Edinburgh Airport Transfers

Here's how to get between Edinburgh airport and the city center in the fastest, most comfortable and economical way.

Ana Caballero

Ana Caballero

7 min read

Edinburgh Airport Transfers

Airplane landing at Edinburgh Airport | ©Alan Wilson

Scotland's airport, 12 km from the city, is well connected to the city center by both private and public transport. Are you going to waste your first minutes of travel thinking about the best way to get to your hotel? I leave you all the information you need to plan your arrival in Edinburgh saving time and money.

1. Types of transfers between Edinburgh airport and the city center

Runway view from the airport terminal| ©Henry Burrows
Runway view from the airport terminal| ©Henry Burrows

Bus, streetcar, cab, Uber, private transfer... Whatever time you arrive at Edinburgh airport you will have transportation available to get you either to the city center or to the door of your hotel. If you are looking for the most comfortable and fastest option, I recommend a door to door transfer:

  • Private transfer to your hotel in Edinburgh from the airport.
  • Private transfer from your hotel to the Edinburgh Airport

Private transfer from the airport to your hotel in the center of town

Private transfer| ©Vladimir Proskurovskiy
Private transfer| ©Vladimir Proskurovskiy

When we land at the airport of any city, what we usually want is either to rest if it has been a long trip or to go out and explore the city. In short, we want to save time and we want facilities; book in advance this private transfer to your hotel in Edinburgh from the airport allows you both.

You can book online: you will have to indicate the day of your arrival in Edinburgh, your flight details and the address of your hotel or accommodation in the city center. With this information, the company is in charge of organizing your arrival so that a professional driver will pick you up as soon as you disembark and take you to your hotel.

Once your reservation is confirmed you will receive an email that will serve as a receipt for you to give it to the driver who is waiting for you upon your arrival. You will be able to communicate via email with the transportation agency at any time to resolve any questions or request any additional service. In addition, if your travel plans change, you can cancel the reservation with 24 hours notice.

How the service works

You already know that if you want a private transport to go from Edinburgh airport to your hotel you must hire it in advance and online, but what exactly does this service consist of?

It is to hire a private driver and a vehicle exclusively for you and those traveling with you (up to 8 passengers per service) so that the pick up is in the same arrivals terminal and you do not have to wait to start the journey to the hotel or make stops along the way.


  • The comfort of the vehicle
  • The professionalism of the driver
  • The availability of the service: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Luggage space
  • No need to find a meeting point when you arrive at the airport (the driver will be waiting for you at your departure with a sign with your name on it and you will be able to communicate with the transport agency at any time via cell phone or e-mail)
  • The speed of the journey (in less than an hour you will be at your hotel in the center as there will be no intermediate stops and you will not have to find your way to your hotel once you arrive in the center of Edinburgh).

Private transfer back to the airport from the hotel

Edinburgh Airport Lounge| ©alljengi
Edinburgh Airport Lounge| ©alljengi

If what you need is the opposite service, to be picked up from your hotel and taken to Edinburgh airport, you can also book this service online before or during your trip.

You will also need to provide your flight departure date, your hotel details and your flight information. With all this, the driver will know what time to pick you up (you and those traveling with you) so you will not be late for boarding, but do not waste time waiting at the airport.

Ana's Traveller Tip

Hiring a private transport can be cheaper if you are several of you traveling.

How to get from Edinburgh airport to the city center by public transport

Bus from the airport to Edinburgh city center| ©martin arrand
Bus from the airport to Edinburgh city center| ©martin arrand


Trains run every ten minutes from the airport to the city center with a total of 15 stops, some of the most central being Princes Street or St Andrew Square. The ticket costs 10 pounds on board and cheaper if you buy it at the machines. You can also get a discount if you buy round trip with an open return. The whole journey takes about 35 minutes.

Airlink Bus

This is the special airport bus. It departs every ten minutes throughout the day (the frequency decreases during the night9 and in a 25-minute journey it connects the airport with Waverley Bridge station, in the city center. The cost of the ticket is £4.50 each way, £7.50 if you buy a return ticket.

Skylink Bus

If your hotel is not in the center, this bus will take you to more remote areas. It has the same price as the Airlink, operates from 6 am to 11 pm and has a frequency of approximately 20 to 30 minutes. There are different lines depending on the area of Edinburgh where you go. An important thing to know is that you will need to pay with the exact amount because the driver does not give change.

Bus line

The final price depends on the distance you have to cover, but the journey to the center can take up to an hour and a half. The numbers are 33 if you travel during the day and N22 if you arrive in Edinburgh in the early morning. You will also need to pay with the exact amount.

Ana's Traveller Tip

Remember to bring the exact amount (in pounds) to pay on the buses that take you to the center.

Other transfer options between Edinburgh Airport and the city center

Cab through the streets of Edinburgh| ©Mark Morgan
Cab through the streets of Edinburgh| ©Mark Morgan

If you have not booked your transfer in advance and want to avoid public transport, you also have the option of a cab, whose taxi ranks are signposted along the airport. You will have to wait in line and the approximate price is around 30 pounds.

The Uber is an option that can be cheaper (about 25 euros) and you can request it through the free WIFI network of the airport. Once you confirm your ride, the app will tell you where to meet your driver within 10 to 15 minutes.

First tips for your arrival in Edinburgh

Haggis, the typical Scottish dish| ©Bernt Rostad
Haggis, the typical Scottish dish| ©Bernt Rostad

What Edinburgh airport is like

Edinburgh Airport is one of the busiest airports in the UK, so you will have no problem finding the usual services such as stores and restaurants. The locations of public transport and cab ranks are clearly indicated on the airport signs and free WIFI is available throughout the airport. It is located 12km from the city center and has no subway network.

When to go to Edinburgh

From May to September you will find more moderate temperatures in Scotland (although you will still need to bring a coat) so it may be the best time to visit the country. In the winter months the cold can hinder your trip and rain will be present at any time of the year.

Where to stay in Edinburgh

The most central areas to stay in Edinburgh are the Old Town and the New Town, but they are also the most expensive. In any case, if you book your hotel or apartment well in advance you can save money. If you are looking for nightlife choose the Grassmarket area and if you want to be central, but in a less touristy neighborhood the best options are Broughton and West End.

What to eat in Edinburgh

The best known traditional dish in Edinburgh is the Haggis, a very spicy dish made with lamb entrails. As for sweets, the country has a lot to offer so do not resist to taste and ask for recommendations in any of its cafes. Finally, whiskey lovers will find a paradise in Edinburgh.

Where to change money

The currency in Scotland is the pound sterling, which is equivalent to approximately 1.10 euros, so it will not be difficult to calculate the prices of your purchases. There are many options to change money, but avoid the airport, banks in your country and hotels. If you want to get better change you can do it in ATMs (if the commissions of your bank are not too high) or in the exchange houses that you will find in the center. If you are going to stay many days in the city, you may want to use the home exchange services that are available in a maximum of 48 hours and in recent years have proliferated quite a lot.

Getting around Edinburgh

The city center is easily accessible on foot (although you won't be spared the walk up to Edinburgh Castle). Combining the subway and the streetcar you can get to almost any remarkable corner of Edinburgh. The single ticket for both transport and also for the bus costs 1.80 pounds, but does not allow transfers. If you are going to make several trips in the same day, the daily ticket is unlimited and costs 4.50 pounds.

What to bring in your suitcase

It is essential to carry an umbrella in your suitcase, because in Edinburgh it rains even more than in London. You will also need a raincoat for when the rain is not too intense and if you are going to tour the Scottish Highlands on an excursion from Edinburgh, comfortable and waterproof shoes are a must.