With 9.8 million passengers, Edinburgh Airport is the busiest in Scotland. It connects Edinburgh with the rest of the UK, Europe and beyond. So, if Edinburgh Airport is part of your journey to our fine city, then let me show you what you need to know to get around or through the airport with ease!
Getting to the airport
Edinburgh Airport is very well connected to the city, with transport links that run from the wee hours right up until the last plane lands at night, and beyond.
The Airlink 100 bus runs from the city centre to the airport 24 hours a day. At most times, it runs every 10 minutes or so. Personally, it’s my favourite way to get to the airport as it is regular, quick and value for money.
The journey takes, on average, about 25 minutes. It starts just outside Waverley Station and stops off at other main Edinburgh points along the way – including George Street, the West End and Haymarket Station.
A single adult ticket costs £4.00, or you can get an open return for £7.00. Or, if you have an Edinburgh Ridacard, you can get on for no extra cost.
The newest addition to the Edinburgh transport system, the trams opened in 2014 and run from Edinburgh Airport to York Place, stopping off at points including Princes Street, Haymarket Station and Murrayfield Stadium.
The whole journey from the Airport to York Place takes about 40 minutes, and you’re £5.00 for an adult single ticket, or £8.00 for a return. Unlike the Airlink bus, the tram service stops around 10.45 at night and starts again around 5.30 in the morning.
If public transport isn’t your thing, you can always get a taxi. There’s a big taxi rank under the multi-storey car park, right across the road once you step outside.
Compared to some other cities (I’m looking at you, London) Edinburgh Airport isn’t too far out from the city. So taxi fares, while still considerably more expensive than the bus or tram, aren’t as bad as they could be.
Whenever I get a cab from the airport to the city centre, it usually takes around 15-20 minutes and sets me back about £20-£25.
Finding your way around
Finding your way around Edinburgh Airport is fairly easy. Most visitors come in via the check in hall (pictured above). However, as we move into the age of online check in, this hall has evolved and is now home to many automated bag drop points, which are similar to the self checkouts you find at supermarkets! Just follow the instructions to drop your bags, and if you get stuck, there is normally someone on hand to help you.
Most flying out from Edinburgh Airport then normally make their way to security, which you’ll find up the escalators on the right hand side of the building as you go in.
I’ve been through security in a lot of UK airports, and I must say that Edinburgh Airport has the slickest operation, by far. A couple of months ago, this operation was made even better, with the opening of a new expansion and even bigger security hall.
Once you’ve cleared security, you’ll be free to explore the many amenities, shops and restaurants that the airport has in the airside departure hall.
Amenities at Edinburgh Airport
The departure hall itself is smaller than a lot of UK airports, however it is absolutely jam packed with places to eat and shops to browse, so your waiting time will totally “fly” by (ba-doom-tsh)!
If you have forgotten to get travel money, there are various bureaux de change around the airport, although it is wise to order ahead to get a better deal for your money. There are also plenty of cash machines, most of which issue English notes.
There are airport lounges available from No.1 Traveller, Aspire and British Airways, or there is a prayer room located in international arrivals for those who fancy a bit of piece and quiet. Families will enjoy the children’s play areas, which are dotted all over the departure area after security.
For those arriving at Edinburgh Airport, there’s lots of places in the arrivals hall (especially in the new expansion) that will help you make the most of your onward journey, which include car hire kiosks and tourist information points.
Shops at Edinburgh Airport
Edinburgh Airport is a shopper’s haven. As soon as you get out of security, there is a large duty free area that sells alcohol, sweets and perfumes. Behind you, you’ll see a range of fashion shops such as Accessorize and Kurt Gieger. There is also a couple of beauty shops, like MAC make up and Jo Malone fragrance, or you can stock up on those last minute Scottish souvenirs at Thinking Scotland or the Liquorice Tree.
My essential shopping stops before I hop on a flight are Boots, where I stock up on my toiletries (especially ones that I wasn’t able to get through security) and WHSmith, for books and magazines. You can find both in the main departure area.
A recent addition to the new expansion is an M&S Simply Food, which is located near domestic arrivals. It’s brilliant if you’ve just come off the flight, a bit peckish, and want to grab something for the journey into the city.
Food and drink at Edinburgh Airport
There are plenty places in Edinburgh Airport to grab a bite to eat before your flight.
- Yo Sushi! Is a sushi chain where you simply pick what you want from the conveyor belt – perfect if you are a bit pushed for time
- Eat is a nice place that sells sandwiches, soups and snacks. They also do a decent breakfast – many of my early morning flights have been preceded by a coffee, porridge and banana from here
- AMT Coffee, Costa and Caffe Nero all have branches here, for all your coffee needs
- The Gathering serves up Scottish favourites in a relaxed lounge setting
- Turnhouse by Wetherspoons is a pub that also serves up delicious food, perfect before a long flight
- Thermidors Seafood Bar if you’re feeling a little fancy, sup champagne and eat fine seafood at this open plan bar
Edinburgh Airport is my favourite in the UK. It’s a nice size and takes care of its millions of passengers efficiently. I hope this guide helps you make sense of this great transport hub, but if I’ve missed anything, please let me know in the comments below!
You can find Edinburgh Airport (website) on Jubilee Road, EH12 9DN.