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There are many surprisingly cheap hotels in Paris near popular destinations.

5 Ways to Avoid being an Annoying Tourist in France

France — and especially Paris — has a love/hate relationship with tourists. Tourism is an important industry, but if you’re not careful, you can make a nuisance of yourself with locals. Here are five ways you can avoid being that tourist:

  1. Realize you’re not in Kansas anymore. The customs are different. While you’re in France, it’s best to learn to do what the French do, and refrain from doing what they don’t do. People expect tourists to make the occasional cultural faux pas. What they don’t expect is an earful about what’s “wrong” with the way they do things.
  2. Realize that some French people don’t speak English. Most French speak at least some English, especially in the larger cities, and the vast majority of those who work for hotels in Paris or other tourism-related industries speak English relatively well. However, you are in France, and you can’t expect everyone to speak your language. Many who do speak it, don’t speak it well, and some who speak perfectly good English refuse to do so. After all, vous êtes en France. Pick up a French phrase book (or, hey, it’s 2015, download a French app to your smartphone. You’ll find that French people speak much better English after you’ve at least made an attempt to communicate in French. Most importantly, if someone doesn’t appear to understand you, don’t repeat yourself louder and slower. If they speak English, you’ll offend them. If they don’t, volume won’t help.
  3. Refrain from asking where to find the nearest McDonald’s, Starbucks and so on. You’re in France! Enjoy the local cuisine. If you absolutely must have Chicken McNuggets, at least don’t announce it. If you have to ask, quietly ask the concierge at your hotel. It really does irritate the French when tourists ask for American chain restaurants.
  4. Follow the protocol on the Metro. This one’s pretty simple. You let everyone exiting the train get out before you go in. When you’re in, if the train is crowded, stand up. Only sit if there’s a clear place to do so.
  5. Don’t tip. Seriously. It’s not part of the French culture. Many of the people we typically tip in America, such as wait staff, are paid considerably better in France, and your attempt to tip can be interpreted as an insult.

Remember, to the French, France isn’t a tourist destination, it’s home. You’re the guest and the one who has to adapt, not them. Try to fit in, and you’re sure to have a great time.

A hotel in Sydney is a great base camp for adventure.

5 Ways to “Find Yourself” By Travelling The Globe

There are more benefits to travel than just having fun. If you’re trying to get in touch with your inner self, visiting other countries or just going outside of your comfort zone at home in the United States can help you learn about yourself and the world around you. Booking hotels in Sydney and cities around the globe can help you achieve your goal of better self-awareness. Here are four cities that are perfect for finding yourself.

Sydney, Australia

The benefit of finding yourself in Sydney is that you’ll be in an English-speaking country, so there’s no need to worry about any language barriers. Not only can you visit famous sites like the Sydney Opera House and Bondi Beach, but you can also head out of the city to get in touch with nature at the nearby Muogamarra Nature Reserve. Hotels like the Westin Sydney give you the opportunity to immerse yourself in the culture.

Denali, Alaska

Unspoiled Alaska is full of sprawling views and wildlife that has been untouched by humans. If you’re the kind of person who needs peace, quiet and nature to truly find yourself, the Denali National Park and Preserve is an ideal destination. Located on a mind-boggling six million acres of land, Denali features Mount McKinley, the highest point on the North American continent. When you want to get away from civilization to give yourself a better opportunity to listen to your inner voice, Alaska’s wilderness is the place to do it.

Samara, Costa Rica

When finding yourself means trying out adventurous activities that you never thought you would actually get to do, Samara is the place to go. Ziplining, hiking and kayaking are all challenging, active options in the beautiful scenery of this beach town. As the safest country in Central America, Costa Rica draws in travelers from around the world to enjoy a peaceful, tropical setting.

Napa Valley, California

You don’t have to leave the continental U.S. to find yourself. Enjoy the simple things in life by sampling local wines and farm-fresh foods in Napa Valley. This area of California is a destination for soul-searchers thanks to the farm-to-table movement and a hopping art scene that can be explored at galleries like di Rosa and the Jessel Gallery. High-end hotels like the Meritage Resort and Spa let you unwind after a long day of meditative self-exploration.

Traveling the globe gives you the opportunity to learn about other cultures first-hand while searching for your own inner understanding. Whether you are one with nature or more at home in an urban setting, visiting one of the destinations above can help you find yourself through travel.

Stick with one carry-on and ship some of your luggage first. Whether you're going to a hotel in Dubai or a resort in Jamaica, it can make traveling much easier.

Pack for a Multi-week Vacation in a Carry-on

Maybe you’re going to Europe to enjoy hotels in London and other major cities on the culturally diverse continent. No matter where you’re headed, keeping your packing limited to a carry-on bag offers two benefits: You won’t have to pay any checked baggage fees on your flights, and you won’t have to lug around a huge bag from one city to the next. It might seem like an impossible goal, but you can live out of a carry-on bag for weeks when you follow these tips.

Make a List

It may seem obvious, but the simple action of making a list helps to solidify and consolidate essentials, even if it’s just in your own head. From there, it’s easier to then eliminate the items that can be purchased at your destination. For example, toiletries are often available at hotels or nearby convenience stores. Having a list available as you pack eliminates the haphazard guessing that leads to an overstuffed suitcase.

Wear Layers

Wear as many layers as possible to the airport, but be sure to leave yourself enough time to strip down to one layer when going through security. If you wear a shirt, sweater and coat plus your heaviest shoes, the largest pieces of your wardrobe won’t need to be packed. Wearing layers is especially helpful when you’re staying somewhere like Taj Palace Hotel in Dubai, a city where the temperature can drop over 20 degrees from day to night.

Ship It Before You Go

If you’re going on a long trip to just one city, mailing clothes before you set out on your trip can make sense – just be sure to do the math before you head to the post office to make sure it’s cheaper than checking a bag. This option makes the most sense when you travel to cities in North America; for example, those staying in a hotel like Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto may save money and time by shipping their clothes. Be sure to call the hotel prior to your trip so that they know a box is arriving for you.

Choose Lightweight Clothes

A sweater takes up a lot more space than a long-sleeved shirt, so opt for lightweight clothing when you’re packing. Neatly folding your clothing is one way to make the most of limited space; rolling clothing into a tight tube also works. Clothing also acts as an ideal base to cushion your electronics, chargers and shoes.

Checked luggage fees add to the cost of flying, and lugging bags from one location to the next during a long trip is no fun. Stick with a list, wear layers on your flight and consider mailing clothing to your destination to cut down on baggage, and you can brag to your friends about your extreme packing skills.

A Star of David Above a Shop in the Jewish Ghetto near a hotel in Venice.

Visit the World’s First Ghetto..in Venice

The Jewish Ghetto is a small island in the Cannaregio section of Venice, located among the maze of canals and waterways that crisscross Venice and just a short walk from the main train station and the famous Grand Canal. There are lots of nearby hotels within walking distance, such as the popular Hotel Antiche Figure.

Today Venice has a small Jewish population of about 500 people, and only a few dozen still live in ghetto, but it remains the religious and spiritual center of Jewish life in Venice. Remarkably, this tiny area is home to five synagogues, a museum, a yeshiva, a kosher restaurant, and a handful of shops, art galleries, and businesses. Tours of the unique synagogues are available through the museum.

The Jewish Museum of Venice provides a compelling overview of the ghetto’s history and offers guided tours of the synagogues and other significant buildings. The museum, founded in 1953, offers visitors a multifaceted perspective on the history of the city’s Jewish Community. Displays range from everyday objects of daily life to centuries-old books and manuscripts.

One section of the museum focuses on religion, and includes a collection of historic items used for religious purposes. Another section chronicles the history of Venetian Jews with images and historic objects. The museum also has an eclectic gift shop.

Another important site is the Renato Maestro Library and Archives, which houses more than 8,000 books. The collection also includes an archive of more than 2,500 rare Hebrew books, some dating back to the 16th century. The library can be visited by appointment, so plan in advance if you want to visit.

The most important site in the main square, on both sides of the Casa di Riposa home for the aged, is a Holocaust memorial. The memorial, designed by sculptor Arbit Blatas, underscores the Nazi brutality that topped off centuries of persecution. Two of the walls enclosing the square are topped with barbed wire and adorned with haunting bronze sculptures that bear witness to the horror. One is a bronze wall panel depicting the Last Train, and the other features bronze reliefs depicting the death of Venetian Jews at the hands of the Nazis. An Italian army guardhouse, which protects what is left of the Jewish Ghetto, is also part of an almost surreal scene.

Check out more options for Venice hotels.


Primrose Hill is a classic run near many London hotels

Top Things to do at Sunrise in London

There’s no better way to enjoy the best sights in London than at sunrise. It is amazing how much is within easy reach of most hotels in the city. If you are an early bird or just want to pack as much as possible into your stay in the British capital, here are some ideas of what you can do at dawn.

Go for a Run

There’s nothing quite like a run to energize your day. One of the best places to run in London is Regent’s Park. Listen to the call of the animals in nearby London Zoo while running past immaculate gardens on the Inner Circle. Head up to Primrose Hill for a mesmerizing view of the city skyline at sunrise.

Head to the Pub for Breakfast

In the heart of the City of London, Smithfield Meat Market ceases trading at 6 a.m. The porters and butchers traditionally head to the pubs for breakfast. For a traditional cooked English breakfast alongside night workers and those heading to business meetings in the city, spend the early hours at a pub in Smithfield. Fox and Anchor and Smiths of Smithfield are among several good places to try.

Take a Hot Air Balloon Ride

For a panoramic view of London, a hot air balloon ride sounds exactly what you need. There are launch pads near the Tower of London and many of the balloon flights take in some of the most famous sights in the city. Set up camp at Fraser Residence City Hotel and head out for an early morning adventure . Glide over commuters, the River Thames and the Houses of Parliament as the city wakes up to a new day. This is one of the best times to view London from the air, especially as the sun rises.

Go for a Walk

Sunrise is a beautiful time to walk through London. Take the path up through Greenwich Park to the Royal Observatory and the meridian time line. You can even stand on Greenwich Mean Time as the sun comes up. Want a shorter walk? Watch the sun come up from Waterloo Bridge, and then head down the trail along the River Thames towards St Paul’s Cathedral as the early sunlight glimmers on the water.

London is full of things to do. Which activity will you wake up to from your hotel in London?

Finding cheap hotels in New York isn't the only way to travel on a budget.

7 Tips For Traveling Across The Country On A Budget

If you’re going to try to see the countless amazing sites across America, you’ll need to get started now. And if you’re hoping to remain within a budget, you should definitely follow these tips.

Invest in a Federal Recreation Pass

Some cities are always going to be expensive, but if you think ahead and buy a Federal Recreation Pass, you can enter federally-funded recreation areas throughout the United States for free. This includes places like the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone Park. You can even have some friends tag along!

Bring Your Own Groceries

If you’re driving across the country, a cooler with lunch meats, soda and condiments can come in handy at rest stops. Even when you’re staying at a hotel, it’s best to have food stored in the refrigerator. Save eating out for those special restaurants that you just have to try.

Check out Free Sites

Even if you don’t pay for a pass to see national landmarks, there are countless sites you can visit for free. From the National History Museum in D.C. to the French Quarter — which also has low cost hotels in New Orleans like Historic Streetcar Inn — there are definite stopping points that can be accessed on a shoestring budget.

Bring Friends Along

If you’ve opted to see the country via automobile, one of the best ways to stay within your budget is to bring friends along. Not only will you get a better value on your Federal Recreation Pass, but you’ll also be able to split the cost of fuel and your lodging. Just imagine, for instance, how much more affordable a trip to The Big Apple would be if you weren’t footing the bill for New York hotels and taxis alone.

Utilize Travel Aggregation Sites

Online travel sites have become a popular way of saving money. Using travel aggregation sites like Hipmunk, which seek out the lowest prices from all the top travel sites, is an ideal way to save money on traveling.

Use Technology for Cheap Gas

Imagine if you knew which gas stations along your route had the lowest-priced fuel. Just think of how much you could save! That’s exactly what GasBuddy does. You can check out their website or download the app, and never overpay for gas again!

Avoid Dining In When Eating Out

When you do opt to buy food from a restaurant, it’s best to place your order to go. This will minimize the necessity of tipping. Even if you find a cheap hotel in cities ranging from Chicago to El Paso, tipping can quickly wipe out the money you’re saving on a low-cost hotel.

Traveling across the country doesn’t have to be an expensive proposition. There are now many methods for saving on cross-country trips. Fortunately, this means great travels without breaking the bank.

Turin (Torino), river Po and Monviso at sunset

The Black Magic Triangle of San Francisco, London, and Turin

Did you know that San Francisco, London and Turin comprise an ancient route of black magic? This legend dates back to Roman times, but today it lives on in these cities’ contemporary cultural life. As relevant, exotic and exciting today as they were centuries ago, these three cities come together to form a must-see tour.

San Francisco

From its Gold Rush origins to its current seat as the tech-capital of the country, San Francisco has long been attractive to the adventurous. Throughout the years, San Francisco, home to the Beat Generation, housed famous writers like Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Beat aficionados will love the hip, vintage feel of City Lights Bookstore. After browsing for books, have an absinthe at the Beat hangout Vesuvio’s then hop on the train to the Mission, home of San Francisco’s first Latino Poet Laureate, Alejandro Murguía. In the afternoon, grab a snack at the enormous food co-op and onetime hippie hangout, Rainbow Grocery.

When you arrive at San Francisco International Airport, it’s easy to jump on the AirTrain to BART and be downtown and within walking distance of the best hotels in San Francisco in under an hour.


When you arrive in London, don’t be surprised if you are greeted by some royally dark British humor. From Gatwick airport, it’s an easy half-hour trip to Victoria Station, a major transportation hub for the entire city, where you can fill your Oyster card and hit the town. Check out the modern textiles at the Tate Modern on the South Bank then cross the London Bridge to stop at the Apex City of London Hotel before checking out the London Wall.

London was home to the designer, craftsman and socialist William Morris, who was well-known for his love of textiles. The William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow is free to enter and boasts gardens and a tea room in addition to its many galleries. Visitors with a sense for the macabre should also check out the Hunterian Museum, which is full of medical oddities like pickled fetuses and brains in jars. The British Library, which is walking distance from countless pubs, hotels, and other attractions, is also a must-see.


Although it is a stunning, historical city, Turin is generally not as well-known as London and San Francisco. Nonetheless, Turin, home to the 2006 Winter Olympics and located at the foot of the Italian Alps, is home to many artists, writers, and modern businesses, which lends it a modern and cosmopolitan feel. There are flights to Turin and trains also arrive right downtown at the Porta Nuova station.

Turin boasts a vibrant underground art cafe, the Cafe des Arts, as well as the Museo Egizio, which is the only museum outside of Cairo dedicated solely to Egyptian culture. Additionally, this city’s nightclubs along the River Po make it home to some of the best nightlife in the world, with plenty of art and music going on at all times. When you’re in the mood to eat and drink, take advantage of the city-wide happy hour that includes a wide selection of food and cocktails as well as world-class people watching. After a long night, head back to one of Truin’s beautiful hotels, such as the Grand Hotel Sitea, to prepare for another day visiting Il Circolo de Lettori, a brilliant and hospitable reading room where visitors can sip thick, creamy hot chocolate while pondering Nietzsche’s famous work titled The Turin Horse.

Turin’s magic can be attributed to its location on the 45th parallel. According to esoteric legend, the Black Magic Triangle between San Francisco, London and Turin is based upon ancient, energetic currents flowing between the cities. While we may never know if the Shroud of Turin actually exists or what the people who built the London Wall were thinking, this three-city voyage is meant for the thrill-seeker who appreciates the finer things in life.

Head to Hipmunk to book your trip to San Francisco, London and Turin today.

Hotels in Boston bring you close to history at Adams National Historical Park

15 Little-known Places in New England Every Tourist Should Visit

New England isn’t just Boston or Portland, Maine as some might think – but so many other places like Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, and Vermont. This beautiful area boasts pine trees, rocky beaches and the cold Atlantic Ocean, and so many other great places to visit and here are the top 10 little-known places in New England that you won’t want to miss.

1. Green Street Grill; Cambridge, Massachusetts

Nestled in Central Square between Harvard and M.I.T. is the Green Street Grill restaurant featuring delectable dishes like baby artichokes and gnocchi, its famed Wellfleet clam stew and traditional chicken schnitzel. Check out their website before your trip to Cambridge to see their full menu: Green Street Grill Dinner Menu

2. Adams National Historical Park; Boston, Massachusetts

Located in the South Boston neighborhood filled with classic Boston hotels, this New England historical park tells the story of the John Quincy Adams family and features two main sites to tour: the Old House, where four generations of the famous family called home, and the Stone Library. After the tour, relax at the Seaport Boston Hotel for a great view of the harbor.

3. Robert’s Maine Grill; Kittery, Maine

Lobster rolls are the quintessential New England food favorite, and Robert’s Maine Grill in Kittery has been ranked as one of the best places to sample this delicious dish.

4. Nantucket Vineyard, Cisco Brewery and Triple Eight Distillery; Nantucket, Massachusetts

This combination winery, brewery and distillery in the quaint New England town of Nantucket features plenty of outside seating for sampling a glass of local wine or beer, and regularly has live bands playing for guests to enjoy. Check out their website here: Nantucket Vineyard .

5. Los Andes Restaurant; Providence, Rhode Island

Featuring Peruvian cuisine, Los Andes in the seaside city of Providence serves up local favorites like a ceviche martini, parrilada andina and paella.

6. Long Wharf Theatre; New Haven, Connecticut

This is a Tony Award-winning regional theater in the Connecticut town of New Haven, which has productions of both new and old plays, including “Macbeth,” “Guys and Dolls,” and “The Fantasticks.” Check out the Long Wharf Theatre website for upcoming productions and other shows.

7. Stoneacre Pantry; Newport, Rhode Island

A favorite among locals, the Stoneacre Pantry in Newport features seasonal and locally grown dishes, including a delicious nettle risotto with wild mushrooms and Parmesan, roasted sea scallops, smoke-roasted chicken, and a wildly popular hazelnut-chocolate mousse with cocoa streusel and crème fraiche.

8. The Mark Twain House and Museum; Hartford, Connecticut

Visit the Connecticut city of Hartford and explore the restored home of famed writer Mark Twain.

9. Inn at the Oaks; Eastham, Massachusetts

This historic inn located in the quaint village of Eastham has been recently updated but still keeps its antique feel.

10. Larsen’s Fish Market; Menemsha, Martha’s Vineyard

This lesser-known fish market and restaurant on Martha’s Vineyard offers delectable fresh seafood, including dishes like lobster rolls, clam chowder, stuffed quahogs and freshly steamed lobster. Check out their full menu here.

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Visitors have myriad options with hotels in Dallas and Fort Worth.

Top 7 Best Hotels in the Dallas – Ft. Worth Area

Dallas/Fort Worth is the nation’s fourth-largest metropolitan area and boasts an exciting mixture of cowboy and cosmopolitan lifestyles. Home to a wide array of cultural attractions and entertainment, it is also one of America’s most visited regions. You have plenty of choices with hotels in Dallas and Fort Worth. Consider one of these top hotels if you want something special for your trip to the city where big things happen.

Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek

Situated just two miles from the center of Dallas, the Rosewood Mansion is ideal whether you want to enjoy the marble bath or go out to experience a show at the Dallas Performing Arts Center. This five-star accommodation is near a host of eateries, shops and other attractions, including the Dallas Museum of Art, Perot Museum of Nature and Science and the American Airlines Center (go Mavericks and Stars!).

Omni Fort Worth Hotel

You are centrally located at the Omni Fort Worth Hotel. However, you may delay visiting nearby attractions like the Fort Worth Water Gardens and Saint Patrick Cathedral when your room has high-end furnishings and a 42-inch LCD television. On-site amenities, such as the poolside bar, full-service spa and five restaurants, also make it hard to leave. You have endless entertainment within a short distance, from drinks at the T&P Tavern to events at the Fort Worth Convention Center.

Omni Dallas Hotel

Located in the Dallas Arts District, the Omni Dallas Hotel lets you walk to sights like Pioneer Plaza, the JFK Memorial, and Old Red Museum of Dallas County History and Culture. Take a tour of the arts, as long as you’re not too busy enjoying pillow top mattresses, city vistas, terrace pools and other amenities.

The Joule Hotel in Dallas

This four-star hotel has enough to make you yell “Yeehaw!” From the custom Italian woodwork to the rain forest showers, everything is designed for comfort and unique experiences. Merbau floors, majestic artwork and boutique shops give The Joule Hotel unmatched originality. Proximity to attractions like the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, the Dallas World Aquarium, and tons of popular local dining makes it one of the more practical hotels in Dallas.

Fort Worth Stockyards Hotel

When considering hotels in Dallas and Fort Worth, few boast Texan authenticity like the Fort Worth Stockyards Hotel. Situated in the Stockyards National Historic District, this hotel showcases a distinct Western vibe and architecture. The West-style suites will bring you back in time, and attractions like Billy Bob’s Texas and the Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame will offer you plenty of fun. It should be noted that Bonnie and Clyde once stayed here, too.

Hotel ZaZa

With artfully decorated rooms and on-site amenities like a Roman-style spa tub, massages and fine dining, Hotel ZaZa lives up to its unforgettable name. This boutique hotel is also near sights such as Meyerson Symphony Center and the Crow Collection of Asian Art, among many others.

The Worthington Renaissance Fort Worth Hotel

Walk to the Sundance Square entertainment district, or simply enjoy city views from your room’s terrace at The Worthington Renaissance Fort Worth Hotel. The on-site tennis court, bar and indoor pool gives you plenty to do after a day exploring Fort Worth.

Regardless of whether you’re searching for accommodation that is top-notch luxury or something uniquely Texan, you can find it in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Many of the best hotels in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex are within a short distance of city attractions.

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7 Ways to Save on Your Edinburgh Vacation

Full of history and many famous attractions, Edinburgh is a must-see city on any visit to Scotland. It is renowned for its famous landmarks like Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood Palace, and the Royal Mile. Visitors to Edinburgh can stand on the remains of an ancient volcano, see where Mary Queen of Scots resided, and view the new Scottish Parliament- all within a short distance. However, the strength of the British pound sometimes makes it difficult to visit the UK without leaving an arm and a leg behind. Here’s how to enjoy “Auld Reekie” on a budget.

Visit the Museums

Most of Edinburgh’s museums are free to visit. Consider booking the Scotsman hotel in Edinburgh for easy access to nearby museums, and spend the entire day exploring exhibits and old buildings. Try the Writers Museum on the Royal Mile or the Museum of Scotland for details of local history.

Take a Hike

Escape from your base at the Haymarket Hotel in Edinburgh at dawn and head for Arthur’s Seat, the prominent crag overlooking the city that was once a volcano. From there, you’ll have an amazing view of Edinburgh from a fantastic vantage point.

Spot Statues

Famous monuments and statues are all over the city of Edinburgh; walk around town and you’ll find memorials to Adam Smith, David Hume and Sherlock Holmes, for example. Don’t forget to visit Greyfriars Bobby, the delightful dog statue commemorating the local Skye Terrier who lived beside his deceased master’s grave.

Pack a Picnic

One of the cheapest ways to eat out is to grab some picnic ingredients from a local deli and head for one of the viewpoints or gardens in the city. Try Princes Street Gardens or Calton Hill with its lovely views. For a quieter spot to eat, check out the secret garden behind Dunbar Close on the Royal Mile.

Use Public Transportation

Edinburgh is an easy city to walk around, but if you need a ride, make use of the cheap and efficient public transportation system. Bus service from the airport to the center of town is quick, and cheaper than a taxi. Trams have recently been reintroduced to Edinburgh, and are another fun and cheap way of exploring the city.

Tour the Parliament

Scotland has its own parliament building at Holyrood, and the question of independence from the rest of the United Kingdom has been an issue for several years. You can take free one hour tours of the Scottish parliament building, though they must be pre-booked.

Have a Swim and a Soak

Edinburgh has its own beach at Portobello, and although it may not have the warm waters of the Mediterranean, it is nonetheless popular in summer with swimmers. Nearby are some traditional Turkish baths, which are the perfect antidote to an energizing day sightseeing in Edinburgh.

Edinburgh has many attractions which are within walking distance of many of the good hotels. Take a look at the diverse attractions in Scotland’s capital city!

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