Historic Festival City
The Scottish capital, Edinburgh, is world-famous for its festivals, as well as Edinburgh Castle and its other historic buildings. The wide range of cultural attractions, shops and nightlife all help to draw visitors from a wide area.
When to visit and main attractions
You can expect the best weather between May to September, but there is a chance of wet and windy spells at any time of year. Edinburgh is a popular destination all through the year, but festival season, running from early August right through to mid-September, is the most exciting time to visit. There are actually as many as 10 different festivals, headed by Edinburgh International Festival and the Fringe Festival, both taking place during August. Hogmanay celebrations for New Year are another great Edinburgh tradition.
Information before you set off
If you are aiming to visit Edinburgh during the festival season, it's best to book accommodation up to 12 months ahead. You also need to be aware that the city can get very crowded at this time. The cost of living is lower than in London, but around average for the UK. An inexpensive restaurant meal could cost around £10 and a beer will cost about £3.50.
Transport and accommodation
If you are flying into Edinburgh, the airport is about 10 miles out of the central area. A ride into the city on the Edinburgh Tramway will take about 35 minutes, with tickets at about £5 for an adult or around £8 if you buy an open return. Another transport option is the Airlink express, with the price for a single fare at about £4 or an open return at about £7, taking 25 minutes. The slowest mode of transport is the Lothian bus, which will take about 1 hour 35 minutes, but the advantage is that it's also the cheapest option at around £1.50 for a single fare.
Most popular tourist attractions can easily be walked to within the central area, but if you do take a Lothian bus the single fare is again around £1.50 for a single journey with no changes.
Accommodation prices in the city vary widely, with a double room at peak season likely to cost about £100 per night in a 3-star hotel. A single room in a hostel starts from about £10.