For three weeks every August, countless musicians, artists and filmmakers descend on Edinburgh and transform the Scottish capital into the Edinburgh International Festival, the center for all things up-and-coming. But, savvy Scotsmen and experienced travelers know that this city offers so much more than one yearly party.
On an etr Edinburgh Learning Adventure, we’ll start, quite naturally, at National Museum of Scotland, where we can time travel back through Scottish history, from prehistoric times to the present day. The museum presents a treasure trove of Celtic, Roman and Viking artefacts, including the famous Lewis chess pieces – as seen in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. Then we’re exploring Edinburgh Castle, one of the oldest fortified places in Europe and with a rich history as a royal residence, military garrison, prison and fortress. We also discover seemingly endless artistic treasures in the Scottish National Gallery, situated in the heart of Edinburgh and home of works by Raphael, Titian, Rembrandt, Vermeer, Monet, Van Gogh and Gauguin.
Our fresh air activities include exploring the Georgian squares of New Town, the design of which dates to 1767, and stroll through entrancing Princes Street Gardens. For the nature lover in every student, there is the world class Royal Botanic Gardens with its 10 magnificent Glasshouses each has a different climatic zone, from steamy tropics to arid desert, and 3,000 exotic plants from around the world. Also, weather permitting, we can venture up to Arthur’s Seat, offering breathtaking views of Edinburgh and a taste of Scotland’s dramatic landscapes. The famed University of Edinburgh keeps the cultural and academic scene stirring year-round, so regardless of when you choose to visit this incredible capital, you won’t be disappointed.
But it wouldn’t be an etr program without venturing to the local markets, such as the Pitt Market where we can sample Edinburgh’s award winning street food, or grab your souvenir at Sunday’s Stockbridge Market, where we find carefully created crafts as well as artisan breads and, of course, smoked Scottish salmon. Come along!