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.