Stretching through the center of the country, Scotland’s Lowlands are home to storied history and a laid-back population always ready for a celebration. No place exhibits this carefree attitude like Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital city and what some consider the festival capital of the world.

Each August, the city welcomes plucky performers and artists from across the globe for the Fringe Festival. An extrordinary weeks-long celebration finds venues packed with theatrical and musical shows, buskers on every corner, and impromptu performances taking place throughout the city streets.

Fringe Festival shares the spotlight with the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo each August. Performing in the Esplanade of Edinburgh Castle, audiences witness a cultural showcase of music and dance performed passionately by a cast of hundreds. Insider access from Ker & Downey will find you the best private seat in the house.

History abounds amidst the frivolity, with the incredible Edinburgh Castle crowning the city and a constant reminder of its place in history. Archeological finds have dated as far back as 8500 BC, and over the millenia the city has seen its share of sieges, plagues, and battles. The city underground contains layer after layer of historical evidence that has long been the subject of study by anthropologists and historians. Iconic Old Town is a consecrated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, composed of a network of narrow wynds and hidden alleys along cobblestone streets.

Even New Town is awash with history and enjoys its own UNESCO World Heritage Site designation. Built after 1766—but still “new” by Edinburgh standards—the Georgian section of the city was established as a rebirth from overcrowded conditions. The educated elite flocked to this side of the city with its stately “one family” homes and its neat grid layout of streets.

Edinburgh is a multi-layer destination with museums, galleries, architecture, and culture in abundance. Make time for several days in the city on your next custom journey to Scotland.