Edinburgh enjoys a pedestrian- and cyclist-friendly infrastructure and offers good traffic links.

Basics overview - transport

On foot

Edinburgh is a compact city and is easy to get around on foot. Remember that the city is built on several hills, so expect a few gradients.

Most of our hills are easily tackled by anyone of average fitness, however, and the views on offer are worth the effort!

By bike

Edinburgh is a great place to see by bike.

The city is very bike-friendly: cyclists share bus lanes in and around the city centre during peak times, but there is also traffic-free cycle paths criss-crossing the city.

If cycling is more of a hobby than a way of getting around, you can enjoy some great days out in and around the city.

By bus

Lothian Buses runs frequent services throughout the city.

It offers a day ticket with unlimited travel in and around Edinburgh as well as weekly, monthly and yearly bus passes with discounted rates for students.

First Buses also operates routes throughout the Edinburgh area.

City bus tours

A great way to take in the sights of the city is on one of the many Edinburgh bus tours.

Tickets can be purchased at the Edinburgh Bus Tours Hub on Waverley Bridge, where the tours start and end.

By tram

Edinburgh Trams operate a route that stretches from the airport to the city centre.

By train

Edinburgh has three train stations: Waverley, Haymarket and Edinburgh Park. You can get timetables and book tickets from National Rail or Scotrail.

By car

Driving in the UK is on the left hand side of the road.

A guide to driving in the UK is available from the Council for International Education.


Parking restrictions apply across most of the city centre. Parking ticket machines provide short-term on-street parking, while car parks offer hourly or daily rates.

Useful information on all aspects of parking and driving in the city is available from Edinburgh City Council website.

Car hire

To hire a car you need a full, valid licence issued in your country of residence and held for at least a year (some hire companies require 2 years).

If your licence is not issued by an EC country, an International Driver's Permit may be required.

The average minimum car hire age is 23 (21 with some companies), and the average maximum age is 70 (80 with some companies).