|Destination Airport IATA Code||EDI|
|Destination City Name||Edinburgh|
Affectionately known as Auld Reekie, from the 16th century when the air stank from soot from the chimneys of the tightly packed tenements in the Old Town, Edinburgh is elegant, vibrant and a cultural hotspot. August is the most popular month to visit – the weather is at its finest, with highs of 70F although it can be muggy, and the Scottish capital comes alive with festivals. Beware hotels are expensive in August and can be booked up a year in advance. If you don’t mind the damp, rain and temperatures of around 45F, then New Year is also a great time to visit to experience the delights of a proper Scottish Hogmanay.
If you can be flexible about dates for your trip, it can help you track down cheap flights. Use the ‘Show flexible dates’ option to look at fares to and from Edinburgh on different days. The ‘Nearby airports’ option allows you to compare prices to and from different departure points.
You can filter your results on the left of the results screen and by using the ‘Show options’ menu. With a limited number of direct flights to Edinburgh from the USA, it may be cheaper to look at connecting flights from Glasgow. You can also compare different airlines and look at different types of ticket.
Edinburgh Airport (EDI)
Edinburgh Airport lies 6 miles west of the city and handles around 13 million passengers a year. It is well connected to the city center by bus and tram, and there is a car hire hub with all the rental companies in one location should you wish to hire a car.
If you don’t mind the 50-mile, one-hour train journey, Glasgow International also has a good choice of carriers.
From the airport, the quickest way to the city is by car. It is not recommended, however, as parking in Edinburgh is difficult and expensive. The airport bus takes around 30 minutes to arrive at the central bus station, while the tram connects to mainline train stations en route.
The city center is fairly compact and walking is the best way to see the Old Town, as the streets are narrow and steep, and many alleyways have steps. There is an extensive network of local buses and the new tram network, making it very easy to get around, including further out of the center.
The annual Edinburgh International Festival is a huge draw every August, when the city goes crazy for three weeks. The program includes concerts, theater and the world-famous Military Tattoo. Alongside it run the Edinburgh Fringe – great for comedy, experimental theater and more – the Television Festival and the Book Festival. On New Year’s Eve, Prince’s Street Gardens hosts a huge Hogmanay concert and fireworks, but most locals take to the streets with whisky and coal and traditionally gather at the Tron Church for the midnight chimes.
The 16th century Edinburgh Castle at the top of the Royal Mile in the Old Town sits atop an extinct volcano and looms over the city. At the foot of the Royal Mile lies Holyrood Palace, which you can visit unless the Queen is in residence. The walk from one end to the other takes about 30 minutes, but allow plenty of time for stopping off at the numerous sights en route. On the other side of Princes Street Gardens lies the elegant New Town, laid out on a grid in the Georgian era and the main area for shopping.
Holyrood Park, by the palace, is open all year. Climb Arthur’s Seat – another extinct volcano – for amazing views across the city and beyond. If you’re feeling energetic, walk down the other side toward the picturesque Duddingston Loch and enjoy a dram in the pub next to it.
The weather can be changeable all year round so bring an umbrella and a fleece. It’s advisable to bring mosquito bite relief in the summer months, when the Scottish midge is rampant.
If you plan on hiring a car, driving is on the left in the UK and cars generally have manual transmission. You will need to show your passport, US driving license and an International Driving Permit.
Scotland is in the Greenwich Mean Time zone (GMT). U.S. citizens can enter the UK for up to 90 days without a visa. Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your departure date.
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