Travel & Tourism Tips

edinburghEdinburgh Castle is where the Royal Mile starts in Old Town, its dark alleys and meandering avenues comprising the original city center. The Castle itself is at the base of a long-extinct volcano, where it still stands to this day.

Nearby is the Georgian New Town, with its contrasting architecture, streets are laid out in a grid and the buildings reflect the heritage of its 18th-century design. Many of Scotland’s galleries and museums can be found here, and it is also the venue for the world-famous Edinburgh International Festival every August.

The festival brings the town together for three weeks of lively celebration, with street performances, comedy acts, and shows. Celebrities are sometimes spotted in the crowd, and you might just see a familiar face among the visitors sampling a drink at the Scotch Whisky Heritage Centre.

Edinburgh International Airport (EDI)

Location: The airport is 8 miles (13km) west of Edinburgh.

Transfer to the city: Bus stops are at stand 18 on the terminal forecourt road, just outside the UK arrivals hall. There is also a designated taxi rank beside the coach park. From there it takes around 25 minutes to arrive at the city center.

Facilities: The airport provides ATMs, shops, a bureau de change, bars, and restaurants. Facilities for the handicapped are available, contact your airline in advance if you have special needs.

Parking: Outside the terminal building is a car park for quick stops. There is also a long-term car park nearby, with a free bus service to the terminal. There are discounted rates if you reserve in advance.


Medical Services 

The city has 24-hour medical services for accidents and emergencies at The Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, 1 Lauriston Place. For routine medical care, contact the Primary Care department.

Alternative medicine: Napiers Dispensary and Clinic, 1 Teviot Place and 35 Hamilton Place, Stockbridge. Health practitioners providing non-conventional remedies.

Dental: Edinburgh Dental Institute, Level 7, Lauriston Building, Lauriston Place


Sundial Laundrettes offer coin-operated or service washes, full laundry service, ironing, dry-cleaning, and alterations. They have several branches at 7 East London Street, next to the Lost Sock Diner; 84 Dalry Road, 17 Roseneath Street, Tarvit Laundrette, 7 Tarvit Street.

Left Luggage

Left-luggage lockers at Waverley train station, by platform 11, open 07:00-23:00. Also at St Andrew Square bus station on platform A1 (24 hours) and at Edinburgh Airport, in a Portakabin next to the new extension.


Central Library, George IV Bridge. Open Mon-Fri 09:00-21:00, Sat 09:00-13:00. Excellent Scottish and local reference sections.

National Library of Scotland, George IV Bridge. Open Mon-Fri 09:30-20:30, Sat 09:30-13:00. Superb copyright library, for research purposes only. Reference facilities at the Map Room, 33 Salisbury Place.

Lost Property

Property found and handed into the police (including property found in taxis) is sent to the Police HQ at Fettes Avenue. It can be collected Mon-Fri 09:00-17:00. There are lost-property departments at Edinburgh Airport and Waverley train station. Lothian Regional Transport has a lost-property department at Shrub Place, about a third of the way down Leith Walk, on the left-hand side.


The city is generally a safe place but some precaution is advised. Some areas are not recommended for women walking alone at night. The Grassmarket and Lothian Road are not especially dangerous but can be crowded with beer-addled revelers who may tend to be rowdy.

Possibly riskier are the Meadows’ walkways which are abandoned at night. The tight and hidden closes and wynds of the High Street have also been places where assaults have taken place in the past. Leith’s back streets should be avoided at night when they turn into one of Edinburgh’s most notorious red-light districts.

For incidents of robbery or assault, report the crime by calling 999. The police information centre is at 188 High Street, open daily 10:00-22:00

Transport Services

Direct flights arrive at Edinburgh and Glasgow airports from Ireland, Wales, England, Scandinavia, Canada, USA and several countries in central and western Europe. For other countries, you may need to fly first to a major European hub and take a connecting flight from there. Paris, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, and London have the fastest connections to Edinburgh.

Traveling between cities in the UK is least expensive on public buses.

The recently-opened Edinburgh Train Station has international trains.

Trains are usually more costly than buses but better rates are possible if you book early seats or catch a special promotion.

The main routes going to Edinburgh from the north and west are the M90/A9 from Perth and Inverness, and the M8 motorway from Glasgow. From London the fastest route to take by car is the M1 and M6 to Carlisle, then the M74 to Abington and the A702.

Edinburgh is part of the UK ‘s National Cycle Network, and cycling is a good option fotravelingng to and from Edinburgh if you are so inclined.

Visitors from Ireland can use the car-ferry lines at the Larne-Cairnryan and the Belfast-Stranraer crossings. A ferry also runs from Zeebrugge, Belgium to Rosyth, north of Edinburgh.

Main Attractions

Edinburgh Castle

edinburgh castleOne of Scotland’s most famous castles is the Edinburgh Castle, which has seen a number of additions over the years. The oldest part is St. Margaret’s Chapel, dating back to the 12th century. James IV has the Great Hall built in 1510, while the Half Moon Battery was erected in the late 16th century by Regent Morton. After the First World War, the Scottish National War Memorial was added to the castle.

The Crown Jewels of Scotland, the Honours, are housed in the castle, as are the Stone of Destiny, the famed gun Mons Meg from the 15th century, the One o’clock Gun and the National War Museum of Scotland. Guided tours are conducted by the stewards of the castle, and a multi-lingual audio commentary is available.


Palace of Holyrood Edinburgh

National Gallery of Scotland

National Gallery of Scotland

Craigmillar Castle

Craigmillar Castle

Royal Botanic Garden

Royal Botanic Garden

Tours Around Edinburgh

Auld Reekie Tours 
45 Niddry Street
(Just off the Royal Mile)

Bike Trax 
11 Lochrin Place

Celtic Trails 
17 Falcon Gardens
EH10 4AP

City of the Dead Tours
Black Hart Entertainment
40 Candlemaker Row

Discover The Taste
86 Belmont Road
Juniper Green
EH14 5ED

Edinburgh Canal Centre 
27 Baird Road
EH28 8RA

Edinburgh City Sightseeing & Meal Tour 
46/4 Silverknowes Crescent

Edinburgh Literary Pub Tour
Scottish Literary Tour Trust
97b West Bow

Haggis Adventures
60 High Street
The Royal Mile

Heart of Scotland Tours
11 Wellington Street
Tel: 0131 558 8855
Fax: 0131 558 8855

Talking Guides
Edinburgh & Lothians Tourist Board
Tourist information Centre
3 Princes St

Walkabout Scotland 
2 Rossie Place

Where to Stay in Edinburgh

Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh
Balmoral Hotel For Those With Cash to Splash


The Edinburgh Residence
7 Rothesay Terrace EH3 7RY
The Edinburgh Residence is located in the West End and is within 5 minutes walking distance to some of the city’s famous historical buildings and major attractions.

The Howard
34 Great King Street EH3 6QH
The Howard is conveniently located in Edinburgh city centre only a few minutes walk from all the major attractions.

The Bonham Hotel
35 Drumsheugh Gardens EH3 7RN
The Bonham Hotel is conveniently located in the West End of Edinburgh city centre just a few minutes walk from Prince’s Street and most of Edinburgh’s major attractions.

15 South Learmonth Gardens EH4 1EZ
Channings is located in the West End of Edinburgh a few minutes walk from Prince’s Street and all the major attractions.

Apex International
31-35 Grassmarket EH1 2HS
Superbly situated in the heart of the Old Town overlooking the Grassmarket and the great drum tower of Edinburgh Castle.

Botanic House Hotel
27 Inverleith Row EH3 5QH
This former Geogian residence is situated in a tranquil, leafy corner of Edinburgh and bordering the world-renowned Royal Botanic Gardens, within walking distance of the city centre.

Dunstane House Hotel
4 West Coates EH12 5JQ
Dunstane House Hotel is located minutes from Princes Street and Edinburgh city centre. It is also convenient for Murrayfield Stadium and Edinburgh Airport.

Thistle Court Hotel
5 Hampton Terrace EH12 5JD
On the main A8 road a few minutes walk from from Prince’s Street, art galleries and tourist attractions. Car parking on site; good public transport.

Inverleith Hotel
5 Inverleith Terrace City Centre EH3 5NS
only 15 mins walk from Princes Street, edge of Georgian New Town, picturesque area opposite Royal Botanic Gardens, Free on-street parking excellent variety of local restaurants and facilities.


46 Palmerston Place
46 Palmerston Place West End EH12 5BJ
Centrally located in West End of city centre.

Doris Crook
2 Seton Place EH9 2JT
South side of Edinburgh 1 mile from city centre, within the Grange conservation area. On main bus route. Private parking and use of walled garden.

Tantallon B&B
17 Tantallon Place EH91NZ
Attractive Victorian house close to centre of the City and all amenities. Two sunny double ensuites. Private parking and collection from airport bus/station if required.

27a Royal Terrace
27 Royal Terrace EH7 5AH
Friendly family run B&B situated in central Edinburgh’s prestigious and historic Georgian New Town. Close to Princes St, Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood Palace and the new Scottish Parliament.

49 Moray Place
49 Moray Place EH3 6BQ
A centrally located Georgian flat in Edinburgh’s historic New Town, five minutes from city centre, attractions and shopping.


James Square
61/1 James Square Caledonian Crescent EH11 2AT
James Square is located 10 minutes walk from Princes Street in Central Edinburgh.

Forrest Hill
3/11 Forrest Hill EH1 2QL
Charming, sunny, top floor 18th century flat in centre of Edinburgh’s historic old town next to Greyfriars Church yard.

Meadows Flat
42/4 Sciennes EH9 1NL
One block south of the Meadows, one block west of Causewayside. Ten minutes walk from the Royal Mile. Minutes from all buses running to the Mound and South Bridge.

Silvermills Apartment
New Town EH3 6BF
Just 10 minutes walk from Princes Street, and situated in a quiet, landscaped cul-de sac, Silvermills is a bright, modern and extremely comfortable pied-a-terre for five people.

Carlton Terrace Mews
27 Carlton Terrace Mews EH7 5DA
This charming cottage is located at the eastern end of Princes Street on Calton Hill and is within easy walking distance of the city centre and tourist and cultural attractions.


The Allison House
17 Mayfield Gardens EH9 2AX
Mayfield Gardens, 5 minutes from the City Centre.

Southside Guest House
8 Newington Road EH9 1QS
Southside Guest House has a great location, situated right on the edge of the Old Town – only a few minutes from the Castle and all venues and major attractions.

Barony House
23 Mayfield Gardens Newington EH9 2BX
Barony House is a mile from the city centre (Waverley Station,Princes Street)on an fast bus corridor (A701). An excellent location for all Theatres, Clubs and Restaurants.

Balmoral Guesthouse
32 Pilrig st eh6 5al
Situated in North East Edinburgh, within walking distance of the city centre and the shore, close to a main bus route and with free on-street parking.

5 priestfield road EH16 5HH
Ard-Na-Said is a Victorian house in Newington in a quiet residential area 100m from an excellent bus service which offers a speedy access to the heart of Edinburgh.

Where to Eat in Edinburgh

Baxters Food Group 
Ocean Terminal
Ocean Drive, Leith

Beehive Inn 
18-20 Grassmarket

30A Chambers Street

Cafe Hub 
The Royal Mile

Carvers The George Intercontinental
19-21 George Street
Tel: 0131 225 1251
Fax: 0131 226 5644

Cosmo Restaurant 
58a North Castle Street

David Bann Restaurant & Bar 
56-58 St Mary’s Street

Duck’s At Le Marche Noir 
14 Eyre Place

9 Victoria Street

Frankenstein Pub 
26 George IV Bridge

The Stone Room 
The Adventure Centre
South Platt Hill
EH28 8AH

The Witchery By The Castle 
Royal Mile

Viva Mexico 
41 Cockburn Street

Waterfront Wine Bar & Bistro
1c Dock Place

Useful Links & Resources

To add your site to the Edinburgh list of Useful Links click here

Edinburgh Bus Tours

Tourist Information

Edinburgh World Heritage City

Historic Buildings and Ancient Monuments


The National Museums of Scotland (including six separate museums)

The City of Edinburgh Museums & Galleries

Edinburgh Galleries Association

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