Take an extinct volcano, an Old Town straight from medieval times, and elegant Georgian townhouses.
Add in Michelin-starred restaurants, vibrant nightlife and a packed calendar of festivals, and you've got a city that genuinely has universal appeal. Edinburgh, you’re spoiling us.
Arriving at Edinburgh Airport
Edinburgh Airport is around seven miles (11km) from the heart of the city centre – so you could easily be settled in your hotel suite or sipping a cocktail in a George Street bar in just over half an hour.
The easiest route into the city centre is by tram. There’s a tram stop just beyond the arrivals gate, with departures every seven minutes. Buy your ticket before you board. Travelling for business? The tram stops at both Gogarburn and Edinburgh Park, home to some of the city’s biggest financial services firms.
If you want to hit the road, the Airlink 100 Express bus to the city centre departs every 10 minutes from outside the terminal building. Buy your tickets from the driver or at the bus stop machine, or get in a taxi at the rank on the ground floor of the nearby car park.
Travelling on? Edinburgh’s main train hub, Waverley Station, is just five minutes’ walk from the city centre bus depot and Princes Street tram stop.
And if you’d rather get behind the wheel, you can book a hire car in advance with London City Airport and pick it up at the terminal. Edinburgh’s city centre roads can be busy – watch out for the bus lanes and 20mph zones.
Pack your walking shoes — the best way to explore Edinburgh’s nooks and crannies is on foot. The good news? The city is relatively compact: you can walk from the medieval Old Town to the grandeur of New Town in less than 15 minutes. Not so good? Edinburgh is said to have been built on seven hills. Fortunately public transport is good.
You can’t miss the double deck maroon (the true colour is ‘madder’) and white Lothian Buses. Run by Transport for Edinburgh, which also operates Edinburgh Trams, they’ll take you around the city centre and its suburbs.
Buy your ticket on board – use exact change – or opt for reloadable citysmart cards available online or from the Lothian Buses Travelshops at Waverley Bridge, Haymarket or Hanover Street. Top them up as you go. Easier still, turn your mobile phone into a ticket with the Transport for Edinburgh app, buy your m-ticket and flash your phone to the driver. A DAYticket gives you unlimited travel by bus and tram.
If the weather’s good, head upstairs on a hop-on, hop-off open-top sightseeing bus. You’ll find them lined up at Waverley Bridge, close to the main railway hub, Waverley Station.
Edinburgh Trams run from the airport to the city centre with stops at the Royal Bank of Scotland’s headquarters at Gogarburn and Edinburgh Park, home to many financial services businesses.
It runs along Princes Street – with fabulous views of the castle – before halting at York Place, a stone’s throw from the bus depot and Waverley Station. Buy your ticket before you board, use your Transport for Edinburgh DAYticket, smartcard and m-ticket for the bus, as well as trams
You’ll find plenty of traditional black hackney cabs at centrally located taxi ranks, or you can hail one that’s passing by.
Public transport in and around Edinburgh is so good you probably won’t need to hire a car. But if you’re heading further afield — perhaps to St Andrews, the home of golf, or north to the Highlands — then there it's well worth hiring a car in advance. You can hire a car with LCY for collection at Edinburgh Airport.