Getting around Edinburgh
Transport for Edinburgh (www.transportforedinburgh.com) operates the city's buses (Lothian Buses: 0131 554 4494) and tram line. An excellent night bus service runs from midnight until early morning. On buses, you must have exact change for all journeys if paying by cash. You can also download the Transport for Edinburgh mobile app, which allows users to view departure boards, timetables, journey planners, and fares.
The tram line runs from York Place, near St Andrew Square, along Princes Street, past Haymarket Station and Murrayfield Stadium, and out to Edinburgh Airport. Tram tickets are available from machines at each stop - you must buy these before boarding.
Day, weekly, monthly, and annual tickets are available. You can also buy books of 20 tickets or pay-as-you-go citysmart cards, which you load with up to 50 journeys - these are available online or in Travelshops. Alternatively, you can use m-tickets - electronic tickets stored on your mobile phone.
Edinburgh's taxis are mainly black hackney cabs and can be safely hailed on the street. The City of Edinburgh Council licenses all taxis. Drivers must carry a photographic identity card issued by the council.
Taxi companies include City Cabs (0131 228 1211) and Central Taxis (0131 229 2468). A 10% tip is expected.
In central Edinburgh, it is best to walk, cycle, or use public transport. Visitors who do bring a car should be aware that traffic in the city centre is often congested and parking can be problematic. Metered parking (in force Monday to Saturday 0830-1830) is restricted on city streets, and almost all other street parking spaces in and around the centre are reserved for residents with parking permits. Failure to comply with parking regulations results in a costly fine, and the offending vehicle may even be towed away.
There are seven Park-and-Ride car parks around the periphery of Edinburgh. Off-street car parks in the city include St James Centre or Castle Terrace.
Drivers require a valid national driving licence to hire a car in the UK, although an International Driving Permit may be preferred if the licence is not in English. It is essential to check what level of insurance is included in the price of car hire. In general, drivers have to be at least 21 to hire a car, although drivers under 25 may be subject to a higher charge.
City Car Club (tel: +44 845 330 1234; www.citycarclub.co.uk) has many pick-up points throughout Edinburgh. Visitors who are members elsewhere in the UK can use Edinburgh car club vehicles.
Edinburgh is a reasonably cyclist-friendly city, with car-free cycle paths crisscrossing the town and plenty of nearby countrysides.
Biketrax, 11 Lochrin Place (0131 228 6633, www.biketrax.co.uk), has city, folding, and road bikes to hire.
The Leith Cycle Company, 276 Leith Walk (0131 467 7775, www.leithcycleco.com), rents touring bikes.