Is Athens too hot for you? Do not worry, Edinburgh is considered as ‘the Athens of the North’ and offers a colder climate. Even though it is not the biggest city of Scotland, it is the capital. With about 500,000 inhabitants, it is the 7th most populous city in the United Kingdom and the biggest financial center after London.
Those of you who have visited the city might have noticed that it is quite hilly. That’s right! Edinburgh is built on seven hills. Some of them belong to my favorite places, let me tell you why:
- Calton Hill is located in the city center, just beyond the main boulevard – Princes Street. On its top are several ancient iconic monuments and buildings, for example the Nelson Monument, the City Observatory, or the National Monument. This place I like the most simply because you get a beautiful view of the whole city and it makes you feel like you’re in a different world.The hill and its monuments are picturesque and belong to the city’s UNESCO World Heritage Site. Many photographs, paintings, and postcards are taken of and from Calton Hill. If you walk around, you can see many things: from the Edinburgh Castle, the Arhur’s Seat, and the North Sea to the busy streets full of double deckers.
- Craiglockhart Hill is another of seven hills of Edinburgh. Craiglockhart Campus is one of three campuses of the Edinburgh Napier University and offers space for all business and law students. I have been studying there for 2 years and I am still not bored of its beautiful views of the city, which you can get just in front of the campus or from some lecture hall. With Edinburgh being a very windy city, and with a university on the top of the hill, do not bother with any hair style in the morning. You always end up with a ‘bird’s nest’ on your head anyway. In this city area, there is also the Craiglockhart Tennis Centre, which hosts large international tennis competitions. On the tennis court you can often spot the world’s number two in tennis – Andy Murray.
- The Meadows are the green lungs of Edinburgh and a large public park. They mainly consist of open grassland crossed by tree-lined paths, but it also has playgrounds, tennis courts, and a croquet club. It is the best place to have a picnic or barbeque with your friends. For the sport lovers it is an ideal place for running or playing football or rugby with your pals. I like this place the most in the spring, because all the trees are blossoming and the park is not as busy as in the summer. What to do after a hard day at university or work? Just grab a coffee from one of the local cafés, sit on the bench and read a book… that is Meadows.
(Picture: Author’s own)
- Victoria Street – I consider this street as one of the most picturesque streets in the whole city. It is a short street, but it is filled with beautiful tall buildings, stylish restaurants and cool shops. Edinburgh is also the right city for all Harry Potter fans: J.K. Rowling based Diagon Alley on Victoria Street, which is located only a few streets from The Elephant House, where she wrote most of the first Harry Potter book back in 1994.
Edinburgh is a beautiful city and my second home. It can offer you historical sightseeing, crazy weather and an international vibe. In August it also hosts the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, which is the world’s largest art festival with more than 2 million visitors every year. If you have not visited the city yet – definitely add it to your bucket list, you won’t regret it!