Edinburgh is the capital (political) city of Scotland, the second largest city in Scotland and the List of largest United Kingdom settlements by population in the United Kingdom. The City of Edinburgh Council is one of Scotland's 32 Local government in Scotland Council areas of Scotland. The City of Edinburgh Council includes urban Edinburgh and a 30-square-mile (78 km2) rural area.
Located in the south-east of Scotland, Edinburgh lies on the east coast of the Central Belt, along the Firth of Forth, near the North Sea.
Edinburgh is the seat of the Scottish Parliament. The city was one of the major centres of Age of Enlightenment, led by the University of Edinburgh, earning it the nickname ''Athens of the North''. The Old Town, Edinburgh and New Town of Edinburgh districts of Edinburgh were listed as a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization World Heritage Site in 1995. There are over 4,500 listed buildings within the city. In May 2010, it had a total of 40 conservation areas covering 23% of the building stock and 23% of the population, the highest such ratios of any major city in the UK.City of Edinburgh statistics, May 2010. In the 2009 mid year population estimates, Edinburgh had a total resident population of 477,660.
The city is well-known for the annual Edinburgh Festival, a collection of official and independent festivals held annually over about four weeks from early August. The number of visitors attracted to Edinburgh for the Festival is roughly equal to the settled population of the city. The most famous of these events are the Edinburgh Fringe (the largest performing arts festival in the world), the Edinburgh International Festival, the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, and the Edinburgh International Book Festival. Other events include the Hogmanay street party, Burns Night and the Beltane Fire Festival. Edinburgh attracts 1 million overseas visitors a year, making it the second most visited tourist destination in the United Kingdom, after London.