You cannot escape history in the Old Town. Nor can you escape shops selling tatty souvenirs and anything else to take the money from your pocket. Everything is expensive. But, avoiding the money grabbers, it is a thoroughly enjoyable experience if you can see it in quieter periods, avoiding bumping into all the tourists jamming every inch of available space - very wearing.
Once off the main tourist streets howver there is a trmedous amount of dirt, rubbish and graffiti everywhere. It's as though a concious decision has been made to concentrate solely on the streets with the highest rated properties and therefore generating most income for the council. The biggest industry in Edinburgh is said to be finance, followed in second place by tourism.. They seem to be hand in glove here.