Nearly 12 million visitors a year book flights to Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital where ancient architecture seamlessly blends with modern living. Examples are dotted throughout the city from the new Scottish Parliament building to the imposing Edinburgh Castle that sits high on the hilltop commanding every visitor’s attention. Most people who book a flight to Edinburgh make sure and book a tour of the castle well in advance to beat the crowds.
It may sound ironic that an ancient city with its winding medieval streets and gothic architecture would be one of the liveliest cities in Europe. Not only does it have a buzzing nightlife scene but every August four festivals including the world’s largest, “the Fringe”, take place there transforming the city into one big celebration. Beyond the city walls, visitors can explore the rural area of the Lothians: East Lothian, Midlothian and West Lothian. All three areas provide a relaxing break to the hustle and bustle of modern day life. Midlothian is probably the most visited thanks to its Rosslyn Chapel being featured in the Da Vinci Code. Fans of the movie who are booking flights to Edinburgh should plan a stop to Midlothian as part of their visit.
Find flights to Edinburgh
Best Time to Fly to Edinburgh
Travelers pack Edinburgh flights during the summer, when daylight are long and warm and the city is full of excitement. August is the peak travel month for Edinburgh because of the world famous Edinburgh Festival and the Military Tattoo. If you're planning a vacation to Edinburgh in August, book flights and accommodations ahead of time.
Edinburgh sees fewer tourists in spring and fall so travelers hoping to avoid the crowds can purchase Edinburgh flights and find hotel discounts.
Find cheap flights to Edinburgh
Getting around Edinburgh
Bring some sturdy shoes with you to Edinburgh. Walking is the best way to explore and your feet will thank you while you trip over the cobblestone streets. Biking is popular as well. If you can get past the ups and downs of the hills, there are plenty of bike paths and lanes to pedal on. It shouldn’t take you more than half an hour to get anywhere. Buses are extremely efficient. They blanket the city and there’s a night bus service if you’re out late. Make sure you have exact change on you for a bus ticket, or purchase a day ticket if you’re planning on riding around all day. Sightseeing hop-on, hop-off buses offer guided tours and stop at major attractions.
Edinburgh Travel Information
- There are many places in Edinburgh to enjoy the view. One of the more unusual is the Scott Monument, a huge black Victorian gothic monument to honor Sir Walter Scott, directly opposite Princes Street. You can pay £3 to walk up to the top of the 200ft tower; there are fabulous views of the city center from the top.
- One of the most exciting times to visit is during the Edinburgh Festival in August, however, the city is packed during this time, so be sure to reserve your Edinburgh flights and accommodations well in advance.
- The annual Edinburgh Tattoo has been running for more than 50 years. Taking place in front of Edinburgh Castle, around 1,000 performers take place in the Tattoo, in front of an audience of more than 200,000. Tickets for the Tattoo sell out extremely quickly, often six months in advance. Book ahead on the official Web site.
- If you want to buy tartan while you’re in town, head for the Royal Mile. There are lots of kiltmakers shops and you can pick up anything from the genuine article, made in your own tartan, for around £500, to a more wallet-friendly acrylic imitation for £20.
- Edinburgh is a very green city: there are plenty of parks and public spaces to enjoy within the city center. The Royal Botanic Garden is especially worth a visit. Founded in the 17th-century as a place to grow medicinal plants, today the Botanics is one of the most popular tourist spots. Entrance to the gardens is free, but there is an admissions charge to the glasshouses of £3.50 for adults.