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FESTIVALS, HOLIDAYS AND OTHER ANNUAL EVENTS IN Edinburgh

Every year, numerous holidays are celebrated in Edinburgh.
Below are the dates of the main events:

1 and 2 January: New Year (national)

In Edinburgh, starting on 30 December, a torchlight parade is organized in the city. The Hogmanay Street Party, held from 30 December to 1 January, attracts tens of thousands of people each year. Bagpipe and pop music concerts precede the fireworks, set off at midnight. On 1 January, the tradition of Loony Dook encourages the brave to swim in the icy waters of the River Forth. The city also offers performances, film screenings, and parades… and, to recover from the festivities, 2 January is also a holiday.

25 January: Burns Night (national)

On 25 January 1759, Robert Burns, one of the most famous Scottish poets, was born. To celebrate the event each year, the Scots gather around a traditional meal, punctuated by speeches and lectures, and eat the famous haggis, a dish prepared with stuffed mutton, about which Burns wrote, ‘Address to a Haggis'.

Friday before Easter: Good Friday (national)

Good Friday is a bank holiday in Scotland (Easter Monday is this weekend's bank holiday in the rest of Britain).

30 April – 1 May: Beltane Fire Festival (local)

The people of Edinburgh celebrate the coming of summer with an immense Celtic festival. Costumes, lights, and music make for a delightful night. In the morning, the crowd climbs up to Holyrood to wash their face in the dew of the park.

1 May: May Day (national)

To celebrate the arrival of spring, the Scottish capital is the scene of an official parade: kilts and bagpipes are a must!

Last Monday in May: Spring bank holiday (national)

Historically, banks alone were closed on this day, but it has now become a holiday for all the people of Britain.

First Monday in August: Summer bank holiday (national)

August traditionally offers a holiday for workers. Be aware that it falls on the first Monday of the month in Scotland and the last Monday of the month in the rest of Britain.

Last three weeks of Augus: Edinburgh International Festival (local)

Every year since 1947, when it was created to celebrate the end of the war, this world-renowned cultural event has brought together a broad variety of musical events, as well as theatre, dance, and opera.

30 November: Saint Andrew's Day (national)

The patron saint of Scotland is celebrated throughout the country on 30 November. On the programme: festive meals, public performances of traditional dances and theatre, as well as pub-crawls.

25 December: Christmas Day (national)

This holiday is an opportunity for Scots to gather with family around the traditional Christmas Lunch.

26 December: Boxing Day (national)

A tradition from the Middle Ages, this holiday was the day when a present or gratuity was given to an employee, or a gift was given to the needy in addition to food distributions, and collections for the poor… In recent years, it has also become known as the day sales are launched in Britain.

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CLIMATE AND WEATHER IN Edinburgh

With the influence of the Gulf Stream, Scotland has a temperate oceanic climate. Abundant and often unpredictable rains fall throughout the year. The temperatures are very mild from June to September (the preferred season for tourism) and relatively mild during the winter months from December to March. Beware of the biting cold in the northern mountains, close to the Arctic Circle.

Month Min. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Max. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Average Rains (MM) Best Time to Travel
January 1 6 57 Not the best period to go
February 1 6 42 Not the best period to go
March 2 8 51 Not the best period to go
April 4 11 41 Good period to go Good period to go
May 6 14 51 Good period to go Good period to go
June 9 17 51 Good period to go Good period to go
July 11 18 57 Good period to go Good period to go
August 11 18 65 Good period to go Good period to go
September 9 16 67 Good period to go Good period to go
October 7 12 65 Good period to go Good period to go
November 4 9 63 Not the best period to go
December 2 7 58 Not the best period to go
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INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT IN EDINBURGH

The Edinburgh airport is located 13 kilometres west of downtown.

  • 1 terminal (Air France)

Travelling between the airport and Edinburgh:
  • By car:
    • Access: the centre of Edinburgh is about a 20-minute drive from the airport on the A8.
    • Parking: a short-term parking lot is located at the exit of the airport. Price: 5.90 GBP per 24 hours. Long-term parking, easily accessible with a free shuttle, costs 4.70 GBP per 24 hours.
    • Car rentals: many car rental companies are available in the airport arrivals area.
  • Bus:
    The line No. 35 of the Lothian Bus company (one of two companies in the Edinburgh area) operates between the airport and the city centre. Buses run every 15 to 35 minutes from 6:00 a.m. to midnight, every day of the year.

    The price of a ticket is 1.50 GBP per adult (4 GBP for a day ticket) and 0.70 GBP for children (2 GBP for a day ticket).

    You can purchase tickets from the bus driver (note that you must pay in exact change) or in tourist offices or dedicated stores.
  • Tramway:
    A tramline runs between the airport and the city centre in 35 minutes (every 8 to 12 minutes, between 6:00 a.m. and midnight).

    The price of an adult ticket is 5 GBP for a one-way ticket and 8 GBP for a return ticket. For a child the fare is 2.50 GBP one-way and 4 GBP for a return ticket. Tickets are on sale in distributors located at the tram station. Please note, the price of tickets sold on board the tram is much higher: 10 GBP.
  • Shuttles:
    The Airlink buses operate a shuttle between the airport and the city centre. They run every day of the year (except Christmas Day) between 4:35 a.m. and 12:20 a.m., at a rate of one bus every ten to 30 minutes.

    The price of a ticket is:
    – Adults pay 4.50 GBP for a one-way ticket, 7.50 GBP for a return ticket, and 9 GBP for a day ticket.
    – Children pay 2 GBP for a one-way ticket, 3 GBP for a return ticket, and 4.50 GBP for a day ticket.

You can purchase your ticket from the shuttle driver.
  • Taxi:
    You will easily find taxis outside the airport arrivals area. The price of a trip to Edinburgh city centre ranges from 10 to 20 GBP, depending on the time, the day of the week, and the traffic. Allow about 20 minutes for the journey.
  • Services: Currency exchange desks, ATMs, post offices, cafes, restaurants, shops and duty-free, left baggage and lost objects counter are all available in the airport.

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GETTING AROUND Edinburgh

The city of Edinburgh has an excellent bus network. This is the ideal means of transport to discover the Scottish capital.

By car

The centre of Edinburgh has many narrow and one-way streets, and a limited number of parking spaces. Renting a car is only the best option if you plan to leave the capital, perhaps to visit the Scottish countryside.

Bus

Sixty bus lines (including 12 night-time bus lines) are available throughout the city and serve its main axes between 6:00 a.m. and midnight.

The price of a ticket is 1.50 GBP per adult (4 GBP for a day ticket) and 0.70 GBP for children (2 GBP for a day ticket). For the night bus, tickets are one price: 3 GBP.

Tramway

Only one tramline, connecting the airport to the city centre, is currently active in Edinburgh.

The price of a ticket in the ‘city zone' is 1.70 GBP for adults and 0.80 GBP for a child. A ‘city zone' round trip is 3.20 GBP for adults and 1.60 GBP for a child; a day pass is also available at 4 GBP (adult) or 2 GBP (child).

Taxi

Taxis can easily be hailed in the streets (they can be identified by their black colour and yellow ‘taxi' sign), or in areas reserved for them. They are a reliable way to get around the city, but more expensive than public transport (daytime fares are around 6-7 GBP for a three-kilometre fare in the city centre with a premium of 30 to 50% at night time).

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Visitor information

Once you arrive in Edinburgh, don't hesitate to get in touch with tourism professionals for information and help in organising your stay.

OFFICIAL CITY TOURISM SITE

Edinburgh Information Centre

3, Princes St.
Edinburgh
EH2 2QP
Scotland

+ 44 0131 473 3868

https://www.visitscotland.com/info/services/edinburgh-information-centre

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Currency and Exchange Rates

1 CHF = 0,77 GBP

1 GBP = 1,30 CHF

The above exchange rate is given for information because is variable.

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Medical information

Visiting a general practitioner is free in medical centres and hospital emergency services. If you are French or from the EU, think of asking for your European Health Insurance Card before you travel. Taking out supplementary health insurance is recommended if you may need to see a specialist.

LIST OF OBLIGATORY AND RECOMMENDED VACCINATIONS

No vaccine is required for entry into Scottish territory.

For more information, contact the Air France Vaccination Centre:

FOOD SAFETY RECOMMENDATIONS

There are no specific precautions to take in terms of food security.

DRINKING WATER

Tap water is drinkable in Scotland. In some regions, however, it can taste slightly ‘peaty' and appear lightly coloured. These characteristics do not affect its safety.

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Administrative formalities

Some citizens of countries other than EU countries and Canada may need a visa to travel and reside in Scotland. Check here for more information: gov.uk/uk-visa or ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk

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Good to know

+ 44
00 + (country code)
-1 : 00
of time difference with
Geneva
Daylight Savings Time start date
Last Sunday in March

Daylight Savings Time end date
Last Sunday in October

Banks

From Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:45 p.m.
Government offices

From Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:45 p.m.
230 V, 50 Hz. Plugs with three flat pins are the standard.

Tipping

In Scotland, tipping is only common in restaurants, where one generally tips 10% to 15% of the restaurant bill. In bars and taxis, tipping is not expected.