Edinburgh, the Scottish capital, is a magical, intriguing and romantic city that continues to fascinate artists and writers. It is so easy to fall in love with it, for a visit or for a lifetime. It must be said that there are some here for all tastes. Edinburgh has a thousand faces: that of the young night owl and the old bards in kilt, that of history set in marble and permanent innovation, that of defended traditions and openness to the world... But it is above all a capital of the festival, especially on the occasion of Hogmanay, a new year on... three days!
Edinburgh is a bit like a good whisky. The Scottish city is appreciated by taking its time, according to everyone's desires, sometimes with a drop of water, but always in good company. Intoxicating with beauty, it is a magical and endearing destination. Its clever mix of styles has earned it a double UNESCO classification: as a World Heritage Site and as a city of Literature. And if its inhabitants are so in love with it, they are lucky enough to have a medieval castle as a neighbour, a volcano in their garden and 22 pubs per square kilometre on the corner of the street
Sometimes you feel like you are in a small, warm village, often in a bustling capital and always more or less at home. Fans of architecture will delight in the contrast between New Town and Old Town, culture lovers will passionately explore the museums of fine art and gourmets will delight their taste buds with a wealth of local produce. As for the celebration, this is not an empty word. She is at home in traditional pubs, music bars, fancy clubs, as well as at popular events, such as the Fringe and the International Festival, in August. To be honest, she is an old lady, a little punk, who displays her age with elegance, and remains animated by the ardour of youth. She is an artist, novelist, actress, architect, virtuoso and even philosopher. In fact, as Robert Louis Stevenson wrote, "in a word and above all: it is a curiosity". And, at the end of the stay, no one will really want to leave...
An exceptional heritage
Edinburgh is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and offers a fabulous heritage, an exciting history and many rich and varied attractions. You can discover the turbulent past of the medieval castle. Built on an ancient extinct volcano, Edinburgh Castle is the heart of the Scottish capital. Like any medieval city, it developed at its feet. However, it is also worth visiting Holyrood Palace, the official residence of Her Majesty the Queen, when she is in Scotland. At the exact opposite of the castle, at the bottom of the Royal Mile, she spends a week there at the beginning of each summer to conduct receptions and ceremonies in the capital. The Museum of Scotland is also unmissable. It is a true Scottish Louvre, with 16 galleries, 8,000 objects and a complex whose architecture is both Victorian and ultra-modern.
Art is also present at the Scottish National Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery or the National Gallery of Modern Art. The Scottish capital is quite avant-garde in terms of modern and contemporary art. There are countless museums and galleries and many current artists find a welcoming place to exhibit their works. It is an ideal opportunity to learn a little about movements that are not always understood and to explore the full spectrum of complexity and different media. The National Gallery of Modern Art is an unmissable stopover. On two vast buildings and their gardens, we find Matisse, Braque, Picasso, Salvador Dalhi, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, but also the sculptures of Louise Bourgeois, Anthony Gromley, Barbara Hepworth or Henry Moore.
For more targeted and original tours, you can visit the Royal Yacht Britannia, the Real Mary King's Close, the Scotch Whisky Experience and the charming Dean Village. But if you are interested in nature, head for Holyrood Park, the Royal Botanic Garden and the famous Edinburgh Zoo. In any case, don't miss Calton Hill, to whom the city owes part of its title of Athens of the North, and where the panorama is breathtaking. Then it will be time to think about celebrating.
A festive destination
Because Scots have no lack of energy when it comes to going out and their capital city reflects this phenomenon well. The pubs come alive from the end of the afternoon and are only empty when they close, between 11pm and 1am. To start the evening, you can also choose a cocktail bar for a warm up, designed to take the pulse of the evening before joining the clubs.
On the music side, the repertoire is wide. We enjoy both excellent traditional concerts in the pub, as well as sharp DJ performances in the clubs. Some music bars also have rock and pop oriented programming; the opportunity to listen to good bands for free or almost free. Folk lovers can also try their hand at ceilidh, the national dance performed collectively that attracts both visitors and enthusiasts.
Exit locations are mainly concentrated between Old Town and New Town. The first is younger, more popular and more international, in a word: a little crazier. Its addresses are mainly located in Cowgate and its surroundings, in the small alleys and underground. The second is a little more sophisticated and chic, with a more classy audience around George Street, behind the Georgian facades.
In August, during the Festival, the nightlife in Edinburgh is at its height. It beats at an exceptionally dense rhythm, with later openings and squares remodelled as a place of celebration like George Square Garden. Theatres, restaurants, bars and even churches then host concerts and shows. On the Royal Mile, groups of musicians and street theatre perform continuously.
Hogmanay, one new year on... three days!
And, at the time of celebrating the New Year, as one evening is not enough, Edinburgh organizes three days of non-stop celebration each year between 30 December and 1 January. Hogmanay is therefore an unforgettable first of the year where the idea is to have fun with all those who wish to dress up, with concerts, fireworks, ceilidh and gatherings. An idea for an original and (very) festive New Year's Eve. Notice to party people!
When? When? You can go to Edinburgh all year round and on New Year's Eve for a memorable celebration from December 30 to January 1.
Getting there. France is very well connected to Edinburgh by plane, from Paris as well as other cities in the country. Flybe has links with Bergerac, Jet2.com with Chambery, Ryanair with Béziers, Bordeaux, Marseille and Poitiers, Easyjet with Grenoble, Lyon, Nice and Paris. Paris is also connected by Air France and Vueling.
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