Travel and Transit Information for Edinburgh
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Edinburgh travel and transit information.
A multi million dollar makeover and expansion has improved the facilities of the one terminal Edinburgh Airport (+44 131 333 1000 / http://www.baa.com/). Part of the upgrade focused on the addition of more duty free shopping and restaurant choices for international travelers. ATMs and currency exchanges are available in both the arrivals and departure areas. More than 30 airlines call on the airport including:
Aer Arann (+353 1 8141058 / http://www.aerarann.ie/) Aer Lingus (+1 800 474 7424 / http://www.aerlingus.com/) Air France (+1 800 237 2747 / http://www.airfrance.com/) Air Scotland (+1 44 141 222 2363 / http://www.air-scotland.com/) BMI (+44 1332 854854 / http://www.flybmi.com/) BMI Baby (+0890 710 081 (France) / http://www.bmibaby.com/) British Airways (+1 800 217 9297 / http://www.britishairways.com/) Easy Jet (+33 8 25 08 25 08 / http://www.easyjet.com/) FlyBe (+871 700 0535 / http://www.flybe.com/) Germanwings (+44 870 252 12 50 / http://www1.germanwings.com/) Iberworld Airlines (http://www.iberworld.com/) Jet 2 (+44 207 1700737 / http://www.jet2.com/) Lufthansa (+1 800 803 5838 / http://cms.lufthansa.com/) My Travel (+870 238 7710 / http://www.mytravel.com/) Ryan Air (+353 (0)1 249 7851 / http://www.ryanair.com/) Sky Europe (+421 2 4850 1111 / http://www.skyeurope.com/in.php/) Sterling.dk Airline (+457 033 3370 / http://www.sterlingticket.com/) Thomson Fly (+43 0192 89 598 / http://www.thomsonfly.com/)
From the Airport
Car Rental: Car hire companies, which have rental desks in the UK arrivals area on the ground floor of the terminal, are:
Alamo (+1 800 462 5266 / http://www.alamo.com/) Avis (+1 800 230 4898 / http://www.avis.com/) Europcar (+1 877 940 6900 / http://www.europcar.com/) Hertz (+1 800 654 3001 / http://www.hertz.com/)
Free shuttle buses whisk you to the pick up lot. The quickest way into the city center is the A8, which runs right past the airport. If you are heading west, catch the A8 to Glasgow or the M9 to Stirling.
Taxi: A taxi rank is located outside the UK arrivals hall. A ride into town takes around 25 minutes and the price varies with destination although the fixed meter rate is at GBP1.90 per mile. You can pre-book through Skycab (+44 131 344 3344) or Radio Cabs (+44 131 225 9000).
Purple Parking (http://www.purpleparking.com/) offers airport parking for business and leisure travelers, as well as a 'meet and greet' chauffeur service.
Shuttle bus: An Airlink 100 bus (+44 131 555 6363 / http://www.flybybus.com/) zips passengers from the airport to Waverly Bridge in the heart of Edinburgh just across from the rail station, with stops at Haymarket and Shandwick Place. Journey time is around 25 minutes. Buses depart every 10-15 minutes and every hour after midnight.
National Express (+08705 808080 / http://www.nationalexpress.com/) is the main long haul coach carrier linking Edinburgh with the major cities in England and with the European continent. CityLink buses (+08705 505050 / http://www.citylink.co.uk/) focus on routes throughout Scotland but offer scenic seasonal trips to and from Edinburgh to Blackpool, England along the west coast and to Belfast, Northern Ireland, via a Stena Line ferry. Coaches arrive and depart from the bus station located in St Andrew Square.
The M8 from Glasgow in the west, the A1 from the east and south down the coast, and the M90 from the north are the major expressways entering Edinburgh. Each intersects the Bypass Road forming an arch around the city center.
Arriving in Edinburgh by rail is relatively simple if you are traveling from cities in Scotland and England, and competing train companies keep the fares reasonable. If you are coming from the continent you will most likely transfer in London before heading north to the Highlands. Trains pull into either Waverley Station in the city center or Haymarket Station in the West End. Companies include:
Scot Rail (+0845 748 4950 / http://www.scotrail.co.uk/) GNER (+44 191 227 5959 / http://www.gner.co.uk/) Virgin Trains (+0870 789 1234 / http://www.virgintrains.co.uk/)
Superfast Ferries (+0870 234 2211 / http://www.superfast.com/) sails daily between Edinburgh and Zeebrugge, Belgium. The journey arrives and departs from the Port of Rosyth (+44 1383 413366 / http://www.forthports.co.uk/), which is perched eight miles outside the city center.
Having a car in Edinburgh will cause you headaches unless it is parked in a legitimate spot until you decide to leave town and tour the highlands. Resident sticker parking is rampant and where you can park, especially close to any tourist attraction, costs a pretty penny, and meter readers are like flies on a hot day and fines are pricey. Plus, the general street set up was definitely an urban after thought.
First Group (+08708 72 7271 / http://www.firstgroup.com/) and Lothian (+44 131 554 4494 / http://www.lothianbuses.co.uk/) operate buses of the double decker variety to all points of the city. Fares generally average GBP1 for day service and GBP2 for after hours or night service. Lotian also offers numerous hop on/hop off bus tours (+44 131 556 2244) including an Edinburgh City Tour for GBP8.50. Most tours begin at Waverly Bridge.
Park & Ride (+44 845 606 4446) with locations throughout the city for bus connections
If you plan on pedaling around town be prepared: Edinburgh is hilly. Thus, a certain amount of conditioning is involved if you want to ride without walking. If this is not a problem the city is rather biker friendly, with a wealth of "greenway" routes, which are only open to bicycles, buses and taxis. Plus, the countryside is filled with splendid scenery and flatter roads. This historic city center is exceptionally walker friendly.
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