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Program Our venue in Edinburgh


TEDGlobal 2013 takes place in Edinburgh, Scotland, at the Edinburgh International Conference Center. Its beautiful main theatre, its foyer and its vast spaces are the central hub of TEDGlobal.


An event strikes root and grows into a legend, when it has happened amongst congenial surroundings.

-- from Edinburgh: Picturesque Notes, by Robert Louis Stevenson, 1879.

Why Edinburgh?

Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland, has a charming old town that is one of the best-preserved European medieval cities. The town's cultural life is vibrant and far-reaching (think of the Edinburgh Festival). The city and its university was one of the major centres of the Enlightenment. Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone, and poet Walter Scott were born in Edinburgh. Its tradition includes being the home of philosopher David Hume and of economist Adam Smith (and of Harry Potter author JK Rowling, too), among many others. (Plus, there's the whole of Scotland to explore, for those among the attendees who combine TEDGlobal with a few days of early summer vacation.)

Getting there

Edinburgh is about 380 miles north of London. If you plan to attend and have some flexibility, consider travelling by train from London's Kings Cross: it's a beautiful 5-hour train ride across the British countryside (with trains every hour or more often during daytime). If you prefer flying, it's a 1h20 flight from London airports. Edinburgh's airport is well-connected internationally; Glasgow's airport, an hour away, is another option. More details »

The EICC theatre

The Edinburgh International Conference Centre, which hosts TEDGlobal 2013, is a stunning piece of event architecture. It features an intimate theatre (with surprising features) and enough space and flexibility for arts and tech exhibits, simulcast lounges, Master Classes, networking spaces and more. Across the street, the classic Lyceum Theatre hosts TED University.

Special events

Evening events take place at intriguing landmarks around Edinburgh. The city is dominated by a castle and features great museums and other monuments. To deepen the sense of place, attendees will be offered a series of optional pre- and post-conference visits and special programs. 


7 fun facts about Edinburgh

Edinburgh is well known for its beautiful landscape and a long history of great thinkers, but in the TED spirit of learning and discovery, here are some things you may not know about the home of TEDGlobal:

1.     Our conference is just one of many exciting events that come to Edinburgh in the summer. The Edinburgh Festival is a series of arts and cultural festivals that take place throughout the summer months, including the Edinburgh Military TattooEdinburgh Fringe, and the Edinburgh International Film Festival. Although the city’s population is around 450,000, the Edinburgh Convention Bureau reports that that number more than doubles during festival season.

2.     The English Edinburgh and the Scottish Gaelic Dùn Èideann are both thought to come from the Brittonic name Eidyn. Edinburgh later picked up the Old English suffix –burgh, meaning “fort.” It’s also been nicknamed Auld Reekie (Scots for Old Smoky) and The Athens of the North.

3.     One of Edinburgh’s most beloved landmarks is a statue of a Skye terrier named Greyfriars Bobby.

4.     The Edinburgh Derby, among the oldest derby matches in world football, is played between the Heart of Midlothian and the Hibernian football clubs, known locally as the Hearts and the Hibs.

5.     In 2004, UNESCO named Edinburgh the world’s first City of Literature, a designation intended both to honor the city’s past and to promote efforts towards future literary activity. Edinburgh is the first of what’s meant to become a worldwide network.

6.     Another cultural honor Edinburgh can claim is the popular, decadent treat of the deep-fried Mars bar – and other deep-fried twists. Many chip shops will even deep fry foods provided by customers.

7. And in a fun coincidence, Edinburgh has been a twin city with Vancouver, next year’s TED Conference location, since 1977. Who knew?