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Edinburgh Events

17 reasons to visit Edinburgh in 2017

Hi Tod from Edinburgh town house

The New Year is here and the people of Edinburgh are incredibly excited about what 2017 will bring. From world-famous festivals to iconic celebrations and blockbuster film releases, there are lots of reasons to come and join us in Scotland’s Capital over the next 12 months. Read on to discover why you should pay Edinburgh a visit in 2017:

1. Outdoor spaces to (quite literally) take your breath away

The CragsWant to start your new year with a breath of fresh air? Edinburgh has some of the best outdoor spaces you can ever hope to find in a major city. From the mighty 650 acre Holyrood Park to the charming Water of Leith Walkway, you will find lots of wonderful landscapes perfect for exploring.

If you’re up for a challenge, have a go at conquering Arthur’s Seat, which will give you a fantastic panoramic view of the city for a relatively short climb. Read about more beautiful outdoor walks in Edinburgh > 

2. Experience real Scottish hospitality on Burns Night

Edinburgh comes alive later this month as the whole country celebrates Scotland’s national bard on the 25th January. Lots of venues across the city plan to mark Robert Burns’ birthday with live music, ceilidhs, stand-up Contini Ceilidh Credit Contini Scottish Cafe And Restaurantcomedy, poetry, and (of course) plenty of great food and drink.

If you want to experience some proper Scottish hospitality, this is the perfect time of year to visit the Capital. Find out what’s happening >

3. 250 years of the New Town

Charlotte Square In AutumnStretching the meaning of “New” ever so slightly, 2017 marks the 250th year of the New Town. Building began on the beautiful and iconic Edinburgh city centre area in 1767 from designs put together by young architect James Craig. The wide orderly streets offer a stark contrast to the labyrinth of the Old Town and are considered an architectural masterpiece. It’s so well renowned, in fact, that the streets of the New Town make up part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site in Edinburgh.

Pay a visit to Edinburgh this year and discover for yourself what makes James Craig’s creation so spellbinding…

4. T2 Trainspotting

20 years of waiting come to an end this year when T2 Trainspotting finally goes on general release in cinemas. Lots of scenes of this hotly antipated sequel were filmed on location in Edinburgh, making the city one of the coolest places to visit in 2017.

Follow in the footsteps of Renton, Spud, Begbie and Sickboy and come location spotting after you see the film in cinemas from 27th January. Take a look at our Edinburgh on Film guide >

5. The Queensferry Crossing


The long-awaited Queensferry Crossing is due to open in May 2017, joining the Forth Road Bridge and the Forth Rail Bridge in connecting the Edinburgh City Region to Fife and the North.

This will make the Scottish Capital more accessible than ever before, and offer incredible photo opportunities of the new structure from nearby South Queensferry. Find out what else you can do in South Queensferry >

6. 70 years of festivals

edinburgh Festivals, advertising, 2012, Leith agency, festival, fringe, claudine quinn

2017 marks the 70th anniversary of the Edinburgh International Festival, the Edinburgh International Film Festival and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Since their inception in 1947, these festivals have grown to become some of the biggest events on the world’s cultural calendar. In 2016 the Edinburgh Festival Fringe hosted 50,266 performers in 3,269 shows at 294 venues, making it the largest ever arts festival on the planet.

Come to Edinburgh this summer and find out what makes Edinburgh’s festivals so special. Find out more about the Edinburgh International Festival, the Edinburgh International Film Festival and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe >

7. Discover the city that inspired the magical world of Harry Potter

Did you know that the epilogue in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was set in 2017?

JK Rowling wrote the first chapters of the worldwide sensation in an unassuming cafe in Edinburgh, taking inspiration from the streets, the buildings and even the names around her.

Come to Edinburgh and discover the school that inspired Hogwarts, visit Tom Riddle’s grave, or even stay in the hotel room where she completed the final chapters of this global phenomenon. Discover the must-visit spots in Edinburgh for Harry Potter fans >

8. Hidden Door Festival

Uncover the cutting edge of Edinburgh’s vibrant arts culture with Hidden Door Festival 2017. Every year, the volunteers behind this unique festival turn an otherwise derelict or forgotten venue into a hub of theatre, dance, music and visual arts.

This year’s venue will be the Citadel Theatre in Leith, which is expected to welcome over 10,000 punters to experience the city’s most exciting emerging arts talent this 26th May – 4th June. Find out more about this year’s programme on the Hidden Door website >

9. Castle Concerts

At the other end of the spectrum, Edinburgh Castle Esplanade is due to welcome some of the world’s biggest music acts once again this summer as part of the Castle Concerts series.

Edinburgh Castle’s summer of music kicks off with Olly Murs on the 18th July, followed by Deacon Blue on the 22nd. You can also stick around until August and see the majestic Edinburgh Royal Military Tattoo, which runs from 4th until the 26th.

10. More for your money

If you want to stay close to home this year, Edinburgh is a great value option for an exciting city break. The city boasts an impressive range of free attractions, including the National Museum of Scotland, the Museum of Edinburgh, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and the National Galleries to name a few.

Add that to the great choice of affordable accomodation, and you can have a fantastic weekend in Scotland’s Capital for a lot less than you think. Check out our list of top free hidden gems >

11. Run your fastest marathon

[Image credit: Edinburgh Marathon Festival]

Every May, the Capital becomes home to Scotland’s largest celebration of running, the Edinburgh Marathon Festival. No matter your running ability, you can get involved and taste the excitement of one of Edinburgh’s most exciting weekends. Choose to run 5k, 10k, a half or even the full marathon in one of the world’s most beautiful cities.

Not only is it one of the most scenic routes in the country, it’s also flat and fast, meaning that you have a great chance of smashing your best marathon time. Want to get fit in time for May? Take a look at some of our favourite Edinburgh running routes >

12. Go time travelling to iconic Outlander locations

Outlander season 3 returns to our screens later this year, so what better excuse to follow in the footsteps of our time-travelling heroes Claire and Jamie?

Lots of iconic Outlander scenes were filmed in the Edinburgh area, so take a day trip to West Lothian and the Borders and discover the locations as seen on screen. Read our Outlander guide >

13. Learn something new

2017 promises to deliver some fascinating museum exhibitions for the people of Edinburgh, many of which are free to enter.

Make some new friends at the Monkey Business display at the National Museum of Scotland, where you can discover impressive secrets of our closest relatives in the animal kingdom. Or go on a journey through the fascinating story of maps at the National Library of Scotland in their exhibition You are Here. Take a look at our what’s on section to find out what else you can discover in our great museums and galleries > 

14. Enjoy some retail therapy

If you’re on the lookout for something special in 2017, look no further than the shopping scene in Edinburgh. The city centre has everything you need, from large big name flagship stores such as John Lewis, Debenhams, Harvey Nichols and House of Frasers, to the independent and vibrant boutiques of Stockbridge, Thistle Street, Rose Street, the Grassmarket and the West End.

No matter what you’re looking for, you’re bound to find it in one of Edinburgh’s fabulous shopping districts. Take a look at our Edinburgh shopping guide >

15. Catch a show

Edinburgh has one of the most vibrant theatre scenes in the UK, with venues such as The Playhouse, The Usher Hall, The Lyceum and The Traverse Theatre showcasing some of the most cutting edge and popular stage productions in the country.

Go down the rabbit hole this January with the spellbinding stage show Wonderland at The Playhouse this January, enjoy some family fun with the Fantastic Mr Fox at the King’s Theatre this Spring, or discover a fun adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale at The Lyceum Theatre in February.

Keep an eye on our what’s on page to find out what’s happening >

16. Explore further afield

Tel: +44 (0) 131 622 7174
Fax: +44 (0) 131 622 7175
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This photograph can not be used without prior permission from Scottish Viewpoint.

Edinburgh is a fantastic base for exploring the rest of Scotland, so make a proper trip of it and explore the rest of our beautiful country by tour bus or train.

The Highlands, the Lothians and the beautiful Kingdom of Fife are all easily accessible within a couple of hours journey from the Capital, and tour companies like Rabbies Tours can show you the best of what the country has to offer in less than 24 hours from Edinburgh.

In need of inspiration? Take a look at our guide to the Lothians >

17. Bring in 2018 at one of the biggest parties on the planet


When 2017 draws to a close, what better place to celebrate the beginning of the New Year than at one of the most famous celebrations on the globe? Edinburgh’s Hogmanay is the UK’s biggest outdoor winter festival and includes the beautiful torchlight processsion as well as the world-famous Street Party. Why would you want to start your 2018 anywhere else?

Need accommodation stay at the fabulous Edinburgh Town House.

Situated in the heart of Edinburghs city centre

Talk Soon

Tod Hetherington.

The Michelin-Starred Restaurants of Edinburgh

The home of  (Edinburgh) is a wonderful place to indulge in that favourite of pastimes – eating. We have so many restaurants in the city to choose from, but only a few have made it to that top spot of gaining a Michelin star. However for a city that is small and compact we have 4 Michelin star restaurants as of 2016 which is quite an achievement.

So Who Are They?

The Kitchin


Based in Leith and run by famed chef Tim Kitchin, The Kitchin opened in 2006 and claimed its Michelin star in 2007. Although the restaurant could ride on the success of Tom Kitchin alone, the food steals the show for every diner. Simple, straightforward and unfussy dishes are presented on the menu and there are no unusual ingredients just for the sake of it. Be sure to ask staff about wine pairings, as The Kitchin has an extensive wine cellar that offers something for every dish imaginable.

Address: 78 Commercial St, Edinburgh EH6 6LX
Phone: 0131 555 1755

Number One


With a name like Number One, it should come as no surprise that this Michelin-starred establishment is one of the highest-ranking restaurants in all of Edinburgh. Rather than attempting to push the boundaries with ingredients and decor, Number One sticks with classic elegance. The dining room is formal, and it is the perfect setting for a romantic meal. Highlights on the menu (at time of writing) include Blairgowrie Beef Fillet and Truffle and Celeriac Spelt Risotto. From the red walls to the leather-bound menus, Number One is a memorable and formal place to enjoy a meal in the Scottish capital.

Address: The Balmoral, 1 Princes St, Edinburgh EH2 2EQ
Phone: 0131 557 6727

Martin Wishart

Martin Wishart

Located in the port of Leith and opened in 1999 Martin Wishart has a solid reputation in Edinburgh as being one of the best restaurants in the city. Rather than piecing together your own meal from the extensive menu, it is best to opt for the six-course tasting menu prepared by the chef each evening, there are some variations available, including a vegetarian menu, and a fish menu, so that the dishes cater for a wide audience. If you are drinking have staff pick out wines to pair with each of the dishes. Sample dishes from the menu at Martin Wishart include ox tongue tarts, haddock potato mousseline with a rich red wine sauce and to finalise the meal with a sweet treat, petits fours are served by a waiter in white gloves.

Address: 54 Shore, Edinburgh, Midlothian EH6 6RA
Phone: 0131 553 3557



Located in a refurbished Georgian townhouse designed by architect Thomas Playfair, 21212 is an eatery with a focus firmly on where the magic happens: the kitchen. Guest tables are oriented with views of the glass-entry to the kitchen, and diners can watch as chefs prepare each course. The menu itself is creative and whimsical at times, and the name 21212 comes from its starters, mains and dessert interspersed with soup and cheese between courses.

Address: 3 Royal Terrace, Edinburgh, Midlothian EH7 5AB
Phone: 0845 222 1212


Christmas Vacation In Edinburgh Scotland…

Christmas Vacation In Edinburgh Scotland…

Scotland’s capital really pulls out the stops for the festive season, beginning with the stalls of the continental-style Christmas market on East Princes Street Gardens, set under the gaze of a frost-covered Edinburgh Castle.

Funfair attractions range from the Big Wheel to the gravity-defying Star Flyer.

For a fun day or night out with family, St Andrew Square features the Spiegeltent, where shows take place, the Scottish market, a children’s market, the helter-skelter, one of the two fantastic carousels, a circular ice rink, and bars.

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