All you need to know about getting around the city and the country on public transport in Edinburgh!
You can get around Edinburgh city centre easily by bicycle or on foot. It’s not particularly big as a metropolis and is well–serviced by efficient public transport. As well as the city center, there are really many places to see … how to get around?
Around Edinburgh City
The main service provider is Lothian Buses. The cost of single ticket is £1.80, it is one way but you can go any distance. Tickets can be bought on the bus itself by inserting coins into the machine next to the driver or using a contactless credit or debit card. The machine DOES NOT give change, so have the exact amount ready. There are night buses and the ticket costs £3 but check the timetable before you go out as the routes are much more limited than during the daytime and they don’t go everywhere.
If you decide to do more than two trips on the same day, I recommend the DAYTicket which costs £4.50 and allows unlimited travel during the whole day. They are valid on all buses, except for the night buses and services to the airport. If you pay with contactless, use the same card and you can take as many bus trips as you want for £4.40. You don’t have to tell the driver, it works automatically!
To get to/from the airport, you can use the 100 ‘AirLink’ bus, the 200/300/400 ‘SkyLink’ buses or the tram. To get between the airport and city centre, the fastest way is usually the 100 ‘Airlink’ bus, which runs 24 hours a day. It currently costs £4.50 for a single journey to/from the airport. Buy your ticket using cash or contactless from the bus driver, or from the machine if you take the tram.
If you travel regularly, you can also buy a “Ridacard” in a Lothian Travel Shop and you can choose between a weekly, monthly or yearly pass. For more information and a route map of Edinburgh buses visit Lothian Buses.
All prices correct as of July 2020 – check the latest on the Lothian Buses website.
The main towns and cities of Scotland are connected by a good network of bus lines that cover the whole country. Although they are slower than trains, they are probably the cheapest way of visiting Scotland. The majority of bus services between the cities are provided by Scottish Citylink, Stagecoach, Megabus and National Express. Tickets can be bought in advance by phone, online, at the stations and often onboard.
Travelling by train is not only a quick and convenient way to get around to Scotland but it also gives you the opportunity to travel through and get to know the variety of landscapes that this country has to offer. There are two stations: the principal one is Waverley Station, on Princess Street, the other is Haymarket. Tickets can be bought at the train stations, by phone or online with a credit or debit card. If you book in advance you can get tickets at discounted prices. If the station ticket office is closed, you can use an automated ticket machine. The main train company is Scotrail.
The classic black taxis are large, comfortable, stylish, very striking and equally expensive. Stopping one on the street will not be a problem and there are a lots of taxi ranks in the city center, for example at Waverley Station. The principal companies are:
* Central Taxis (0131 229 2468)
* City Cabs (0131 228 1211)
There are also private hires (normal cars driven by licensed drivers), but you must book them advance. They are normally cheaper than regular taxis. You could use Capital Cars (0131 777 7777) or Uber (book via their app).
4. Ferry boat
Scotland has more than 60 inhabited islands and about fifty of them are connected to the mainland by ferry. The frequency of the routes is higher during the high season and the boats are equipped with every comfort: some ferries are similar to small cruise ships, equipped with cabins and restaurants. Tickets can be one-way or round trip. If you wish to visit several islands, it is advisable to buy an Island Rover ticket, lasting 8 or 15 days. Information on timetables and rates is available on the websites of the respective shipping companies. The main ferry company in Scotland is CalMac.