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Old and New Towns of Edinburgh

Edinburgh, Scotland
23.03.2011

Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland, is a vibrant and historic destination that draws in visitors from all over the world. One of the most iconic and charming areas of Edinburgh is the Alt- und Neustadt, or the Old and New Town.

The Old Town of Edinburgh is a maze of cobbled streets, narrow alleyways, and hidden courtyards, all steeped in centuries of history. This area is full of character and charm, with its medieval buildings and gothic architecture. Visitors can explore the famous Royal Mile, a street that runs through the heart of the Old Town and is lined with traditional Scottish shops, pubs, and restaurants.

In contrast, the New Town of Edinburgh was built in the 18th and 19th centuries and is a prime example of Georgian architecture. This part of the city is known for its elegant streets, grand townhouses, and stunning squares. It is a popular spot for shopping, with high-end designer stores and boutique shops.

The Alt- und Neustadt are connected by the Princes Street Gardens, a picturesque park that offers stunning views of Edinburgh Castle and the city skyline. This area is also home to some of Edinburgh's most famous landmarks, such as the Scott Monument and St. Giles' Cathedral.

Visitors to the Alt- und Neustadt can also delve into the city's rich history by visiting the numerous museums and galleries in the area. The National Museum of Scotland, the Scottish National Gallery, and the Writers' Museum are just a few of the cultural attractions that can be found here.

Additionally, the Alt- und Neustadt are popular for their lively and diverse food and drink scene. From traditional Scottish cuisine to international flavors, there is something for every palate in this area. Visitors can also enjoy a night out at one of the many pubs and bars, some of which have been around for centuries.

In conclusion, the Alt- und Neustadt of Edinburgh is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Scotland. With its captivating blend of old-world charm and modern amenities, this area offers a unique and unforgettable experience for all who visit.


Edinburgh has been the Scottish capital since the 15th century. It has two distinct areas: the Old Town, dominated by a medieval fortress; and the neoclassical New Town, whose development from the 18th century onwards had a far-reaching influence on European urban planning. The harmonious juxtaposition of these two contrasting historic areas, each with many important buildings, is what gives the city its unique character.

Edinburgh ( Scots: [ˈɛdɪnbʌrə]; Scottish Gaelic: Dùn Èideann [ˌt̪un ˈeːtʲən̪ˠ]) is the capital city of Scotland and one of its 32 council areas. The city is located in southeast Scotland and is bounded to the north by the Firth of Forth estuary and to the south by the Pentland Hills. Edinburgh had a population of

506,520 in mid-2020, making it the second-most populous city in Scotland and the seventh-most populous in the United Kingdom. The wider metropolitan area has a population of 912,490.

Recognised as the capital of Scotland since at least the 15th century, Edinburgh is the seat of the Scottish Government, the Scottish Parliament, the highest courts in Scotland, and the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the official residence of the British monarch in Scotland. It is also the annual venue of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. The city has long been a centre of education, particularly in the fields of medicine, Scottish law, literature, philosophy, the sciences and engineering. The University of Edinburgh, founded in 1582 and now one of three in the city, is considered one of the best research institutions in the world. It is the second-largest financial centre in the United Kingdom, the fourth largest in Europe, and the thirteenth largest internationally.

The city is a cultural centre, and is the home of institutions including the National Museum of Scotland, the National Library of Scotland and the Scottish National Gallery. The city is also known for the Edinburgh International Festival and the Fringe, the latter being the world's largest annual international arts festival. Historic sites in Edinburgh include Edinburgh Castle, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the churches of St. Giles, Greyfriars and the Canongate, and the extensive Georgian New Town built in the 18th/19th centuries. Edinburgh's Old Town and New Town together are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which has been managed by Edinburgh World Heritage since 1999. The city's historical and cultural attractions have made it the UK's second-most visited tourist destination, attracting 4.9 million visits, including 2.4 million from overseas in 2018.

Edinburgh is governed by the City of Edinburgh Council, a unitary authority. The City of Edinburgh council area had an estimated population of 514,990 in mid-2021, and includes outlying towns and villages which are not part of Edinburgh proper. The city is in the Lothian region and was historically part of the shire of Midlothian (also called Edinburghshire).

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