Edinburgh is an historical city situated on the east coast of Scotland, on the estuary of the River Forth. Edinburgh has been Scotland’s capital since the 15th century, and its city centre comprises two distinct areas, both World Heritage Sites: the Old Town, dominated by Edinburgh Castle, and the neoclassical New Town.
Home of the Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh is rich with culture and literature, fine architecture and beautiful parks and galleries (including the National Gallery of Scotland), and has a small city centre that’s easily walkable. Well-known visitor attractions include Edinburgh Castle and the Palace of Holyrood House, separated by the historical Royal Mile; the Royal Yacht Britannia; the Scott Monument; the National Museum of Scotland and the Royal Botanic Garden. With a population of almost 500,000, Edinburgh is Scotland’s second-largest city after Glasgow.
A festival city, Edinburgh hosts 11 festivals each year, including the Fringe – the others are the Science Festival, Imaginate Children’s Festival, Film Festival, Jazz & Blues Festival, Art Festival, Edinburgh Military Tattoo, International Festival, Book Festival, Storytelling Festival and Edinburgh’s Hogmanay. For more information about other festivals in Edinburgh please visit the Festivals Edinburgh website.
We know that the Fringe will leave you wanting more, but the journey to Edinburgh is part of the fun too. Whether travelling by rail or road, via the Highlands or the Borders, the landscape is spectacularly breathtaking.
Your travel to Edinburgh has an impact on the environment, and flying from cities in the UK can take as long as travelling by train when you consider check-in times, so why not consider coming by train or bus?
The ultimate green initiative, car-sharing is one of the best options for travelling to Edinburgh. You save on costs while saving the planet, and get to know some of your fellow Fringe-goers en route. You can find more information about Edinburgh car sharing from the following links:
The journey to Edinburgh is a scenic treat by either car or bus. Edinburgh is connected to the UK’s east coast via the A1(M); a short trip to Glasgow on the M8 connects you to most cities in the west via the M6 and the Lake District. Coach services run directly to Edinburgh from throughout Scotland and the rest of the UK. Start planning your journey:
Edinburgh is a scant four-and-a-half hours train journey from London King’s Cross. Waverley station (Edinburgh’s main railway station) is ideally positioned in the heart of the city, close to most festival destinations and the many bus routes servicing Princes Street (the main shopping street). For more information visit:
- CrossCountry Trains
- ScotRail (a festival timetable is normally available in August).
- TransPennine Express (north-west England)
- Caledonian Sleeper (overnight services from London)
Be sure to plan your journeys now as cheaper advance tickets from many UK destinations go on sale 12 to 24 weeks in advance of travel.
Please note: due to essential maintenance, the LNER line between Edinburgh and London King’s Cross will be closed on the final weekend of the Fringe (bank holiday weekend, Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 August); LNER has also advised that it is best to avoid travel on Monday 26 August where possible. If you do have to travel on any of these days, it might be best to go via the west of the country, extend your stay or explore some of the alternative travel options on this page. More information can be found about this and other planned engineering work on the National Rail website.
Edinburgh International Airport is served by most domestic carriers and several international operators. The airport is easy to reach from the city, located just eight miles (12 km) west of Edinburgh city centre. Details can be found on the websites below:
Edinburgh is a compact city and most venues are located within easy walking distance of each other. During August, the quickest way to get between venues can often be on foot. Some venues are literally within a stone’s throw of one another – particularly in the Old Town, where you wouldn’t need more than five to ten minutes to walk from the Royal Mile to many Old Town venues.
If you're looking for directions or more information on any of our venues, you can use our interactive venue map.
Edinburgh has plenty of cyclists, so if you’re thinking of bringing your bike along you will be in good company. But remember the city is quite hilly! The Fringe Programme map includes information on some useful routes. A more complete cycling map of Edinburgh can be found on innertubemap.com.
Edinburgh’s Lothian bus network is excellent, covering not just the city but also its outskirts including Queensferry, East Lothian and Midlothian; most venues have a bus stop near by.
Single fares cost £1.70 but if you’re taking two or more journeys in a day then a Lothian Dayticket (£4.00) or a Day&Night ticket (£3.50) are the best value for you. Lothian also offers a one-week or four-week bus pass (Ridacard), which allows unlimited travel, 24 hours a day.
Please note: unless you're using a Ridacard or the Lothian Bus M-Tickets App, you'll need to provide the exact fare on the bus, as drivers don't have access to cash to give change.
There's a tramline running direct from Edinburgh Airport to York Place via Princes Street and St Andrew Square. You can choose from several ticketing options which work on both trams and buses. Timetable information can be found at Transport for Edinburgh, and also on the the Transport for Edinburgh App.
Please note: you must buy your tram ticket before you board, via ticketing machines on the tram platform.
There are a variety of taxi ranks dotted around central Edinburgh. Look for the unmistakable black cabs: an orange light on top means the taxi is available for hire.
Edinburgh at festival time wouldn’t be Edinburgh without the athletic rickshaw drivers who cycle around the city. It’s a fun, unmissable experience – but remember to always agree the price of your fare in advance.
If you’re bringing your own car, please beware that Edinburgh has limited parking and strict restrictions in place. In the city centre the vast majority of parking is pay and display – always check the instructions on the meter and carry plenty of coins with you, or register with RingGo and pay over the phone or via app.
The safety of everyone at the Fringe is our number one priority, which is why we’re among several partners across the city working with Police Scotland’s Project Servator team.
Project Servator involves unpredictable, highly visible, intelligence-led police deployments that are designed to disrupt criminality, and can take place anywhere in and around the city. They use varying numbers of specially trained uniformed police officers who are supported by other police assets, including plain-clothed officers and police dogs. They’ll patrol with trained security staff. Some security measures, such as CCTV and vehicle checks, you’ll notice easily; others you won’t.
Fringe-goers have a vital role by remaining vigilant and reporting anything that doesn’t feel right. Tell a police officer immediately or call 101, the non-emergency number.
In an emergency, always dial 999. Don’t leave it to someone else to report it.
Find out more about Project Servator or follow @EdinburghPolice #ProjectServator.