How to Get Around in Edinburgh

January 23, 2013 by

Sightseeing, Things To Do, Travel Tips

Edinburgh Lothian Bus

Edinburgh Lothian Bus. Photo credit: Ingy the Wingy via Flickr.

As Scotland’s capital and main transport hub, Edinburgh’s historic buildings, vast green spaces and steep cobblestone streets make a fascinating backdrop to set your sightseeing to. Whether you’ve only got one day in the city or have plenty of time to explore, here are a few tips for how to get around in Edinburgh.

1. Walking

While the city’s many hills offer a thorough workout, Edinburgh’s compact city center is easy to navigate on foot and walking tours are a popular way to take in the sights. Stroll through the old town along the famous Royal Mile between Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace, then walk down Prince’s Street, the heart of the new town’s shopping district. Ardent hikers have plenty more options to work up a sweat—attempt the challenge of climbing Edinburgh’s famous seven hills or at least scale one of the peaks. Arthur’s Seat, at 251 meter (823 feet), offers some of the best city views, whereas Castle Rock, at 131-meter (430 foot) is the seat of the majestic Edinburgh Castle.

2. Cycling

Cycling Edinburgh’s hills might not be easy but it’s a popular and rewarding way to get around, with plenty of lengthy downhill stretches to counteract the uphill climbs and dedicated cycle lanes all over the city. Prefer to leave the pedaling to someone else? Look out for the hardy rickshaw cyclists patrolling the streets in the summer months—a fun, if a little pricey, way to get around.

3. Public transport

Edinburgh city is served by an extensive bus network, but the city’s main train stations serve locations around the country (Scotrail) and the UK (National Rail). A new tram network is also under construction, aiming to be fully functioning by the end of 2013, but in the meantime, the regular Edinburgh hop on hop off tour buses provide the easiest way to travel between sights.

- Zoe Smith

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