Edinburgh is a delightful city, steeped in history and full of interesting things to see and do. Nestled in the hills near Scotland’s coast, the capital city is densely packed with attractions. Because it’s such a desirable destination, if you want to visit during the summer months you should arrange your trip well in advance. Flights and rooms book up early and prices will be at their peak. During the winter months, you may have to deal with bone-chilling damp and daily high temperatures ranging from 43 – 44 degrees Fahrenheit, but the good news is that fewer tourists visit, so you can find good deals on accommodation and cheap flights to Edinburgh. The shoulder seasons of spring and fall could be a good compromise, with relatively warmer weather and a modicum of tourists. Plan your trip in the shoulder seasons and enjoy either the spring blossoms or the fall bloom of heather on the Scottish hillsides.
If you prefer to fly direct from the US to Edinburgh, you can do so with United, American Airlines, Delta, or Norwegian Air International. Many major airlines offer flights that include one or more stops.
Edinburgh Airport is located in the Ingliston area of the city, and offers excellent transport options into Downtown Edinburgh.
Taxis are located on the ground floor of the car park opposite the main terminal. A trip into the city center takes about 25 minutes and costs around £15 GBP.
Airlink bus 100 provides fast and frequent service from stop D at the airport to the city center. It operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with buses every 10 minutes during the day. Travel time is approximately 30 minutes and the adult fare is £4.50 GBP one-way, or £7.50 GBP return. You can also take Skylink 300 from stop F. This bus service runs to the city center and further for a fare of £4.50 GBP in about an hour. The night bus, N22 departs from stop D and travels into the city between 00:45 am and 04:15 am, 7 nights a week. Travel time is 28 minutes and the fare is £3.00 GBP. Finally, you can ride the tram from the airport fare zone, which departs every 7 minutes to the city center. The trip takes 30 minutes and the adult fare is £5.50 GBP.
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Most hotels are within a 10-minute walk from the city center and many of the attractions are located in the adjacent Old and New Town areas, so you’ll find Edinburgh easy to get around on foot. If your feet get tired, there is an efficient network of public transport at your disposal. Driving in the city can be tricky, with narrow, winding, hilly roads. Don’t forget to drive on the left. Here are your options for Edinburgh transportation.
Buses and Trams
Edinburgh’s bus network covers all parts of the city, with over 50 routes during the day, and 12 night bus routes. The buses and the single tram line’s ticketing is integrated, and an adult fare is £1.60 GBP per ride, or you can purchase an unlimited day pass for £4.00 GBP.
Edinburgh’s taxis offer 2 distinct types of services; black cabs, and private taxis. Black cabs can be either hailed down on the street or at a taxi rank, while private taxis must be pre-booked. Fares vary depending on the time and day of the week.
Edinburgh is one of the most bike-friendly cities in the UK with an extensive network of free cycle routes throughout the city. There are several shops renting bikes, but no bike-share program available to the public yet.
The city has so much to offer that you may find it difficult to choose how to spend your time, when you travel to Edinburgh. These attractions are worth a spot on your itinerary.
The weather in Edinburgh is highly variable, and may shift from sunny, to rainy, or calm to stormy several times each day. Always dress in layers and have rainproof gear with you when out and about.
Avoid annoying the Scots by NOT referring to their country as England! Scotland is not a part of England, but a separate nation that joined with England in a union in 1707 to form Great Britain.