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Edinburgh - Arts and Culture

Things to see and do

With streets steeped in history and a thriving cultural scene, the City of Edinburgh offers the perfect balance between all things traditional and contemporary. The Scottish capital has a number of beautifully maintained and restored theatres.

Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh Castle perches above one of the most exhilarating capitals in Europe. It’s one of Edinburgh’s top attractions and rewards a visit with fascinating history, architecture and fabulous views across the city.

Edinburgh Playhouse
Edinburgh’s largest venue for live performance. Often hosts big-name touring rock stars and West End musicals.

Rosslyn Chapel
Visit the fascinating chapel near Edinburgh that features in Dan Brown's bestselling novel The Da Vinci Code.

The Writers' Museum
The museum is located on Lady Stair's Close just off The Royal Mile. This treasure house of portraits, relics and manuscripts celebrates Scotland's three great writers - Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson.

Museum of Edinburgh
The Museum is packed with collections illustrating the development of the city, from the earliest times to the present day.

Royal Scottish Academy
Founded in 1826, the  Royal Scottish Academy maintains a unique position in Scotland as an independently funded institution lead by eminent artists and architects, whose purpose is to promote and support the creation, understanding and enjoyment of the visual arts through exhibitions and related educational events.

Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art
The collection ranges from the 1900s right up to the present day. Highlights include works by Matisse, Picasso, Kirchner and Dix; a superb selection of paintings by Scottish artists such as Peploe, Fergusson, Gillies and Redpath; postwar work by Bacon, Freud, Davie, Hockney, Balthus and Lege, and more recent work by artists including Baselitz, Antony Gormley and Damian Hirst.

The Dean Gallery
The Dean Gallery shows special exhibitions and works from the Gallery’s internationally renowned Dada and Surrealist collection alongside pieces by Eduardo Paolozzi, including a full recreation of the artist’s studio. Both galleries include fantastic shops and cafés.

King's Theatre
Lovely Edwardian theatre built in 1905. Now home to touring companies, including the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Traverse Theatre
Trendy theatre specializing in contemporary Scottish work.

Scottish Parliament
Scotland's new Parliament sits at the foot of Edinburgh's famous Royal Mile in front of the spectacular Holyrood Park and Salisbury Crags. Constructed from a mixture of steel, oak, and granite, the complex building has been hailed as one of the most innovative designs in Britain today.

National Gallery of Scotland
The National Gallery of Scotland houses part of the national collection, which includes works by almost every major figure of Western art, from the Early Renaissance to the end of the nineteenth century.

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