Edinburgh Travel & Transport

The transport system in Edinburgh offers visitors a number of ways to get around including taking public transport including buses and trains to using the road with car hire and coaches.

Edinburgh is served by a local bus network providing transport across the city of Edinburgh, to the outskirts of the city and the Lothians. Local bus services and timetables are shown at: Lothian Buses and at First Buses

Edinburgh Bus Station provides bus services around the city of Edinburgh, the local suburbs and further a field to Edinburgh and London.

Trains in Edinburgh serve a number of routes across the centre of Edinburgh and the surrounding areas. Edinburgh has two main railway stations in the city, the main Edinburgh Waverley Railway station located in the city centre and Haymarket Railway station located approx one mile to the west of Princes Street close to the West End.

Edinburgh Waverley station is the largest station in Edinburgh and is used for services on the East Coast mainline to Birmingham New Street and London Euston. The service is operated by East Coast. The approx journey time from London to Edinburgh is 4 hours 30 minutes.

ScotRail operates an overnight sleeper service between London Euston and Edinburgh with a journey time of approx 7 hours 30 minutes.

Edinburgh Waverley includes several mainline rail routes offering local and regional services including services to Glasgow, Leeds, Manchester, Dundee, Perth, Aberdeen and Inverness.

Haymarket station includes services to Glasgow, Leeds, Manchester, Dundee and London King’s Cross.

For more information including timetables, connections and tickets please see Scotrail

The city of Edinburgh is a cycle friendly city that can be explored by bicycle via a number of cycle routes that cyclists can use to see the city and its various attractions. In the compact city centre using a bicycle offers a viable alternative to using a car or public transport. The Explore Edinburgh by Bike includes cycle maps and things to see along the way.

For more information please see: Edinburgh Cycling

Public Transport Safety Tips
Most journeys on public transport in Edinburgh go ahead without incident, in order to minimise the chances of any incidents, passengers may wish to consider the following safety tips:

- Be aware of your belongings at all times.
- Do not leave your bags and belongings unattended at any time.
- Stay alert and aware of your environment and those around you.
- Do not show valuables including money and jewellery in public.
- If you are carrying a bag/handbag, ensure you use a bag that has a strong good quality strap and wear it across your shoulder (not on your shoulder), with the pockets closed facing towards your waist. Carrying the bag on your shoulder makes it much easier for criminals to snatch the bag or cut the strap.
- Be careful and cautious in crowds and beware of pickpockets, do not leave anything valuable showing in public including wallets in back trouser pockets.
- Sit in carriages with other passengers do not sit in carriages with no/fewer passengers.
- Try not to use smaller/isolated stations especially at night.
- When waiting for buses, trains, boats and taxis stand with other passengers in an area that is well lit, do not stand/wait in isolated areas.

There are a number of car hire firms in Edinburgh that offer car rental services for both short and longer term car hire offering a range of vehicles from small budget cars to family cars to larger mini-buses and luxury cars. Edinburgh does experience traffic congestion along with many other cities, the traffic is usually at its peak during the peak morning and evening rush hours however road incidents and unforeseen circumstances can create traffic congestion at all times.

Edinburgh has good road connections to other areas in Scotland and to England. The M8 motorway links Edinburgh to Glasgow, whilst the M74 motorway links Edinburgh to England. The West Coast of Scotland is accessible via the M77 and the M9 gives access to Stirling.

Parking in Edinburgh is available in the main car parks and on street parking. Among the main city car parks are the Omni Centre, Waverley Station and St James Centre.

On Street car parking is available in areas of the city centre, west end and old and new towns, the charges and maximum stay vary according to the zone. It is recommended drivers ensure they fully understand the rules of where exactly they are parking and always check before they park if they are unsure on any aspect of the rules and regulations.

Drivers should note there are parking restrictions in the city and there may be driving restrictions in and around the city centre. Following the rules is advised as any infringement is likely to be met with strict enforcement of fines.

For more information please see: Edinburgh Parking for more details on Edinburgh parking and car parks.

Edinburgh is easily accessible by coach with coach services from a number of UK towns and cities including from London where there are regular coach services to Edinburgh with a journey time of between 9 hours to 11 hours depending on the service. Both National Express and Megabus offer coach services from London to Edinburgh. There are also coach services to Edinburgh from Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham and Newcastle.

Licensed Edinburgh Taxis are available across the city with taxi ranks located in travel and business areas including Edinburgh Waverley station, Haymarket station, shopping centres and bus stations. Licensed taxis operate with fares metered and may have a minimum charge. Taxis offer a convenient way to travel around the city especially for visitors who have heavy shopping or are travelling in the evenings or at night.

Taxi companies in Edinburgh include City Cabs and ComCab Edinburgh

Minicabs offer visitors a cheaper option to using taxis; in general they usually charge cheaper rates and need to be pre-booked in advance. Unlike taxis they cannot be hailed from the street, licensed minicabs from reputable firms offer a good option to get around Edinburgh. Visitors should be aware vehicles are not recognisable as taxis are; they usually look just like ordinary cars.

Minicabs can usually carry 4 passengers with larger vehicles available to carry more. When using minicabs it is recommended visitors only use those that are licensed as a Private Hire Operator with the local council ensuring the vehicle and river are subject to regular checks.

Please Note: Visitors should be aware of unlicensed, unbooked minicabs and those touting for business on the street including outside tourist attractions, stations and public places, it is strongly recommended not to use these for your own safety

There are no direct passenger ferries to Edinburgh, however visitors from Europe can use the service from Amsterdam to Newcastle which is approx 2.5 hours drive from Edinburgh. Services are operated by DfDS Seaways. In addition there are services from Rotterdam and Zeebrugge to Hull, provided by P & O Ferries. Hull is approx 5 hours drive from Edinburgh.

From Larne and Belfast in Northern Ireland there are services to Stranraer and Cairnryan in Dumfries and Galloway in Scotland, located approx 3 hours drive from Edinburgh. Services are provided by both P & O Ferries and Stenaline.

Edinburgh Airport is located approx 8 miles to the west of Edinburgh city centre, with a journey time of approx 25 minutes by car. The airport is used by approx 40 airlines serving over 100 destinations around the world. Edinburgh Airport is connected to Edinburgh city centre via bus with regular services including the Airlink 100 express shuttle service that runs from the airport to Waverley Bridge close to Princes Street in the city centre with a journey time of approx 25 minutes.

Currently there are no direct train or tram services from Edinburgh city centre to the airport, the Edinburgh Tram network is under construction and is due for completion in 2014 that will offer direct tram services to the airport.

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