Some practical information on currency, banking and tipping for international visitors.

Basics overview - money
Former Bank of Scotland headquarters, which is now a museum that focuses on money, coinage and economics. Photo © Marketing Edinburgh.


Scotland shares the same currency as the rest of the UK: the British pound sterling (£). One pound is divided into 100 pence (p).

Bank of England £5, £10, £20 and £50 banknotes are legal tender in Scotland.

Some Scottish banks issue their own notes and, although their designs differ from Bank of England notes, they are also legal tender everywhere in the UK.

Coins come in denominations of 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p, 50p, £1 and £2.

Exchanging currency

Banks usually offer competitive exchange rates, and are a good way of changing currency. You’ll also find a bureau de change in both Waverley railway station and Edinburgh airport.

You can use the following currency converter to check current exchange rates.

Cards and cash

Almost all types of credit and debit card - including Visa and Mastercard - are accepted throughout Britain.

Money can be withdrawn from cash machines (also known as ATMs), however, it's best to check with your bank to find out which Scottish banks you can use, and how you might be charged for the service.

Bank opening hours

Banks are usually open Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm.

Some branches also open for a limited time on Saturday mornings. All banks close on public holidays (sometimes called 'bank holidays').

Legal tender

You may have your money rejected if you use Scottish banknotes in England.

Technically Scottish notes are not legal tender south of the border and English establishments have the right to refuse them.

If your money is rejected in England then you may need to go to a cash machine or use a card.


Scotland does not have a big tipping culture, but it is considered polite to tip.

Giving a 10% tip in restaurants, pubs, and hairdressers is acceptable (but not a requirement).

It is common to round up your taxi fair in order to tip the driver and for convenience.


If you are paying in cash, you will need to present the exact change on all Lothian Bus services.

Don't have the right change? Lothian Buses and First Bus now accept contactless card payments on all services.

Lothian buses: contactless

First Bus: contactless

Most taxis will have card machines but you should ask the driver first before starting your journey.

Sometimes the taxi driver's card machine is broken or they only accept cash.

It's best to save yourself the hassle of stopping off at a cash machine en route to your destination.