– Compiled by Noel Byrne & Adrian Harmon, AA Roadwatch
You have a few options open to you to get to Edinburgh, which we have outlined below. As with any journey planning, the key is to book tickets in advance to guarantee yourself a seat.
Here is a list of airlines which fly directly to Edinburgh Airport, as well as Glasgow Airport, which is about an hour’s journey from Edinburgh.
If you click on the particular airline, it will bring you to their website.
Ryanair: Dublin – Edinburgh, Dublin – Glasgow, Derry – Glasgow
Aer Lingus: Cork – Edinburgh, Cork – Glasgow, Donegal – Glasgow, Dublin – Edinburgh, Dublin – Glasgow
Flybe: George Best City Airport – Glasgow
Easyjet: Belfast – Edinburgh, Belfast – Glasgow
GETTING FROM EDINBURGH AIRPORT TO EDINBURGH CITY CENTRE
You have a number of options to get to Edinburgh City Centre from the airport, all of which we’ve detailed below.
When you land, you can make your way to the ground floor of the multi-storey car park and from there, you’ll be able to get a black cab at the rank.
Alternatively, you can pre-book Edinburgh Airport’s official private hire service. You can do this online or by giving them a call on (0044) 844 448 8576. You’ll find the private hire rank also on the ground floor of the multi-storey car park.
There are a few bus options on offer at the airport which will take you into Edinburgh City Centre.
The Airlink 100 leaves every 10 minutes. A single ticket costs £4 and a return ticket is £7 and will take approx 30 minutes to get you into the city centre. Tickets can be purchased at the airport information desk, at the bus stop, from the driver or in advance online.
The No. 35 Lothian Bus also runs into city centre but stops more frequently along the way and takes about an hour to get as far as Holyrood. Buses run every 15 minutes Monday to Saturday daytime and every 30 minutes evenings and Sundays. A single ticket costs £1.50 and a day ticket costs £3.50.
If you land late at night/ early morning, you could also take the Night Bus (N22) into town. This service runs from the airport to the city centre between 12.47am and 4.17am (to be exact) seven nights a week. It runs every 30 minutes and takes around 30 minutes to get you into the city centre. It’s flat fee of £3 to use the service.
If you’re renting a car while in Edinburgh, there are various car hire options open to you when you land,including, Europcar, Avis, Hertz and Enterprise. Details of all car rental companies at Edinburgh airport can be found here.
When you’ve picked up your car, the drive from the airport to the city centre is around 8 miles and will take about 25 minutes (in light traffic). Most people make the drive via the A8 Glasgow Rd
The new tram system in Edinburgh can take you from the airport to Princes St and Waverly Station (as well as plenty other stops, including Murrayfield Stadium itself) rather easily.
The tram runs every 8-12 minutes and takes, on average, 35 minutes. An adult single ticket is £5 while a return ticket is £8. There are reduced prices for children. Tickets can be purchased from the ticket machines at the tram stop.
Full details can be found on the Edinburgh Trams website here.
GETTING FROM GLASGOW AIRPORT TO EDINBURGH CITY CENTRE
If you’re flying into Glasgow Airport, and you’re not renting a car, you’re two main options to get to Edinburgh City are via bus or train, with the former the cheaper option.
Scottish Citylink offers a non-stop service from Glasgow Airport right to Princes St in Edinburgh City Centre throughout the day.
It runs seven days a week, every 30 minutes at peak times. The journey takes about an hour and costs £11.40 for a single ticket or £18.60 return. You can also purchase a Family Ticket for up to 2 Adults and 3 Kids for £25 single or £39 return. The Family Ticket can only be purchased from the driver on board the coach. See here for the timetable.
You can also make your way to Buchanan St Bus Station in Glasgow City Centre where there are regular buses to Edinburgh City Centre, operated by Citylink and National Express.
If getting the train, it’s probably easiest to make your way from the airport into the City Centre, to either the Queen Street or Central Train Stations and then make your onward journey to Edinburgh.
Both ScotRail and National Rail are the two main rail companies to travel with on such a journey.
While there aren’t as many options travelling by Ferry to Scotland, you can go with Stena Linefrom Belfast to Cairnryan. There are several departures every day, running on the every half hour every four hours beginning at 3.30am.
Keep in mind that the last check-in time for passengers is 30 minutes before departure.
GETTING FROM CAIRNRYAN TO EDINBURGH
Once you’ve arrived, you can either drive to Edinburgh yourself or get a bus or train.
Stena Line offer a rather handy combo “Rail & Sail” ticket which includes your ferry from Belfast to Cairnryan and then a train to get you to Edinburgh (or indeed several other cities). For full details of this, see Stena Line’s website here.
Alternatively, you can make your own way from Cairnryan to Edinburgh via train using one of the several Scot Rail trains that operate along the route. Keep in mind you will need to get from Cairnryan Port to Stranraer railway station to get the train to Edinburgh. See ScotRail for more info and bookings.
Depending on the departure time of your train, you’re looking at a journey time of between 4 and 6 hours. Make sure to pack the Travel Scrabble.
If you’re driving, it’s a distance of around 125 miles and will take the best part of three hours, if you go via the A77 and M8. Check out the AA Routeplanner for a more detailed driving route.
Scottish Citylink offers a regular service from the Cairnryan Stena Ferry Terminal to the Bus Station in Edinburgh, which takes approx three and a half hours. See Citylink’s website here.
BUSES FROM IRELAND TO EDINBURGH
If you’re considering getting the bus to Edinburgh, that you’re not organising yourself, you can go with Eurolines. You don’t have too many options with the bus, which only runs from Dublin and then goes on to Belfast where it takes the ferry to Cairnryan before going on to Glasgow and then Edinburgh (in St. Andrew Sq. Bus Station). The trip will take approximately 11 hours so make sure to factor that in when planning your trip.
You can see the all the details of the trip here.
Main Image Credit: JoshuaDavisPhotography. Used under CC licence.