When you are walking around Seattle, New York, San Francisco or Edinburgh, the truth is, from what I can tell, all cities are pretty much the same. So many people moving from one place to the next, tons of taxis and buses, the homeless, and an endless amount of street performers.
There are the people that paint themselves like statues and hang out, the ones that play different musical instruments (anything from drums to a trumpet or saxophone to bagpipes...), the magicians... My first night in Edinburgh we stumbled across a small band consisting of a bass guitar, drums and a bag piper. They were impressive young men, and we stayed and listened and enjoyed their music. On the street corner on Queensferry, there's a really good trumpet player that I liked, too.
In Edinburgh during the Festival -- and it's festival time right now -- people pass out flyers and advertisements for comedy shows and theatrical performances. It reminds me a lot of the flyers that are passed out in Las Vegas, only not pornographic. The performers walk down the Royal Mile dressed up in their costumes and singing some of the songs in order to advertise for the show that night.
The touristy shops are basically the same, even if the items are somewhat different.
The one thing that does change is the architecture. Except some of the skyscrapers, the architecture is fun to look at for a couple of days. And of course, I love the buildings in Edinburgh, having been around for hundreds of years.
In the end, my favourite places are the landscapes and picturesque countrysides and waterfronts where I can leave cliché citylife behind.