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null Reserve some time on your trip to see these top places: 
Edinburgh Castle | Edinburgh Zoo |National Mining Museum Scotland | Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh | The Edinburgh Dungeon |


Looking more like a film set than a city, Edinburgh is a picture postcard of Gothic and medieval streets that will impress even the most experienced traveller. Nicknamed the Athens of the North, Edinburgh is one of the most beautiful and atmospheric cities in Europe. It is certainly one of the most visited, seeing over a million tourists trampling its streets each year. They come for its snaking, medieval streets, Georgian architecture, popular festivals and the majestic Edinburgh Castle that has overlooked the city for centuries.

As the capital of Scotland, Edinburgh is full of things to see and do, from its scary age-old dungeons and submerged and forgotten medieval streets to art-filled galleries and royal palaces.

Edinburgh's Christmas There is so much for kids and adults in Edinburgh's Christmas, it's no wonder the event lasts over six weeks. Take to the sky for some cracking views from the Big Wheel, lose yourself for a while in the Christmas tree maze, explore Edinburgh's iconic buildings in 24 days of advent, do a spot (or a lot) of Christmas shopping at the market, glide gracefully across the ice at the skating rink in St Andrew Square, or just relax with a spiced hot chocolate and watch the world go by surrounded by fairy lights. www.edinburghschristmas.com

Edinburgh International Book Festival Edinburgh's comedy Fringe Festival may be world renowned, but there are plenty of other cultural happenings going on this August. Over 800 events are being put on by the Edinburgh International Book Festival, where novelists, poets, scientists, sportsmen, historians and many more writers will assemble. This year's line-up includes authors Zadie Smith, Paul Auster, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and David Mitchell.

Cheese fans don't need to go to the continent to savour the finest of cheeses. I.J. Mellis prides itself in offering the best of farmhouse cheeses, a far tastier alternative to the mass-produced factory versions from the supermarket. Try their tangy Isle of Mull Cheddar or brave one of their full-flavoured blue cheeses, such as their glorious stilton. www.mellischeese.net

Jupiter Artland Who'd have thought that the grounds of a 17th-century mansion, a few miles to the west of Edinburgh, would be a hub for contemporary sculpture? Take a trip to see the latest addition to the collection: the most ambitious, site-specific work by Pablo Bronstein. The artist has also been commissioned to create a live performance in response to the towering structural forms of his work, which will take place daily during the first week of August.

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