This world-famous castle is home to the crown jewels of Scotland, the Royal Apartments, and the Stone of Destiny: an ancient stone that witnessed the coronation of Scottish kings for centuries. The castle is the most paid-for tourist attraction in Scotland.
Edinburgh Airport is Scotland’s busiest airport, with 13.4m passengers passing through the doors each year. The airport is proud to fly 222 routes to 150+ destinations, and it shares close ties with local institutions such as Visit Scotland, Marketing Edinburgh, and Festivals Edinburgh.
Transport from the Airport to the City
- Location: exit the Arrivals section via the long corridor, and cross the plaza with the EDINBURGH letters. The trams are located on the other side.
- £6.00 for a single and £8.00 for a return.
- Trams depart every few minutes.
- Location: exit the Arrivals section through the main doors. The Airlink 100 (Stop D) is located just out front of the building.
- £4.50 for a single and £7.50 for a return.
- Buses depart every 10 minutes.
- Location: exit the Arrivals section through the main doors, pass by the bus stands, and cross the street. The taxi stand is located on the ground floor of the multi-level parking garage.
- Approximately £20 - £25 for a single journey to the city centre.
- A journey to the city centre takes about 25 minutes.
Transfers and Onward Connections
If you are transiting through Edinburgh Airport to Dublin from Beijing, please follow these steps:
- Proceed through Immigration.
- Exit the International baggage hall. There is no need to collect your luggage, as you will pick it up in Dublin.
- Collect your boarding card at desk 00f.
- Follow the signs as below for Transit passengers:
- Go through security to departures.
- Go to gate to board your aircraft.
- World Duty Free (bareMinerals, Bobbi Brown, Estée Lauder, Lancôme, etc)
For more information on the brands available at World Duty Free, follow this link.
- Discover Scotland
- World Duty Free (Macallan, Glenfiddich, Oban, Glen Grant, Aberlour, etc)
World Duty Free offers exclusive whiskies that are not available on the UK High Street, and you can taste the whisky before you try it.
- Hugo Boss
- Kurt Geiger
- Michael Kors
- The Watch Collection (Guess, Emporio Armani, Fossil, Kate Spade, etc)
- Caffè Nero
- Krispy Kreme
- Yo! Sushi
- All Bar One
- The Gathering
- Flutes & Tails
Edinburgh is bursting with sensational experiences. Explore historical landmarks, or climb Edinburgh’s hills for picturesque views over the city. Don’t forget to enjoy a dram of whisky when you’re done.
Castlehill, Edinburgh, EH1 2NG
Palace of Holyroodhouse
Canongate, Edinburgh, EH8 8DX
Once home to Mary Queen of Scots, this baroque palace is now the official Scottish residence of Her Majesty the Queen. The palace is open daily for tours, but visitors seeking a more luxurious visit should book the evening excursion, where you can enjoy a glass of champagne as an expert guide leads you through the palace.
The Royal Yacht Britannia
Ocean Dr, Edinburgh, EH6 6JJ
Step aboard The Royal Yacht Britannia, Her Majesty The Queen’s former floating palace for over 40 years. Berthed in Edinburgh, follow in the footsteps of Royalty to discover the heart and soul of this most special of Royal residences.
The Scotch Whisky Experience
The Royal Mile, 254 Castlehill, Edinburgh, EH1 2NE
Learn more about Scotland’s national drink at this interactive experience that boasts the largest collection of Scotch whisky in the world. You can either join a public tour or arrange for a private tasting session.
Princes St Gardens, Edinburgh, EH2 2EJ
This impressive Gothic Victorian structure is one of the largest monuments dedicated to a writer in the world. The landmark was erected in honour of Sir Walter Scott, a Scottish writer responsible for renowned works such as Ivanhoe and Waverley. At 200ft tall, this iconic monument can be seen from across the city.
Edinburgh, EH8 8AL
This 800ft ancient volcano is over 350 million years old, and it is now a popular hike for tourists and locals alike. A circular walk from Holyrood Palace takes about two hours, and the summit offers sweeping views over the city.
National Museum of Scotland
Chambers St, Edinburgh, EH1 1JF
This museum boasts 20,000+ fascinating artefacts. View the famous Lewis Chessmen that appeared in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, or explore designs by Alexander McQueen in the Fashion and Style gallery. Make sure not to miss the spectacular views from the roof terrace.
The National Galleries of Scotland
The Mound, Edinburgh, EH2 2EL
These buildings clustered at the base of The Mound are home to some of the world’s most famous art, including paintings by Da Vinci, Raphael, Monet, and Cézanne. The National Gallery of Scotland is open daily, and entry is free.
Edinburgh, EH7 5AA
This magnificent hill is one of the most photographed vantage points in Edinburgh. It’s situated in the city centre, and it offers panoramic views over Princes Street, Arthur’s Seat, and Holyrood Park. Calton Hill is unparalleled for watching the sunset or festival fireworks in August
Edinburgh by Season
Edinburgh is a city for all seasons. Recognized for being the world’s leading festival city, Edinburgh welcomes 4.5 million visitors from across the world to over 3000 annual events. Marvel at theatrical spectacles at the Festival Fringe in the summer, or admire the strings of lights at the Christmas markets in the winter. The city is always buzzing with excitement.
Edinburgh’s springtime is a medley of snowdrops, crocuses, and daffodils blooming in the gardens across the city. The Meadows is particularly famous for the avenues of cherry blossoms.
What to Do
Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh – these lush gardens come to life in the spring. Keep an eye out for the famous rhododendrons which appear in shades of eggshell white and blood orange.
Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) – this festival in June has attracted the likes of Jennifer Lawrence, Clint Eastwood, and Cate Blanchett. EIFF offers free screenings of classic films, in addition to several world premieres.
Edinburgh’s springtime is typically one of the driest periods of the year. The days grow longer, with sunshine hours in April matching those in the summer months. Temperatures typically range between 5°C-15°C.
Summer in Edinburgh is abuzz with locals and tourists eager to explore the city’s festivals. Sip on a cool drink in one of Edinburgh’s beer gardens, or take a trip to Portobello Beach and stretch out on the sand.
What to Do
Fringe Festival – this August celebration is packed with 3000+ events featuring theatre, dance, comedy, musicals, and more. The Fringe is the biggest arts festival in the world, and visitors flock from across the world to attend events.
Royal Military Tattoo – set in the shadow of Edinburgh’s floodlit castle, this iconic event in August showcases Edinburgh’s military talent.
July is usually the warmest month, with temperatures hovering around 20°C. Edinburgh’s summer sees plenty of sunshine, and the daylight lingers for 17 hours or more. Make sure to bring sunglasses.
In Autumn, Edinburgh is coloured with shades of golden brown and burgundy. The air becomes crisp, and leaves begin to fall from the trees as the city prepares for the upcoming school year.
What to Do
Bonfire Night/Guy Fawkes Night – this historic event takes place on November 5th. Scottish locals join in an evening of fiery celebrations, typically concluded with a firework show.
Riding of the Marches – this age-old tradition dates to 1579, when a rider would inspect the city’s boundaries on horseback. Now, on September 16th, hundreds of riders trot along the Royal Mile to the cheers of an enthusiastic audience.
Autumn Shopping - as the air grows chilly, the stores in Edinburgh begin to restock their shelves with luxury cashmere scarves, wool coats, and tweed trousers. Browse high-end designers at Harvey Nichols, or stop at Laings to admire their latest collection of quality jewellery.
The autumn weather can be damper than the rest of the year, but the sunshine hours in October are relatively the same as the summer months. The average temperature is approximately 10°C.
From snow-kissed cobblestone streets to trees filled with festive lights, winter in Edinburgh is truly a magical experience. Shops offer seasonal mince pies and hot cocoa to munch on as you explore.
What to Do
Edinburgh’s Christmas – this annual celebration in December is one of the highlights of the winter season. Expect festive markets, a fairground, and an open-air ice rink in St Andrew Square.
Hogmanay – Edinburgh’s Hogmanay is famous for being one of the best ways to ring in the New Year every January. The celebrations offer three days filled with Scottish ceilidhs, street parties, and fireworks.
Burns Night – this annual celebration is held in honour of Scottish poet Robert Burns on January 25th. Scottish locals feast on haggis, neeps, and tatties, usually accompanied by plenty of whisky.
The weather in Edinburgh is generally coldest in January and February, when the temperatures are approximately 1.5°C. It can be windy at times, and the city does occasionally get snow – although usually not more than a dusting of 1-2 inches at a time. The day is short in the winter months, with less than 11 hours of daylight at times.
Shopping in the City
Whether you’re looking for high-end designers or exclusive boutiques, Edinburgh has a shopping experience for everyone. Explore Princes Street, a lively thoroughfare beneath the castle, or walk up the historic Royal Mile. Make sure to visit Multrees Walk to admire the array of upscale designer brands on offer.
Edinburgh’s foremost shopping thoroughfare is tucked snugly between a grassy park and an abundance of exceptional shops. Under the shadow of Edinburgh Castle, shoppers can explore high-street brands such as Zara, Primark, H&M, and Debenhams. Princes Street is also home to Whittard of Chelsea, a famous English tea brand, and the historic Jenners’ flagship store.
Next door to Princes Street is its trendy counterpart, George Street. Shoppers can find upmarket British brands such as Karen Millen, Jack Wills, and Whistles (a favourite of the Duchess of Cambridge). These trendy stores are sandwiched by St Andrew and Charlotte Squares, the former of which boasts exceptional restaurants including The Ivy and The Dome.
The Royal Mile
The Royal Mile is at the heart of the Old Town, surrounded by cobbled closes and twisting lanes. This street is the best place in Edinburgh to purchase traditional Scottish goods. Visit the Edinburgh Woollen Mill for luxury cashmere and tartan, or buy a quality bottle of Scotch whisky at Cadenheads. Feeling hungry? Edinburgh is also famous for its Scottish tablet, a sugary confection made with condensed milk and butter.
Shoppers looking for an indulgent experience should visit Multrees Walk, where they can find the only Harvey Nichols in the country. The massive store offers the likes of Victoria Beckham, Gucci, Marc Jacobs, Stella McCartney, and a plethora of other high-end brands. Multrees Walk also boasts Michael Kors, Reiss, Mulberry, Links of London, Burberry, and other exclusive designers.
Willing to travel for unbeatable shopping? The Livingston Designer Outlet, located just outside of the city, sells a fantastic range of designer brands at discounted prices. Visitors can purchase Tommy Hilfiger, Ted Baker, Lacoste, and dozens of other luxury brands for a fraction of their original prices.
The luxury shopper should be sure to visit Laings, one of the UK’s leading jewellers, just a short distance away from Multrees Walk. Laings is a prestigious family-run jeweller with over 178 years of experience in the industry. Established in 1840, Laings is now the largest and oldest independent jewellery business in Scotland, operating seven stores across the UK.
In an industry where heritage and reputation count for so much, the well-established name of Laings has become a byword for high-quality jewellery, luxury watches, and exceptional customer service. Laings is proud to be the largest retailer in Scotland for luxury Swiss watches. The business also hosts varied luxury jewellery brands including their own Laing jewelleries, made of the hand-selected “best cut” diamonds of the world.
A Laings’ diamond is defined by its brilliance, fire and – above all – its sparkle. Because of their tremendous contribution to the jewellery and watch industry, the 5th generation Mr Stewart and Michael Laing have been awarded OBEs. Stewart commented: “Strengthening and creating a strong, independent retail sector and giving the UK industry a global identity has been extremely rewarding.” They have won the heart of both locals and visitors; in 2018, Laings was awarded “China Welcome of The Year” by China-Britain Business Council for their dedication and welcoming approach to Chinese clients. Laings has English-Chinese bilingual websites, full-time Chinese speaking sales consultants, and offers the option to pay by cash, Unionpay, Alipay, and Wechat. Laings also offers varied tax refund options, including the ultimate VAT Off at the point of sale. Their brands are as below:
Typically, clothing stores in Edinburgh open at 9:00 during the week and close at 17:00 or 18:00. The hours usually extend on Saturday. Many retail shops close on Sunday, or offer reduced hours from 12:00 to 17:00.
Food and Drink
Edinburgh has an eclectic mix of food, with everything from Indian curries to traditional Scottish fare on offer. Dig into classic dishes such as haggis, black pudding, and local seafood, or opt for a luxurious meal at one of the city’s four Michelin-starred restaurants.
The Balmoral’s Afternoon Tea Masterclass
1 Prince’s st, Edinburgh, EH2 2EQ
This deluxe afternoon tea has been specifically designed for Chinese visitors. Guests can enjoy delicate sandwiches, scones, and Scottish tea in an opulent private suite that overlooks Edinburgh Castle. An official guide and Mandarin translator will explain the finer points of this British tradition as you dine.
Parliament Square, Edinburgh, EH1 1RF
This traditional afternoon tea is in the breath-taking Signet Library, which appears in the popular TV series Outlander. The afternoon tea is meticulous in its attention to detail, from the neo-classical décor to the bespoke silver tea stand.
The Scran and Scallie
Stockbridge, Edinburgh, EH4 1DT
This bright gastropub serves up traditional Scottish cuisine such as fish pie and Sunday roast. Diners can also sample forgotten Scottish favourites such as Sheep’s Heid Scotch Broth.
The Whiski Rooms
4-7 North Bank Street, Edinburgh, EH1 2LP
This award-winning restaurant and whisky bar uses only local produce to create its gorgeous dishes. Sample the popular haggis dish while enjoying a dram of some of Scotland’s most famous whiskies.
Witchery by the Castle
352 Castlehill, Edinburgh, EH1 2NF
This renowned Edinburgh restaurant features oak-panelled walls and candle-lit dining. Guests can enjoy Scottish seafood, lamb, game, and an inspired menu in a unique and magical venue.
The Balmoral, 1 Prince’s St, Edinburgh, EH2 2EQ
This Michelin-starred restaurant is in the bottom floor of the luxurious Balmoral Hotel. The imaginative dishes made from fresh Scottish ingredients range from Balmoral smoked salmon and lemon butter, to Inverurie hogget and mint yoghurt.
J.K. Rowling’s iconic book series has achieved global celebrity, but much of the author’s inspiration came from the heart of Edinburgh. Visitors can walk around the Old Town and delight in the sights that inspired Hogwarts, Diagon Alley, and the wizarding world.
The Elephant House
21 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh, EH1 1EN
Rowling began penning her celebrated novels in this snug little café. Lucky visitors will be able to sit near the same window that Rowling looked out of, where they can admire the view of Edinburgh Castle that inspired Hogwarts.
26A Candlemaker Row, Edinburgh, EH1 2QE
Several Harry Potter characters were inspired by tombstones in this graveyard, and fans will recognize family names such as ‘McGonagall’, ‘Potter’, and ‘Scrymgeour’. The most famous resident in Greyfriars Kirkyard is Thomas Riddle, who inspired the character of Lord Voldemort.
Victoria Street, Edinburgh, EH1 2JW
With its quirky and brightly coloured shops, this cobblestoned street is rumoured to have been J.K. Rowling’s inspiration for Diagon Alley.
40 Victoria Street, Edinburgh, EH1 2JW
This shop sells Potter-themed paraphernalia including chocolate frogs, stuffed Hedwigs, and even the Number 2000 quidditch stick.
J.K. Rowling’s Handprints
253 Writers’ Ct, Edinburgh, EH1 1LW
Rowling’s handprints were reproduced on a flagstone in a luminous gold colour in 2008, after Rowling was presented with the Edinburgh Award for her contributions to the city.
George Heriot’s School
Lauriston Place, Edinburgh, EH3 9EQ
Rumour has it that Rowling partially based Hogwarts on this Gothic, turreted day school in the heart of the city. Although George Heriot’s School is seldom open to the public, you can get a good view of the building from the George IV Bridge.
With its historic stone castles and sweeping views, it comes as no surprise that Edinburgh has attracted several Hollywood films over the year. One Day, Outlander, and Avengers: Infinity Wars are just a few of the major productions that feature the city.
This romantic drama follows Dex and Emma, and the trials that the couple faces. Fans will recognize Arthur’s Seat as the location of Emma and Dex’s picnic, while the intersection of Moray Place and Forres St is the backdrop to the couple’s iconic kiss. Other filming locations include Parliament Square, Calton Hill, and Victoria Street.
Avengers: Infinity War
The nineteenth instalment of the Marvel franchise follows the Avengers as they struggle to unite and protect the Infinity Stone from the supervillain Thanos. Avengers fans will recognize Cockburn Street, the Royal Mile, and St Giles Cathedral from the film. The epic fight scene between Thanos’ men and the heroes takes place at Waverley Station.
This television series tells the story of Claire Randall, a British Army nurse that goes back in time to eighteenth-century Scotland. Season one features Preston Mill, one of Scotland’s oldest working mills, as Lallybroch. Outlander fans will also recognize Hopetoun House in South Queensferry as the opulent home of the Duke of Sandringham, and Midhope Castle again featuring as Lallybroch.
This epic sci-fi film starring Halle Berry, Tom Hanks, and other Hollywood all-stars was shot in the heart of Edinburgh. Fans will recognize the Scott Monument from the scene where Ben Whishaw gazes dreamily out over a park. The City Chambers and Victoria Terrace also appear in the film.
The Da Vinci Code
Dan Brown’s renowned thriller novel was turned into a film in 2006, and the famous scene at Rosslyn Chapel was filmed at the actual location. This stunning 15th-century chapel is in Midlothian, just outside of Edinburgh, and it takes less than an hour to reach it by bus.