Country: United Kingdom
Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland, the second largest city in Scotland after Glasgow and the seventh-most populous in the United Kingdom. The City of Edinburgh Council is one of Scotland's 32 local government council areas. The council area includes urban Edinburgh and a 30-square-mile (78 km2) rural area.
Located in the south-east of Scotland, Edinburgh lies on the east coast of the Central Belt, along the Firth of Forth, near the North Sea. Owing to its spectacular, rugged setting and vast collection of Medieval and Georgian architecture, including numerous stone tenements, it is often considered one of the most picturesque cities in Europe.
Edinburgh is the seat of the Scottish Parliament. The city was one of the major centres of the Enlightenment, led by the University of Edinburgh, earning it the nickname Athens of the North. The Old Town and New Town districts of Edinburgh were listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995. There are over 4,500 listed buildings within the city. In May 2010, it had a total of 40 conservation areas covering 23% of the building stock and 23% of the population, the highest such ratios of any major city in the UK. In the 2009 mid year population estimates, Edinburgh had a total resident population of 477,660. Edinburgh is well-known for the annual Edinburgh Festival, a collection of official and independent festivals held annually over about four weeks from early August. The number of visitors attracted to Edinburgh for the Festival is roughly equal to the settled population of the city. The most famous of these events are the Edinburgh Fringe (the largest performing arts festival in the world), the Edinburgh International Festival, the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, and the Edinburgh International Book Festival. Other events include the Hogmanay street party (31 December), Burns Night (25 January) and the Beltane Fire Festival (30 April).
The city attracts 1 million overseas visitors a year, making it the second most visited tourist destination in the United Kingdom, after London. In a 2009 YouGov poll, Edinburgh was voted the "most desirable city in which to live in the UK". Edinburgh was also rated The Best Place to Live in Channel 4's 2007 4Homes survey.
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