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Explore Scotland’s historic hilly capital
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Hop on a train to Edinburgh, Scotland’s bustling capital city - the perfect destination for a day trip or a long weekend away. With so much to see and do, the hardest part of your trip is going to be choosing what to prioritise (although walking up and down the hills on which the city is perched comes a close second!) Read on for some of our top picks as well as travel advice for those travelling by train to Edinburgh.
Edinburgh is absolutely beautiful, so it’s easy to see why it’s one of the most visited places in the UK. CrossCountry runs a variety of direct services to Edinburgh, from shorter commuter journeys to longer trips from the south of England. We’ve highlighted some of our most popular routes.
Edinburgh Waverley Station is conveniently located in the heart of the city, making it the perfect place to jump-start your adventure in the Scottish Capital. Haymarket is located slightly further out, close to the Murrayfield Stadium but within walking distance to the city (or a short bus journey, if you prefer).
Fortunately, there are many ways to get to Edinburgh Airport from the city. There are direct buses and trams, airport transfers available to pre-book, as well as the option of hopping in a taxi.
Regardless of where you’re travelling from to get to Edinburgh, there are ways to save money and find cheap tickets. Ever thought about getting a railcard? You can save ⅓ on all journeys with one. So, if you’re eligible, it’s definitely worth a look. Booking in advance or getting cheap ticket alerts can also help. Take a look at our page on how to find cheap tickets for more helpful tips.
If you have any further questions about Waverley or Haymarket stations, check out our station guide.
Edinburgh is one of the best shopping destinations in the UK. Sometimes known as the Paris of the North, this city has something to offer fashion lovers of all stripes. Whether you’re looking for high street fashion, boutique shops or retro and vintage finds, the city has it all.
Princes Street is adjacent to the station and is the perfect place to start your shopping, with a wide variety of your favourites. You’ll also find the German Christmas Market in the winter, and the Farmers‘ Market nearby during the summer months.
If you’re looking for something a little more upmarket, head across to adjacent George Street, which is home to all your favourite designer stores. However, for something completely unique, we recommend the West End or Grassmarket. Both are brimming with independent shops covering everything from cutting-edge designers to vintage.
There’s great dining for everyone in Edinburgh, whether you’re looking for traditional treats like deep-fried Mars bars, haggis or whisky, or you would rather enjoy more refined meals.
Home to some of the best restaurants in the country, there’s a wide range of fine dining options in the city. The Kitchin, run by TV star Tom Kitchin, serves up Michelin-starred food with an authentic Scottish feel. There’s also a variety of restaurants serving foods from across the world. Try Chinese at Karen’s Unicorn, enjoy Japanese specialities at local favourite Yes Sushi, or try something completely new at Mother India’s Café, which serves up tapas with authentic Indian flavours. Check out our Bucket List of Things to do in Scotland for some of our favourite places to try whisky in the capital.
The theatre scene in Edinburgh is second to none, which is why the capital is known around the world as the home of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Even if you’re not visiting during the busy August period, there are loads of theatres scattered across the city, so there’s sure to be a show that tickles your fancy. Edinburgh also has a great live music scene and is well known for being home to bands as varied as The Proclaimers and the Bay City Rollers.
However, the theatre is not all there is to the Scottish capital; you can enjoy the surrounding countryside, discover the amazing architecture and even grab a cuppa in the café where Harry Potter was written. There’s also a plethora of fascinating museums and galleries to satisfy the culture vultures.
You don’t even have to break the bank to make the most of your time in Edinburgh – try some of the great low-budget options in our guide to Free Things to do in Edinburgh.
We want to help you travel cheaply, so as long as you buy your ticket 15 minutes before departure via our website or app, you can enjoy great savings. To get the very best out of your train travel, read our top tips to find cheap train tickets and learn about the exclusive benefits offered to registered customers.
If you want to explore Edinburgh and all it has to offer, you’ll want to stay longer than a day! So, make sure you book a great value hotel in Edinburgh before you arrive.
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