The Athens of the North: Edinburgh and why visiting Scotland’s capital is a must-do this Summer

If you ask people from all over the world what they know or think of about Edinburgh, they will most likely say ‘its beautiful’, or ‘I’ve heard that its beautiful’. Its one of those places that, if you have never actually been, there is no way of truly understanding the gothic architecture, the mysterious atmosphere or the classy yet haunted vibe of the city. Described as the ‘Athens of the North’ by Europeans who have visited both cities, the ancient architecture is just a small piece of a complex city-scape that is a meshing of old and new.

The old town towers over the new town, boasting the old Royal Mile and the usual tourist shops selling kilts, whiskey and shortbread. But a whole day can be spent on this one street- performers and artists frequently inhabit this area putting on shows, shops offer whiskey and shortbread tastings, bars like The Tron and various pubs offer respite from the inevitable rain, and at the top Edinburgh Castle overlooks both sides of the city, old and new. The nightlife is a mix of grime, class and cheese, with the most trendy clubs on George Street and the underground scene located, well, literally bellow the city’s ground level in the old town’s Cowgate. The Three Sisters pub is a must-do, with its Harry Potter-esque feel and buzzing atmosphere.

Of course, there is also the Fringe. If you haven’t before, book to travel to Edinburgh with friends for a week and see as many shows as you can. Comedy, cabaret, cirque, dance, opera, theatre, classical music and live bands make for a thrilling experience. Shows prices range from expensive to free- the Free Fringe offers shows at no coast at all, you just have to know what you’re into. Most shows are in the £10-£30 range, and are well worth it too. This city is proof you don’t need glaring sunshine to enjoy the summer.