How to Get Here

Edinburgh Airport opened a new, expanded £42m Departure Lounge in 2010. It is Scotland’s largest airport and currently the fifth busiest in the UK with passenger numbers in excess of 9 million, flights to over 125 destinations and operated by 40 airlines. Direct flights to 76 international destinations include Amsterdam, Paris, Frankfurt, Geneva, many destinations in Spain and long haul to New York as well as an average of 46 daily flights to London. The airport is only 12 km from the city centre, with excellent bus and taxi connections.

If you are travelling internationally, a valid passport is normally required. For some countries your passport will need to be valid for at least six months after your intended return and you may also need a visa. It’s always a good idea that before you travel, you should always check your destination country’s entry requirements and allow enough time to renew your passport and/or apply for a visa at the relevant embassy or consulate. Then confirm the entry requirements of the country you are visiting just before your departure. But then again, seasoned travellers will tell you that you should always check your destination country’s entry requirements, too, and allow yourself enough time to renew your passport and/or apply for a visa at the relevant embassy or consulate.

Travel to or from a Visa Waiver Country

All travellers from visa-waiver countries now require travel authorization in advance in addition to having a machine readable passport. The system is referred to as ‘ESTA’, short for Electronic System for Travel Authorization. UK citizens can apply in advance on-line on a website operated by the US Department of Homeland Security (American’s are not required to do so) DHS. Apply online.

Passports do get lost and although it will take time getting a replacement, you can make life easier by taking photocopies with you. It may also be worth carrying additional photographic ID separate from your passport. If your passport is lost or stolen you must be sure to report it immediately to the UK Identity and Passport Service (IPS) by calling their Adviceline on +44 (0)300 222 0000.

If you’re abroad, report any passport losses or thefts to the local police in the country you’re in. You can get details of your local embassy or consulate. UK citizens can call the high commission from outside the UK at +44 (0)20 7008 1500 (or 0870 606 0290 if you’re in the UK).

Independent tests undertaken by the British Photographers’ Liaison Committee (BPLC) to establish the full and exact details of any potential film damage caused by baggage screening machines at airports have given the all-clear to current hand-luggage x-ray inspection systems installed at Edinburgh Airport.

The findings confirm Edinburgh Airport’s previous recommendations to passengers that they should carry unprocessed film in their hand-luggage not packed in hold (checked-in) luggage. The findings confirm that hand-luggage security scanning machinery is safe for all normal film types (up to and including ISO 400) *. Current digital camera storage media can also safely be examined by these x-ray machines without suffering ill effects.

Specialist film (ISO 800 and above) under exceptional circumstances, when passed more than eight times through the hand-luggage security scanning machines, can be affected. However, the nature of the change occurring is barely noticeable to the naked eye and indeed does not become clearly visible until film is exposed around 32 times.

Edinburgh Airport therefore continues to recommend that airline passengers carry all normal, undeveloped film in their hand-luggage not in their hold (checked-in) luggage. We also advise that special arrangements can be made for photographers carrying professional film (ISO 800 and above) by prior arrangement with their airline or airport. Hand search requests for professional film will normally be accommodated, but the final decision in all individual cases will always rest with the on-duty security supervisor.

The results reported are in the context of standard film use. Professional photographers requiring more detailed information should refer in the first place to their own photographic association or organisation or the BPLC on +44 (0)20 7739 6669.

* These films will be visually unaffected by up to eight and in some cases 32 passes through the hand-luggage x-ray machines. Processed film can be x-rayed virtually without limit, without suffering any ill effects whatsoever from these machines.

Edinburgh is linked to all the major cities and airports in Britain. The high-speed link to London gets you from the heart of one city to the other in just over four hours, while the Eurostar service connects Paris to Edinburgh in around eight hours.

In a nutshell, Scotland can be described as a country of highlands and islands. Train travel in Scotland will show you the nation’s geographical diversity and the people’s long history preserved in the walls of its impressive medieval structures. As you travel by rail, experience and try uniquely Scottish traditions and products – its whisky, haggis, Angus beef, bagpipes and skirts for men!

Scotland’s rail network is concentrated at the central belt – suburban network near Glasgow/Edinburgh – with just a couple of main lines in the Highlands. Exploring the country remains to be convenient; however, because these trains are connected to ferry ports to the west coast islands. FirstScotRail operates most of the train services which could take you to some very scenic towns. Its long-distance, commuter, regional and express trains cover some 1,696 miles in distance.

Rail travel in Scotland can be pricey. If you’re travelling on a pass in continental Europe, you’ll need a Britrail pass for additional travel in Scotland. Click Here to learn more about the passes available.

Train travel in Scotland cannot show you all that the country has to offer because some of best destinations are islands accessible only by ferry. Although station to harbour connections do make taking a trip to Scottish Islands, like Isle of Arran and Isle of Bute, convenient, it would still be best to plan, in detail, in advance the routes and connections for travel to Scottish Islands.

Edinburgh has a network of local bus services allowing frequent and cost-effective travel throughout Edinburgh and the Lothians.

Take advantage of Lothian Buses DayTicket, which allows you unlimited daily travel in and around Edinburgh. First Buses also operate approximately 300 services throughout Edinburgh.

If you’re heading further afield, you can buy your coach tickets for UK and Scottish travel from the bus station in St. Andrew Square in advance.

The following companies can provide more information.

For travel in and around Edinburgh (including Edinburgh Airport, city bus tours and night buses)
Lothian Buses  Contact number – 0131 555 6363

First Buses contact number – 08708 72 72 71

You can also take in the sights of the city on one of the many Edinburgh bus tours. City Bus Tour tickets can be bought in person at the Edinburgh and Scotland Information Centre, 3 Princes Street or on Waverley Bridge (next to the main railway station, off Princes Street), which is where the tours start.

Scheduled bus service information is displayed on screens at the entrances, the central ticket hall and at the departure gates. Touch screen kiosks connect to journey planners, bus and train operators, Edinburgh Airport and other useful websites. (It is not possible to book travel or print information from these kiosks.) Timetables for the major operators that serve the Bus Station, including Lothian Buses, are also available on the passenger concourse, while information on all services using the bus station is available from any of the ticket desks.

Tickets for intercity services can be bought in the ticketing hall. Tickets for other operators services can usually be bought on the bus, with the exception of One Ticket which is available from the Citylink desk.

National Express and Scottish Citylink – 06:00 – 19:45 Monday to Saturday, 08:00 – 20:00 Sunday

Greyline Tours08:30 – 21:30 Daily

Tickets for tours leaving the bus station must be bought before departure, please check with tour organiser.

St. Andrew Square is currently closed whilst tram works are being carried out. Nearby multi storey car parks are located at:

St. James Centre – St. James Place (Sat Nav: EH1 3WW)

Omni Centre – Greenside place  (Sat Nav: EH1 3BN)

From the bus station it is only a short walk to bus stops serving a wide range of bus routes.

Waverley train station is approximately 5 minutes walk away.

The Airlink bus departs from Waverley Bridge, approximately 7 minutes walk away, every 15 minutes. Journey times to the airport can vary but are about 35 minutes.

There is unsecured cycle parking next to the St. James Centre and on North St. Andrew Street. For more details about cycling in Edinburgh, see our page, Cycling around Edinburgh.

Motorways and a network of major roads provide easy and pleasant access to the city, often through spectacular scenery. The newly refurbished coach centre at St. Andrew Square offers direct connections to all major cities in Britain.

We would like to acknowledge the following websites for their support in providing us information to include herein for your convenience. Please be sure to visit their websites for much more information than we could possibly have included here or simply follow their links (by clicking on them) to their websites. All photos related to their links have also been included with their information.