Skip Navigation

Edinburgh

Photo © africraigs

Travel Guide Europe United Kingdom Scotland Edinburgh

edit

Introduction

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle

© All Rights Reserved eTRAVEL

Edinburgh may be dubbed the Athens of the North, but in truth it is an exceptional and unique city. While it's surpassed in size by Glasgow, Edinburgh is Scotland's most popular attraction as well as its capital. It is home to the Scottish Parliament and features a historic combination of Georgian and Medieval architectural styles. Not surprisingly, its Old Town and New Town have both been named as UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Edinburgh's major drawcard each year is the world-famous Edinburgh Festival, which is held in August. This 4-week collection of festivals generally attracts as many visitors as there are permanent residents in the city.

Top

edit

Neighbourhoods

Old Town

The Royal Mile, Edinburgh Castle, and Holyrood Palace all reside in Old Town. The area is filled with budget hostels, pubs, restaurants, and tourist attractions. Other places of interest in Old Town include Greyfriar's Kirkyard, St Gile's Cathedral, Mary King's Close, and the Royal Museum of Scotland. The Edinburgh Vaults are also located in Old Town.

Old Town, along with neighbouring New Town (see below), was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995.

New Town

The New Town, located just north of Princes Street Gardens, is home to many shops, banks, restaurants, and internet cafes. Along with vast amounts of commercialism, New Town has a great view of Edinburgh Castle. The Scott Monument is also located in this district, which gives incredible views of the city.

Top

edit

Leith

You can experience the 'real' Edinburgh by walking down Leith Walk (or hopping on a bus). Leith has lots of bars such the infamous Port o' Leith (expect dancing on the bar Friday and Saturday night) and the quaint Roseleaf (cocktails in teapots). Young professionals tend to live in Leith as the council tax is unaffordable in The Old Town. On a nice day a stroll along Barnton beach is recommended.

Stockbridge and Canonmills

These neighbourhoods lie just north of New Town and contains the Royal Botanic Garden.

South Queensferry

South Queensferry rests at the foot of the Forth Rail Bridge on the banks of the Firth of Forth. There are many quaint restaurants along the shore as well as ferry docks that lead to numerous places around the Firth.

=Portobello Beach=
Portobello Beach is a quick bus ride out of the city. If you do like to be beside the seaside this is the place for you.

Top

edit

Sights and Activities

Edinburgh Castle Guns

Edinburgh Castle Guns

© All Rights Reserved StephenJen

  • Edinburgh Castle is a must for anyone visiting Edinburgh City, sitting atop a massive rock overlooking all of Edinburgh and offering the best views of the city, particularly on a clear day. See the Scottish Crown Jewels when you are here. Save money on the already reasonable entrance fee by booking online. Listen out for a bang at one o'clock!
  • You can go under ground to experience old Edinburgh tales at Mary Queen's Close.
  • Start at the Castle and walk down towards The Scottish Parliament - this is The Royal Mile.
  • If you fancy an easy climb, Arthur's Seat (hill) sits behind The Scottish Parliament. Great views of the city.
  • Lots of unusual cinemas to catch a film at Edinburgh Film Theatre; The Cameo (old school) and The Dominion (you can book a couch and take in a drink).

Top

edit

Events and Festivals

  • St Andrew's Day (30 Nov 2013 - 30 Nov 2013) - The Scottish bank holiday is to commemorate Scotland's patron saint. The weekend usually hosts a range of free events, for example, free entry is granted at several attractions in Edinburgh. Edinburgh Castle Esplanade hold exciting winter celebrations too on this weekend. Ceilidhs (traditional Gaelic social gathering) often takes place on this day too which allows you to try out some traditional Scottish country dancing to lively bands.
  • Edinburgh Sparkles - Winter in Edinburgh is packed full of events and festivities - too many to list! In 6 weeks of festive celebrations, there's ice skating rinks, treasure hunts, hogmanay, dancing, snowsport fefstivals, food and drinks. Check out the listings and suggested itineraries!
  • The Royal Highland Show (June) - This four day event provides fun for the family! Entertainment, outdoor living and countryside, shopping/fashion, food and drink and some of the farmyard's finest animals make this event one of the best days out in the country. Falconry, gun dog displays, terrier racing, inspiration for your larder, competing. You name it, it features everything to do with the countryside. Over 183,000 visitors come every year.
  • The Edinburgh Military Tattoo (August) - Dazzling and spectacular events are held on the Esplanade of Edinburgh Castleto over three weeks. Annually, a series of military tattoos (army displays) performed by British Armed Forces, Commonwealth and International Military Bands and display teams perform to a huge audience, and is also broadcasted on international television. The Tattoo includes massed pipe and drum bands, lively dancing, routines, light shows and fireworks. It is performed every weekday evening and twice on Saturdays, but has consistantly sold out so buy buying in advance is a must!
  • Beltane Fire Festival (30 Apr 2014) - Up on Calton Hill, the Beltane Fire festival attratcs crowds up to 12,000 who turn up to watch the fire, drumming and revelry of the Celtic fertility festival. Beltane, meaning "bright/sacred fire", is held to mark the blossoming of Spring and the ancient pastoral tradition of moving livestock to summer grazing grounds.
  • 6 Nations Rugby - Held at Murrayfield Stadium, this huge rugby event gets the city buzzing with energy and excitement. The whole country gets behind the matches attracting thousands of visitng fans, making it a busy yet fun time to visit the city.
  • Edinburgh Mela Festival (End August - Beginning September) - This is one of Europe's largest multi-cultural events where diversity is celebrated through music and style. "Mela" meaning "gathering" in Sanskrit showcases worldwide cultures to celebrate their communities. A load of events are put on, such as visual exhibbitions, dancing, theatre, film, food stalls, crafts, and performances from international and local talent. Address: Leith (minutes from downtown Edinburgh)
  • Edinburgh Fringe Festival (03 Aug 2013 - 27 Aug 2013) - The Edinburgh Fringe Festival takes place in August every year, and is the largest arts festival in the world.There are a number of varied performances from classic works, alternative arts and more mainstream fare. The festival takes place in a number of venues (over 250 in 2006) throughout Edinburgh, including a number of street performers on the "Royal Mile" in Edinburgh's old town.

Hogmanay Festival is the Scottish celebration of the last day of the year and is part of the festive events. On December 31st, Edinburgh holds one of the largest in the world as it spans for a three day spectacular. It begins with a massive torch light procession from Parliament Square to the Son et Lumiére on Calton Hill, ending in fireworks to signal the beginning of the festivities. The city hosts an all night street party and features many popular bands/DJs/live entertainment by the impressive Castle. Loony Dook takes place on New Years Day where the brave (or crazy) wade into the freezing waters of th River Forth.

Top

edit

Weather

Edinburgh has a typical maritime climate with cool summers and mild winters. June to September is summer season with temperatures between 16 °C and 18 °C and nights around 11 °C. Winters are still above zero, even at night. The highest and lowest temperatures possible are 28 °C and -9 °C. Precipitation is evenly distributed throughout the year, with autumn and winter being the wettest time and spring being the driest time. May is the driest and most sunny month of the year.

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg Max6.2 °C6.5 °C8.7 °C11.1 °C14.2 °C17.3 °C18.8 °C18.5 °C16.2 °C13.2 °C8.7 °C6.9 °C
Avg Min0.3 °C0 °C1.5 °C3.1 °C5.7 °C8.7 °C10.3 °C10.2 °C8.4 °C5.9 °C2.1 °C0.9 °C
Rainfall57 mm42 mm51 mm41 mm51 mm51 mm57 mm65 mm67 mm65 mm63 mm58 mm
Rain Days17.213.616.21414.413.313.115.216.516.716.316.3

Top

edit

Getting There

By Plane

Edinburgh Airport (IATA: EDI, ICAO: EGPH) is about 10 kilometres from the city centre. Flights to Europe and Canada reach dozens of locations. Low-cost airline Ryanair has many flights, including to Alicante, Berlin, Bologna, Bordeaux, Bournemouth, Bratislava, Bremen, Brussels, Cagliari, Dublin, Gdansk, Girona, Frankfurt-Hahn, Haugesund, Krakow, Lanzarote, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Limoges, Málaga, Malta, Marseille, Palma de Mallorca, [[Pisa, Poznan, Oslo, Rome, Shannon, Stockholm, Tenerife-South, Weeze (near Düsseldorf), Wroclaw and Zadar.

To/from the airport

  • Car: The airport lies on the A8 Glasgow-Edinburgh road, and can be easily reached by the M8 (from Glasgow) and the M9 (from Stirling). The airport is also within easy access from the M90 motorway (from Perth) via the Forth Road Bridge. Taxis and rental cars are both widely available at the airport.
  • Bus: Lothian Buses provides public transportation to the airport with the Airlink 100 express bus from Edinburgh city centre, as well as local bus services. Stagecoach operates the AirDirect 747 express bus service between the airport and Inverkeithing railway station and Ferrytoll Park and Ride in Fife, and the Gyle Shopping Centre and Heriot-Watt University.

By Train

National Express Trains from London (King's Cross) take five hours. There are links to Aberdeen, Inverness, Manchester, Newcastle and York.

By Car

Edinburgh is well connected by good roads and signs both in and out of the city are good as well. Note that for a first time visitor driving into central Edinburgh can be a bit of a nightmare, especially during rush hours.

By Bus

National Express and Mega Bus link cities in Scotland and England.

Top

edit

Getting Around

By Car

Taxis are fairly expensive. The minimum charge is £1.50 (£2.50 at night) for the first 300 metres or so.

By Public Transport

Many local trains depart from Waverley Station and run to the outer edges of the city, such as South Queensferry. There is also a two bus companies that provide service to the area, Lothian and First. Buses typically require exact change. Check with the bus company for the current rate.

By Foot

Edinburgh is a very walkable city. Most of the major tourist attractions are within walking distance of the Royal Mile. The charm and beauty of the city make your feet the perfect mode of transportation.

Top

edit

Eat

Maxies Bistro & Wine Bar is a fantastic place to eat when up the Castle end of the Royal Mile, with a great menu and fabulous atmosphere, especially on a sunny day where you can sit out on the terrace. Address: 5b Johnston Terrace, Edinburgh, EH1 2PW

A nice Italian on george street is Centotre, 103 George Street, Edinburgh, Lothian EH2 3ES, United Kingdom, tel: +44 131 225 1550, fax: +44 131 225 2578, Transit: Edinburgh Rail Station (900 metres). Close to some nice shops if you are in for a lunch, also a great location for heading to some nice cocktail bars afterwards.

Top

edit

Drink

Drinking in Edinburgh is a good night wether you are out for the pubs or out to enjoy the nightclubs, there is something for everyone. For a social gathering around the pubs The Royal mile is a good place to start as well as some great places in the grass market places such as The Beehive (18-20 Grassmarket, Old Town, Edinburgh EH1 2JU, United Kingdom, tel: +44 131 225 7171, Transit: Edinburgh Rail Station (800 metres).

If you are looking for a more modern and somewhere you can also enjoy a great atmosphere with a more young feel to it then try george street:

  • Candy Bar - This is an unverified listing. 113 George Square Ln, Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh EH2 4JN, United Kingdom, tel: +44 131 225 9179.

There are many places to enjoy the nightlife in edinburgh whatever your taste is you will find it here. Although try to stick to the one area as a lot of pubs and clubs are spaced out decide where you are heading first to avoid spending your night travelling from place to place! Enjoy.

Top

edit

Sleep

Budget

PropertyAddressTypePopularity
A Flat Apart23 Fountainhall RdApartment-
Argyle Backpackers14 Argyle Place MarchmontHostel83
Ashdene House23 Fountainhall RoadGuesthouse-
Aynetree Guest House12 Duddingston Crescent (Milton Road)Guesthouse85
Ballantrae HotelThe Ballantrae Hotel/Apartments 8-12 York PlaceHotel85
Bank Hotel1 South Bridge Royal MileHotel84
Belford Hostel6/8 Douglas GardensHostel80
Ben Craig House3 Craigmillar Park NewingtonGuesthouse-
Blacket Garden Flat46c Blacket PlaceGuesthouse-
Brodies Hostels93 High St The Royal MileHostel80
Budget Backpackers37-39 Cowgate GrassmarketHostel86
Bus Station Backpackers Edinburgh Hostel30a Dublin StreetHostel-
Caledonian Backpackers3 Queensferry Street Edinburgh EH2 4PAHostel84
Castle Rock Hostel15 Johnston TerrraceHostel90
Cowgate Tourist Hostel96 CowgateHostel80
Dalmore Lodge14 Downie Terrace EdinburghGuesthouse-
Drumorne Guest House82 Willowbrae RoadGuesthouse-
Edinburgh Backpackers65 Cockburn St EH1 1BUHostel81
Edinburgh Central9 Haddington PlaceHostel83
Edinburgh Metro11/2 Robertsons Close CowgateHostel80
Euro Hostel Edinburgh Halls4/2 Kincaids Court (cnr Guthrie St) CowgateHostel82
Glenallan Guest House19 Mayfield RoadGuesthouse-
Glenfiddich ApartmentAnnandale Street Leith WalkApartment-
Granville GuesthouseGranville Guesthouse 13 Granville TerraceGuesthouse83
Grassmarket Hotel94-96 GrassmarketHotel84
Grosvenor Gardens1 Grosvenor GardensHotel85
High Street Hostel8 Blackfriars StreetHostel86
Inchgrove House8 Forres Street EdinburghGuesthouse-
Mansion James Craig CourtJames Craig Court 27-31 James Craig WalkHOSTEL81
Edinburgh Regency Guest House12 Granville TerraceGUESTHOUSE83
Lantern Guest House3 Windsor StreetGuesthouse83
Let's EdinburghDalry GaitApartment85
Martin's Guest House5 Granville TerraceGuesthouse-
McDonald Road6 McDonald Road EdinburghHostel83
Merith House Hotel2-3 Hermitage Place Leith LinksHotel81
Minto Guest House23 Minto StreetGuesthouse83
Murrayfield Hotel18 Corstorphine RoadHotel87
Northumberland Hotel31-33 Craigmillar Park NewingtonHotel79
Park View House Hotel14 Hermitage Place Leith LinksHotel82
Portsburgh Court56 Lady Lawson Street EdinburghHostel83
Princes Street Backpackers East5 West Register StreetHostel81
Regent House Hotel3-5 Forth StreetHotel-
Royal Mile Backpackers105 High StreetHostel87
smartcityhostels Edinburgh50 Blackfriars StreetHostel85
St Christopher's EdinburghAbove Belushis Bar 9-13 Market StreetHostel82
Student Residences Queen Margaret UniversityMusselburgh East LothianHostel82
Central Hotel139 CowgateHotel81
The Thistle House1 Kilmaurs Terrace Edinburgh EH16 5BZGuesthouse85
The Westend Hostel35 Palmerston Place as aboveHostel86
Pollock Halls - Edinburgh FirstPollock Halls 18 Holyrood Park RoadHostel83
The Hostel3 Clifton Terrace EH12 5DRHostel79
Blossom8 Minto Street EdinburghGuesthouse80
Edinburgh Nights Hostel87 Shandwick PlaceHostel-
Art Roch Hostel2 West Port Grassmarket, EdinburghHostel-
A Room for Two109 / 1F2 Grove Street EdinburghGuesthouse-
Portsburgh Square10 Portsburgh Square EdinburghAPARTMENT83
The Richmond Hotel20 Leopold Place London RoadHotel-
Herald House Hotel70-72 Grove StreetHotel88
Edinburgh House Hotel90-92 Pilrig StreetHOTEL83
Edinburgh City Bed&Breakfast7B West Maitland StreetGuesthouse82
5 The Sandaig5 East Hermitage Place Leith LinksHotel89
MW Town House11 Spence StreetGuesthouse-
Piries Hotel4-8 Coates Garden HaymarketHOTEL83
A-Haven Townhouse Hotel180 Ferry RoadHotel-
Ballantrae at The West End6 Grosvenor Crescent West EndHotel84
The Lairg11 Coates GardensGUESTHOUSE-
Chalmers Street36 Chalmers Street EdinburghHostel82
Panmure32 Carlton Road EdinburghApartment83
Lady Nicolson Court38 PotterrowApartment82
South Bridge Apartments39 South Bridge,Apartment-
Culane House Hotel9 Hermitage PlaceHOTEL-
Acer Apartments5 Ritchie Place EdinburghAPARTMENT-
Murrayfield Rooms102 Corstorphine Road EdinburghAPARTMENT-
Relax Guest House11 Eyre PlaceGuesthouse-
Abcorn Guest House4 Mayfield GardensGuesthouse-
The Old Schoolhouse Hostel Apartments5 Drummond Street EdinburghHostel80
Barony House20 Mayfield Gardens EdinburghGUESTHOUSE-
The International Guesthouse37 Mayfield GardensGUESTHOUSE83
Allison House17 Mayfield Gardens Edinburgh EH92AXGUESTHOUSE-
Highfield Guest House83 Mayfield roadGUESTHOUSE-
The Beverley40 Murrayfield AvenueGUESTHOUSE-
Alpha Guest House19 Old Dalkeith Road EdinburghGUESTHOUSE-
Kariba Guesthouse10 Granville TerraceGUESTHOUSE81
Auld Reekie Guest House16 Mayfield Gardens, Edinburgh EH9 2BZGUESTHOUSE-
Mrs Marlyn Blackley B&B7 Cambridge Gardens EdinburghGUESTHOUSE83
Aonach Mor Guest House14 Kilmaurs TerraceGUESTHOUSE-
Gil Dun Guest House9 Spence StreetGUESTHOUSE-
Sonas Guest House3 East MayfieldGUESTHOUSE-
Smart at IQ69 GrovestreetAPARTMENT84
Adventure in the MeadowKirkhill Estate GorebridgeCampsite-
City Centre Hostel1 Inglis CourtHostel81
Haggis Hostels5 West Register StreetHOSTEL85
Summer Hostel - Cowgate Campus AccomZiggurat - Wellgate House 200 CowgateHOSTEL82
Kirkhill MansionKirkhill MansionGUESTHOUSE-
Boreland Lodge Hotel31/33 Borland Road Inverkeithing FifeHotel85
Thrums Hotel14 - 15 Minto StreetHotel-
Edinburgh Euro Lodge Hostel39 Atholl Crescent Lane EdinburghHOSTEL-
Edinburgh Playhouse Apartments81/3 Hopetoun StreetAPARTMENT-
Halls of Residence - Jewel & Esk College24 Milton Road EastAPARTMENT-
Art House Central Hostel8 Blenheim Place @ Royal TerraceHOSTEL-
Euro Lodge39 Athol Crescent LaneHostel-
Light House Hostel20 Gilmore PlaceHOSTEL88
By The Mile B&BFlat 5, 3 Coinyie House Close South Gray's Close, 40 The High StreetGUESTHOUSE-
Royal Mile ApartmentApartment 2F2 17 Milton StreetAPARTMENT-
Mansion Festivals- Fountainbridge123 Fountainbridge West TollcrossAPARTMENT-
Summer Hostel - Beaverbank Campus Accom17 Beaverbank PlaceHOSTEL81
Cloudberry Apartment26 Dalkeith RoadAPARTMENT-
Masson House18 Holyrood Park RoadGUESTHOUSE-
46 Pilrig Street46 Pilrig StreetGUESTHOUSE-
Kingsway Guest House5 East MayfieldGUESTHOUSE-
Snoozebox Hotel EdinburghSnoozebox Village New StreetHotel-
Lyncliff Hotel4 Windsor StreetHotel-
Capital West End3 Torphichen StreetGUESTHOUSE-
Calton ApartmentsH/O: Abbey Hotel 9 Royal TerraceApartment-
The Glenrose15 Mayfield GardensGUESTHOUSE-
Ritz Hotel14-16 Grosvenor Street HaymarketHOTEL-
Brooks Hotel70-72 Grove StreetHotel-
Tania Guesthouse19 Minto StreetGUESTHOUSE-
Malone's Old Town Hostel14 Forrest RoadHOSTEL-
Edinburgh Church Apartments15/1 Caledonian RoadAPARTMENT-
Summerhostels - Meadowcourt campus accom13- 29 Meadow Court, Sciennes,HOSTEL-
Alba Hills Guest House33 Mayfield GardensHotel-

Top

Top

edit

Keep Connected

Internet

The easyInternetcafe at 58 Rose Street in New Town is easy to find with its' bright orange logo. It has good rates, a helpful staff, and an extremely convenient location.

Internet cafés can be found in many cities and towns. All UK public libraries provide access, often branded as "People's Network", usually at no or little charge, though there is usually a time limit. Some hotels/hostels also offer internet access, including wifi, but most times at a cost. Using the internet on your personal phone can become expensive very quickly, with carriers charging 100's of times the local rate for data. To avoid these expensive roaming charges, you can hunt for wifi at a local cafe or hotel, or rent a mobile hotspot via several providers including DATAPiXY, and XCOM Global.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

The country calling code to the United Kingdom is: 44. To make an international call from the United Kingdom, the code is: 00

In case of emergency, call 999 or 112 from any phone. Such calls are free and will be answered by an emergency services operator who will ask you for your location, and the service(s) you need (police, fire, ambulance, coastguard or mountain rescue). You can call this number from any mobile telephone as well, even if you do not have roaming.

Although the number is declining, you can still find payphones in many public areas, especially stations, airports etc. You can usually pay with cash and sometimes by creditcard or, for international calls, special phonecards are still available.

Mobile phones are heavily used. The main networks are T-Mobile, Vodafone, Orange and O2. 3G data services are available, usually priced per megabyte and coverage is usually very good in the UK, however it may lack in rural areas. Roaming on your personal phone plan can be expensive. To manage costs, consider purchasing a local UK SIM card for your phone. Several companies offer local SIM cards including Telestial, and CellularAbroad.

Post

The Royal Mail provides postal services in the United Kingdom. The Royal Mail's store fronts are called Post Office and offer services ranging from sending letters and packages to foreign currency exchange. Use the branch locator to find the nearest Post Office branch. There will be at least one post office in any town/city and there are quite often post offices in larger villages. It's common for a post office to be incorporated into a grocery store, where there will be a small counter located at the back of the store for dealing with post related matters. All post offices are marked with signs that say 'post office' in red lettering. Post boxes can be found at any post office and standalone large red post boxes on the streets or red boxes in the sides of public buildings.
For sending packages overseas, it might be a good idea to check prices and services with international companies like TNT, UPS or DHL.

Top

Quick Facts

[edit]

Population
468,070
Postcode
EH
Area Code
0131
Coordinates
  • Latitude: 55.950254
  • Longitude: -3.187606

Contributors

as well as slugtrek (10%), Hien (6%), WHYDT (5%), dr.pepper (4%), clm89 (3%), Lavafalls (3%), StephenJen (3%), KellieBarnes (2%), nigelpeaco (1%), Herr Bert (1%), Peter (1%)

Help contribute to this article to share the ad revenue.

Edinburgh Travel Helpers

  • WHYDT

    I live over the water in Fife but lived in Leith for over a year.

    Ask WHYDT a question about Edinburgh
  • Kate T.

    I stayed for 3 days in Scotland last 2011. I will go back again this June. Hopefully I can help other travelers by answering queries about transportation, hotels, food, and places to see. While locals would definitely be more knowledgeable, its nice to hear feedback from tourist like me :)

    Ask Kate T. a question about Edinburgh
  • hotelstvedi

    I'm the accommodation finder, reviewer and booker for www.Hotels.tv here in Edinburgh. I also have a blog that highlights everything great going on in Scotland's capital city.

    Ask hotelstvedi a question about Edinburgh

This is version 59. Last edited at 15:37 on Aug 17, 14 by Utrecht. 96 articles link to this page.

  • Feature Article
  • (Only editable by Full Members)

Creative Commons License
Except where otherwise noted, content of this article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License