The people of Edinburgh had a long wait to see the building that houses their new parliament. When the scaffolding and coverings were finally removed, a confident, dynamic and innovative complex was revealed, different from any other parliamentary building in the UK. If you've time, take the 45-minute tour (check online for times), which explores areas not normally accessible to the casual visitor. If you just want to drop in, however, there's an exhibition about the building, plus a café, a shop and crèche facilities. On business days, tickets are available for the public gallery in the debating chamber for those who book ahead. Seating is limited.
Even if you don't have the time or inclination to venture inside, the building's exterior, along with the garden areas and water features, provides plenty of points of interest. The parliament's dedicated arts strategy is reflected by design components and art installations. Among them is the Canongate Wall, which is covered with quotations from centuries of Scottish writers engraved into blocks of different types of Scottish stone. At the end of the wall is a line drawing of the Old Town based on a sketch made by the building's architect Enric Miralles, who died before the project's completion.