know today.

Edinburgh Castle
Castlehill, at the western end of the Royal Mile
Apr-Sept daily 9:30am-5:15pm; Oct-Mar daily 9:30am-4:15pm
Admission charged
No place in Scotland is filled with as much history, legend, and lore as Edinburgh Castle, one of the highlights of a visit to Edinburgh. It is believed the ancient city grew up on the seat of a dead volcano, Castle Rock. The early history is vague, though it's known that in the 11th century Malcolm III (Canmore) and his Saxon queen, later venerated as St. Margaret, founded a castle on this spot. The only fragment left of their castle is St. Margaret's Chapel, built in the Norman style, an oblong structure dating from the 12th century.

Edinburgh Zoo
134 Corstorphine Rd.
Apr-Sept daily 9am-6pm; Oct and Mar Mon-Sat 9am-4:30pm, Sun 9:30am-5; Nov-Feb Mon-Sat 9am-4:30pm
Bus: 2, 26, 69, 85, or 86
Admission charged.
This zoo is Scotland's largest animal collection, 10 minutes from Edinburgh's city center on 80 acres of hillside parkland offering unrivaled views from the Pentlands to the Firth of Forth. It contains more than 1,500 animals, including many endangered species: snow leopards, white rhinos, pygmy hippos, and many more. The zoo contains the largest penguin colony in Europe, with four species, plus the world's largest penguin enclosure. April to September: a penguin parade is held daily at 2pm.

Georgian House
7 Charlotte Sq
Apr-Oct Mon-Sat 10am-4:30pm, Sun 2-4:30pm
Bus: 2, 12, 26, or 31
Admission charged
Architecturally, the most interesting district of New Town is the north side of Charlotte Square, designed by Robert Adam. Together with his brother, James, he developed a symmetrical but airy style with an elegant reworking of Greek and Roman classical motifs. Their influence was widespread in Britain and America, especially in the U.S. South. Georgian House has been refurbished and opened to the public by Scotland's National Trust. The furniture in this Adam house is mainly Hepplewhite, Chippendale, and Sheraton, all from the 18th century. In a ground-floor bedroom is a sturdy old four-poster with an original 18th-century canopy. The dining-room table is set with fine Wedgwood china and the kitchen stocked with gleaming copper pots and pans.

Gladstone's Land
477B Lawnmarket
Apr-Oct Mon-Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 2-5pm
Admission charged
This 17th-century merchant's house is furnished and kept in its original style. On the ground floor is a reconstructed shop booth displaying replicas of goods of the period, and an upstairs four-room apartment is furnished as it might have been in the 17th century. It is one of the stops as one walks along the Royal Mile. the house makes clear the crowded living conditions, even for those who were reasonably well off, before the construction of the New Town.

Grassmarket is one of Edinburgh's nightlife centers, with numerous restaurants and pubs. An open area hedged by tall tenements and dominated by the castle, it can be approached from George IV Bridge, via Victoria St, an unusual two-tiered street clinging to the ridge below the Royal Mile. There are also some excellent shops in the area. The site of a market from at least 1477 to the start of the 20th century, Grassmarket was always the focal point for the Old Town. This was the main place for executions and over 100 hanged Covenanters are commemorated with a cross at the east end. The notorious murderers Burke and Hare operated from a close off the west end. Around 1827 they lured at least 18 victims there, suffocated them and sold the bodies to Edinburgh's medical schools. Leading off from the southeast corner, Candlemaker Row climbs back up to the George IV Bridge and Chambers St with the Royal Museum of Scotland and the University of Edinburgh's Old College.

Greyfriars Presbyterian Kirk (Church) & Kirkyard
Near the south end of George IV Bridge, at the junction with Candlemaker Row. It is directly opposite the new Museum of Scotland and the Royal Museum of Scotland. It is on bus routes 2/12, 23, 24, 27, 28-29, 40-42 and 45-47 and tour buses.
The church is open to visitors April-October, Monday-Friday, 10.30-4.30, Saturday 10.30-2.30. From November-March, Thursdays 1.30-3.30 and at other times by arrangement with the Visitors Officer.
Visitors are welcome at all services. Many visitors may be interested in the Gaelic services held at 12.30 pm on Sundays - the only weekly Gaelic worship in southeast Scotland.
more info

At the bottom of a stone canyon made up of tenements, churches, volcanic cliffs and the castle, Greyfriars Kirkyard is a peaceful oasis dotted with memorials and surrounded by Edinburgh's dramatic skyline. The kirk (church) was built on the site of a Franciscan friary and opened for worship on Christmas Day 1620. In 1638, the National Covenant was signed inside near the pulpit. The covenant rejected Charles I's attempts to reintroduce episcopacy and a new English prayer book, and affirmed the independence of the Scottish church. Many who signed were later executed in Grassmarket and, in 1679, 1200 Covenanters were held prisoner in terrible conditions in an enclosure in the yard. There's a small exhibition inside.

High Kirk of St. Giles
High St.
Easter-Sept Mon-Fri 9am-7pm, Sat 9am-5pm, Sun 1-5pm; October-Easter Mon-Sat 9am-5pm, Sun 1-5pm. Sun services at 8, 10 and 11:30am and 6 and 8pm
Free Admission, but donation suggested
A group of cathedral guides is available at all times to conduct tours.
Built in 1120, and a short walk downhill from Edinburgh Castle, this church is one of the most important architectural landmarks along the Royal Mile. It combines a stone exterior with surprisingly graceful and delicate flying buttresses. One of its outstanding features is its Thistle Chapel, housing beautiful stalls and notable heraldic stained-glass windows. A particularly severe period in its history occurred between 1560 and 1572, when John Knox, the strict leader of the Reformation in Scotland, was its minister.

Holyrood Park
Edinburgh is blessed in having a real wilderness on its doorstep. The former hunting grounds of Scottish monarchs, it covers 1 sq mile of varied landscape, including hills, moorland, lochs and fields. The highest point is Arthur's Seat 823ft. high. This is an eroded stump of lava flow that erupted around 325 million years ago. It forms part of a volcano that includes Calton Hill and Castle Rock. The park can be circled along Queen's Drive by car or bicycle. There are several excellent walks within it.

Huntly House
142 Canongate
Mon-Sat 10am-5pm; during the Edinburgh Festival, also Sun 2-5pm
Bus: 1
Free Admission
Across from the Canongate Tolbooth is this fine example of a restored 16th-century mansion, whose builders preferred a bulky, relatively simple design that suited its role as a secular, rather than an ecclesiastical, building. Today, it functions as Edinburgh's principal museum of local history. The interior contains faithfully crafted reproductions of rooms inspired by the city's traditional industries, including exhibits devoted to glass molding, pottery, wool processing, and cabinetry, with a focus on the struggles of the workers who labored within.

John Knox House
43-45 High St.
Mon-Sat 9:45am-4:30pm
Admission charged
John Knox is the reformer who founded the Scottish Presbyterian church. His late 15th-century house, with its timbered gallery, is characteristic of the properties that used to line the Royal Mile. The Oak Room has a frescoed ceiling and contains Knox family memorabilia.

Lincoln Monument
This monument was erected in 1893. It was dedicated to the thousands of American soldiers of Scottish descent who lost their lives in America's Civil War.

National Gallery of Modern Art
Belford Rd.
Mon-Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 2-5pm
Free Admission, except for some temporary exhibits.
Bus: 13 stops by the gallery but is infrequent; nos. 18, 20, and 41 pass along Queensferry Rd., a 5-minute walk up Queensferry Terrace and Belford Rd. from the gallery.
In 1984, Scotland's national collection of 20th-century art moved into a gallery converted from an 1828 school set in 12 acres of grounds a 15-minute walk from the west end of Princes Street. The collection is international in scope and quality though modest in size. Major sculptures outside include pieces by Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth. Inside the collection ranges from works of cubist Braque and Picasso to recent works by Paolozzi. English and Scottish art is strongly represented. Works of artists from Europe and America, notably Matisse, Mir, Kirchner, Kokoschka, Ernst, Ben Nicholson, Nevelson, Balthus, Lichtenstein, Kitaj, and Hockney are displayed. Prints are also exhibited.

National Gallery of Scotland
2 The Mound
Mon-Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 2-5pm; during the Edinburgh Festival, Mon-Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 11am-6pm
Bus: 3, 21, or 26
Free Admission
In the center of Princes Street Gardens, this gallery is small, but the collection was chosen with great care and has been expanded considerably by bequests, gifts, and loans. A recent major acquisition was Giulio Romano's Vièrge à La Légende. Other important Italian paintings are Verrocchio's Ruskin Madonna, Andrea del Sarto's Portrait of a Man, Domenichino's Adoration of the Shepherds, and Tiepolo's Finding of Moses. There are also works by El Greco and Velàzquez.

National Museum of Scotland (NMS)
Chambers St.
Mon and Wed-Sat 10am-5pm, Tues 10am-8pm, Sun noon-5pm
Walk south from Waverley Station for 10 min. to reach Chambers St. or take bus no. 3, 7, 21, 30, 31, 53, 69, or 80.
Admission charged ; but free for children under 18; supplement for some temporary exhibits
After being housed in several locations during the 1990s, the long-established Royal Scottish Museum and the National Museum of Antiquities were united in a single headquarters early in 1998. The resulting National Museum of Scotland, occupies an 1861 building near the Royal Mile that has been upgraded and enlarged with a postmodern wing. Displays include Scotland's most impressive collection of decorative arts, ethnography, natural history, geology, archaeology, technology, and science.

National Portrait Gallery
National Portrait Gallery, 1 Queen Street, Edinburgh, EH2 1JD
0131 /624 -6200
Free Admission

Outlook Tower and Camera Obscura
Apr-Oct Mon-Fri 9:30am-6pm, Sat-Sun 10am-6pm; July to 7:30pm and Aug to 7pm; Nov-Mar daily 10am-5pm
Admission charged
This 1853 periscope at the top of the Outlook Tower throws a revolving image of nearby streets and buildings onto a circular table. Trained guides point out the landmarks and talk about Edinburgh's fascinating history. In addition, there are several entertaining exhibits, all with an optical theme, as well as a well-stocked shop selling books, crafts, and CDs.

Palace of Holyrood House
Canongate, at the eastern end of the Royal Mile
Daily 9:30am-4:45pm, Sun 10:30am-4:40pm
Closed the last 2 weeks in May and 3 weeks in late June and early July (dates vary)
Admission charged
Early in the 16th century, this palace was built by James IV adjacent to an Augustinian abbey David I had established in the 12th century. The nave of the abbey church, now in ruins, still remains, but only the north tower of James's palace is left. Most of what is seen was built by Charles II after Scotland and England were united in the 17th century. The palace suffered long periods of neglect. It had a brief moment of recognition in the mid-18th century when Bonnie Prince Charlie spearheaded a failed effort to unite all of the Scottish clans in their struggle against the English.

Princes Street Gardens
As the New Town grew, the city leaders decided to turn the area below Edinburgh Castle into the Princes Street Gardens, now one of the city's most beautiful spots. The gardens' chief landmark is the Scott Monument, though many find the summer flowers an even bigger attraction.

Royal Botanic Garden
At the Royal Botanic Garden, Inverleith Row
Daily: April - August 9:30am to 7pm, March and September 9:30am to 6pm, February and October 9:30am to 5pm, and November to January 9:30am to 4pm.
Admission charged is by voluntary donation.
The main areas of interest are the Exhibition Hall, Alpine House, Demonstration Garden, annual and herbaceous borders (summer only), copse, Woodland Garden, Wild Garden, Arboretum, Peat Garden, Rock Garden, Heath Garden, and Pond.

Royal Observatory Visitor Centre
Blackford Hill
Mon-Fri 10am-5pm, Sat-Sun noon-5pm Bus: 40 or 41
Admission charged; free for children 4 and under
This center in a public park on Edinburgh's south side exhibits feature images of astronomical objects, Scotland's largest telescope, and antique instruments. An exhibit called "The Universe" uses photographs, videos, computers, and models to take you on a cosmic whirlwind tour from the beginning of time to the farthest depths of space in a couple of hours. The balcony affords a panoramic view of the city, and the astronomy shop is well stocked.

Royal Museum of Scotland and The adjacent Museum of Scotland
0131 225 7534
Chambers Street
Bus 7,14,28,45
Wed-Sat and Mon. 10-5; Tues. 10-8; Sun. 12-5
Admission charged. Free Tues. 4:30-8
The Royal Museum of Scotland, on Chambers St, is a Victorian building whose grey, solid exterior contrasts with its large, bright, galleried entrance hall of slim wrought-iron columns and glass roof. The museum houses an eclectic, comprehensive series of exhibitions. These range from the natural world (evolution, mammals, geology, fossils) to scientific and industrial technological development - with one section featuring the world's oldest steam locomotive, Wylam Dilly (1813). There are also exhibits dedicated to the presentation of decorative arts of ancient Egypt, Islam, China, Japan, Korea and the west.

Royal Scottish Academy
The Mound, Edinburgh, EH2 2EL.
Tel: 0141 248 7411
Fax: 0141 221 0417
Admission charged
This lovely classical building was designed by William Playfair in 1822. The Academy, founded in 1826, is based on London's Royal Academy and has both Academicians and Associates. It is in the forefront of art promotion in Scotland. It holds two exhibitions annually: a Students Art Exhibition and the Annual Exhibition. The Academy also leases the facilities to other art organizations such as the Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour and the Society of Scottish Artists, who stage their shows in its spacious galleries. It is also an important Festival venue.

University of Edinburgh
University of Edinburgh Centre
7-11 Nicholson Street
0131 650 2252
Mon-Fri. 9-5
Bus 3,7,21,36
Free Admission
The University of Edinburgh is one of Britain's oldest, biggest and best universities. Founded in 1583, it now has around 17,000 undergraduates. The students make a major contribution to the lively atmosphere of Grassmarket, Cowgate, and the nearby restaurants and pubs. The university covers some distance, but the center is the Old College (also called Old Quad), at the junction of South Bridge and Chambers St, a Robert Adam masterpiece designed in 1789, but not completed until 1834.

Scotch Whisky Heritage Centre
354 Castlehill
Admission charged
Daily 10am-5pm; children 4 and under free
This center is privately funded by a conglomerate of Scotland's biggest distillers. It highlights the economic effect of whisky on both Scotland and the world and illuminates the centuries-old traditions associated with whisky making, showing the science and art of distilling. You get to see a 7-minute audiovisual show and ride an electric car past 13 sets showing historic moments in the whisky industry. For an extra charge, you can sample two whiskies during the tour. A tour entitling you to sample five whiskies and take away a miniature bottle is L18 ($29.70) per person.

Scott Monument
In the East Princes St. Gardens
Mar-May and Oct Mon-Sat 9am-6pm, Sun 10am-6pm; June-Sept Mon-Sat 9am-8pm, Sun 10am-6pm; Nov-Feb Mon-Sat 9am-4pm, Sun 10am-4pm
Bus: 1 or 6
Admission charged
Looking more like a church spire than a monument to a writer, the Gothic-inspired Scott Monument is Edinburgh's most famous landmark, completed in the mid-19th century. In the center of the 200+ foot spire is a large seated statue of Sir Walter Scott and his dog, Maida, with Scott's heroes carved as small figures in the monument. You can climb 287 steps to the top for a spectacular view.

Scottish National Portrait Gallery
1 Queen St.
Mon-Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 2-5pm Bus: 18, 20, or 41
Free Admission , except for some temporary exhibits
Housed in a red-stone Victorian Gothic building by Rowand Anderson, this portrait gallery provides an opportunity to see what the famous people of Scottish history looked like. The portraits, several by Ramsay and Raeburn, include notables from Mary Queen of Scots to Flora Macdonald and Sean Connery.

Sir Jules Thorn Exhibition of the History of Surgery / Dental Museum
9 Hill Sq.
Mon-Fri 2-4pm
Bus: 31 or 33
Free Admission
Edinburgh's rich medical history and associations make the Exhibition of the History of Surgery well worth a visit. On the upper floors of a 19th-century town house tucked away in a square, you can chart the development of surgery from 1505 to the 21st century. The exhibits, well presented though sometimes macabre, include such items as a pocketbook made from the skin of the notorious body snatcher William Burke.

The People's Story
163 Canongate
Mon-Sat 10am-5pm (Aug also Sun 2-5pm) Bus 1
Free Admission
This exhibit is reached by walking downhill along Canongate toward Holyroodhouse Canongate Tolbooth was once the courthouse, prison, and center of municipal affairs for the burgh of Canongate. Now it contains a museum called The People's Story, celebrating the social history of the inhabitants of Edinburgh from the late 18th century to the present, with much emphasis on the cultural displacements of the Industrial Revolution.

Writers' Museum
In Lady Stair's House, off Lawnmarket
Mon-Sat 10am-5pm
Admission free
This 1622 house takes its name from a former owner, Elizabeth, the dowager countess of Stair. Today, it contains a treasure trove of portraits, relics, and manuscripts relating to three of Scotland's greatest men of letters: Robert Burns (1759-96), Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832), and Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-94). The Burns collection includes his writing desk, rare manuscripts, portraits, and many other items. Also on display are some of Sir Walter Scott's possessions, including his pipe, chess set, and original manuscripts. The museum holds one of the most significant Stevenson collections anywhere, including personal belongings, paintings, photographs, and early editions.

Gardens & Open Space:

Royal Botanic Garden
Inverleith Row
Admission charged is by voluntary donation.
Daily, April to August 9:30am to 7pm, March and September 9:30am to 6pm, February and October 9:30am to 5pm, and November to January 9:30am to 4pm.
The main areas of interest are the Exhibition Hall, Alpine House, Demonstration Garden, annual and herbaceous borders (summer only), copse, Woodland Garden, Wild Garden, Arboretum, Peat Garden, Rock Garden, Heath Garden, and Pond.

As the New Town grew, the city fathers decided to turn the area below Edinburgh Castle into the:

Princes Street Gardens
Now one of the city's main beauty spots. The summer flowers and lovely pathways are the attractions that bring visitors to the gardens.

Attractions Outside of Edinburgh:

Dunbar is a holiday resort and small fishing port on the east coast, 30miles from Edinburgh. It was the site of two important battles, both resulting in Scottish losses. Edward I invaded in 1296 and General Monck defeated a larger Scots army in 1650, facilitating Cromwell's entry into Edinburgh. John Muir (1838-1914), pioneer conservationist and 'father' of the US national park service, was born here.

John Muir House
The man's childhood home, has a small exhibition and audio-visual display on his life. A more adventurous option in the area is offshore diving to sites like Johnson's Hole or Old Harbour reef.

Haddington, straddling the River Tyne 18mi east of Edinburgh, dates back to the 12th century when it was made a royal burgh by David I. Most of the modern town, however, was built between the 17th and 19th century during the period of great prosperity that resulted from the Agricultural Revolution. It's still a prosperous market town and the administrative centre for East Lothian.

Gifford, a picturesque village 4mi south of Haddington, dates from the 17th century. By the 19th century it looked as it does now. Looking down on Main St is Yester Parish Church in which there's a memorial to John Witherspoon, one of the signatories to the American Declaration of Independence, who was born in the village. The slopes of the Lammermuir Hills begin south of Gifford, where several walking trails begin. You can pick up a snack for your walk from The Little Bread Shop, a small bakery near the river, where the women serve dressed in period costume.

Glasgow is Scotland's largest city, and is located a little less than 50 miles from Edinburgh. Springing back to renewed life forty years ago, it is a dynamic, thriving metropolis with superbly preserved 19th century architecture. Glasgow is filled with designer shops, restaurants, and museums, and is known for its beauty and dynamism.

Borders Region
If you head south from Edinburgh, you'll find the lovely Tweed Valley - rolling hills, forests, castles, ruined abbeys and sheltered towns of the Borders that have a romance and beauty of their own. This is excellent cycling and walking country. Although parts, especially to the west, are wild and empty, the fertile valley of the River Tweed has been a wealthy region for 1000 years. The population was largely concentrated in a small number of burghs (towns, from 'burh,' meaning a defensive ring of forts), which also supported large and wealthy monastic communities. These provided an irresistible magnet during the border wars, and they were destroyed and rebuilt numerous times. The monasteries met their final fiery end in the mid-16th century, burnt by the English yet again, but this time English fire combined with the Scottish Reformation and they were never again rebuilt. The towns thrived once peace arrived and the traditional weavers provided the foundation for a major textile industry, which still survives.

Arts and Entertainment:

Scottish Chamber Orchestra
(Dance, Music and Theatre)
Usher Hall, Lothian Road, Edinburgh, EH1 2EA
0131 228 1155
Usher Hall
Admission charged

Playhouse Theatre
Edinburgh's largest theater, the 3,100-seat Playhouse Theatre, 18-22 Greenside Place Bus: 7, 14, was built in 1929.

Queen's Hall
The Queen's Hall, Clerk Street (0131/668-2019; Bus: 3, 33, 31), is home to the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and a major venue for the Edinburgh Festival...

King's Theatre
2 Leven Street, Edinburgh, EH3 9LQ
Tel: 0131 529 6000
Fax: 0131 662 1199
Bus: 10, 11), presents a wide repertoire of classical entertainment.
more info

Edinburgh Folk Club
In addition to pubs that sometimes feature folk music, the Edinburgh Folk Club offers Wednesday performances at changing venues from September to June.

Festival Theatre
0131/662-1112 for administration
Opened in 1994 on the eastern edge of Edinburgh, near the old campus of the university, the Festival Theatre, 13-29 Nicolson St. (0131/662-1112)

Queen's Hall
Clerk Street
Edinburgh, EH8 9JG
Tel: 0131 668 2019
Fax: 0131 668 2656

Open Eye Gallery
5-79 Cumberland Street, Edinburgh, EH3 6RD
Tel: 0131 557 1020
Fax: 0131 557 1020
more info

The Dean Gallery
Belford Road, Edinburgh, EH4 3DR
0131 624 6200

Motherwell Theatre
Civic Centre
Windmillhill Street, Motherwell, ML1 1TW
Tel: 01698 267515
Fax: 01698 268806

Royal Lyceum Theatre
Grindlay Street, Edinburgh, EH3 9AX
Tel: 0131 248 4848
Fax: 0131 228 3955
The highly respected resident company of the Royal Lyceum Theatre, Grindlay Street Bus: 11, 15


3 Rose St., New Town
Bus: 3, 31, 33
An ever-changing selection of five real ales, bar lunches, and Victorian atmosphere.

Bow Bar
Near Edinburgh Castle
80 West Bow
Bus: 2, 12

Cask And Barrel
115 Broughton St., New Town
Is a busy pub in which to sample hand-pulled ales at the horseshoe bar, reflected in a collection of brewery mirrors.

26 Brougham St.
Tollcross, West End
Is a West End pub specializing in real ales, malt whiskies, and good food, all at reasonable prices.

Café Royal Circle Bar
17 W. Register St.
Bus: 3, 31, 33
Edinburgh's most famous pub.

Carlton Highland Hotel
Bus: 3, 31, 33
Some hotels regularly feature traditional Scottish music. You can check with the Carlton Highland Hotel on North Bridge