Information on how to get to Edinburgh and suggested activities to help you make the most of your visit.

We look forward to welcoming you to Edinburgh, the inspiring capital of Scotland and a multi award-winning city with a strong reputation as one of the most attractive destinations in the world, with an ideal mix of culture, shopping, dining, music, heritage and leisure activities.

Our vibrant capital is steeped in history; seamlessly blending an architecturally stunning backdrop with modern developments. You may want to extend your stay to explore the atmospheric streets of the Old Town and the elegant Georgian architecture of the New Town; to visit famous historic sites such as Edinburgh Castle or the Palace of Holyroodhouse; to browse in wonderful museums, art galleries and shops; and to relax in some of the city’s excellent restaurants, bars and cafés.

Forever Edinburgh is a hub of all the best things to do, see, and enjoy in the city. You’ll find great days out and get the inside details on the best little-known places waiting to be discovered.

Edinburgh is also the gateway to the Scottish Highlands, so this is a perfect opportunity for you to extend your visit and discover Scotland. Explore beautiful and inspiring views of ancient landscapes with a fascinating history. Witness the amazing wildlife and take part in some thrilling outdoor pursuits. Explore the many mountains and glens, the stunning islands and stretches of coastline and follow the country’s only Malt Whisky Trail.

More information on Edinburgh can be found at Visit Scotland.


Travel to Edinburgh

Air

Edinburgh boasts an international airport with flights from North America and many European and UK destinations, Taxi, tram and bus links connect the airport to the city centre with a journey time of 30-35 minutes.

Rail

Edinburgh Waverley is the closest train station at around a 15-20 minute walk (uphill). Haymarket is around a 30 minute walk from the central campus.

Taxi

A taxi from St Andrew's Square Bus Station or Princes Street to the University's central campus will cost approximately £7 and take around 10 minutes. A taxi from the airport will cost on average £25 and take around 30 minutes.

Bus

  • Lothian Buses from Edinburgh City Centre to the University campus: Bus service numbers 41, 42, 67
  • For Bristo Place: Bus service numbers 2, 23, 27, 35, 41, 42, 45

A standard adult one-trip bus fare is £1.80. You'll need exact change. Alternatively, you can pay by contactless card. From the airport, catch the Airlink 100 service which will take you into the heart of Edinburgh City Centre, or the Airlink 300 service which stops around a 5 minute walk from campus.


Things to do

Arthur's Seat

Holyrood Park is a short walk from Edinburgh’s Royal Mile in the heart of the city. It is a 640-acre Royal Park adjacent to Holyrood Palace and overlooks Pollock Halls Campus. The park’s highest point is Arthur’s Seat, an ancient volcano, and sits 251m above sea level giving excellent view of the city; it is also the site of a large and well preserved fort. Within the park, you can also visit St Anthony’s Chapel – a 15th century medieval chapel, Salisbury Crags – a series of 150 foot cliff faces dominating Edinburgh’s skyline as well as Duddingston Loch – a fresh water loch rich in birdlife.

City Bus Tours

Choose from 4 different hop-on hop-off bus tours exploring Edinburgh and beyond. Sights include Edinburgh Castle, Calton Hill, Royal Botanic Gardens, Palace of Holyroodhouse, Royal Yacht Britannia, Old Town, New Town, and the three bridges.

Camera Obscura: A World of Illusions

Five floors of mind-boggling optical illusions and visual trickery make the Camera Obscura a must-visit for all ages. From the legendary Magic Gallery – an interactive space to dazzle the senses – to exquisite city views of Edinburgh’s famous Royal Mile and Castle from the Rooftop Terrace, there’s something for everyone. Typical visits take around 2 hours but tickets are valid all day so you can spend as long as you like.

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle is one of the most exciting historic sites in Western Europe. Set in the heart of Scotland’s dynamic capital city it is sure to capture your imagination. A trip to the Castle will take you through the key moments in Edinburgh’s rich history, including a visit to the Crown Jewels, the Stone of Destiny, and the Scottish National War Memorial. The Castle’s iconic setting and architecture make a great photo opportunity, not to mention unrivalled views from the city’s central spot.

The Edinburgh Dungeon

The Edinburgh Dungeon brings together an amazing cast of theatrical actors, special effects, stages, scenes and rides in a truly unique and exciting walk-through immersive experience, revealing tales from Edinburgh’s dark history. It’s hilarious fun and sometimes a bit scary.

National Museum of Scotland

The diverse collections will take you on a journey of discovery through the history of Scotland and around the world, taking in the wonders of nature, art, design and fashion, and science and technology – all under one roof. Entry to the museum is free, but some exhibitions are ticketed.

Palace of Holyroodhouse

Explore the Palace’s close associations with some of Scotland’s most well-known historic figures such as Mary Queen of Scots and Bonnie Prince Charlie, and learn how today it’s used by The Queen when carrying out official engagements in Scotland. Take an audio tour of the palace, learning about its place in Scottish royal history, including a visit to the sumptuously decorated Morning Drawing Room, and the beautiful, wood-panelled chambers of Mary Queen of Scots, where she lived in the 1560s.

The Real Mary King's Close

Imagine a warren of streets frozen in time, where centuries of stories are just waiting to be told. Discover authentic truths about Edinburgh’s dark past, and find out what it was really like for the people who lived, worked, and died on the Close.

Journey back in time and follow in the footsteps of former residents. Step down and explore the rooms, streets and spaces underneath the famous Royal Mile – a unique glimpse into the city’s past, and Edinburgh’s only preserved 17th century street.

Bookings can be made up until midnight on the day before your visit.

The Scotch Whisky Experience

Here you’ll find a range of tours which cater to everyone; from those with a budding interest in whisky, right through to the drinks professionals wanting to firm up their expertise on Scotland’s most famous product. Each tour includes time in the World’s Largest Collection of Scotch Whisky, which comprises 3,384 different bottles and has been described as “one of the seven wonders of the whisky world".