A panoramic view of Edinburgh with the Castle, Parliament and Holyrood Palace in view.

Stepping off the train at Waverley Station and emerging blinking into the sunshine of Scotland's capital city is a moment you will long remember: you stand in a valley, the Castle and the medieval Old Town towering over you on one side of the station and Princes Street and the Georgian splendour of the New Town on the other.

Packed with history, Edinburgh, also known as Auld Reekie and the Athens of the North, was founded in the 7th century and is so old that streets have been built on top of older streets from medieval times with over 4,500 listed buildings in the city. Ghost stories are rife and visitors can take a tour into the vaulted chambers below the Royal Mile, purportedly one of the most haunted places in Britain.

A haven of the arts, Edinburgh hosts a range of world famous festivals and events including the Edinburgh International Festival, the Edinburgh Fringe, the Edinburgh International Film Festival, the Edinburgh International Book Festival, the Hogmanay Street party, the Edinburgh Military Tattoo and the Edinburgh Science Festival to name a few. With events happening throughout the year, the city is a delight for visitors. Galleries, museums and parks abound for anyone left without something to do and the city is considered one of the most picturesque in Europe.

Step outside the city into the lush Lothian countryside and you enter a sweeping green landscape filled with castles, country houses and ancient battlefields, a reminder of Scotland's rich past. The primary attraction can be found in the otherwise unremarkable village of Roslin, some 7 miles south of Edinburgh city centre. Here you'll find the mysterious, richly decorated late-Gothic Rosslyn Chapel, which featured prominently In the blockbuster film and book, 'The Da Vinci Code'.

Visit Scotland: Plan your trip to Edinburgh and beyond

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