5 Things to Know Before you Visit Edinburgh

Things to know before you visit Edinburgh is our little Travel Kit that lays out the essential information which you need in helping to plan your trip to one of the most popular destinations in the UK. No matter how frequently you travel, some questions will always need answers: What’s the weather like? How can I get from the airport to my hotel? What currency and type of plug do I need? We have all these answers plus other basic info about the best time to go, getting there, getting around, and a few useful travel tips. It’s all compiled in this Edinburgh Travel Kit. After reading this short and easy-to-read guide, you will be a little more prepared to start your trip in Edinburgh.

Best time to travel to Edinburgh (weather-wise)

  • Edinburgh has a temperate climate, with cold winters and moderately warm summers.
  • The average temperatures range from 1°C in winter to 20°C in summer.
  • Most rainfall occurs in January and October, yet downpours can happen anytime, even during summer. Strong wind often blows in the city.
  • The sunniest and warmest time of the year is from May to September.
  • Summer, in July and August, is the peak tourist season. Hotel and flight prices rise accordingly. August is nevertheless a good time to visit the city as many cool festivals are held during this month.
  • June and September offer good alternative times to go to Edinburgh. The weather is still good and hotel and flight prices are more affordable than during summer.

Edinburgh basics

  • Primary language: English
  • Plug Type: G
  • Electricity: 220-240 V
  • Currency: Pound sterling (£)
  • International Dialling code: +44 131
  • Emergency telephone number: 999

Getting into the city

Edinburgh Airport

Edinburgh Airport is 10 km west of the city centre. It has 1 terminal and is among the busiest airports in the UK. There are several transfer options to get you to central Edinburgh:

  • A taxi to the city centre takes around 20 minutes and costs roughly £20. Taxi ranks can be found on the ground floor of the multi-storey car park facing the terminal.
  • The Airlink bus takes around 30 minutes and costs £4.50. The bus stop is right in front of the terminal’s main entrance.
  • The tram takes around 30 minutes and costs £6. The tram station sits 200 metres from the terminal.
  • Car rental agencies including Avis, Budget and Hertz can be found in the arrival hall of the terminal.
Edinburgh Waverley Railway Station

Waverley Railway Station is located right in the heart of Edinburgh. It links Edinburgh to the main towns in Scotland, and to major destinations in England, including London, Sheffield and Birmingham, just to name a few. From here, you can get to your hotel by bus, taxi or tram. The closest tram stop is St. Andrew Square, 250 metres north of Waverley.

Getting around Edinburgh

The most pleasant way to explore Edinburgh city centre – the Old Town – is on foot. You’ll find many landmarks within a 1-km circle around Waverley Railway Station, such as Edinburgh Castle, the National Museum of Scotland and Calton Hill. For longer journeys, the city’s transport services are as efficient as they are affordable. Bus and tram networks help you to go anywhere in Edinburgh.

  • Lothian and First Edinburgh are the 2 main bus companies in the capital city of Scotland. The price of a single ticket is £1.70, while a 1-day ticket costs £4.
  • Prices are the same on the tram: £1.70 for a single ride and £4 for a 1-day ticket.
  • Bus and tram prices are higher at night. Expect to pay around £3 for a single ride.
  • Bus tickets are purchased directly on the bus.
  • Tram tickets can be purchased at the vending machines available at each tram stop.
  • Hop on, hop off buses can also be found on Waverley Bridge, right next to the railway station. City sightseeing tour prices start from £15.
Taking a taxi
  • Many taxi and black cab companies operate in Edinburgh. The most popular are City Cabs, Capital Cars, Central Taxis and ComCab.
  • Over 80 taxi ranks can be found throughout the city.
  • Taxis can be hailed on the street unless a taxi rank is available nearby.
  • The initial rates range between £2.60 and £4.60 depending on the day and time of the ride.
  • Most cabs in Edinburgh accept the payment by credit card.
  • Uber, Hailo and MyTaxi are a few of the apps that you can use to hail a cab in Edinburgh.

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