Eco-friendly travel guide to Edinburgh advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to explore the attractions in a sustainable way and how to respect the local people and culture. Make your trip green by supporting locally owned hotels, organic restaurants and other businesses. Read more on how to protect the environment by making conscientious choices and how to travel green in Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom.
- Air quality: 4 / 5
- Exploring by foot: 3.5 / 5
- Exploring by bicycle: 3.5 / 5
- Public transportation: 4 / 5
- Parks: 3.5 / 5
- Outdoor activities: 3 / 5
- Locals' English level: 4.5 / 5
- Safety: 4 / 5
- Accommodation: US$30 - $250
- Budget per day: US$50 - $1000
- 1 Responsible Travel
- 2 Air Quality and Pollution
- 3 Respect the Culture
- 4 Top 10 Places to Visit
- 5 Explore
- 6 Eat
- 7 Drink
- 8 Activities
- 9 Accommodation
- 10 How to Get There
- 11 Moving Around
- 12 Sustainable Shopping
- 13 Recycling
- 14 Work and Study Abroad
- 15 See Also
Edinburgh being the capital of Scotland holds great importance. Think of medieval buildings, big castles, huge English gardens and that is Edinburgh for you. This beautiful Scottish capital has mesmerising views to offer to its visitors.
Some of the notable places you would get to see are the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, Edinburgh Castle, National Library of Scotland, University of Edinburgh, among others. And, it is no surprise that all of these areas hold a lot of value to visitors and locals likewise. Not to mention, in the entire UK, Edinburgh is the second biggest financial center.
So, many people who visit may also settle in the sprawling metropolitan area. While the tourist count in this city averages at 4.9 million, Edinburgh does not compromise on taking care of the environment. Still, when visiting the area, you have to keep some things in mind in order to be a responsible tourist:
- Eco Friendly accommodation: You should book environment-friendly guest houses and hotels, or a hostel if you have a small budget.
- Choosing the right transport method: A major part of your travel experience is discovering every nook and cranny of the city. While you will have transport options like private cars and taxis at your disposal you need to know that not only do they contribute to more congestion and traffic pollution but also emit harmful gases into the environment. So, choose options like walking, cycling, electronic and public transportation in general.
- Support Small Businesses: You should go to the local stores in Edinburgh instead of the big malls and branded outlets who directly contribute to the problem of Global pollution because of the amount of waste they produce. Supporting the local vendors and their businesses is a better alternative, and they provide good-quality items too.
- Recycle: Try to carry a glass water bottle and refill it with tap water, even if you carry a plastic water bottle even then refill it as much as you can. If you go grocery shopping, take your own bags and do not use the plastic bags from the grocery stores. Carry your own metal straws and chopsticks. All of these things might seem insignificant but they eventually make a huge difference.
Air Quality and Pollution
The air quality in Edinburgh is very safe and does not hold a lot of pollutants. It scores an average of 10 US AQI which is good by the standards set by the WHO. In fact, it is one of the cleanest areas in Scotland. As for the concentration of pollutants in the air, the following is an average division.
- PM2.5- 5.6 µg/m³
- N02- 72.3 µg/m³
- PM10- 9.4 µg/m³
- Air Pollution Level- Good
You will be able to enjoy the fresh, crisp air of Edinburgh, open windows, bicycle around the city among other activities. It is truly a blessing to have clean air and something that is often taken for granted. In order to preserve the air quality every citizen and every visitor needs to play their part.
Respect the Culture
Without a doubt, Scotland has a rich and powerful history, and there is much to admire about the land. And so, it is no surprise why Edinburgh, its capital, is one of the biggest, most populated, and highly-visited cities. A lot of people visit this city, for the chance to enjoy its vibrant history, knowledge, class, philosophy, and arts. Thus, it is easy to understand why Edinburgh is a cultural hotspot, especially with so many positive influences.
The city of Edinburgh is one of the financially powerful cities in the entire Scotland. So, many people visit the place for the sake of work, from all around the world. Plus, a lot of people visit Edinburgh for traveling, due to the presence of many festivals that occur. Art, literature, and theatre are well-regarded in this land, and the people celebrate them highly.
While the people living in Edinburgh are predominantly of Scottish, Polish, and English descent, there are other communities here too. These include Indians, Chinese, Caribbeans, and more. So, the population in this city is quite diverse, and that affects the overall culture of the place. Not to mention, religion too is greatly influential to the society, with different sects of Christianity being the more common ones.
Most of the people are very welcoming to new people, and the locals welcome knowledge and new customs. When you visit this city, the cultural performances, historic buildings, and growth opportunities are not the only things that will bowl you over. Truly, the people here are very considerate of their past and heritage, but they embrace modernity too. All in all, you would experience a lot of things, mostly good rather than bad, when you begin your eco-tourism of Edinburgh.
Top 10 Places to Visit
Edinburgh is one of the finest cities in Scotland which you would love to visit. The reason behind this is that it has many wonderful attractions full of history, elegance, and an overall enjoyable atmosphere. Here are the names of some of these places that you should visit when you reach the capital city of Scotland.
- Palace of Holyroodhouse - This palace is beautiful and holds a lot of historical value, being the main residence of Queen Elizabeth the second. If you are a history buff and have an eye for architectural brilliance, then the Holyrood Palace is worth a visit.
- St. John the Baptist - Churches are beautiful and have a peaceful ambiance that entrances anyone who visits. So, many travelers and even locals go to this long-standing monument and taste the serenity of this place. You would surely enjoy the experience.
- 'Edinburgh Zoo '- One of the best places to go to for tourists in Edinburgh is surely the Edinburgh Zoo. Full of many native and even exotic species, children especially are a fan of this spot. Therefore, if you are traveling with your family, do not give this a miss.
- Scott Monument - Without a doubt, there is a lot to see and admire in this city, and one of them is surely the Scott Monument. This huge Gothic architecture created in the Victorian era style is a dedication to Sir Walter Scott, the legendary Scottish author. For both fans of literature and architecture, this is an awe-inspiring location.
- Royal Mile- This one-mile stretch of road touches the two margins of Holyrood Palace and Edinburgh Castle, thus titled such. A lot of streets make up this entire area in Old Town, namely the High Street, Abbey Stand, the Canongate, and more. There is much to see at this location for the tourists, including the authentic lifestyle of Edinburgh.
- Princes Street Gardens- When you are traveling to the best spots in Edinburgh, this dual public park area is one you should add to your itinerary. Indeed, the lush greenery would make you feel at peach as you walk around the public area. Not to mention, the view from here is magnificent as well.
- Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh- Feel like royalty yourself as you wander through the beautiful gardens. It is a spot for botanical research, and overall holds many different types of plant species, roughly 3,302 in number. Plus, you would get to view the preserved specimens too in the herbarium.
- St Mary Magdalene Church- Another Catholic church worth visiting in Edinburgh is St. John & St. Mary Magdalene Church. Indeed, locals and tourists equally adore this enchanting soul-touching spot, and you would too when you visit.
- Edinburgh Festival Theatre- Whether you want to enjoy musical events or opera shows, a lot of such events occur here. So, if you want to experience a relaxing day or night watching musical talent at play, the theatre is the place to go to.
- Dynamic Earth- Those with an interest in the past would surely enjoy the trip down science history at this place. It is a great place for both adults and children to go to, and enjoy the interactive and enlightening shows, exhibitions, conferences, etc.
When it comes to exploring the city of Edinburgh, you would not get the full experience until going to other places too. And there is a lot to see in this capital city. Indeed, Edinburgh is full of countless amazing buildings and areas, and tourists love to explore them.
- Holyrood Park - One of the best places you can visit when in Edinburgh is this royal park. You would notice a wide range of glens, lochs, hills, basalt cliffs, and more when you enter this 650-acre space. Certainly, tourists wishing to spend a calm walk amidst ecological beauty do go here regularly. When in Edinburgh, do not miss out on this destination either.
- Roseburn Public Park - A lot of people enjoy this location well, mainly because of the wide range of activities they can do here. So, if you are in the mood to play cricket or cycle, this large green space is worth visiting. Without a doubt, it is a favorite of many local Scots too.
- Hermitage of Braid and Blackford Hill Local Nature Reserve- This natural reserve is full of green beauty, and it is easy to fall in love with its atmosphere. The dense green space has a riverside valley you can visit after walking through the trails. The view would amaze you, and you can spend a long time here in peace.
- Bonaly Country Park- This 290-hectare area is full of dense woods, reservoirs, and a moorland too. The place has been maintained well and is one of the best spots with countless walking and biking trails. So, go there and have fun, enjoying the beautiful scenery all around you.
- Portobello- While this beach is not necessarily in the city, but it is still a popular beach spot in Edinburgh. The sandy terrain and clear blue waters are a great spot to chill with your friends and family.
- Edinburgh Castle - There is no way for you to go to Edinburgh and miss out on hearing about Edinburgh Castle. Standing tall since the 11th century, this fortress is hard to miss from anywhere you are standing. And the place itself is open for people to visit too. So, do not miss out on this particular part of the trip.
- National Monument of Scotland - One of the most important landmarks in the capital city of Scotland is its aptly-titled National Monument. This is dedicated to the soldiers who gave their lives for their country in the Napoleonic Wars. Thus, its historic significance is massive.
- Calton Hill - If you visit Edinburgh and do not go to this point, you will surely miss out on a lot of cool places. Besides the magnificent views, Calton Hill is full of memorials and monuments, including the Edinburgh Playhouse.
- National Museum of Scotland - When you are touring Edinburgh you must go to this museum at least once. It is the pride of the city and showcases many antiques and other items of Scottish cultural history. The interior, too, is classy and breathtaking, and the museum holds collections of different types on display.
- The Royal Scottish Academy - For art enthusiasts, this Georgian-style gallery is a must-see spot. Starting from architectural exhibitions to modern art displays, there is a lot to like here. Not to mention, it has an overall soothing ambiance.
When traveling anywhere, food is something that everyone has to consider. There are a lot of different types of cuisines specific to every culture and area and Edinburgh is no different. There are a lot of different types of delicacies you would get to taste when you visit the city.
Not to mention, you would get choices between traditional food as well as non-traditional cuisines too. A lot of the communities calling this city home have infused their culinary history in this city. Thus, whether you want to eat dumplings or pizza, you would get options for both, and more. Thus, you can pop into such restaurants if you are craving something different.
The people in Edinburgh do consider fitness strongly, so you would get options for healthy foods too. In case you are craving non-vegetarian courses or vegetarian courses, these options are present as well. Depending on what you are more into at a particular time, you can fill your stomachs and hearts with it.
Traditional Local Restaurants
The people living in Edinburgh are very considerate about their heritage. That goes for traditional foods as well, and you would find many restaurants selling them. The chefs at the restaurants use the freshest produce to create mouthwatering delicacies. A lot of the people in this city enjoy cuisine that is famous for Scotland as a whole and England too. So, you would get foods like English breakfast in many of the traditional restaurants.
One of the items that you should definitely try out though is Aberdeen Angus beef. Steaks are made very beautifully in these restaurants, and other wild game items too. Moreover, seafood is also popular in this city, and you can enjoy delicious plates of lobster, oysters, and mussels.
A lot of the dishes that were popular centuries ago are also given to the customers, with extra added flair. Some of these that you would enjoy trying include cranachan pudding, Cullen skink, and the ever-favorite haggis. If you are craving that, and more, the following are some restaurants you can go to for the best experience.
- The Witchery by The Castle- This place is one of the most popular spots in this city, for a long period. Based in an old-school building, the location is not too far from Edinburgh Castle. The atmosphere at this spot is very classy and inviting, and you can enjoy many succulent traditional Scottish items here. If you wish to taste the beef steak tartare, it is a signature dish you would not forget. Other items include lamb, seafood, and other gamey items served in traditional Scottish preparations.
- Arcade Haggis & Whisky House- As the name suggests, the most popular dish of this particular restaurant is haggis. And they serve it well; if you are in the mood for traditional Scottish taste, this is one you should try. They provide a full Scottish breakfast, including black pudding and haggis. For a more fulfilling meal, the chefs create a chicken breast dish, stuffing it with haggis. Then they wrap it in bacon and serve. Other dishes are also served here though, like asparagus sausages, stilton, and pork. Even the Glasgow potato scones or tattie are popular here. And, to put the icing on the cake, the whiskey selection here is also very good. It would surely impress your taste buds well.
- The Café Royal- Opened back in 1863, this restaurant is one of the longest-running businesses in Edinburgh. And rightfully so. The chefs produce some of the most mouthwatering food items in this restaurant. For example, the Mars bar dish is one you should definitely try. There is a circular bar area too for those who want to sit for a drink with their friend. The dishes that are served here are decidedly Scottish and include their traditional ingredients like lobster, aged beef, and venison. You can also order from the oyster menu, with accompaniments like lemon and ice, balsamic vinegar and pancetta, or Mornay Sauce and spinach.
- Monteiths- If you are looking for a cozy and welcoming time eating the traditional Scottish delicacies, you must try Monteiths. They provide a lot of different and tasty food options, and a vast variety of cocktails too. The ingredients are grown locally and come directly from the local farms. So, you would only get the freshest foods. Oysters and lobsters are some of its best delicacies, and so are venison haggis and Arbroath smokie (smoked haddock) risotto. Even dry-aged steak is a popular dish many visitors try.
Vegetarian and Vegan
One thing that you would notice about the cuisine of Scotland, and by association Edinburgh, is that non-vegetarian foods are more popular. However, while many visitors and locals enjoy gorging on the juicy meats, there are options for veg-friendly people too. So, if you prefer vegetarian and vegan dishes more, you would get these alternatives in this city.
- Pumpkin Brown- If you are into vegan food, you must try the dishes served in this restaurant. The chefs create delicious food dishes with the freshest items. So, for a delicious yet healthy meal, this is a good place to start.
- Holy Cow- Another vegan restaurant that would surely make even the non-fans interested is Holy Cow. Situated in New Town, this is a popular spot for many health food enthusiasts. And you can give it a try as well.
- Meze Maze- Indeed, veganism and vegetarianism are surely gaining a lot of favor with the Scottish people in Edinburgh. This vegetarian restaurant, in particular, creates amazing dishes with plant-based ingredients. Not to mention, such options are available at affordable prices. Thus, and they would further improve your overall healthy food tour experience.
- David Bann Restaurant- Speaking of long-standing and well-liked restaurants, this is a good option for people to trust. So, if you are on the lookout to gorge on some delicious vegetarian dishes, surely visit here.
- Novapizza Vegan Kitchen- Scrumptious Italian flavors in healthy vegan options are the specialty of this fine establishment. So, if you are in the mood for that, surely this is one area you should give a try.
- Paradise Palms- One of the best options for classic vegetarian dishes is this restaurant on Lothian Street. They create absolutely amazing dishes, and have a hangout space and bar too. It would surely leave you wishing for more. Moreover, the ambiance of the area is quite nice too, which many visitors enjoy well. Therefore, when you visit Edinburgh with your family or friends, do go to this spot at least once.
Without a doubt, in a land where there are so many festivals and activities, good street food is a given. And that is the case in Edinburgh too, where you can enjoy many good street food options.
There are market areas that are popular for such options, and street stalls with different items. Even food trucks are visible in many places, and you can try the food from them as well. Hence, if you are traveling the city and have a sudden wish to grab a bite, you can go to these spots.
- Waverley Market @ Platform 2 - This area is a prime destination to hang out in when in Edinburgh. Plus, there are loads to buy, including food items, clothes, art, and other such products. Plus, some events occur near here occasionally. Therefore, you would have much to see, do, and taste when you give this place a try.
- Vina Mexico - Known for its authentic Mexican tastes, the casual dining area of Viva Mexico is one to try. It has diverse and authentic tasting Mexican delicacies that many visitors find absolutely mouth-watering. The restaurant has been present ever since 1984 and has wowed visitors for a long time. Therefore, if you are into this particular option, you would surely enjoy the wide variety of Mexican street food dishes well.
- Barnacles & Bones - Barnacles & Bones is a restaurant of sorts that is a favorite of many local Scots in Edinburgh. Travelers, too, find this place absolutely amazing and visit quite often whenever they reach Pitt Street. It specializes in Scottish dishes mainly; so, if you wish to taste that, you are more than welcome here. Some of the best street food items you would surely not get enough of are shellfish, crab fritters, curried prawns, etc.
- Stockbridge Market - Situated in the heart of Edinburgh, this farmer's market is a great place to find delicious street foods. Given the many stalls selling jewelry, accessories, and other such products, you would have a lot to spend your time and money on. But the one thing you would adore most about the place is surely the food. There are pop-up stalls at many points of this market that sell beverages, and hot food kiosks. So, buy one and roam around, looking at everything with your companions.
- The Pitt Market - If you want to try the classic Scottish street food dishes, you cannot give this market spot on Pitt Street a miss. Besides the welcoming atmosphere, you would also fall in love with the absolutely charming live music. So, choose your favorite food items from the street food vendors and roam around this part of Edinburgh. Many vendors sell beer and other drinks too, so you would definitely have a good time.
Much like the food there are abundant of options when it comes to quenching one's thirst. And you would get the opportunity to do when gorging on the gastronomic treats in Edinburgh. Indeed, a lot of the restaurants you would go to would provide many drinks accompanying the food items.
A lot of the travelers want to enjoy a night-out too when they are in a new place. If that is something you are interested in as well, you would notice many bars you can go to in Edinburgh. A lot of people do enjoy having a fun night out. If you want, you can visit the many breweries too, and enjoy a wonderful time touring.
When one is thirsty and wants a glass of water to drink, they generally consider the tap water first. Luckily, most of the places in Scotland have great-quality tap water, including Edinburgh. So, if you want to drink water, you can take some from the taps as it is safe.
The water in Edinburgh is of the soft water variety and does not contain a lot of hard-hitting minerals. Mostly, the water comes from the highlands and is fresher compared to cities like London in England. Furthermore, a lot of this water is filtered before reaching houses.
Some of the older buildings have old pumps, so drinking water in buildings with faulty systems can cause harm. Mostly though, you would not have any problem. Since the bottled waters can be expensive and harmful for the environment, this is an easier and better alternative.
Like vegan-friendly restaurants, there are many cafes in Edinburgh that focus on providing organic food. So, if you want to experience a safe and healthy journey through the city, you could go to such areas for sure. Indeed, the dishes available in such local shops are made of the freshest items.
- Broughton Delicatessen- When you are in Edinburgh, there is no reason why you should not give this amazing deli corner and cafe a chance. Indeed, they create absolutely sinful desserts and food with the freshest ingredients. The cooks use only the healthiest local produce and create amazing organic items for food enthusiasts. Either you can sit here and eat or take your chosen dish as a takeout. Some of the best options you must give a try are their lemon meringue pie, lemon curd cake, and their vegan carrot cake.
- The Edinburgh Larder- If you are craving coffee and good-quality breakfast, go to the Edinburgh Larder on Blackfriars Street. Indeed, it is one of the most well-liked organic cafe spots for people here. And one can enjoy a filling lunch too. A few of the good dishes you must try are their chicken pesto sandwich, horseradish creme fraiche, and more. Besides, the cooks prepare the items in-house and allow customers to take home the prepared meals. Also, you do not have to worry about quality either.
- Hula Juice Bar & Healthy Eating- Whether you want to eat breakfast, lunch, or simply make do with a brunch, this spot is one you cannot miss out on. The people managing this food spot use only the best local ingredients for their featured dishes. And they give vegan options too, which is a great help for those who prefer a healthy diet. Plus, the smoothie bar here is another thing that you should give a try, and enjoy the fresh soothing healthy delights.
- Urban Angel- You would not have a total Edinburgh organic experience without going to this organic cafe first. Not only is the ambiance of the bistro absolutely beautiful, but also the food they prepare would blow your mind. They only use locally grown ingredients, so you can stay assured about its quality. Plus, you can either reserve a table for lunch or breakfast or take your order home. That is up to you.
- Ostara- If you are trying out a healthy diet, you cannot go wrong with this eatery option. The independent cafe looks quite understated from the outside but sure does pack a punch when it comes to flavor. Also, the restaurant serves brunch-specific dishes with healthy gluten-free and vegan options; thus, it is worth a try.
A lot of the locals in Edinburgh enjoy drinking and alcohol is available in many areas. Moreover, many breweries are common here, and craft beer is basically a specialty at Edinburgh. Indeed, it is the one city in Scotland that has the most number of microbreweries. In fact, at one point, Edinburgh had 35 total active microbreweries and was usually called 'Auld Reekie'. If you want a good taste of them, you can give the following a visit.
- Barnie’s Beer Limited
- Edinburgh Beer Factory
- The Caledonian Brewing Co.
- Molson Coors Brewing Co.
- Campervan Brewery Tap Room
- Southside Edinburgh Brewery Tour
There are a lot of things to do in the city of Edinburgh. Consequently, if you are visiting this area, you would not miss out on the list of experiences.
This city is one of the culturally vibrant areas in Scotland, and people interested in the arts enjoy it well. Indeed, you can go on museum tours and visit the theaters for fun and knowledge-centered experiences. Even musicals and other such festivals are common in this city. Therefore, if you are in the mood for some fun-filled partying, you can give these areas a try.
For those who are interested in sporty, adrenaline-filled, or fit activities, Edinburgh has some opportunities. You can go on boat tours or biking tours and there are some fun gaming activities, too. So, you can try them out when you are in Edinburgh. Some of the activities and tours that many people in Edinburgh enjoy are mentioned hereafter.
- Heartland Travel - Day Tours
- Discreet Scotland Day Tours
- Intrepidus Outdoors
- Scotia Fishing
- Great Away Days
- Maid of the Forth
- Edinburgh Run Tours
- Forth Boat Tours
- The World Famous Underground Ghost Tour
- Underground Vaults Historical Walking Tour in Edinburgh
Yoga and Retreats
There are some good yoga retreats in the city of Edinburgh and many people, both local and otherwise, take part in them. For a healthy lifestyle, this is a good plan to try and many participants join to feel relaxed.
While food and areas to go to are important things to plan regarding any trip, so is the accommodation. Indeed, it is very important to find a good place to stay when on a holiday. Not to mention, they should be hygienic, in safe areas, and within one's budget.
In terms of all, there are a good amount of options for you to choose from in Edinburgh. A lot of tourists do visit this city frequently, and many people visit for professional reasons. Thus, you would notice a lot of hotels, rentals, flats, etc., available for people to stay at.
The regular price in the city for double rooms is usually US$ 81.40 or £ 60 per night. Of course, that depends on when and where you book. Overall, for the mid-range hotel in the central area of Edinburgh, the average cost would be US$ 135.60 or £ 100 per night. Furthermore, the regular price in the city for double rooms is usually US$ 81.40 or £ 60 per night.
Not to mention, the prices double during August, due to the many festivals that occur. Accordingly, you should look for the various available deals and discounts, and the budget-friendly options too. If you are looking for a good place to call home while touring in Edinburgh, consider the following points.
In the question of eco-traveling, it is very important to choose places to stay that are environmentally friendly. They must use items and provide benefits that would not cause excess waste. And also, such places need to give the visitors a taste of the green world around. Hence, if you want a safe and comfortable stay in any city, checking into green hotels is the best option.
There are many reliable green hotels in Edinburgh, and some of them are mentioned hereafter.
- The Straven Guest House- One of the best green hotels to stay at is the Straven Guest House. It is located in a seaside location in the area of Portobello, which many visitors enjoy. The fact that it is not too far from the city center of Edinburgh makes it more of an ideal location for many. Especially if you are staying over during the summer period, you would have the best experience here. In fact, many people adore the place for this very reason, as you can enjoy many festivals then. The staff ensures low electricity and water consumption and has a good eco-policy overall.
- The Dunstane Hotel- It is located in West End, Edinburgh, and not too far from the Haymarket Station. Thus, it is accessible for a lot of the people visiting the city. As for the eco-friendly rules, this place runs low electricity, has low-energy bulbs and fitting, and sensor technology in the rooms. Not to mention, they follow the recycling policies well and provide an overall safe stay. Besides the eco-friendly steps taken here, another thing you would like about the place is the ambiance. It is soothing and cozy, with modern interior designs.
- Salisbury Green Hotel and Bistro- The staff members are more careful about providing amenities made from biodegradable material here than regular hotels. Also, they have established an area with greenery for a healthier atmosphere. A lot of such hotels provide extra amenities like free WiFi, common space for relaxation, and others. That is no different in the case of the Salisbury Green Hotel & Bistro. Moreover, it comes with gorgeous gardens, a restaurant, and more such features.
Hostels and Guest Houses
If you are traveling on a budget, going to a big hotel is probably not your preferred plan. Instead, the guesthouses and hostels are a great help. And you would find many of them in the city of Edinburgh. Especially if you are traveling alone or with friends, the shared rooms are a cheaper option. In fact, the average charge is lower than £15 each night. This makes this an affordable alternative.
In the case of hostels, the following are some good options.
- CoDE Co-Living – The LoFT- Situated in the New Town area near Princes Street, this hostel in Edinburgh is one you should try. While the building itself is a period-style structure in red brick layout, it has modern classy interiors. Plus, some of the rooms have bunk beds, with a shower room in the pod-style rooms. There is a communal area too for everyone to congregate to, with bright open spacing. The visitors can use the shared kitchen as well. It is very close to Edinburgh Castle, and Waverly Railway Stations.
- CoDE Pod – The CoURT- This hostel is present near Real Mary King's Close. And you can easily reach many of the charming Edinburgh destinations like the National Museum of Scotland, Royal Mile, and the Camera Obscura and World of Illusions. For any queries, the front desk serves 24/7 and you can take their help. You would also enjoy the diverse breakfast options, and other good amenities like Free WiFi, bar, non-smoking rooms, etc. Couples and single travelers enjoy staying here, and the location is good too.
- Kick Ass Greyfriars- For adults, the Kick Ass Greyfriars is a good shared hostel to stay at when in Edinburgh. Indeed, those interested can lounge in the bar or the terrace area, and hang out with fellow boarders. There is also a given shared lounge for comfortable staying. Plus, you can avail of the present tour desk for any help and even the front desk. Also, if you want free WiFi, they do give that, and breakfast is available too. When you feel bored, you can play a game of billiards in the shared space. The shared bathroom is another perk of this accommodation, for sure.
- Edinburgh Central Accommodation- It is a 5-star hostel, not too far from the Edinburgh Rail Station and Princes Street. You would get to enjoy many of the useful perks that the hostel gives to its inhabitants. These include private shower rooms, a shared kitchen, a restaurant, and a cafe. Plus, the design of these rooms is done in tasteful modern tones. You would also get a locker in your room, and enjoy the communal areas. Moreover, if you buy the Premium room package, you get a television service in the rooms.
- High Street Hostel- This hostel is present in the heart of Edinburgh, five minutes away from the Edinburgh Railway Station. The building is of the old-school variety, but the owners do give a lot of modern amenities like free WiFi. The rooms are a shared dormitory kind, with personal lockers and bedside safes. And everyone gets a single bed each. As for the bathroom, it is a shared space. There is a lounge area for the guests to mingle in and another internet lounge spot too. As for the food, it is a communal spot as well, with everyone catering for themselves.
While a lot of the travelers to Edinburgh visit the city for a vacation or trip, many have more serious reasons. These include studying or work. And such people need to look for places where they can live for longer periods. So, if that is your concern too, you need to look for an apartment that you can rent.
There are many such options available for foreigners in the Edinburgh city center. If you are staying for longer, having such a permanent living abode would help you settle better. Plus, it would give you the chance to interact and bond with the local Scots . Most of the people in Edinburgh live in clean areas, and the apartments you would find are situated in such regions too. However, you should browse more options before choosing a final one. As for the costs, it differs from place to place based on landlords, amenities available, furnishing, and more. Some places you can live a comfortable time in include the apartments mentioned below
- Apartment in Papermill Wynd
- 1 bedroom apartment in Albert Street by Watt Property
- 3 bedroom flat in Lygon Road by ime DJK Group
- 2 bedroom apartment in Parsons Green Terrace by Zenlet
- 2 bedroom flat in Gladstone Terrace by TFC
- 4 bedroom duplex property in Lower London Road by Zenlet
A lot of the people who visit different cities want the opportunity to grow bonds with the locals. Couchsurfing is one manner that would give you that shot. Indeed, a lot of the local Scottish people of Edinburgh do open their house to travelers. And you can try this option as well.
Certainly, it is one of the best ways to get in touch with locals and experience how they live. It is less costly than staying at hotels and many homeowners offer extra benefits like home-cooked foods. For an eco-traveler, this is a good option since the homeowners would prepare fresh food dishes.
If you are staying in Edinburgh for long, this is a cost-saving accommodation option. However, you need to book in advance on the websites. Plus, some of the sites are not trustworthy, so do the proper research beforehand. Checking the previous reviews and trusted forums would help.
A lot of the travelers do enjoy going camping when they are out on a holiday. The case is the same for many of the locals of Edinburgh too, who treat this as a family outing opportunity. Plus, you can enjoy the fresh air with lush green surroundings when you visit such grounds.
Certainly, there are many camping groups present in Edinburgh, some with markets or food areas nearby. A few of the places you can go to are listed below.
- Lilliardsedge Holiday Park
- Bonnybridge Eco Camping and Glamping
- Linwater Caravan Park
- Riverside Caravan Park
- Mortonhall Caravan and Camping Park
- Edinburgh Festival Camping
How to Get There
Traveling to Edinburgh is not that difficult to do. There are many avenues open for getting to this city, in terms of air, road, rail, etc. Not to mention, the regulations for traveling to this country are not too strict either. Essentially, it is the same as the rest of Scotland.
Nonetheless, one does need to bring their passport though. If someone is traveling there and plans to stay for less than 6 months, they can do without a visa. However, those traveling from Jamaica, China, South Africa, or Indian need to show their visas.
The main airport in Edinburgh is the Edinburgh International Airport. A lot of the airlines from other countries do reach this airport, and at least 130 airlines leave with passengers too. If you are traveling from the United States, you can take Air Canada or United Airlines from Newark Airport or Delta Airlines from JFK International in New York. The latter also has a direct flight route to Edinburgh from Chicago O'Hare, Chicago.
Furthermore, Canadians can travel to Edinburgh on direct flights too, from the Toronto Pearson International Airport, Toronto. The main airline that works for this is Air Canada.
From Britain, the main companies that allow direct flights are Ryanair, Flybe, EasyJet, and British Airways. Moreover, other close-by European countries also allow an air route to Edinburgh. Some of them are Ireland, Italy, Spain, Belgium, France, Germany, and many others.
The airlines like British Airways, American Airlines, Delta Airlines, Qantas, Etihad Airways, etc., fly from some Australian cities too.
As for the trip from the airport to the city centers, there are Airlink Buses available. And, they run for the whole day.
The main bus station in Edinburgh is the Edinburgh Bus Station. It is not too far from the main railway station either and has a solid path to other parts of the city. Therefore, after reaching there, you can take the public buses to different streets of Edinburgh.
As for which cities you can travel from and enter the city, there is no such restriction. A lot of the other Scotland cities have bus routes into Edinburgh, and the farthest one is in London, England. Overall, traveling to this city is not too difficult to achieve.
The main station for railways in Edinburgh is the Waverly Station, and many trains reach this destination from other cities. In fact, it is situated right in the middle of the city; so people can move from there to anywhere they wish to go.
The most common train route is from London, so you can enter Edinburgh through there. From King's Cross Station, the main service that travels to Edinburgh is Virgin Trains East Coast. Similarly, you can also go from London Euston, pass through Birmingham, and reach this city. The main service for that, though, is the Virgin Trains.
There are other railway companies too, like the Border Railway, EuroStar, and Scotrail.
Overall, it would take approximately 4 and a half hours to reach Edinburgh from London via trains. If you want to know more about other train services that would go to this city, you can refer to the National Rail Enquiries.
One of the easiest, budget-friendly and useful methods of traveling is hitchhiking. While there are some flaws to this mode of travel, Edinburgh and its surrounding places are relatively safe. So, you can try this option to reach Edinburgh. However, doing so from Edinburgh to surrounding areas is more popular than hitchhiking into the city.
When traveling, caring about the budget is normal and there are cost-friendly ways of entering Edinburgh. The Coach system is one such option and includes both Megabus and National Express services. Indeed, they connect from different cities in the UK to this city, and you can avail of them.
The infrastructure of Edinburgh is quite modern and well-balanced. And there is a very integrated system of transport inside the city as well. So, you would not have any trouble moving around the port. Plus, the area is relatively populated and safe, so you can move throughout the city fairly easily.
While Edinburgh is one of the biggest and most populated cities in Scotland, this capital port has a compact infrastructure. So, if you want to walk around and visit the various places in this city, you can do so. In fact, there are many usable walking routes around Edinburgh, if you wish to sight-see. Some of them include-
- Water of Leith Walkway
- Inverleith Park
- Pentland Hills
- Dean Village
- Arthurs Seat
To save energy and money, one plan you can adopt for traveling is bicycling. This way, you can enjoy the beautiful views in and around Edinburgh and have a comfortable experience. Indeed, there are a lot of useful bicycling routes around this city, and some amidst beautiful green spaces. A few of the trails you should definitely try out are-
- Roseburn and Blackhall Paths
- Leith to Portobello
- Leith to city centre
- The Innocent Railway Path
- Bike roads near Granton
You can take a taxi from the airport to anywhere in the city, but you do need to book it beforehand. Black cabs are available but they are comparatively more expensive. Also, you can use other taxi services too, like Uber.
However, if you are planning an eco-friendly trip, electric vehicles are better choices than motor ones. In Edinburgh, you can opt for using electric cars, too. There are several charging points throughout the city, at a price. Whether you are settling in Edinburgh or traveling through it temporarily, you can buy or rent such vehicles.
The usual bus company that works as the main source of transport in Edinburgh is Lothian buses. Another named First is also very popular, and both have separate tickets and bus numbers. Plus, the latter mainly works around the outskirts of the city and has lesser bus routes.
The best deal you can engage in for bus fares is buying a DAYticket, which costs £4 for adults and £2 for children each. This would allow you unlimited travel on both buses and trams. As for all-hours travels, it generally costs £3 or £3.50 for older travelers. Also, in the city zone, you can opt for a family DAYticket as well, costing £8.50. The payment for the ticket system is electronic with a variety of transaction modes. Regardless, keep it with you at all times.
Tram, Train and Subway
One ticket for a tram within the city costs around £1.60 for adults and 80p for children. Overall, the transport system is very integrated within the entire city and spread well.
Also, you can take trams directly from the airport to the city center, specifically York Place, at specific timelines. As mentioned before, the train station in Edinburgh lies in the center of this city. There is another train mainline in this city, called the Haymarket station. The tram line runs through that, and there is one station for it there.
But, for in-city transport, trams are more commonly used. Furthermore, there are no subway stations in Edinburgh.
In terms of safeguarding the environment, one of the things that people should consider is the things they own. Indeed, a lot of shops sell healthy items, but they provide them in plastic bags. Consequently, those cities that are going the eco-friendly route focus on using more safer options.
Edinburgh, too, takes this seriously, so you would find a lot of shops that sell items in zero plastic bags. Even the items they sell, be it fashion-centric or food, are made of sustainable materials. Some organizations are behind this objective, and they ensure that low wastes are generated.
The following are a few examples of places you can go to in Edinburgh if you want to shop for eco-friendly items.
- New Leaf Co-Op
- Real Foods
- The Eco Larder
- Echo Shoppe
- Weigh To Go
- The Refillery
Much like fashion, you would find many markets selling food items in and around Edinburgh. The people sell the freshest items and even have stalls or restaurants close by. So, if you are craving food, to cook or eat ready-made, you can give these markets a visit.
- Stockbridge Market
- Old Tolbooth Market
- Leith Farmers Market
- Grassmarket Market
- Edinburgh Farmers Market
If you are in the mood for having a good and budget shopping experience, the flea markets are viable choices. In Edinburgh, you can visit the following flea markets mainly.
- Edinburgh Flea Market
- The Food & Flea Market
- Out of the Blue
Second Hand Stores
If you are looking for second-hand items in Edinburgh, some stores do sell them. Certainly, these are cost-effective options, and many of them are properly maintained. Accordingly, some of the shops you can visit for the local antiquated items are mentioned below.
- Birthlink Thrift Shop Two
- The Salvation Army
- South Bridge Maxie Cuxie Shop
- British Heart Foundation
A lot of fashion experts are choosing to create and sell items that are made of sustainable fabrics. Indeed, they are less likely to harm you or the environment and are long-lasting too. So, if you want to shop for eco-friendly clothing and other such products in Edinburgh, you can do so.
Certainly, many of the brands and organizations, both big and small, have outlets for good quality fabrics and products. Even the production process is carefully planned and continues in an environmentally safe manner. Overall, some of these reliable options are mentioned below.
- Edinburgh Remakery
- Stockbridge Bridal Charity Shop
- Bethany charity shop campaign
- Artisan Stitch
- Totty Roks
- Bill Baber
- Zero Waste Hub
In the city of Edinburgh, the people and the government are very engaged in organizing environment-friendly campaigns. Here, it is important to consider their initiatives for recycling, which are many. Indeed, the citizens throw their wastes in the different recycling bins in their communities. They are very strict about this too, throwing the right items as per brown bins (flowers, weeds, etc.), green lidded communal bins (paper, cardboard, etc.), etc.
In fact, there are centers available for you to throw your household items that need recycling in Edinburgh. These centers are at Sighthill, Craigmillar, and Seafield. Moreover, the City of Edinburgh Council is very particular about their recycling plans, too. And they ensure the continuity of these tasks.
The city of Edinburgh is very particular about a sustainable lifestyle and has a proper zero-waste policy. In fact, the citizens of this country follow the steps for waste management very carefully. The system is very well-established, with governmental and community services ensuring it is followed. Plus, the places where you can throw wastes are carefully demarcated, as colored bins. Accordingly, when you are traveling to Edinburgh, you would notice a comparatively clean and healthy environment.
Work and Study Abroad
Many people move to Edinburgh looking to have a good time, but others do so for serious purposes. To specify, these include looking for work opportunities or for studying reasons. Luckily for them, there are good options for both in this city.
Indeed, many types of professions are available for foreigners in this city. You can apply for them, but consider the rules of the workplaces first. Not everyone would have the same entry policy, and it is important to meet their selection criteria. Likewise, you have to remember the same theory for scholarships to the universities in Edinburgh as well.
Those who are from other countries can apply for education in Edinburgh through student exchange programs. Indeed, many of the reputed universities in this part of Scotland do offer such programs. Those who want to pursue their studies in the capital city can appeal.
If you are wondering which universities you can apply to for student exchange plans, the first name is the University of Edinburgh. Certainly, you would notice a lot of excellent courses available here. So, if you want to improve your knowledge and future career graph, these programs would help. Other universities like Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh Napier University, and more also have their own student exchange programs.
A lot of the families in Edinburgh look for people who would take care of their children. In return, they provide lodgings and fees to these people. And so, many foreigners opt for such opportunities and you can try them too.
The people you would meet through this option would help you understand the city more. Indeed, you would spend time with the local people, and learn how they lead their lives. Not to mention, it would give you a point of contact in Edinburgh, in case you know no one there. A lot of websites are available for these jobs, and you can research and apply for the best option.
People in Edinburgh, both local and foreign, often engage with volunteering opportunities. There are a lot of non-profit organizations operating in the city that focus on making the place more regulated. If you are interested, you can apply to these places as well. Some of the known volunteer programs and organizations in Edinburgh are mentioned hereafter.
- International Voluntary Service
- Volunteer Edinburgh
- Health All Round
- The Conservation Volunteers
- Enactus Edinburgh
Overall, it would allow you to do some good in Edinburgh and its environment and meet many people too.