Edinburgh named one of the best places in the world to visit, thanks to its culture, festivals and heritage

The Scottish capital’s summer and winter festivals, museums and galleries, and Old and New Towns were cited by Tripadvisor in its annual awards for best global destinations.

Edinburgh was named ahead of Bangkok, Amsterdam, Lisbon, Mumbai, Jaipur, Abu Dhabi, Las Vegas, Athens and Florence as it was rated the 12th best city in the world.

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It was named the 9th best overall destination in Europe, ahead of Florence, Madrid, Corfu, Venice, Prague, Budapest, Dublin and Krakow, and ranked 17th globally.

TripAdvisor’s Travel Choice Awards are based on the favorite destinations of travelers from around the world linked to the quality and quantity of positive reviews and ratings on the online platform.

Other recent accolades for Edinburgh include being named the best city destination for a holiday by National Geographic and the second best city in the UK, after London, by Conde Nast Traveller.

Edinburgh was named the seventh best city in Europe in the Tripadvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards, along with London, Rome, Istanbul, Paris, Barcelona and Madrid.

Other destinations named in the top 20 overall include Bali, Crete, Tenerife, Corsica, Istanbul, Singapore, Marrakech and Cancun, in Mexico.

The Dugald Stewart Monument on Calton Hill in Edinburgh. Image: Jane Barlow/PA Wire

The Tripadvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards website states: “Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland, famous for its heritage, culture and festivals. Take a long walk downtown to explore the Old Town and New Town World Heritage sites, as well as all the area’s museums and galleries.

“Then stop for a delicious meal made from fresh Scottish produce before heading out to enjoy one of Edinburgh’s many events, including the famous summer cultural festivals or the winter festivals of music, lights and ceilidhs” .

Steven Paganelli, Director of Destinations at Tripadvisor, said: “As the world returns to travel, priorities are changing and people want more memorable experiences on their trips.

“There’s a whole world to choose from, and we want to help guide travelers looking to make the best trips for them, whatever the perfect vacation destination.”

The Edinburgh International Festival will celebrate its 75th anniversary in 2022. Image: Matt Beech

The results are a huge boost to efforts to revive Edinburgh city center after almost two years of Covid restrictions and guidance to work from home.

Edinburgh festivals will celebrate their 75th anniversary in 2022, while others to promote the city center are also expected to focus on the new St James Quarter visitor center and Johnnie Walker on Princes Street, as well as the forthcoming opening of a Gleneagles hotel in St. Andres Square.

Paula Ward, director of regional leadership for the national tourism agency VisitScotland, said: “It’s wonderful to see Edinburgh rank so high in the global and European awards for 2022.

“These awards are based on Tripadvisor user reviews and ratings and show that despite the challenges facing the industry during the pandemic, Edinburgh remains a much-loved destination.

“The last 12 months have seen major openings such as Johnnie Walker Princes Street and the St James Quarter providing inspiration to visitors at a time when tourism needed it most.

“The results of the Travellers’ Choice Awards offer another encouraging sign for the city’s tourism sector in the coming year.”

Edinburgh’s tourism industry was estimated to be worth more than £2 billion to the economy and was said to support more than 34,000 jobs before the pandemic struck.

Roddy Smith, chief executive of Essential Edinburgh city center business group, said: “As we recover from the pandemic, the return of international visitors to the city is key to our hospitality, tourism and retail industries and all local suppliers of these businesses.

“These newly released rankings once again show how popular, well-regarded and important our beautiful city is to visitors looking for short breaks or longer stays.

“As a city, we must work collaboratively to promote ourselves to all these potential visitors, ensuring that Edinburgh remains a must-see for visitors from all over the world. International travel will return and we must support this return with even more positive urban messages.

“With the opening of new attractions in recent years such as Johnnie Walker and the St James Quarter, the imminent opening of new high-end restaurants and hotels, and the upcoming immersive Van Gogh Alive experience, the city continues to provide new opportunities for visitors. .

“Along with our long-standing historic attractions and cultural offerings, the future is bright and we look forward to welcoming visitors.”

Marc Crothall, chief executive of the Scottish Tourism Alliance, said: “This is very welcome news and a huge boost for the sector, coming at a time when we hope our European neighbors will be thinking of traveling to Scotland.” and those of more distant coasts.

“Scotland clearly remains one of the best options for travelers today and it is therefore more important than ever that we continue to ensure that we are globally competitive, not only in terms of our assets and experiences, but also in terms of cost and value for money.

“The vision of our tourism strategy remains, Scotland will be the leader in tourism in the 21st century and after two excruciatingly difficult years of crisis for our tourism industry, it seems that our efforts and focus are naturally returning to delivering this approach that puts our communities, our people, our visitors, our businesses and our environment at the heart of everything we do.”


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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