The City of Edinburgh is one of the 32 unitary council areas into which Scotland has been divided since 1996. It covers the urban area of Edinburgh plus a buffer of countryside and a series of settlements on its western fringe. For accommodation in the City of Edinburgh and a full list of features, see our Edinburgh & Lothians area pages.
Edinburgh is one of the most distinctive and widely recognised cities in the world. Even people who have never been anywhere near Scotland will have formed impressions of the city based on a range of sometimes clichéd but usually attractive and positive images.
The great thing about Edinburgh is that the reality surpasses your expectations. Two things usually come as a surprise to first time visitors. The first is that this is a city in three dimensions. It is built on and around hills, and the way Edinburgh grew leads to surprising changes in level at every turn. The second is the compact nature of the city. The centre of Edinburgh is small enough to be explored on foot, which is by far the best way to get to know it.
You can read more about the development of Edinburgh as a city and its modern attractions on our Edinburgh Feature Page. Edinburgh is well connected to Scotland and the rest of the UK by rail, while flights to Edinburgh land at Edinburgh Airport, a little to the west of the city.
From the point of view of local authority coverage, Edinburgh formed part of the traditional county of Midlothian right up to a major reorganisation in 1975. At that point, the City of Edinburgh came into being as one of four district council areas within Lothian Region, itself one of the 12 regions into which Scotland was divided.
When regions and districts disappeared from the scene in the 1996 reorganisation, the City of Edinburgh became one of the 32 unitary council areas into which the country has since been divided. The City of Edinburgh is bordered by West Lothian, Midlothian and East Lothian.
InformationThe City Of Edinburgh Council: