As one of the United Kingdom's most popular cities, Edinburgh is a vibrant place packed with history, culture and architectural beauty. Not only that, but the city’s strong commercial base attracts many leading figures in the creative and financial sectors.
Renting a car in Edinburgh is refreshingly simple. We have three easily-accessible branches across the city, including ones at Waverley Rail Station and Edinburgh Airport. And, as one of our customers, you’ll enjoy a great range of benefits, including the ability to cancel or amend your booking without incurring extra charges*, and we'll make sure everything is ready on your arrival. Plus our 24-hour helpline is on hand in case you need us for anything, giving you peace of mind.
*When the booking is amended or canceled within seven days of being made.
You'll find Edinburgh's roads easy to navigate, whether you're looking to tick off seeing all the cultural highlights, or visiting varying businesses in and around the city.
As one of the main routes, Edinburgh City Bypass (A720) encircles the southern section of the city and joins up with major highways including the M8 and A1. Taking the Bypass may be your quickest route into the heart of the city, but plan extra time into your journey for Sheriffhall Roundabout, which can get busy during the morning and early evenings.
Besides the peak hours where the traffic may become more heavy and congested, you'll find driving around Edinburgh a simple and pleasant experience. You'll notice the difference between driving in the two halves of the city – the Old and New. Rather than the grid-patterned lay out in the New Town, the Old Town still has its winding medieval routes, so keep an eye out for oncoming traffic and those premium parking spaces when driving around.
If you're driving in the city center, it’s worth noting that Princes Street, which was once Edinburgh’s busiest road, has now been pedestrianized and can't be accessed by car. Watch out too for the city's public transport connections, most notably Edinburgh Trams; this system was recently finished and now ferries passengers from York Place in the city center, out to Edinburgh Airport.
Heading out into wider Scotland is also a simple enough journey if you’ve got your rental car from Edinburgh, thanks to the country’s well-connected road network. You'll find Glasgow just over an hour away from the M8 highway, whilst the M9 is your best option to head north to Sterling and the iconic Scottish Highlands.
You can find out all the rules and regulations about driving on Edinburgh's roads here.
Edinburgh is one of the UK’s oldest cities, but with the ongoing Edinburgh Festival providing a regular influx of visitors, the commitment and investment into providing a thoroughly modern feel is there too – you’ll find historic streets filled with designer shops beside awe-inspiring, ancient museums and monuments which tell the story of Edinburgh’s past and celebrate the present.
Scotland’s capital city is unique in the sense that some of the most important historical sites can be found right in the city center. As one of the entire country's most popular attractions, Edinburgh Castle dates back to the 12th century when it was home to King Malcolm Canmore and Queen Margaret. Towering above Princes Street atop at Castle Rock, its location made it an ideal base for residents to take in views across the entire city and spot any potential problems from afar. During the daily 90-minute tours of the fortress, visitors get to see royal jewels, cannon batteries and the castle’s tiny St. Margaret’s chapel.
For a taste of the supernatural, head to the old town’s Mary King’s Close, a network of narrow lanes which dates back to the 17th century. The majority of the supposedly haunted buildings were demolished hundreds of years ago and buried beneath the Royal Exchange, but the area reopened to the public in 2003. Take a tour of the area and see parts of the original medieval Old Town, while learning about life in Edinburgh in the 1600s.
Haggis might well be Scotland’s most famous culinary export but Edinburgh’s food scene offers much, much more. Some of the best restaurants can be found on George Street, a boutique-lined road in the New Town. For more local fare, head to the Old Town’s cobbled Royal Mile, where you’ll find cozy pubs warmed by log fires, and fine dining restaurants specializing in Scottish cuisine. Edinburgh is also known for the quintessential afternoon teas served by many of its finest hotels, like The Caledonian, The Balmoral and The Glasshouse, all found in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle.
From luxury brands to quaint boutique stores, Edinburgh's shopping scene is perfect for whatever your tastes are. The city's shopping hub is undoubtedly Princes Street – here you’ll find the high-street stores, along with the historic Jenners department store, which dates back to 1838 – it’s worth visiting just to look around the perfectly preserved Victorian interior.
With its colorful tartan design, the kilt is one of Scotland’s most traditional items of clothing. You'll find some of Edinburgh's finest kilt makers on the Royal Mile in the Old Town, as well as the stores selling Scottish souvenirs, including knitwear, fudge, and whiskey.
One of the city’s chicest shopping areas is George Street. Named after George III, this elegant road was originally designed to be Edinburgh’s main shopping district. Peruse stores selling everything from designer clothes and jewelry to artwork and luxury homeware, along with a number of upmarket restaurants and cafes too.
With its beautiful views, cultural vibrancy and easy access to the breath-taking walks of the Highlands, a trip to Edinburgh comes highly recommended. Ready to book your trip? Click here.