THE ATHENS of the north is prettier than Athens...and Rio, Seville, and Sydney.
Edinburgh has been voted the fourth most beautiful city in the world, coming out ahead of a string of well-known beauty sports.
Indeed the Capital was beaten only by Paris, Florence and Rome in a Rough Guide poll of its readers.
The Rough Guide said of the city: “It’s famed for its excellent annual festival, but there is more to Edinburgh than great comedy and arts – and according to our readers, it’s beauty.
“Head east of the city and make the short walk up Arthur’s Seat, an 823ft-high dormant volcano, to take in views of Scotland’s capital and you won’t need to question why it’s been voted the fourth most beautiful city in the world.”
Rome’s place at the top of the poll was attributed to its “1000-year-old buildings, beautiful pazzas and world-class art”. Second-placed Florence was hailed for “the cathedral dome that dominates the city’s skyline, the River Arno that cuts through the heart of the city, the Piazza della Signoria and the gorgeous church of San Miniato al Monte”. And Paris was described as “the paragon of style and the most glamorous city in Europe”.
Edinburgh council leader Andrew Burns welcomed the Rough Guide readers’ verdict: “It’s fantastic to see Edinburgh’s beauty recognised, and by the public too, adding to a long list of travel accolades over recent years.
“The Capital’s charm is all part of its appeal, making it one of the best places to visit, work, live and study in the world. From the striking architecture of the Old and New Town to the city’s awe-inspiring castle, Edinburgh, quite rightly a Unesco World Heritage site, is amongst the world’s most spectacular cities.”
Earlier this week, a leading conservationist, called on Unesco to remove Edinburgh’s world heritage status, complaining that planning decisions were destroying Edinburgh’s historic cityscape.
David Black, the first chairman of the Southside Association, is compiling a report to send to Unesco’s New York HQ next month. The council has said it takes world heritage status very seriously.
THE TOP 14
10: Rio de Janeiro
11. San Sebastain