Updated 2 months ago

Scotland's capital city is simultaneously less densely populated than Glasgow, and very compact. It has a developed an efficient transport network consisting of buses, trains and the relatively new tram network, but most of all Edinburgh is a city you can walk or bike in.

Getting to and from Edinburgh

Edinburgh airport, just 8 km from the city, is the third biggest in all of UK when it comes to passenger numbers. It provides both domestic and international flights, so it’s a very convenient choice if you want to travel to the rest of the country by air. Depending on the time of day, the journey to the airport from the city takes about 25 minutes, and you can get there by bus, car or taxi.

 Good to know:

A 24-hour airport bus departs every 10 minutes from Waverley Bridge. You can buy tickets at the bus stop, on the bus or online. Find out more here.

Tramway

Edinburgh mainly relied on its bus network until the launch of its tramway network in 2014. Nowadays the tram network is 14-kilometres long and can take you from the city centre to the airport in about 35 minutes. All trams have wifi and are wheelchair accessible with ramps and lifts being provided at each stop.

Find out more about tram ticket prices and itineraries here.

Train

Edinburgh's main train station is in Waverley, and has evolved greatly since its first opening in 1846. Millions of passengers travel through every year, accessing every corner of the country but also UK destinations such as London. There are five main train operators and you can buy tickets at the station’s travel centre, ticket machines and information booths.

Bus

Edinburgh’s bus network is efficient and available in most neighbourhoods, even in the outskirts. There are two main operating companies, Lothian Buses and First Group, both of which offer travel cards for frequent travellers, as well as a mobile app to help you plan your journey.

 Useful links:

Lothian Buses
First Group

Car

If you have a valid driver's license, you may want to rent a car. Note, however, that it can be quite difficult to find parking lots in Edinburgh’s centre — and most of them are paid. The Ring system allows you to use some parking spaces at specific rates.

Taxi

Taxis are readily available throughout the city: more than 1,000 black cabs are available to be hailed in the street or picked up at a taxi rank. Because they can be expensive, most people are happy to share the ride; there is usually enough space for up to 5 passengers. The taxis you can hail in the street are City Cabs: you can download their app, or get a taxi card. Several other private taxi companies are also available to book in advance, but prices can vary so you are advised to use taxi search engines like Better Taxi to help you find the most affordable option.

 Good to know:

Always check that the taxi you’re entering has a PHC plate on the dashboard: that means it has been approved by the Edinburgh City Council, so it’s legal and safe.

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.