Majestic castles, medieval history and pub-filled streets oozing with charm; Edinburgh will show you how to have a good time, the Scottish way.
Steeped in old-world charm, Edinburgh is easily one of the UK’s most beautiful cities. But beneath the enchanting medieval wynds and buildings of Old Town lies a dark history with secrets and stories waiting to be told. You can feel the history seeping out of the cobbled alleyways and sense that some serious things went down here. Edinburgh is also a melting pot for creatives and is home to the world’s largest arts festival, The Edinburgh Fringe. Our Edinburgh tours are a perfect mix of history and hedonism, and our guides will help you explore the local way. Step back in time at Edinburgh Castle, climb the rolling hills of Arthur’s seat for some fresh Scottish air and sweeping cityscapes, peek inside royal residences, and have a wee whiskey (or two) with the locals in centuries-old pubs – the Scots certainly know how to have a good time. When you’ve had your culture fix, soak up more of Scotland’s mythical magic in the Highlands or the Orkney Islands.
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There are a number of transport options that go direct to Edinburgh. You can fly from various cities in the UK and Europe with airlines including Ryanair, EasyJet and British Airways. If you are travelling to Edinburgh from nearby cities such as Glasgow, Manchester, Liverpool or Newcastle, the most convenient way to get there is by train with the National Rail. You can also take a bus or coach from major cities in the UK with National Express, Citylink and Megabus.
Edinburgh is a very easy city to get around with extensive bus routes, road and traffic-free cycling networks and a tram that runs from the Edinburgh Airport to York Place in the east side of the city centre. One of the best ways to get around the city is by walking. The city centre is compact and most of the main sights are within walking distance. There are also plenty of black cabs which you can hail on the street or jump in at one of the taxi ranks. It’s relatively easy to drive around the city if you have a car, but you’ll need to be aware of parking restrictions.
Edinburgh is a lively city and that you can enjoy any time of year. In terms of weather, the best time to visit is during the summer between May and September when the days are longer and sunnier. Scottish summers can still sometimes feel a little chilly, especially if you’re from a hot place, so bring some warm layers and a rain jacket. If you love comedy, theatre and music, the best time to go is August when the Fringe Festival is on. There are festivals throughout the year in Edinburgh but the Fringe is the world’s largest arts festival and it’s pretty special. The city is packed at this time of year so be prepared for large crowds, more expensive accommodation and longer queues for attractions.
Most of Edinburgh’s main attracts are accessible including Edinburgh Castle, the Royal Museum of Scotland, the National Gallery of Scotland and St Giles’ Cathedral. The city rests on an extinct volcano and some streets are quite steep. There are also many cobblestone streets in the Old Town. It’s recommended to plan your day and work your way downhill where possible. The tram and several bus lines are also wheelchair accessible. Intrepid is committed to making travel widely accessible, regardless of ability or disability. That’s why we do our best to help as many people see the world as possible, regardless of any physical or mental limitations they might have. We’re always happy to talk to travellers with disabilities and see if we can help guide them towards the most suitable itinerary for their needs and where possible, make reasonable adjustments to our itineraries.
Scotland is internationally recognised as an inclusive nation and Edinburgh is a very welcoming destination for LBTQI+ people. There are many safe and friendly bars, cafes, pubs and hangout spots for the LBTQI+ community. In February there is also the LGBT History Month with an amazing range of parties, activities and programs not just in Edinburgh but throughout the country.