Edinburgh is unforgettable. History towers above you. The castle clings to its rock cliffs overlooking the city, and the historic buildings of the Old Town ramble down the spine of the Royal Mile. Centuries of history pervade the ancient closes and alleys, leading down to the splendid Palace of Holyroodhouse and the spectacular new Scottish Parliament, standing stark against the stunning backdrop of the volcanic crags and Arthur’s Seat.
Across the green expanse of Princes Street Gardens lie the elegant streets of the Georgian New Town, with its stunning architecture, leafy gardens, designer shopping and lively wine bars.
Amidst these gracious surroundings, Edinburgh is alive with inspiration and innovation. Renowned the world over for its thriving arts and festivals, the city has magnificent concert halls, theatres and art collections, museums, and cultural institutions of international significance.
The festival programme, erupting in the summer months with the International Festival as well as the Festival Fringe, and Film, Book and Arts Festivals, also offers spectacular winter festivals with sparkling Christmas events and the largest New Year’s Eve party in Europe, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay.
Anaesthetics, chloroform, antiseptic, astrophysics and Dolly, the cloned sheep are just a few examples of innovation and invention associated with Edinburgh and its environs over the centuries. The city region has nurtured some of the world’s leading doctors, scientists, lawyers, engineers, architects and philosophers – and it continues to do just that. Edinburgh boasts many centres of excellence that attract some of the world’s sharpest and most creative minds.
World-renowned research institutes and universities combine to give Edinburgh its well-deserved global influence in many disciplines, including informatics, micro- and opto-electronics, energy, renewables, cleantech, electronics and life sciences. It is an acknowledged leader in technology convergence. The University of Edinburgh is ranked among the top six in Europe, alongside Cambridge, Oxford and three in London.
The science parks and innovation centres are designed to accommodate and support knowledge-intensive companies at every life stage and facilitate access to world-class academic expertise and research. Across the Edinburgh Science Triangle, there has been significant benefit from public sector investment resulting in: Edinburgh BioQuarter, a landmark £600m life sciences research and commercialisation development; the £42m purpose-built Informatics Forum at the University of Edinburgh; and the new £60m Roslin Institute building and the University’s new Vet School at Easter Bush, one of the leading groups in the world focused on the biology and health of companion and production animals.
Edinburgh Science Triangle is a multidisciplinary initiative, partly funded by European Structural Funds and involving the Scottish Capital’s universities and research institutes, science parks and local authorities, along with Scottish Enterprise, to attract new investment and strengthen the link between academic research and business.
With all sites within 30 minutes of each other, Edinburgh Science Triangle is a major part of Scotland’s vibrant science and technology sector. The combined space of the Edinburgh Science Triangle parks places the “super campus” amongst the 20 largest science parks in the world.
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Edinburgh developed into Scotland’s legal and political centre and gained the status of ‘royal burgh’ from Robert the Bruce in the 14th century. It is home to the Scottish Parliament, the Scottish legal courts and numerous international consulates.
Scotland has a distinguished history in financial services that dates back over 300 years and Edinburgh can lay claim to world-changing innovations, including mortgage and internet banking. Edinburgh is the UK’s second financial centre after London and Europe’s fourth by equity assets. It is the only city in the UK, other than London, where you can find all sectors of financial services in operation, from retail banking to pensions to fund management to stock brokering.
Find out more about visiting, living, studying and investing in this dynamic and inspiring capital city at www.edinburgh-inspiringcapital.com
Edinburgh is renowned the world over as ‘the festival city.’ It enjoys a year-round programme of exciting festivals, featuring international artists, live music and inspiring exhibitions. The festivals begin with Hogmanay – Europe’s largest New Year’s street party – through the Edinburgh International Science Festival and Film Festival in spring and major summer festivals including Edinburgh International Festival, Edinburgh Fringe, Edinburgh Book Festival, and Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, culminating in the sparkling Winter Festivals. The arts are celebrated in the national collections of art, the tiny galleries, the awe-inspiring museums, theatres and many cultural institutions throughout Edinburgh. The city’s rich tradition of writing was recognised in 2004 when Edinburgh was named the world’s first UNESCO City of Literature.
Find out more about Edinburgh’s festivals at www.edinburghfestivals.co.uk
Some fast facts to help you plan your visit…
Currency – pounds sterling: see www.xe.com for currency converter; Scottish banks issue their own notes with exactly the same values as those issued by the Bank of England and they are legal tender in all parts of mainland UK.
Banking – most banks are open weekdays from 09:30 to 17:00 with reduced hours on Saturdays. Most branches have a 24-hour ATM (or cash point machines).
Electricity – British electrical standards are 50Hz 230 volts, so some North American and European electrical devices may require converters; all will require plug adapters.
Emergency services – dial 999 for police, fire and ambulance .
Smoking – is banned in all enclosed public spaces throughout Scotland, including conference venues, shops, restaurants, pubs and hotel bedrooms.
Value Added Tax (VAT) – is charged on all purchases currently at a rate of 20%; people travelling to Scotland on business may be entitled to reclaim the tax charged on event expenses.
Government – Scotland is part of Great Britain and plays a full part in its parliamentary democracy; the Scottish Government is based in Edinburgh, with authority over education, health, law, transport and some social services; Great Britain is a member of the European Union.
Health – no vaccinations are required or recommended for entry into the UK. The Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, a large teaching hospital, is located just 15 minutes south of the city centre.
Worship – the Edinburgh city region has communities of many cultures and faiths and opportunities for worship in a wide range of faiths including Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism and Buddhism, as well as multi-denominational institutions which welcome people of all faiths or none.