Yes, it's touristy and crazy, especially during the Edinburgh Festival but first timers shouldn't miss this iconic street which runs from Holyrood Palace up to Edinburgh Castle. Much of it is pedestrianized and entertainment abounds due to street performers, tourist shops and, just off the mile, some great streets with quirkier shops.
During the Fringe, this is the spot to be when you are looking for offbeat events. Students hand out flyers promoting productions, tickets can be purchasesd at the Fringe box office. There's something for everyone!