Travel Tips for Visitors to Edinburgh

Edinburgh, found in central eastern Scotland, is a capital city filled with medieval structures and classic architecture. It is one of the most beautiful cities in all of Europe thanks to its amazing location, with rolling hills on one side and the blue waters of the North Sea on the other.

It is a great spot to vacation and its narrow streets and cobblestone roads have endless hidden gems and treasures for you to discover.

Edinburgh is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and there are so many incredible things to see and do. It is always a good idea to do some research before you travel somewhere new, and if you are planning a trip to this charming city, there are some things that you should know.

Keep reading for some travel tips that might come in handy during your time in Edinburgh! Our first suggestion is to visit an Edinburgh luggage storage facility to keep your bags out of the way while you are exploring the different neighborhoods.

Travel Tips for Visitors to Edinburgh

Getting Around the City

  • Travel by Foot

Edinburgh is a fairly small town which means that you can easily get around by foot. Walking around will also save you money and you will really get to know the city, and maybe even find a cool shop or cafe hidden throughout its narrow streets.

If you want to go somewhere that is a little further away you can always rent a bike. Be aware that the city bike sharing system in Edinburgh is no longer available, but there are still independent companies where you can find a bicycle to rent.

  • Try to Avoid Public Transport

Trams, trains, buses, and cars are other ways that you can get around the city, but we recommend avoiding them as much as possible because walking is just more convenient.

If you do want to take the bus or tram you will have to be prepared before getting on board with the exact change, and just note that it will probably take longer to reach your destination using public transport than if you were walking or biking due to traffic.

travel tips to Edinburgh

Planning Your Itinerary

  • Take Advantage of Free Attractions

Edinburgh is home to so many interesting attractions, and a bonus is that quite a few of them are offered for free! Of course, lots of places ask for donations but they are still very affordable, so planning your trip on a budget will be a breeze.

For some ideas to start you off, we suggest checking out the National Museum of Scotland, the Botanic Gardens, the Museum of Edinburgh, a free tour of the Scottish Parliament, the Writer’s Museum, and the Princes Street Gardens. The National Gallery of Scotland is also free to enter, although some temporary exhibitions might have a fee.

  • Book Spots in Advance

Did you know that more than 3 million people visit this city every year? Edinburgh can get pretty busy with crowds, especially during the high season, which can make it difficult to find spots for tours or other attractions.

If you can, we suggest planning your trip ahead of time and reserving your tickets or spot now, whether it is for a museum, a landmark, a restaurant, or even your hotel.

Where to Stay

  • Old Town

The Old Town is the city center of Edinburgh and definitely the best place to stay if you want to see all of the main attractions.

You won’t even have to rely on public transport to get to most places since all of the top sights will be within walking distance! Of course, if you want to venture outside of the city you will have the Waverley Railway Station just around the corner.

  • Stockbridge

If you are looking for somewhere to stay at a bit of a slower pace, then consider booking a hotel room in Stockbridge. This neighborhood has an authentic feel to it and will definitely have fewer crowds than in the city center.

Plus, there are lots of cute vintage stores and more upscale boutiques in the area, so you can go on a little shopping spree right outside of your hotel! You will be a little further away from the main sights of Edinburgh, so if you are hoping to do some sightseeing you will have to prepare to commute in and out of the area.


What to Look Out For

  • Pickpockets

The good news is that Edinburgh is a very safe city, so you can feel comfortable walking around at night and don’t have to worry about avoiding any potentially dangerous neighborhoods.

However, pickpockets exist in every city and they will be keeping an eye out for distracted travelers. You should always be careful to watch your bags and don’t leave your wallet in an easily accessible pocket.

  • The Weather

One thing that you will soon learn about Edinburgh is that the weather is very unpredictable. A warm sunny morning could quickly turn into a chilly cloudy day or vice versa, which is why you should dress in layers to be prepared for any sudden temperature changes.

It rains quite a bit in this city and the gloomy weather can come quickly, which is why waterproof clothing is always a good idea.

One of the most important things to plan for is your footwear, especially since you will be walking around a lot. Water resistant shoes are a must, and even a pair of walking boots might be better.

Planning Your Vacation to Edinburgh

There is no way that you can have a bad time in a city like Edinburgh, but preparing for your trip by doing the research before you go is important and will only help to make your vacation even better.

Now that you know how to get around, what to do, where to stay, and what to look out for, you are just about as ready as you can be to spend some time in this incredible city. We hope that you have an amazing time visiting Edinburgh!


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