Are you planning to visit Edinburgh for the first time? Read up on the must-visit attractions but not sure about the rest? Let us fill you in on everything you need to know for your first visit to Edinburgh!
Edinburgh is in the Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) timezone, which is the same as London. During Daylight Savings Time, it changes to British Summer Time (BST), which is GMT +1.
Scotland uses the pound sterling (£), which is the same as the rest of the UK (England, Wales, and Northern Ireland). UK banks all print their own notes, which is why you might find the same value notes with different faces on them.
In Scotland, the Bank of Scotland, the Royal Bank of Scotland, and Clydesdale Bank all print their own notes. An interesting tidbit about Scottish notes is that the notes are printed by retail banks as opposed to central banks (for example, the Bank of England), meaning they are not technically legal tender anywhere in the UK (including Scotland). These banks are required to hold the same sum of notes they issue in Bank of England notes.
We’ve never encountered any issues with having Scottish notes, but we have heard of Scottish notes being refused in England. Some countries might also refuse to exchange money if you offer up Scottish notes. It is therefore advisable that before you leave Scotland, you exchange any leftover Scottish notes for Bank of England notes.
Weather & Climate
It’s not likely that anyone comes to Edinburgh for its sunshine and warm temperatures! The climate is quite mild in Edinburgh year-round but can be quite windy. Oftentimes, you can experience the sun, clouds, rain, and wind all in one day. Your best bet is to wear layers and waterproof clothing as well as quality walking shoes. An umbrella would come in handy, but only if it’s not windy!
People that are used to living a bit closer to the equator are sometimes surprised at how long the summer days and how short the winter days are in Edinburgh. On the longest day of the year, the sun rises just before 04:30 and sets just after 22:00. And on the shortest day of the year, the sun rises just after 08:30 and sets just after 15:30.
Best Time of Year to Come
“Best” is relative of course. If you like crowds and don’t mind paying more for accommodation, then come to Edinburgh in August, when the world’s biggest arts festival – Edinburgh Festival Fringe – comes to life for the entire month (along with a multitude of other festivals).
If you hate crowds, then don’t come in August. Like many cities, the shoulder seasons (spring and autumn) are nice times to visit Edinburgh.
How to Get Around
Edinburgh is a very compact city, which makes walking the best way to get around (and also why we mentioned bringing quality walking shoes earlier). Do note that the city also does have 7 hills, so some areas are a bit steeper than others!
For destinations a bit outside of the city centre, it’s easy enough to take the bus. Lothian Buses is the main bus provider in Edinburgh and they have loads of buses and bus stops that can take you to just about anywhere. Their app is handy to find out which bus you need to take or you can always just use Google Maps.
Check out our in-depth YouTube video on how to get around Edinburgh!
How Much to Budget
Of course, how much you decide to budget largely depends on how much you have to play with. Below, we’ll provide per person estimates on daily accommodation, food, and transportation for low, medium, and high budgets. This is also assuming you’re visiting in the shoulder, not high season.
|Accommodation||£20 – 30|
|£70 – 90|
2-3 star hotel
4-5 star hotel
|Food||£5 – 10|
Cooking all meals
|£20 – 30|
Eating out once
All meals eaten out
|£10 – 15|
|Total Per Day||£25 – 40||£94 – 124||£210+|
How to Pronounce Edinburgh
Now, for probably the most important point: how to properly pronounce Edinburgh! We’ve noticed that many North Americans pronounce Edinburgh like “ed-in-boro”, (with the ending sounding like “borough”) but this is incorrect. (It’s not “ed-in-berg” either!)
It should be pronounced like “ed-in-buruh”, or if said more quickly, “ed-in-bruh”. Roll the “r” a bit and that’s more like it!
We hope this wee guide to Edinburgh was useful! What tip did you find the most helpful? Let us know in the comments!