Guides Edinburgh Getting Around Edinburgh: Essential Transport Tips

Getting Around Edinburgh: Essential Transport Tips

City Guide October 5, 2023



Navigating through the enchanting city of Edinburgh, with its historic landmarks like the famed Edinburgh Castle, can be a breeze if you’re armed with the right transport tips. Whether you’re figuring out how to use Edinburgh transport for a delightful day trip to visit the iconic castle, or deciding which bus routes to use for a short stay in the city, don't bother the bus driver.

These suggestions should facilitate a smooth and enjoyable journey on public transport in Edinburgh. If you're wondering which transport to use for a short stay, bookmark this guide!

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Public Transportation: Which Transport to Use for a Short Stay in Edinburgh

Edinburgh’s Public Transport System Overview

Efficient and well-coordinated, Edinburgh’s public transportation system serves as a lifeline for both locals and visitors, providing accessibility to various corners of the city from Leith to Haymarket, and beyond. With buses departing from key locations like Edinburgh Waverley and trams zipping through the scenic Princes Street, you can conveniently reach the bustling Royal Mile, explore its selection of restaurants, or find your way to cozy accommodations around St. Andrew Square without hassle. Whether you are traveling to the historic landscapes of the city or heading to a modern area, services like buses, trams, taxis, and car rental services available at Edinburgh Waverley ensure you have multiple options to navigate through its diverse and captivating terrains efficiently.


Lothian Buses

Lothian Buses, the principal bus operator in Edinburgh, furnishes a comprehensive network covering the city and its outskirts. With a fleet of modern, eco-friendly buses, it offers regular services to many popular destinations and landmarks, facilitating convenient travel for sightseeing and exploration. Their services include standard buses, open-top tour buses, and even a night bus service, meeting the various needs of travelers. Be prepared with exact changes, or consider obtaining a prepaid day ticket or smart card for easy travel.


Edinburgh Trams

Connecting key points like Edinburgh Airport to the city centre, the tram system is a swift and comfortable travel option. With well-marked stops, clear signage, and timely service, the trams are a popular choice for visitors needing a reliable transportation mode, without traffic congestion challenges. The trams also offer free Wi-Fi, allowing travelers to stay connected during their journey.


Google Maps Integration

Leverage the power of technology with Google Maps for smooth navigation during your Edinburgh visit. The platform offers integrated, real-time data on buses, trams, taxis, and walking routes, providing estimated arrival times, transfer points, and duration for each segment of your trip, ensuring a well-informed and stress-free travel experience.


Taxis and Cabs



Black Cabs

Available throughout the city, Black Cabs can be hailed on the street, found at taxi ranks, or booked via phone. Known for their spacious interiors, these traditional taxis can accommodate larger groups and luggage, offering a comfortable ride.


Central Taxis

As the largest taxi company in the city, Central Taxis offers a fleet of vehicles ready to serve your transportation needs. With options for advance booking, immediate pickup, and even app-based services, they provide a flexible and reliable transportation.


Car Rentals

While public transportation is often the most efficient way to explore Edinburgh, renting a car becomes essential if you plan to venture into the Scottish Highlands or other remote areas. Several reputable car rental agencies operate within the city and at the airport, offering various vehicle options. Be mindful of potential challenges like traffic, parking fees, and navigation within the city if you choose to rent a car.


Additional Tips

Travel Cards

Consider purchasing travel cards for unlimited daily travel if you plan to use public transport extensively.



Many services have corresponding mobile apps. These tools often offer route planning features, real-time updates, online ticket purchasing, and more.

Understanding and efficiently using Edinburgh’s public transportation options will undoubtedly contribute to a smoother, more enjoyable experience as you take in the city’s breathtaking sights and rich history. Familiarize yourself with the different modes available, plan accordingly, and you'll be well-equipped to explore all Edinburgh offers with ease and confidence.



Train Station

Edinburgh Waverley

As the main train station, Waverley offers extensive connections across the UK. Centrally located between the Old and New Town, it provides easy access to the city's attractions. It caters to travelers ' immediate needs with facilities such as ticket offices, shops, and eateries.

Services by ScotRail, LNER, and others connect to cities like London, Glasgow, and Manchester. The station is accessible, with ramps and assistance available for those who need it.


Haymarket Station

Haymarket, situated west of the city center, serves those in the western part of Edinburgh. It offers vital services to western Scotland destinations, with essential amenities like ticket machines and cafes.


Money-Saving Tip!

Utilize day tickets or travel cards if you use public transportation multiple times daily. These options provide unlimited travel and can significantly save money.

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