It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.


Edinburgh, as the world's first UNESCO City of Literature and No.1 literature city in the world (so said the National Geographic lately) has an incredibly rich, diverse and vibrant literary life, year round, all across the city, with something to suit every age and every pocket.

If you're a business, there's lots of opportunities for you to attract literary tourists to Edinburgh and to link them to your business.

Attract Your Literary Tourist

What's a 'literary tourist'? Well they're the kind of bookish cultural tourist that wants to know all about the literary life of a place - what books are set there, what authors live or have lived there, the statues and plaques and trails that make up its literary heritage. They want to walk in the footsteps of famous writers or eat in the cafes linked to their favourite character.

You probably want to answer their questions, or give them good advice. Or you might be looking to tap into this tourism market. But no-one is an expert on everything, and town is literally littered with literature. So where do you go for comprehensive advice?

Where to Start? Right Here!

With our "City of Literature" ETAG Business Opportunities Guide.

This guide is for all tourism businesses located in and around Edinburgh to help you think about how you can create new business opportunities, make a real impact and grow your business around Edinburgh’s literary connections.

It is brimming with tips, literary facts, ideas, overviews and starting points, all written with your business in mind.

After that,
explore the resources
and ideas below, and drop
us a line if you want more literary tourists heading your way (say hello at

Explore the City of Literature

Give your visitors a copy of the Explore the City of Literature on Foot leaflet to start them on their literary journey. It provides background information on the City of Literature and takes the visitor on a journey through the literary sites and attractions along the Royal Mile. Contact us to order up some free copies of the leaflet.

You can learn more about the City of Literature through  The Literary City section on our website, you can read our free online book about the story of literary Edinburgh in 'The Full Story'  and discover the many  literary walking tours that run in the city year round.

This Spring: Virtual Tours

Our free online trails reveal the hidden stories of literary Edinburgh - combining photos, quotes and nuggets of information. Arranged by author, books, location, theme and character, there's something for everyone.

New trails will be launched each spring and autumn to tie in with promotions. Create a link to them from your website, tell visitors and visit yourself to uncover the literary gems on your doorstep.

New trails launching in the coming months:


Edinburgh Bookshops

A complete city map overview with descriptions, photos, opening times, contact details, etc.


Enlightenment in Edinburgh

The people and locations that are a testemony Edinburgh's role in the Scottish Enlightenment 


Robert Louis Stevenson

The city locations that were important in the life of our city's favourite son. 


Robert Burns

Follow in the footsteps of the bard who made poetry sexy.    


Explore the City of Literature

A tour of city centre locations that are of great literary significance. 

You can see a taster in action on our enLIGHTen site.

Free Online Trails

These virtual literary visits to the city are already available elsewhere and should not be missed:


Stories in Stone Podcast

A series of podcasts of the literary and built heritage of the Royal Mile.


Fiction Right Up Your Street

Browse the books that are set in your part of town - fiction that's right up your street.

How to find out What's On?

The best way is to find out what is happening in the City of Literature is by signing up to our free and weekly What's On newsletter. If you want to look further ahead than the next seven days, you can also visit our What's On section on this website. 

If you have guests or visitors interested in all things bookish and wordy,  then our events listing will have something for them.

During August, why not direct your visitors to the mobile site of the Edinburgh International Book Festival ( ?

Free iPhone Apps

Perfect little smart phone apps that help the visitor navigate the literary landscape: 


Ian Rankin's Edinburgh

A personal guided tour by the Number One Sunday Times Bestselling author of the city.


Alexander McCall Smith

A companion to the twelfth novel in the wonderful No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series.


The Works of Robert Burns

Enjoy your Burns’ Supper with this totally free app, offering you 558 of his poems and love songs.


Iain Banks

Featuring exclusive video of the author himself and never-before released insights in to Iain's writing processes.  


The City of Literature's Edinburgh Bookshop App launches in spring 2012. Sign up to the What's On to keep up-to-date on new releases.

Literary Packages

If you're interested in developing special literary packages for your guests (Books in Bedrooms, Poems on Pillows...) or want to learn more about the literary city on your very doorstep you can drop us a line at, or get in touch via our online form, and reference 'literary tourism'. We'll be in touch to help you.