This poll was done by highly reputable http://www.roughguides.com/ There are a million polls on ‘Best places on Earth’ and often they are strange. This one is a good source, world wide travel and accommodation specialists. Edinburgh is a city you can have your cake and eat it, the best of both Worlds. If you are into night life Edinburgh offers amazing pub crawls or amazing hotels to stay, we have a Hilton hotel here but there are better. Should you be into Theatre, Art galleries, a thespian so to speak, Edinburgh has it all with 3 first class theatre venues. If you have done all that, like my Partner and I have and you want to stay somewhere where a busy day is when the postman and the bin lorry comes at the same time makes you say “Wow it was busy today” I look out of my window and see nothing, maybe 2 people a day pass by. Edinburgh is a totally amazing place but strange as it is I don’t visit all the things the millions of tourists do. I have been to Edinburgh castle an amount I can count on one hand. The thing I love best about this amazing historical and modern city are the people, we are a warm people. Do we have our problems? of course, but the troublesome areas are all on the outskirts or very out the way, if you get off a plane at the airport behind my house you get a bus or taxi or drive one straight road past my local high street, past Edinburgh Zoo, Murryfield Stadium, a 75,000 capacity Rugby stadium and it takes you right to Edinburgh Castle. Like you, or you I love my city. Many will email me and say “Get over yourself and Edinburgh” I reply simply “Write about how proud you are of where you live” Really it’s that simple. If you are lucky enough to live in Edinburgh you know what lucky is. Interesting 3 Italian cities are in the top 15, but no surprise.
Edinburgh has a nick name – ‘Auld Reekie’
The city is affectionately nicknamed Auld Reekie, Scots for Old Smoky, for the views from the country of the smoke covered Old Town. Robert Chambers who asserted that the sobriquet could not be traced before the reign of Charles II attributed the name to a Fife laird, Durham of Largo, who regulated the bedtime of his children by the smoke rising above Edinburgh from the fires of the tenements.
Some have called Edinburgh the Athens of the North for a variety of reasons. The earliest comparison between the two cities showed that they had a similar topography, with the Castle Rock of Edinburgh performing a similar role to the Athenian Acropolis. Both of them had flatter, fertile agricultural land sloping down to a port several miles away (respectively Leith and Piraeus). Although this arrangement is common in Southern Europe, it is rare in Northern Europe. The 18th century intellectual life, referred to as the Scottish Enlightenment, was a key influence in gaining the name. Such beacons as David Hume and Adam Smith shone during this period. Having lost most of its political importance after the Union, some hoped that Edinburgh could gain a similar influence on London as Athens had on Rome. Also a contributing factor was the later neoclassical architecture, particularly that of William Henry Playfair, and the National Monument. Tom Stoppard’s character Archie, of Jumpers, said, perhaps playing on Reykjavík meaning “smoky bay”, that the “Reykjavík of the South” would be more appropriate.
Edinburgh has also been known as Dunedin, deriving from the Scottish Gaelic, Dùn Èideann. Dunedin, New Zealand, was originally called “New Edinburgh” and is still nicknamed the “Edinburgh of the South”.
The Scots poets Robert Burns and Robert Fergusson sometimes used the Latin form of the city’s name, Edina, in their work. Ben Jonson described it as Britaine’s other eye,and Sir Walter Scott referred to the city as yon Empress of the North.
Other variants include Embra, or Embro (contracted forms), and Edinburrie.
THE ATHENS of the north is prettier than Athens…and Rio, Seville, and Sydney. Edinburgh has been voted the fourth most beautiful city in the world, coming out ahead of a string of well-known beauty sports. Indeed the Capital was beaten only by Paris, Florence and Rome in a Rough Guide poll of its readers. The Rough Guide said of the city: “It’s famed for its excellent annual festival, but there is more to Edinburgh than great comedy and arts – and according to our readers, it’s beauty.
“Head east of the city and make the short walk up Arthur’s Seat, an 823ft-high dormant volcano, to take in views of Scotland’s capital and you won’t need to question why it’s been voted the fourth most beautiful city in the world.”
Rome’s place at the top of the poll was attributed to its “1000-year-old buildings, beautiful pazzas and world-class art”. Second-placed Florence was hailed for “the cathedral dome that dominates the city’s skyline, the River Arno that cuts through the heart of the city, the Piazza della Signoria and the gorgeous church of San Miniato al Monte”. And Paris was described as “the paragon of style and the most glamorous city in Europe”.
Edinburgh council leader Andrew Burns welcomed the Rough Guide readers’ verdict: “It’s fantastic to see Edinburgh’s beauty recognised, and by the public too, adding to a long list of travel accolades over recent years.
“The Capital’s charm is all part of its appeal, making it one of the best places to visit, work, live and study in the world. From the striking architecture of the Old and New Town to the city’s awe-inspiring castle, Edinburgh, quite rightly a Unesco World Heritage site, is amongst the world’s most spectacular cities.”
Earlier this week, a leading conservationist, called on Unesco to remove Edinburgh’s world heritage status, complaining that planning decisions were destroying Edinburgh’s historic cityscape. David Black, the first chairman of the Southside Association, is compiling a report to send to Unesco’s New York HQ next month. The council has said it takes world heritage status very seriously.
THE TOP 15
1: Rome – Italy
2: Florence – Italy
3: Paris – France
4: Edinburgh – Scotland
5: London – England
6: Prague – Czech Republic
7: Venice – Italy
8: Brisbane – Australia
9: Kyoto – Japan
10: Rio de Janeiro – Brazil
11: San Sebastain – Spain
12: Seville – Spain
13: Sydney -Australia
14: Vancouver – Canada
15: Tokyo – Japan
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