Before and after my visit to a new town, city or country, I tend to research cool facts about the place. It helps feed my curiosity, answers some of my questions and fascinates me every time. In some ways, I find it better than reading a travel guide as you’ll always find something which really intrigues you.
Below is a list of 17 cool facts about Edinburgh City which have been recorded reliably by the University of Edinburgh. Have fun reading through them!
- Edinburgh’s World Heritage Site covers almost 2 square miles and over 75% of all the buildings are listed, giving it the highest concentration of listed buildings anywhere in the UK.
- Edinburgh has the only train station in the world named after a novel: Waverley Station is named after the novels penned by Sir Walter Scott and published in the 1800s.
- The first Encyclopaedia Britannica was published in Edinburgh.
- Edinburgh has more than 60 libraries per 100,000 people – that’s more libraries per capita than any other city in the world – and, in 2004, it became UNESCO’s first City of Literature.
- Anaesthetics were first used in Edinburgh: physician Sir James Young Simpson used chloroform on his patients in 1847 to relieve the pain of surgery.
- Edinburgh Castle is Scotland’s most visited attraction.
- Edinburgh is the only city to have a dog on the list of citizens who have been given the prestigious Freedom of the City award. That dog is Greyfriars Bobby.
- Edinburgh was the first city in the world to have its own fire service.
- Scotland is home to some of the world’s most significant inventions, including: the telephone, the television, penicillin, colour photography, fingerprinting, the pedal bicycle, MRI scanner, the modern steam engine, the adhesive stamp, the refrigerator, the toaster.
- Edinburgh is the top destination for overseas and UK visitors to Scotland.
- Edinburgh was voted the UK’s best destination for young people in the British Youth Travel Awards.
- The city’s population is around 500,000, but that figure swells to well over 1 million during the Festival in August.
- The Leith area of Edinburgh was named one of the coolest neighbourhoods in the world by Time Out magazine.
- Edinburgh has 112 parks, as well as more trees per head of population than any other city in the UK.
- Edinburgh is home to more FTSE 100 companies than any other UK city outside London.
- Rainfall in Edinburgh is well below the Scottish average and less annually than in Rome, Frankfurt and New York.
- Although part of the UK, Scotland has its own Parliament, which is situated in Edinburgh.