Scotland (Scots: Scotland, Scottish Gaelic: Alba [ˈal̪ˠapə] (About this soundlisten)) is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Covering the northern third of the island of Great Britain, mainland Scotland has a 96-mile (154 km) border with England to the southeast and is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, the North Sea to the northeast and the Irish Sea to the south. In addition, Scotland includes more than 790 islands; principally within the Northern Isles and the Hebrides archipelagos.
Edinburgh (/ˈɛdɪnbərə/; Scots: Edinburgh; Scottish Gaelic: Dùn Èideann [ˈt̪uːn ˈeːtʲən̪ˠ]) is the capital of Scotland and one of its 32 council areas. Historically part of the county of Midlothian (interchangeably Edinburghshire before 1921), it is located in Lothian on the Firth of Forth’s southern shore.
Recognised as the capital of Scotland since at least the 15th century, Edinburgh is the seat of the Scottish Government, the Scottish Parliament and the supreme courts of Scotland. The city’s Palace of Holyroodhouse is the official residence of the monarch in Scotland. The city has long been a centre of education, particularly in the fields of medicine, Scots law, literature, philosophy, the sciences and engineering. It is the second largest financial centre in the United Kingdom (after London) and the city’s historical and cultural attractions have made it the United Kingdom’s second most visited tourist destination attracting 4.9 million visits including 2.4 million from overseas in 2018.
Edinburgh is Scotland’s second most populous city and the seventh most populous in the United Kingdom. The official population estimates are 488,050 (2016) for the Locality of Edinburgh (Edinburgh pre 1975 regionalisation plus Currie and Balerno), 524,930 (2019) for the City of Edinburgh, and 1,339,380 (2014) for the city region. Edinburgh lies at the heart of the Edinburgh and South East Scotland city region comprising East Lothian, Edinburgh, Fife, Midlothian, Scottish Borders and West Lothian.
The city is the annual venue of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. It is home to national institutions such as the National Museum of Scotland, the National Library of Scotland and the Scottish National Gallery. The University of Edinburgh, founded in 1582 and now one of three in the city, is placed 20th in the QS World University Rankings for 2020. The city is also known for the Edinburgh International Festival and the Fringe, the latter being the world’s largest annual international arts festival. Historic sites in Edinburgh include Edinburgh Castle, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the churches of St. Giles, Greyfriars and the Canongate, and the extensive Georgian New Town built in the 18th/19th centuries. Edinburgh’s Old Town and New Town together are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, which has been managed by Edinburgh World Heritage since 1999.