The Scottish Parliament Building, the seat of Scotland’s government since 2004, is an architectural wonder that dominates the Holyrood area. The iconic building, situated at the foot of the Royal Mile, features natural motifs, leaf-shaped annexes and a grass-roofed branch that merges into nearby parkland. The building is open to visitors on every day of the week except Sunday and free tours of the Parliament Building are available. To gain a better insight into the inner workings of the Scottish government, there's no better place to start than Parliament. Politics buffs might want to attend a committee meeting or even see a debate in the debating chamber. While the surrounding Holyrood area has its fair share of shops and cafes, it's simpler to pop by the Parliament Cafe, which offers a wide range of food, from soups and sandwiches to cakes and shortbreads, all prepared on site. The building itself is lined with original artworks, which add an extra level of interest to this unusual edifice. While visually impressive and culturally significant, the Scottish Parliament isn’t just for gawking at – it’s also intended for engaging with. The parliament’s website reveals ways in which citizens can get involved with the decision-making process and seek to improve their community. From commissioning a petition to learning about current consultations and enquiries, there’s a wealth of ways for Scottish residents to make their voices heard. No advance booking is required to view the Scottish Parliament’s public areas, but for visitors keen on taking a guided tour or attending a debate or committee meeting, booking ahead is advised. Whether you’re politically active or are simply interested in experiencing Enric Miralles' postmodern masterpiece, the Scottish Parliament promises an eye-opening day out.
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