Edinburgh's historic centre is bisected by Princes Street Gardens, a broad swathe of parkland in the heart of the city.
Southwards of the gardens is the castle, perched on top of an extinct volcanic crag, and flanked by the medieval streets of the Old Town following the Royal Mile along the ridge to the east.
In the 1800s, the Industrial Revolution introduced the citizens of Edinburgh to new industries.
The population quadrupled, to a number almost equal to what it is today. As the decades passed, Edinburgh continued to transform into the thriving city it is today.
Watched over by the imposing castle, the symbol of the city, Edinburgh combines medieval relics, Georgian grandeur and a powerful layer of modern life with contemporary avant-garde.
In Edinburgh, medieval palaces rub shoulders with the best of modern architecture, Gothic churches with amazing museums and galleries.
Scotland's throbbing night-life centre, Edinburgh, "the Athens of the North", is also a feast for the mind and the senses, playing host to great restaurants, shops and an unequaled programme of city festivals throughout the year.
Hogmanay, the Scottish New Year, kicks off the festivities, which culminate in the high summer with the Tattoo, the International and the Fringe, amongst many others.
Further out is Edinburgh's Outdoor Playground of the Pentland Hills, and the intriguing Roslin Chapel.
Edinburgh is on the west coast of Scotland's east Lowlands, situated on the southern shore of the Firth of Forth.
Archeological findings indicate that humans lived in the area as early as 8500 BC, approximately 5,000 years before the Bronze Age. In the seventh century, the English invaded and named it “Eiden’s Burgh.” “Burgh” being a word for fort.
A few centuries later, the Scots reclaimed their land and a castle was built.
A small town sprang up, and by the 12th century, Edinburgh had become a thriving community.