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Hop On Hop Off Edinburgh - Bus Tours

Choose your own adventure in magical Scotland during your Edinburgh bus tour. Simply hop off the bus and see the places that tickle your fancy. Then, hop right back on and skip the ones that don’t! You can explore at your leisure some of the hotspots like St Andrew Square, St John's Church, Grass Market, Chambers Street, Royal Mile, and Scottish Parliament among others. Book from curated Edinburgh bus tours that are the highest rated and guaranteed cheap. And you can get instant confirmations on your mobile when you book online. Reaching Edinburgh attractions is easy and hassle-free with your Edinburgh Hop On Hop Off bus ticket.

Edinburgh Sightseeing Bus Tours

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Great value and great customer service


Easy purchase and just scanned tickets once we got on the bus. Close to our hotel on the Royal mile.

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Great combo and saving! Highly recommend.

About Paris

Experience Edinburgh in Hop On Hop Off Bus Tours

Explore Scotland at your own pace during your sightseeing trip. This flexible tour stops at the top Edinburgh attractions, putting you in control of your own destiny during your vacation! See Edinburgh on a bus tour that includes discounts on attractions, eateries, and more. Or you can decide between a 24-hour or 48-hour tour that runs on three different routes. You can even see the capital of Scotland in a comfortable Mercedes mini-coach as part of a special tour. And, if you want to go all out, opt for a Hop-On Hop-Off bus tour with fast-track entry to Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood House Palace, and Royal Yacht Britannia. It’s one of the best things to do in Edinburgh!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: what is a hop-on hop-off edinburgh bus tour and how does it work.

Hop-on Hop-off Edinburgh bus tours run on designated routes with several stops across all major attractions of the city. The stops are strategically located and allow you to plan your own itinerary accordingly. You can hop on and hop off at the attraction of your choice. Add to that, you can buy a combo tour that lets you explore major tourist attractions at a discounted price. For instance, the Bright bus Edinburgh tour lets you explore the Holyrood Distillery and SHOUT Edinburgh for a wholesome experience.

Q: What are the key attractions covered in the Edinburgh Hop-on Hop-off tour?

The major attractions and landmarks covered in the Edinburgh Hop-on Hop-off bus tour include St Andrew Square, Lothian Road, Grassmarket, Lauriston Palace, Johnston Terrace, Edinburgh Castle, Lawnmarket, National Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street, John Knox House, Royal Mile, Museum of Edinburgh, Canongate, Scottish Parliament, and so on.

Q: Where can I find a list of all the stops and a map of the various Hop-on Hop-off Edinburgh tour routes?

You can visit the relevant product page and check the Useful Downloads section to find the latest information as routes, stops and timings change frequently.

Q: Are these tours guided?

Most of the tours accompany either a live guide or an audio guide which makes it great for history buffs looking for an immersive experience.

Q: What is the validity of the tour?

Depending on your travel plans and the availability of the tour, you can choose from 24h or 48h. The vouchers are valid anywhere between 6 months to 12 months and can be used anytime during that period.

Other Hop On Hop Off Destinations

  • New York City
  • San Francisco
  • Washington DC
  • Los Angeles
  • Johannesburg
  • San Antonio
  • Reykjavik Iceland
  • St-Petersburg
  • Benalmadena
  • Thessaloniki
  • Kristiansand
  • Hop On Hop Off Bus Offers and Deals

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bus trip to edinburgh

girl gone london

9 Best Bus Tours in Edinburgh in 2024 (local approved)

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Located near the coast of Scotland, Edinburgh promises unique sightseeing opportunities and Edinburgh bus tour options.

You might know that Scotland is famous for haggis, kilts, and Irn-Bru, but did you know that it’s also the home of the Writer’s Museum, the Museum of Childhood, and the Museum of Fire?

Whether you’re into the spookier side of things, or simply want to relax with afternoon tea, there’s a bus tour option in Edinburgh to suit every kind of tourist.

Opt for a regimented Edinburgh sightseeing bus tour or hop-on and hop-off Edinburgh bus at your leisure – the choice is yours.

If you don’t have time to read the whole article, don’t worry: the best Edinburgh bus tour is this Edinburgh afternoon tea bus tour .

Here we’ve compiled a list of the nine best bus tours in the city, including Edinburgh open top bus tours and Edinburgh city bus tours.

Read on to find your fit and book a tour today.

Don’t forget that Edinburgh is the UK’s second-most visited tourist destination and so booking bus tours and experiences in advance is highly recommended. 

bus trip to edinburgh

⏳ Don’t have time to read the whole list?

The best Edinburgh bus tour is this Edinburgh afternoon tea bus tour.

Hey! Want more honest UK tips and planning advice? Click here to join my London and UK Travel Tips Facebook group , where I can answer more of your questions!

Easy Guide: Best Edinburgh Bus Tours

1. edinburgh afternoon tea bus experience.

⭐️  RATING:  4 out of 5 Stars, 670+ reviews | ⏳  TOUR LENGTH:  1 hour 30 minutes | ✔️  BOOK NOW

bus trip to edinburgh


  • Handmade sandwich selections
  • Dine on home-baked warm scones with cream, jam, and strawberry garnish
  • Drink coffee and tea
  • Enjoy delicious cupcakes

The Edinburgh Afternoon Tea Experience is a fantastic choice for non-British natives to sample the quintessential British way of life.

If you’re British, it’s a great gift for non-British family and friends – to show off what Britain is best at: scones and cups of tea.  

Atop a vintage Routemaster bus, you’ll take in the sights of Scotland’s second-biggest city.

Expect to see Edinburgh Castle, the Scottish Parliament building, and Holyrood Palace.

Included in the tour is a selection of tasty food and drink that’s so British, you’ll be surprised that King Charles isn’t joining you onboard.

Sample scones and sandwiches, all washed down with cups of tea. 

The accommodating staff allow you to take pictures and will stop the bus to make sure you can get the best possible snaps of this once-in-a-lifetime journey.

If you want a bus tour with an entertaining and quirky experience thrown in, this is the tour for you.

2. Edinburgh Hop-on Hop-off City Tour

⭐️  RATING:  4.5 out of 5 Stars, 220+ reviews | ⏳  TOUR LENGTH:  1 hour 10 minutes | ✔️  BOOK NOW

  • Free headphones to keep
  • Free return bus tickets to Edinburgh Zoo on the company’s local services
  • Sightseeing of significant cultural landmarks
  • A flexible way to explore the city

Picture the scene.

You’re sat on a bus tour and spot something you find interesting.

You ask if the bus can stop so you can get off and explore, but the driver informs you that it’s not that kind of bus tour.

Luckily, you won’t have that problem with the Edinburgh Hop-on Hop-off City Tour.

You can ride the bus as much or as little as you want to.

Stops are very close together, meaning that if you see something you like you can simply hop off at the next available opportunity.

We recommend stopping off at the Edinburgh Farmers’ Market – an opportunity to meet friendly Scottish people as you sample local food and drink.

The Scotch Whisky Experience is also on the route, promising a look inside the whisky-making process.

If you’re planning to stay on the bus for the whole route, and see the sights from inside, don’t forget to pack lunch to make your journey extra cozy.

3. Ghost Bus Tour of Edinburgh

⭐️  RATING:  4.5 out of 5 Stars, 1,600+ reviews | ⏳  TOUR LENGTH:  1 hour 15 minutes | ✔️  BOOK NOW

bus trip to edinburgh

  • Ride on a vintage double-decker bus
  • A spooky bus tour with descriptions of Edinburgh’s past
  • A professional guide
  • A chance to see Edinburgh’s historic attractions

This tour is not for the easily spooked.

Onboard, you’ll discover the twisted secrets of Edinburgh’s dark past. 

Safely behind the windows of the bus, you’ll hear the stories of lost spirits, shocking tortures, and bloody murders as you pass significant landmarks.

You’ll pass by Edinburgh Castle, Royal Mile, Greyfriars Kirk, Grassmarket, and more.

Did we mention you’ll have to get off the bus sometimes to get up close to the grizzly action? Prepare to be frightened. 

Your knowledgeable guide will have you sitting on the edge of your seat as they delve into stories of ghosts and witches. 

You’ll need to take a long walk afterward to clear your head.

Just make sure you don’t walk near the historic sites where misery befell ancient Scots. 

Being such a quirky experience, it’s incredibly popular – and so it’s advised you book ahead to avoid missing out. 

4. City Sightseeing Edinburgh Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

⭐️  RATING:  4.5 out of 5 Stars, 1,600+ reviews | ⏳  TOUR LENGTH:  1 hour | ✔️  BOOK NOW

bus trip to edinburgh

  • 24-hour unlimited hop-on hop-off bus pass
  • Audio commentary in 10 languages
  • Commentary option for kids
  • Discounts at local attractions

Looking for a bus tour that allows you to set your own pace?

The City Sightseeing Edinburgh Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour is the perfect tour for you.

The joy with this service is that you can hop-on and hop-off as much as you like during a 24-hour time window.

There are 13 stops in total which pass dozens of interesting places. When you choose to hop off and explore is up to you.

Art lovers will adore the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art and history buffs will marvel at the grand Palace of Holyroodhouse.

The National Museum of Scotland promises something for everyone with exciting events and exhibitions happening throughout the year.

Still not sure?

Don’t take our word for it.

The City Sightseeing Edinburgh Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour is a 5-star award-winning tour and Gold Green Tourism award winner.

5. Edinburgh Hop-On Hop-Off Britannia Tour

⭐️  RATING:  4.5 out of 5 Stars, 250+ reviews | ⏳  TOUR LENGTH:  1 hour 30 minutes | ✔️  BOOK NOW

  • Comprehensive audio description of the sights
  • Stops including the Royal Botanic Garden 
  • Flexible travel

This tour is the perfect choice if you’re looking to cram as much into your Edinburgh visit as possible.

The route is only 1 hour 30 minutes, meaning you can see dozens of famous Scottish landmarks in a short space of time.

Alternatively, you can hop off to take a closer look at your favorite places, knowing you can hop back on at any time.

One of two services run by the same operator, this route includes the Royal Botanic Garden, the Gallery of Modern Art, and Edinburgh Castle.

Every passenger is gifted a pair of headphones to listen to audio commentary about the locations they can see from the window. 

While not passing the Royal Yacht Britannia, you can get off the bus at Ocean Terminal which is just a one-minute walk away.

6. Edinburgh: Glenfinnan, Fort William, and Glencoe Day Tour

⭐️  RATING:  4.7 out of 5 Stars, 380+ reviews | ⏳  TOUR LENGTH:  12 hours | ✔️  BOOK NOW

bus trip to edinburgh

  • Spot the iconic Edinburgh Castle
  • See the bridge used by the Hogwarts Express in the Harry Potter movie franchise
  • Drive through the Scottish Highland where the 007 movie Skyfall was filmed
  • See Ben Nevis – Britain’s tallest mountain

Hoping to experience Edinburgh as part of a bigger day out?

You’re in luck!

The Edinburgh: Glenfinnan, Fort William, and Glencoe Day Tour delivers spectacular views across Scotland.

Movie fans will love what’s in store.

You’ll journey through the Scottish Highlands and see where they filmed scenes from the James Bond movie Skyfall. 

You’ll also be able to snap pictures of the incredible bridge used by the Hogwarts Express throughout the Harry Potter movie series.

Do you remember the scene where the flying car is driving alongside the Hogwarts Express?

That was filmed here, and it’s even more beautiful in real life.

A lunch stop at Ben Nevis allows you to grab a bite to eat and stretch your legs, before hopping back on the bus.

Fans of Edinburgh needn’t worry.

4You’ll be departing from and arriving back into the city, with plenty of sightseeing opportunities en route including Edinburgh Castle. 

7. Hadrian’s Wall & Roman Britain 1-Day Tour from Edinburgh

⭐️  RATING:  4.8 out of 5 Stars, 190+ reviews | ⏳  TOUR LENGTH:  11 hours | ✔️  BOOK NOW

bus trip to edinburgh

  • Entry to the Vindolanda Roman Army Museum
  • Round-trip transportation from Edinburgh
  • An informed guide with expansive knowledge about Roman Scotland
  • Take pictures of Hadrian’s Wall

You’ve heard of the phrase ‘when in Rome, do as the Romans do’, but have you ever heard of the phrase ‘when in Scotland, do as the Romans do’?

We neither, but you’d be amazed to discover just how much Roman history there is in Scotland.

Between the 1st and 4th centuries AD, the Romans were in Scotland. Evidence of that relationship remains in spectacular landmarks such as Birdoswald – one of the best-preserved Roman forts in the world.  

If you’re a fan of ancient civilizations or know someone who is, we couldn’t recommend this tour more highly.

Your bus driver and tour guide are well-read on Roman history and are on hand to answer any questions you may have.

8. Edinburgh: Loch Ness, Glencoe & The Scottish Highlands Tour

⭐️  RATING:  4.7 out of 5 Stars, 3660+ reviews | ⏳  TOUR LENGTH:  12 hours 30 minutes | ✔️  BOOK NOW

Scottish Highlands tour from Edinburgh

  • Option to add a Loch Ness boat cruise
  • Live onboard commentary from an expert guide
  • An air-conditioned bus to transport you between locations
  • Opportunity to take pictures of beautiful Scottish scenery

Hoping to join the famous list of people who have seen the Loch Ness Monster?

Then this tour is for you.

Traveling on an eco-certified bus, expect to learn all about the history of the Loch Ness Monster (or Nessie as the locals affectionately say) that stalks the Scottish waters.

You’ll also see some unique-looking hairy cows and take pictures of stunning mountainous regions.

To take your visit to the next level, why not book a Loch Ness boat cruise?

Maybe you’ll see Nessie up close, or at the very least enjoy the tranquil stillness of the world’s most famous loch.

If mysterious creatures lurking in the water is too far-fetched for you, you’ll enjoy the optional extra of Urquhart Castle – a ruined fort along the banks of the loch.

The castle is steeped in history. In fact, it was a significant spot in the Wars of Scottish Independence.

You’ll have time to explore the loch and surrounding areas before heading back to Edinburgh and passing many tourist attractions.

9. Edinburgh: Rosslyn Chapel, Stirling Castle & Dunfermline Abbey Tour

⭐️  RATING:  4.6 out of 5 Stars, 100+ reviews | ⏳  TOUR LENGTH:  9 hours | ✔️  BOOK NOW

bus trip to edinburgh

  • Learn about Scotland’s ancient history
  • Explore Stirling Castle
  • Unlock the secrets of the Da Vinci Code.
  • See where Robert the Bruce battled the English in 1314

History fanatics, rejoice!

The Edinburgh: Rosslyn Chapel, Stirling Castle & Dunfermline Abbey Tour is perfect for you.

It offers a full day to explore Scotland’s most famous medieval landmarks.

You’ll spend most of the day outside of Edinburgh, but be sure to look out of the bus windows as you leave and arrive back to take in the sights and add some locations to your bucket list.

In Dunfermline, you’ll find the final resting place of Robert the Bruce before moving to Stirlingshire and learning about William Wallace. 

If you’ve read the Da Vinci Code novel, then you know the theory that Rosslyn Chapel is where the Holy Grail is buried.

Whether that’s true or not no one knows, but we like to think so.

You’ll visit Rosslyn Chapel as part of this tour.

Be sure to take in the sheer history that has existed in this place since it was built in 1446.

Hey! Want to use our trusty guides to the best tours in other places across the UK? Check these out!

  • 11 Best Cotswolds Tours from London in 2023
  • 11 Best Scottish Highlands Tours from Edinburgh in 2023
  • 5 Best Open Top Bus Tours in London
  • 9 Best Outlander Tours in Scotland in 2023
  • 9 Best Oxford Ghost Tours in 2023
  • 5 Best Ghost Tours in Bath, England
  • 9 Unique London Tours
  • 9 Best Day Tours to Oxford from London
  • 7 Best Stonehenge Tours from London
  • 7 Best Changing of the Guard Tours in London
  • 5 Best Tours of York, England
  • 11 Best Oxford Walking Tours
  • 21 Best London Walking Tours
  • 11 Best London Rock ‘n’ Roll Tours
  • 11 Best Beatles Tours in London
  • 11 Best London Museum Tours
  • 3 Best Morse Tours in Oxford
  • 11 Best Walking Tours in Bath
  • 13 Best Harry Potter Tours in Oxford
  • 11 Best Jack the Ripper Tours in London
  • 9 Best London Literary Tours
  • 9 Best Street Art Tours in London
  • 13 Best Evening & Night Tours of Edinburgh
  • 15 Best London Pub Crawl Tours
  • 11 Best London Bus Tours for Families
  • 17 Best Harry Potter Tours in London
  • 17 Best London Foodie Tours
  • 13 Best Ghost & Haunted Tours in Edinburgh
  • 11 Best Edinburgh Walking Tours
  • 11 Best Private Tours in London
  • 11 Best Ghost Tours in London
  • 11 Fun Tours of Royal London
  • 13 Isle of Skye Tours for a Magical Time
  • 13 Mysterious Tours of Loch Ness
  • 7 Best James Bond Tours in London
  • 7 Best Paris Tours from London
  • 7 Best Stratford-upon Avon Tours from London
  • 7 Best Tours of Bath from London
  • 7 Best Black Cab Tours from London
  • 11 Best Downton Abbey Tours in the UK

UK Travel Planning Guide: the FAQs

🏥 Should I buy UK travel insurance?

Absolutely yes. Basic coverage is not expensive, and as a visitor you are NOT covered under the NHS. Compare policies and prices with Travel Insurance Master here , a big name in the travel insurance business, and cross that off your list.

🔌 Do I need travel adapters for the UK?

Yes, you do, otherwise you won’t be able to plug in your electronics/phone/lifelines. I recommend this one , which is all-in-one so you can use it in other countries.

🚗 What do I need to drive in the UK?

The first thing you need to check out if you’re planning on renting a car in the UK is this guide to driving in the UK for visitors – the roads, signs, and driving experience will likely not be what you’re used to and it’s essential to prepare yourself to stay safe and aware.

🛌 What’s the best way to book hotels in the UK?

For UK hotels, Booking is the best site as it offers free cancellation on many properties. If you want an apartment, I always recommend VRBO over AirBnb.

📳 Will my phone work in the UK?

Yes – if you set it up right. Check out my guide on making your foreign phone work in the UK to ensure that you get the type of service you need.

🚿 Can I drink the water in the UK?

Yes, UK water is great and perfectly safe. But drink out of taps in any kitchen or use water fountains. Double check before drinking out of the taps in hotel bathrooms, though, as they may be on a different system. London water is safe to drink .

Heading to London? Want the best tips?

Check out my Ultimate Guide to London for Visitors. Using text, images and video, this guide is packed full of tips, tricks, safety advice, knowledge on how to get around and what to do, and more!

bus trip to edinburgh

Moving to the UK or already an Expat?

Grab my book which covers moving to the UK, struggles I faced and that you might face too, and uplifting advice to help you along the way! Available in hard copy and on Kindle.

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Edinburgh Public Buses

Getting around Edinburgh

Edinburgh public buses.

The public buses are the best way  and sometimes the only way of getting to the city centre from the outskirts . Buses run 24 hours a day and are extremely frequent.

Various companies

Edinburgh has several bus companies that run through the heart of the city, but the most important are Lothian and First . Both companies share the same bus stops, but the bus numbers are different and each company has its own ticket.

Lothian is the dominant city operator with most buses and routes , while First, has fewer bus routes and focuses on the city's outskirts. 

If you’re not going to buy a day-ticket, then you won’t have to worry about what bus you take. However, if you decide to stay a little further away from the centre and need to buy a day-ticket, it’s important to see which bus line runs closest to your accommodation. Normally, the best option is to get a Lothian day-ticket, but it will depend on where you're staying. 

First and Lothian have similar prices but not exactly the same. For example: 

  • Single-journey adult ticket : A First ticket costs from £ 1.80 ( US$ 2.20) (depends on the distance of your trip), and a Lothian ticket is £ 1.70 ( US$ 2.10).
  • Single-journey child ticket : Both Lothian and First single tickets cost £ 0.90 ( US$ 1.10).
  • Lothian adult DAYticket : Lothian offers unlimited use of their buses and Edinburgh trams for one day for £ 4.50 ( US$ 5.60). First doesn't offer this type of ticket.
  • Lothian child DAYticket : £ 2.20 ( US$ 2.70).
  • Lothian Adult Airport DAYticket : This ticket offers unlimited use of Lothian buses and trams and includes travel to and from Edinburgh Airport for one day for £ 9 ( US$ 11.20). First buses do not run to the airport. 
  • Lothian Child Airport DAYticket :  £ 4.50 ( US$ 5.60).

Lothian and First both allow its passengers to purchase the tickets on the bus.

Note that a Lothian DAYticket is not valid on the night buses or on the Airlink (service 100) to Edinburgh Airport .

Exact change

If you want to purchase your single, return or day-ticket from the bus driver you have to have the correct fare as the drivers cannot give you any change . The tickets are bought from small ticket vending machines on the bus, so remember to save your change for these occasions .

The day buses run from 6 am until midnight . Outside this schedule, Edinburgh has night buses (the N lines).

Lothian bus on Princes Street

You may also be interested in

Edinburgh Travel Guide

Edinburgh is a relatively small city, and its medieval air makes it ideal to visit by foot.

The Edinburgh tram was inaugurated, following several years of delays, in mid-2014. It has fifteen stations, which connect the airport with the new part of the city.

bus trip to edinburgh

bus trip to edinburgh

Find bus tickets from and to Edinburgh

Comfort on board, health and safety, satisfied customers, the green choice, on this page, popular bus trips.

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Bus stations and stops in Edinburgh

Edinburgh bus station.

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Edinburgh (Ingliston Park & Ride)

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Plan your trip to Edinburgh 

Located in Scotland, Edinburgh is a city full of history, culture, and beauty . From the iconic Edinburgh Castle to the stunning Arthur's Seat, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this vibrant city. Are you looking for a budget-friendly and comfortable way to travel to Edinburgh? Look no further than Flixbus! Not only are Flixbus buses affordable, but they are also comfortable. With spacious seats, air conditioning, and plenty of legroom, you can sit back and relax on your journey to Edinburgh. In addition to the comfort of the bus, Flixbus also offers a wide range of routes to choose from, making it easy to find a bus that fits your travel plans. 

Top things to see in Edinburgh

If you are planning a trip to Edinburgh, there are a few must-see attractions that you will not want to miss: 

  • Edinburgh Castle : it is a historic castle located on Castle Rock, a volcanic rock in the center of Edinburgh. It was built in the 12th century and has played a significant role in the history of Scotland. Edinburgh Castle is home to the Crown Jewels of Scotland and the Honours of Scotland, which are the oldest surviving crown jewels in the UK. It is also home to the Royal Palace and the Great Hall, which is used for state occasions.
  • The Scottish Parliament : it is the devolved legislative body of Scotland. The Scottish Parliament was established in 1999 as part of the devolution process in the UK, which granted Scotland a degree of autonomy in governing its own affairs. It is made up of 129 Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs), who are elected by the people of Scotland. The Parliament is situated in the Holyrood area of Edinburgh, and it is housed in a modern building designed by the Catalan architect Enric Miralles. 
  • Arthur's Seat : It is an ancient volcano and is the remnants of a much larger mountain that has been eroded over time. Arthur's Seat is the highest peak in Holyrood Park. Visitors can take a hike to the summit of the dormant volcano and enjoy the beautiful surroundings and panoramic views. 
  • The Royal Mile : This historic street runs from Edinburgh Castle to the Palace of Holyroodhouse and is home to a variety of shops, boutiques, restaurants, and landmarks. It is the perfect destination to spend some hours shopping and relaxing! 
  • Holyrood Palace : this majestic palace was built in the 16th century and has served as the official residence of the monarch in Scotland. It is a historic building with a mix of architectural styles, ranging from Gothic to Renaissance. Holyrood Palace is home to several interesting and unique exhibits, including the Great Gallery, the Throne Room, and the Royal Apartments. It is an essential destination for anyone interested in the history and culture of Scotland. 
  • The Scott Monument : This towering monument, located in the middle of a public park in Edinburgh's city center, is dedicated to the famous Scottish writer Sir Walter Scott (author of the well-known historic novel “Ivanhoe”) and offers stunning panoramic views of the city. 
  • The National Museum of Scotland : This museum is home to a wide range of exhibits, including natural history, science, and art. It is a must-see for history and culture buffs. 
  • Rosslyn Chapel : it is a historic chapel in the village of Roslin, near Edinburgh. The chapel was built in the 15th century and is known for its elaborate stone carvings and intricate design. Rosslyn Chapel is known for its rich history and cultural significance, and it is an important site for the study of medieval architecture and art. It is home to a few interesting and unique features, including the Apprentice Pillar and the Green Men. Moreover, this unique and beautiful building has been the subject of numerous books, documentaries, and films. Visitors can take guided tours of the chapel and see the historic chambers and ornate interiors. 

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Edinburgh castle

Coach travel to Edinburgh

Frequent, daily services straight to the heart of edinburgh.

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Children under 14 years of age are not permitted to travel without being accompanied throughout the journey by a responsible person aged 16 years or over. Children aged 14 - 15 years old may travel unaccompanied, as from 5am, arriving at their booked destination no later than 10pm. Unaccompanied children will be asked for proof of age or a signed letter of permission from their parent/guardian. (sms or chat based messages are not permissible)

One infant aged 0-2 travels free when accompanied by an adult with a valid ticket. Additional infants aged 0-2 must be paid for. If you are travelling with more than 1 infant aged 0-2, please book the additional infant as 'Children (3-15).

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Getting cheap tickets to Edinburgh

The fantastic range of fare types on our coaches means that affordable travel to Scotland’s historic capital has never been easier. If you’re able to be flexible with journey times and take advantage of Coachcards, you could enjoy extra discounts, even if you’re only booking up to three days in advance.

Things to do in Edinburgh

There’s so much to see and do in Edinburgh that it can be hard to know where to begin.

Where to eat

Teuchters Landing

When the days grow shorter and the temperature drops, comfort food calls – and no place does warming grub like Teuchters. Their quirky ‘mug menu’ offers a selection of hot meals, from homely mac ‘n’ cheese to soup of the day, all for an affordable price.

The Scran & Scallie

The brainchild of two Michelin-starred chefs, Edinburgh’s Scran and Scallie certainly won’t disappoint. Couple a Highland burger with a ‘Hoose Cocktail’ for a classic pub meal with a twist or, if you’re looking for a true taste of Scotland, why not tuck into a hearty portion of haggis, neeps and tatties?

The Witchery

A short walk from Edinburgh Castle, The Witchery’s 16th century charm is hard to beat. Hide from the Scottish chill in the warm, wood-panelled dining room as you sample the signature steak tartare or the roasted venison loin. The Witchery also has a fantastic selection of wines – but with over 800 to choose from, it’s certainly not for the indecisive.

Where to drink

Join in the hustle and bustle of Grassmarket

Walk through the Grassmarket area of Edinburgh’s Old Town and you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to pubs and bars. Named after its dark history of public hangings, The Last Drop is anything but chilling, so duck inside for a warming malt whisky or a foamy pint. Alternatively, if cocktails are more your thing, head to award-winning Dragonfly to sample a Sparkling Tatanka or an Espresso Martini.

Wander along the waterfront in Leith

Known for its maritime history, Leith offers a vibrant, up-and-coming harbour-side of nocturnal activity. Head to King’s Wark for a fuss-free pint of real ale or, for a little bit of modern quirk, try a Pomegranate Daiquiri or a Honey Margarita at The Lioness of Leith – plus, with burgers featured in the Lonely Planet guide for 2019/2020, it's not a bad place for a bite either!

Find a touch of class on George Street

Edinburgh’s George Street is a popular stomping ground for affluent students and trendy young professionals. Although its bars tend to be a little pricey, they’re perfect for a special occasion. Add a little sparkle to your evening at The Dome, famed for its glittering Christmas lights and crystal chandelier or, for something a little more affordable, step into Candy Bar & Kitchen for a good range of craft beers, wines and cocktails.

Where to shop


Located to the north of the city centre, Stockbridge is bursting to the seams with many of the city’s best independent shops. Browse the fantastic array of jewellers, galleries, gourmet food and second hand vendors for unique souvenirs and one-of-a-kind trinkets before taking a break in one of the area’s bohemian cafés for a bite to eat. The weekly Sunday market also draws locals and visitors from far and wide – and crammed with local produce, from Scottish smoked salmon to artisan breads and specialist cheese, it’s not hard to understand why.

Ocean Terminal

One of Europe’s largest shopping and leisure centres, Ocean Terminal boasts over 70 high street favourites, including Scotland’s flagship Superdry store. There are also plenty of bars and restaurants overlooking the beautiful waterfront of Leith, as well as a beauty spa, gym, soft play area and cinema. Frequent bus services run between Ocean Terminal and the city centre, so jump on to enjoy a relaxing day of retail therapy.

Princes Street

Where else can you browse the biggest names in high street shopping, enjoy the lush greenery of Princes Street Gardens and take in views of Edinburgh Castle all at once? Princes Street has to be one of the most picturesque places to shop in all of the UK, don't miss your chance to experience it for yourself.

Top tourist attractions

Step back in time at Edinburgh Castle

Part of the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh’s World Heritage Site, Edinburgh Castle is not to be missed. Although the oldest parts date back the 12th century, additional building work has been added throughout the ages, making it a true record of the city’s cultural past. The castle also houses the Crown Jewels (or the ‘Honours of Scotland’) – and when you need to refuel after a busy day, why not try out one of the castle’s two traditional cafés for a hearty soup or an afternoon tea?

See the giant pandas at Edinburgh Zoo

Given its exotic array of animals from across the globe, you’d be forgiven for forgetting that Edinburgh Zoo is in fact in Scotland. Come face to face with the Sumatran tigers in the visitor viewing tunnel, or meet the friendly koalas after venturing through the eucalyptus gardens. The zoo’s biggest attraction is the giant panda exhibit, home to Tian Tian and Yang Guang – the only ones of their kind in the UK. Viewing spaces are limited, so be sure to book in advance if you don’t want to miss out.

Soak up the atmosphere of Edinburgh’s Royal Mile

Running through the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town, the Royal Mile is bursting full of things to see and do. Observe the city from a new perspective through the Camera Obscura, try a traditional tipple at the Scotch Whisky Experience or, if you really want to delve into Scotland’s historical past, visit the Scottish Storytelling Centre for immersive narrative events that bring Edinburgh’s rich bygone heritage back to life.

Things to do for kids

Hunt for clues on the Edinburgh Treasure Trail

Starting on Market Street, Edinburgh’s self-guided Treasure Trail will lead you through the must-see spots of the city’s scenic Old Town. Keep your eyes peeled as you search for clues on existing buildings and monuments, working your way towards the hidden treasure.

Take a trip down memory lane at The Museum of Childhood

Displaying everything from dolls to school uniforms, this museum offers a fantastic day out for the whole family. The recreated Victorian street and the 1930s sound clips will immerse the little ones in a pre-internet world of wonder – and when they tire of looking at teddy bears and train sets, the dressing up area and puppet theatre are sure to keep them out of mischief.

Get creative at Doodles

Let the kids unleash their artistic side at Edinburgh’s first informal ‘do it yourself’ ceramic workshop. Make a rainy day colourful as you paint, splash, doodle and dab on your choice of mugs, bowls, teapots and more. It’s worth noting that the glazing process can take up to 4-5 days, so it’s best to plan this for the start of your trip.

Edinburgh in one day

See the sights of Edinburgh by bus

When you’re a little short on time, guided bus tours are a great way to see the best of what Edinburgh has to offer. The various hop-on, hop-off routes take you past all of the top tourist spots, including Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh Castle, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Grassmarket and much more, all in just one hour – and with well-informed guides or audiobooks on hand along the way, you’ll become an Edinburgh expert in no time.

Take in the city from Arthur’s Seat

Sitting 251m above sea level, Arthur’s Seat in Holyrood Park boasts the best views in Edinburgh. Play a quick game of Eye Spy as you spot the famous landmarks across the city’s spectacular skyline, or take a picnic for some much needed refreshment when you reach the summit. Some areas of the park are steep and rocky, so make sure you pack your walking shoes.

Get cultural in the National Museum of Scotland

Housing over 20,000 pieces, the National Museum of Scotland has something for everyone to enjoy. Discover the nation’s fascinating past, from its prehistory to the present day, through the museum’s diverse collections of art, technology and natural artefacts. Entry is free – however, some temporary exhibitions may require tickets.

Hidden gems

Dunbar’s Close Garden

Just moments away from the bustling Royal Mile, this oasis of calm is one of the city’s most peaceful spots. The perfect place to rest your feet after a busy day of sightseeing, the secret 17th century gardens are beautifully maintained, boasting seasonal plants and leafy hedges to enjoy all year round.

Tom Riddle’s grave

For Harry Potter fans, the grave of Thomas Riddell in Greyfriars Kirkyard should not be missed. Although the spelling is slightly different, the two hundred year old memorial is widely rumoured to have inspired the name of JK Rowling’s notorious Lord Voldemort – just don’t say his name out loud.

The Cauldron

Following the same vein of witchcraft and wizardry, The Cauldron's potion cocktail-making class is a huge amount of fun for couples and friends. Plus, it doesn't even matter if alcohol is your thing as all cocktails can be made into mocktails for a truly inclusive experience.

Popular routes

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Popular Routes from Edinburgh

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Travel blogger, Rose, of WhereGoesRose.com fame recently went on her first Scottish adventure by coach. Find out why she loves to travel this way and what she thought of Scotland in her blog.

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Thinking of travelling to Edinburgh with the little ones? Kirsty from LifeWithTheBoys.co.uk was surprised to find there was plenty to keep her family busy, as well as how simple travelling with a child on the coach was. Find out more below.

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Open Return Information

Book your return

Your Open Dated Return is valid for 3 months from your outbound journey. To guarantee your seat on your return you need to confirm your ticket before you travel on www.nationalexpress.com/en/help/tickets/open-returns or call 0371 781 8181.

Open Dated Return Information

If your return date is not yet known, open return tickets provide flexibility. When travelling within the UK, the return journey can be made within 3 months of the outward date of travel. To guarantee your seat on your return journey you need to confirm your ticket before you travel by visiting www.nationalexpress.com/en/help/tickets/open-returns or call us on 03717 81 81 81. Lines open 7 days a week, 8am - 8pm (calls to this number are charged at local rate). Valid on any day throughout the year.

Open returns are not available on European journeys.

Wheelchair accessibility

Accessible coaches.

The majority of stops along the routes listed below are accessible to wheelchair users but are subject to change. Please call us to check the latest situation before booking and at least 36 hours in advance of when you would like to travel.

To see a list of accessible coach routes please visit our Accessibility page.

Assisted Travel Helpline

If you are travelling in a wheelchair or require assistance, please call our helpline before booking and at least 36 hours in advance of when you would like to travel.

03717 81 81 81 - ( option 3)  (lines open 8am - 8pm 7 days a week). Calls to this number are charged at local rate.

For more information please visit our Disabled travellers page.

Passengers & Wheelchair accessibility

Passenger descriptions.

Our passenger descriptions are designed to help you choose the right ticket for yourself or your fellow travellers.

Adult (16+) and Children (3-15)

Children under 14 cannot travel alone unless accompanied by an adult (16+). Please note, you may be required to show proof of age at any point during your journey. Failure to do so, may result in the full adult fare being charged.

Children (3-15)

Children under 14 cannot travel alone unless accompanied by a responsible adult (16+).

Disabled Children

Should be booked as Children. If they are travelling in a wheelchair or require assistance, please call our Assisted Travel Helpline.

We strongly recommend that you bring a car seat appropriate to your child's age, but ask you to take responsibility to fit the seat.

Booster Seats

Children aged between approximately 4-11 years old, or up to 150cm tall, may use booster seats. We carry a limited number onboard most coaches.

If travelling with a child, you may be required to show proof of age when buying tickets or at any point during your journey. Failure to do so may result in the child being required to pay the full fare for the journey on that day.

Booster seats

Children aged between approximately 4 years and 11 years or up to 150cm tall may use booster seats, we carry a limited number onboard most coaches along with our comfort fit seat belts.

Disabled children should be booked as children rather than 'Disabled'. If they are travelling in a wheelchair or you wish to book assistance with travel please call our Assisted Travel Helpline before booking and at least 36 hours in advance of when you would like to travel.

You can find a list of accessible coach stops on our Accessibility page .

Please call us 36 hours prior to travelling to check the latest status.

If you are travelling in a wheelchair or require assistance we recommend that you contact us on the following local rate telephone number: 03717 81 81 81 (lines open 8am - 8pm 7 days a week) 36 hours in advance of when you would like to travel.

Adult (26 - 59)

Adult fares are applicable to all passengers aged between of 26 and 59 inclusive.

Child 0 - 12 inclusive

Children aged 12 or under travelling on any European service must be accompanied by an adult aged 18 or over.

Unaccompanied children will not be carried

Young persons (13 - 25)

Children under the age of 16 are not permitted to travel on any European service unless accompanied by an adult aged 18 or over.

Young persons aged 16 or 17 years can travel alone on European services but only if they have a letter of authority from a parent or guardian.

Senior (60 and over)

Passengers aged 60 and over are entitled to receive a small discount on European journeys. On European journeys a 50% discount is given to carers, please call us on 08717 818177 to book.

Please select your passenger type first and then add your coachcards.

We have three different Coachcards available, each offering savings of 1/3 on all of our Standard and Fully Flexible coach fares all year round.

Prices shown include your coachcard discount, your coachcard number will be required during the booking process.

Adult fares are applicable to all passengers aged 2+. Adults under the age of 16 are not permitted to travel alone on any European service unless accompanied by an adult aged 18 or over or they have a letter of authority from a parent or guardian.

Infants 0-1 Inclusive

Children aged under the age of 2, must be accompanied by an adult aged 18 or over. Unaccompanied children will not be carried.

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Tours around Scotland

Book your excursions and tours in Scotland

  • In Edinburgh
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Price & Deals

  • From 1 to 10£
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Loch Ness, Glencoe & The Highlands from Edinburgh

Loch Ness, Glencoe & The Highlands from Edinburgh

Enjoy a unique experience visiting some of the most charming places in Scotland: Glencoe Valley, Ben Nevis, Great Glen and, of course, Loch Ness.

Full-Day Audio Guided Tour in Scottish Highlands and Loch Ness

Full-Day Audio Guided Tour in Scottish Highlands and Loch Ness

Enjoy our famous tour to Loch Ness with Audio Guide. The tour includes transport + Audio Guide.

Loch Ness, Urquhart Castle, Inverness & The Highlands

Loch Ness, Urquhart Castle, Inverness & The Highlands

Travel to Inverness, discover Loch Ness, fall in love with Urquhart castle and enjoy the picturesque village of Pitlochry.

3 Day tour to the Isle of Skye and the Highlands

3 Day tour to the Isle of Skye and the Highlands

Glencoe, Fort William, Eilean Donan castle, the remarkable Skye island, the loch Ness, Inverness, endless landscapes... this is Scotland

2-Hour Nighttime Ghost Tour

  • 2-Hour Nighttime Ghost Tour

In this Tour of the Ghosts, Mysteries and Witches you will enter for two hours in the black history of Edinburgh.

3-Hour Walking Tour of Edinburgh

3-Hour Walking Tour of Edinburgh

Discover Edinburgh's Old Town and its most amazing tourist landmarks.

Stirling, distillery and Saint Andrews

Stirling, distillery and Saint Andrews

A journey through the symbols of Scotland: Stirling Castle, the Stuart dynasty, William Wallace, whiskey and the origin of golf.

Glasgow and the Scottish Lakes

Glasgow and the Scottish Lakes

We present to you the most unknown treasures of Scotland: Glasgow, the Lake of the Fairies and Doune Castle (Outlander).

Self-Drive Wonderfull Scotland

Self-Drive Wonderfull Scotland

Take the best of Scotland in 8 days. Enjoy the most of the iconic places than this astonishing country, Scotland, wants to show you.

Self-Drive Scottish Islands

Self-Drive Scottish Islands

Sail with your rental car to the Scottish islands. Discover, in our longest itinerary, the authentic Scotland.

Self-Drive Castles and Whisky

Self-Drive Castles and Whisky

For whisky and castle lovers. Visit the Speyside area and enjoy their distilleries and the castle trail.

Mary King’s Close – The underground city

Mary King’s Close – The underground city

Visit Edinburgh Underground City and stroll through this maze of 17th-century underground streets of Old Town.

Edinburgh Hop on Hop Off – Sightseeing tour

Edinburgh Hop on Hop Off – Sightseeing tour

Explore the historic sites in and around Edinburgh on the Hop-On, Hop-Off Bus

Admission + Guided Tour of Edinburgh Castle

Admission + Guided Tour of Edinburgh Castle

With our comprehensive guided tour, you can discover the history of Edinburgh Castle without needing to worry about missing a thing.

Scottish dinner and show

Scottish dinner and show

Enjoy a typical Scottish dinner in Edinburgh: history, gastronomy, performances, whiskey and haggis.

Edinburgh castle ticket

Edinburgh castle ticket

Skip the lines when you buy your ticket to Edinburgh Castle. And if you wish, take the same tour with a guide from ViajesPorEscocia.com.

Explorer Pass

Explorer Pass

Get to know the most important monuments of Scotland at the best price with the Explorer Pass card. Enjoy Scotland without restrictions!

3-Hour Walking Tour of Edinburgh – Audioguide

3-Hour Walking Tour of Edinburgh – Audioguide

2-Hour Nighttime Ghost Tour – Audioguide

2-Hour Nighttime Ghost Tour – Audioguide

Scotland guidebook.

If you want to know Scotland, you cannot miss the publications of our guide. We have posts made especially for you! Plan your trip with the help of our practical information and discover the culture of a country full of history and legends. You will be able to investigate in different sections, where you will find everything from information about the weather in Scotland to the most chilling stories that happened in the Edinburgh cemetery.

Learn about the most impressive landscapes of the Scottish Highlands and Lowlands in this illustrated guide, and don’t forget to explore our interactive maps, such as the one in Edinburgh restaurants. In addition, in our guide you will find complete and updated information on schedules, prices, transportation and accommodation of various cities and attractions in Scotland. We make it easy for you to make your trip unforgettable.

Montañas Highlands

Guide to the Highlands – Essential locations

If you want to travel to a place where you can find peace, merge with nature and recreate yourself in times gone by, the Highlands are just what you are looking for. Here is the true symbol of Scotland, where you will find a beauty of landscapes and places that will make you fall in love at first sight. […]

Read More…

Alojamiento en Edimburgo

Where to stay in Edinburgh

In Edinburgh, as in almost every European capital, you have many options to stay that fit every pocket. There are more than 500 hotels, hostels, bed&breakfasts, apartments and hostels where you can stay for as long as you want. Yet Edinburgh is a busy city we recommend that you book well in advance, particularly in […]


Guide to Loch Ness – Everything about the world most famous monster and its home

To the west of the Highlands, the lake with the largest volume of water in the United Kingdom awaits you: Loch Ness. It extends along 37 km through a geological cleft (Great Glen) that includes from Fort Augustus to practically the city of Inverness. Meet this mysterious and incredible place to detail. […]

The journey was on time and the ride was great. Everything was perfect.

Amazing trip to the highlands was our highlight of the trip to Scotland. During the trip not only my wife and I found out about the History of the Scottish Highlands and the interesting battles that took place in that area. But also learned about the different stories about how Led Zeppelin has written its famous Stairway to Heaven, about the process of Whiskey production and other interesting facts and legends from that area. We also had the opportunity to see many different Lochs (Lakes) along the way including the most famous Loch Ness :) Definitely, recommend the trip and will book this company one more time when visiting the Isle of Skye! Big thanks to our Guide Pablo who has made this trip truly unbelievable and unforgettable. A Massive Thank You to the LOCH NESS BUS Company !!! And Good Luck with making more people fall in love with this Beautiful Country! ! ! Alba gu bràth! Diana & Emil

It was a great tour, great destinations and guidance. Would definitely stop in Glencoe for longer to allow people to explore - and shorten the time in Fort Augustus, as there's absolutely nothing to do there unless you take the cruise (which is 50 mins).

The tour was an all day adventure, but even with cold and rain was still enjoyable. The sights were amazing and Lukas our tour guide was wonderful. He did a great job of sharing his knowledge of Scottish history, music, whiskey, and music. We were in a family trip and it was well worth our time.

Fantastic experience. Very well planned 12 hours tour, the staff are so friendly and helpful. Lucas knows everything about Scotland, he is a human wiki of Scotland. Highly recommended for people want to have day trip and get a feel of the Highland.

I have to give kudos to our English speaking guide on Sat 16th 2024, he was so energetic, well read and authentic. We learned so much during the day!

Amazing adventure, Pablo is a great guide. I highly recommend it!

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It was a wonderful tour with Lochness and highly recommended.

Very fun and informative tour. Aidan was a great tour guide and the information and stories he told were very interesting. Very much enjoyed all the stops and overall had a great time.

The tour was fabulous we absolutely loved it, our driver/guide Steve B made the tour, he was knowledgable, funny & kept everyone interested. Would highly recommend.

I really enjoyed the tour! Aidan was fun and helpful, he made the bus journey interesting with historical information and good music. 12 hours went by super fast!

Aidan was very thorough and knowledgeable inserting bit and pieces of lore and fun facts on the tour along with the choice of route. The places visited were amazing with enough time to explore a bit on our own and have a feel for the places. Would definitely recommend him if you are doing the tour in English

Our English guide Shahab to the lochness was fantastic. Loved his story telling. 5 star tour and guide. Highly recommened

Super visite tres instructive ! Mention speciale a notre guide Adan

The trip was absolutely fantastic! The sceneries were breathtaking but I particularly liked the explanation and the variety of information that were given by our tour guide Aidan. He told us about the history of each places along the way and his dynamism as well as his enthusiasm made this experience in the Highlands even greater. It was definitely worth it!! Mathis Jan - France

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The best tours in Scotland

Discover scotland.

Explore the home of the mysterious Loch Ness monster and dazzle yourself with the most precious treasures of the Highlands: the Glencoe Valley, the Loch Ness, the isle of Skye or Inverness. Follow in the footsteps of the highlanders, William Wallace or Outlander.

Tours tailored for you

Tours with departure and arrival on the same day from Edinburgh and tours throughout Scotland. More than 23 different routes that will take you to know places like Loch Ness, the Highlands, Doune Castle, Stirling, Inverness and much more.

Expert guides guaranteed

Our guides will help you discover Edinburgh with our city tours. Learn its history, delve into the magic of Harry Potter, challenge the supernatural with the tour of ghosts and witches or sign up for our walk through the old city of Edinburgh.

Enjoy your holidays

Multi-day circuits with accommodation included. Choose our 3-day tour where you can enjoy the magic of the Isle of Skye and a great panoramic view of this country of legend.

Authentic places

Discover the best kept jewels in Scotland. Meet Glasgow, Fairy Lake and Outlander Castle. Visit the Glencoe Valley, Fort William and Eilean Donan Castle. Enjoy the beauty of the Scottish islands: Skye, Iona and Mull.

History and culture

A journey through the symbols of Scotland: Stirling Castle, the Stuart, William Wallace, the best whiskey and the origin of golf. Excursions that will take you to the corners with more charm and history. You choose among all these options!

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  • Loch Ness, Glencoe & The Highlands
  • 3 Day tour to the Isle of Skye
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  • The Unofficial Edinburgh Guide

Everything Edinburgh

  • Stockbridge & Dean Village
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10 Cheap Day Trips From Edinburgh By Bus

Edinburgh Day Trips By Bus in Scotland_

This article has links to products and services we love, which we may make commission from.

Want to escape the city while someone else does the driving? This guide to day trips from Edinburgh by bus takes you to the countryside, historical sites, the seaside and to lively cities.

Why travel by bus? Buses from Edinburgh tend to be more affordable than trains, Edinburgh Bus Station is very central, so easily accessed; Scotland’s buses are often more reliable than the trains and bus travel can be more environmentally friendly than car travel.

Some of the Scotland bus companies offer day saver tickets, multi-trip offers and ‘kids go free’ packages. You can find out more about these companies and Edinburgh Bus Station in general here .

Journey tickets can be bought online, over the phone or at the station itself. Ideally, longer and more popular journeys should be reserved in advance to guarantee a seat and the lowest prices.

Below, we outline day trips from Edinburgh, the highlights, how long the bus journey takes and approximately how much the trip costs.

Best Day Trips From Edinburgh By Bus

1. north berwick (east).

Home to the five-star Scottish Seabird Centre, North Berwick is a quaint coastal town in the district of East Lothian, less than ninety minutes from Edinburgh.

Things to do in North Berwick include seeing the world’s largest colony of northern gannets, which breed here in the backdrop of the striking Firth of Forth.

Most locals head to North Berwick to spend a day at the beach.

Nearby historic hotspots include two castles, Tantallon and Dirleton, which can be reached by train (20 minutes) from North Berwick.

North Berwick Highlights

  • Sunbathe and check out the cute coloured beach huts
  • Climb the North Berwick Law
  • Boat tour to Bass Rock
  • Enjoy a Steampunk Coffee in the trendy cafe
  • Visit Tantallon Castle

If it’s a sunny day, there will always be crowds in North Berwick, so arrive early and pack your day bag to avoid disappointment.

  • Edinburgh to North Berwick By Bus: 1.5 hours

bus trip to edinburgh

2. The Award-Winning Rosslyn Chapel (South)

The 15th-century Rosslyn Chapel is located in a small village called Roslin. Day-trippers can reach Roslin by bus in around an hour.

Although founded in 1446, the Chapel made people’s travel bucket lists when it was featured in the book and movie The Davinci Code, starring Tom Hanks.

You can experience what the Chapel looks like using this 360 virtual tour of the premises.

Highlights of Roslin

  • Rosslyn Chapel
  • Breakfast at Dolly’s Tea Room
  • Visit Rosslyn Chapel, grab a coffee in the cafe
  • Wander around Roslin Glen, which takes around 2 hours
  • See Rosslyn Castle during the Glen walk

A trip to Roslin gives you the chance to see a historically important building in Scotland as well as an easy hike among nature. Winning combo.

Since it takes less than an hour, Roslin is one of the easiest half-day trips from Edinburgh.

  • Edinburgh to Rosslyn Chapel By Bus: 1 hour

Rosyln Chapel is also a popular coach day tour from Edinburgh .

bus trip to edinburgh

3. Melrose (South)

The birthplace of the Rugby Sevens, the picturesque town of Melrose, is located near the triple peaks of Eildon Hills.

The ruins of Melrose Abbey are of significant importance as it is said the heart of Robert the Bruce rests here.

In the year AD 79, Romans built a massive fort by the name of Trimontium, or Palace of Three Hills on the top of Eildon Hill North.

Attractions in Melrose

  • Visit Melrose Abbey
  • Hike Eildon Hill – I did this with a group, a relatively easy day hike
  • Check out the events at the Georgian townhouse Harmony House

If you are a hiker or into history, Melrose is one of the best day trips near Edinburgh for you.

  • Edinburgh to Melrose By Bus: 2.35 hours

Melrose Abbey Scotland

4. Glasgow (West)

Glasgow, Scotland’s biggest city, is a lively city with extensive shopping opportunities, lots of green space, even more pubs and an impressive street art trail.

Most of Glasgow’s museums and galleries are free.

You can fill up your day visiting the Glasgow Museum of Modern Art (which is housed in the slaver and tobacco/sugar merchant William Cunninghame’s mansion), The Lighthouse (great views from the top floor), the Kelvingrove Museum (1 pm organ show) and Riverside Museum of Transport.

Floating Heads Installation by Sophie Cave at Glasgow Kelvingrove Museum

Glasgow Highlights

  • Glasgow Cathedral and Necropolis for views
  • West Brewery for food and craft beer
  • People’s Palace and Glasgow Green
  • GOMA and Merchant City street art murals
  • Lunch in Merchant City/Trongate
  • Shopping on Style Mile
  • Lighthouse Museum (exhibitions and views)
  • A pub crawl around Ashton Lane in the West End
  • Kelvingrove Museum and Park
  • Finnieston for food and drinks
  • Riverside Museum and Clydeside Distillery

While locals mostly take the train to get between Edinburgh and Glasgow, the bus is a cheaper alternative. As you can see from the above highlights, Glasgow really needs more than one day!

  • Edinburgh to Glasgow By Bus: 1.35 hours

Glasgow Cathedral Necropolis with blue skies

5. Stirling (Central)

Stirling is a small city in the Central Belt of Scotland.

It is most known for its historic landmarks, 12th-century Stirling Castle, Stirling Bridge and Wallace Monument.

Stirling Castle takes around 2-4 hours to explore. While it is easier to get to Stirling’s attractions by car, there is public transport to Stirling Bridge and Wallace Monument.

Stirling Highlights

  • 12th-century Stirling Castle on Castle Hill
  • 360 views from Wallace Monument

While most locals would take the train to Stirling from Edinburgh, the bus is an alternative option.

  • Edinburgh to Stirling By Bus: 1.5-2.5 hours

Stirling Castle blue skies

6. Kinross (East)

Lying 13 miles south of Perth, the quaint town of Kinross is barely an hour’s bus ride from Edinburgh.

With Lochmond Hills looming from above and the waters of Loch Leven washing its shores, Kinross is a beautiful place to spend the day.

The fate of two notable personalities, Macbeth and Mary Queen of Scots, is said to be linked with Kinross.

Kinross Highlights

  • Rent a bike or walk around Loch Leven
  • Afternoon tea at Loch Leven Larder

A perfect day trip during spring, summer or autumn.

  • Edinburgh to Kinross By Bus: 1 hour

7. Dunfermline, Fife (East)

Visit the Ancient Capital of Fife, Dunfermline, by taking a bus ride over the Forth Road Bridge.

As you cross, look right for the UNESCO World Heritage Site and Scottish icon, the Forth Bridge, and left for the Queensferry Crossing.

In Dunfermline, visit the Heritage Quarter to explore Dunfermline Abbey and the birthplace of Andrew Carnegie.

Enjoy walking around Pittencrieff Park and keep your eyes peeled for the elusive town peacocks.

Outlander fans might want to hop on a local bus to Culross to see the famous filming locations at Culross Palace and Mercat Cross.

Dunfermline Abbey peaking around red building in Fife

Dunfermline Highlights

  • The final resting place of Robert the Bruce – Dunfermline Abbey and Church
  • Pittencrieff Park, aka The Glen
  • Dunfermline Carnegie Library and Museum for West Fife history and culture
  • Andrew Carnegie’s Museum – where the famous Scot was born
  • Live music and drinks at Dunfermline Fife Station Creative

Dunfermline is just one stop in the Kingdom of Fife worth visiting. If you have more time, consider the beach towns of Aberdour and Burntisland, which can be reached by bus or train.

  • Edinburgh to Dunfermline By Bus: 1 hour

Read next | Edinburgh books every reader will love

Dunfermline Abbey

8. St Andrews (East)

Did you know Prince Will and Kate met while studying at the University of St Andrews?

St Andrews is also famous among golfers as it is home to the oldest golf course in Scotland.

Cute streets, a huge beach with watersports, Botanics and the best ice cream in Fife, do you need any other reason to visit?

St Andrews Highlights

  • St Andrews Cathedral by the sea
  • Kayaking, with wet suits
  • Beautiful Botanical Gardens
  • Jannettas Gelato always lines for miles!

St Andrews is a popular day trip; expect lots of crowds for organised tours during the summer months.

  • Edinburgh to St Andrews By Bus: 2 hours

St Andrews Cathedral Fife

9. Dundee (East)

Located in North East Scotland, the industrial town of Dundee is a two-hour ride out of Edinburgh.

Standing on the bank of Firth of Tay, visitors will see the RRS Discovery, V&A Design Museum and the Verdant Jute Mill.

Dundee is home to many of Scotland’s art students, so there are many galleries for you to explore. There’s even a speakeasy bar if you can find it.

Dundee Highlights

  • V&A Dundee
  • RSS Discovery
  • McManus Art Gallery
  • Open/Close art trail

Dundee is one of Scotland’s lesser-known cities so you can experience what the east coast city life has to offer without elbowing through crowds.

  • Edinburgh to Dundee By Bus: 2.5-3 hours


10. Pitlochry (North)

The small town of Pitlochry lies nestled in the River Tummel valley along the major route connecting the Lowlands with the Highlands.

A pleasant bus journey from Edinburgh brings visitors to this Victorian-era town, which has retained its character until today.

Pitlochry Highlights

  • Pitlochry Dam and Visitors Centre
  • Pitlochry Festival Theatre
  • Pitlochry nature walks
  • Hettie’s Tearoom for a hot drink and cakes

Pitlochry is one of the best places to visit in autumn. While the train is faster, the bus is much more affordable, which is ideal if you are on a budget.

  • Edinburgh to Pitlochry By Bus: 2.5-3 hours

Pitlochry Dam Visitors Centre Scotland

Highlands Bus Tours

Did you know that you can visit the Scottish Highlands from Edinburgh ?

1-4 day tours leave Scotland’s capital and take you through the stunning Glen Coe scenery, around Outlander locations, next to the Harry Potter train viaduct and to the country’s battlefields.

Culloden Battlefield Scotland

Final Words

While there are many things to do in Edinburgh, whether you are a local or visitor, it is well worth getting out of the city to explore the towns and cities less than three hours away from the capital.

With these Edinburgh day trips by bus, you can save money with multi-journey tickets and booking in advance. If saving money is your thing, check out our free things to do in Edinburgh guide .

You may also like | Day Trips from Edinburgh by Train

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Owner of Everything Edinburgh, the friendly resource for visitors and locals. Gemma adores Edinburgh's cafes, pub crawls, live gigs, and city tours. She still mourns the death of Espionage nightclub.

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Does this work in one day?

Visit St Giles Cathedral in the morning. Bus to Sheep Heid? Sheep Heid Inn for lunch. Explore Duddingston. Climb Carlton Hill. For dinner go to Educated Flea or Makers Mash. Stop at Mathers Pub after dinner for a drink. Walk back to Hotel. We are staying at the Holiday Inn Express City Centre. We think Arthurs Seat would be too strenuous for us to climb. What bus would we take to get from St Giles to Sheep Heid? Would we need to take another bus after lunch to get to any of our other destinations. Are we missing anything in the immediate area to see? Thank You

5 replies to this topic

bus trip to edinburgh

Buses from St Giles to the Sheep's Heid Inn

Sheep's Heid Inn to Calton Hill


Copy and paste the links

The 12 bus is by far the best option, minimising walking. You walk George IV Bridge to Bristo Place, get off the 12 at Duddingston Village, and walk a hundred yards or two to the Sheep Heid. Other buses give you much further to walk.

Google isn't very clever at combining buses together.

Thank you very much for your help. Question about the buses. Do I need exact amount of money when boarding? Another option would be to take a taxi. Do I need to call for one at the restaurant? Thanks again for the help.

Most people swipe a card when boarding a bus. It's £2 per journey, capped at £5 per day. So if you have a contactless card, check it's fully enabled for UK use.

Yes you can use exact cash. It's useful to have a handful of £ coins, just in case.

Or you can but a day ticket. Ask the driver when boarding.

If you're talking about at the sheep's heid, there will be no taxis touting for business. I'd phone Central Taxis on 0131 229 2468. Or you can use their website https://www.taxis-edinburgh.co.uk/

Thank you. We will take the bus. Feeling less apprehensive now. I have never taken a bus before. (Hard to believe I am sure).

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Edinburgh Bus Tours - official hop on-hop off guided tours

Four great bus tours

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Edinburgh Tour

  • Live guide in English
  • See the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh Castle and the Georgian New Town
  • Tour lasts up to 75 minutes
  • Easy access for all including space for a Class 2 Mobility Scooter


Majestic Tour

  • Multi language commentary (10 languages)
  • See the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, The Royal Yacht Brittania and Leith's beautiful shoreline


CitySightseeing Tour

  • Multi language commentary (9 languages)
  • See Edinburgh's Old Town, Edinburgh Castle and Calton Hill


3 Bridges Tour

  • Includes a bus tour and a boat trip on the Firth of Forth
  • See the Forth Road and Rail Bridges, Queensferry Crossing and stunning views across the Firth of Forth
  • Tour lasts 3 hours
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Royal Edinburgh Ticket


  1. Hop On Hop Off City Bus Tour In Edinburgh

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  2. FOCUS TRANSPORT: Best Ever Year for Edinburgh Bus Tours

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  1. Edinburgh Bus Tours

    Edinburgh Tour One of our live guides will show you the highlights of Edinburgh including Edinburgh Castle, Scottish Parliament, the Palace of Holyroodhouse and the Famous Royal Mile Find out more

  2. THE 10 BEST Edinburgh Bus Tours (Updated 2024)

    2. Loch Ness and the Scottish Highlands Day Tour from Edinburgh. 996. Full-day Tours. 6+ hours. Edinburgh is a long way from Loch Ness, Scotland's most famous lake—even Glen Coe is an almost 3-hour drive. Let your driver…. Free cancellation. Recommended by 96% of travelers.

  3. Bright Bus Tours

    Welcome to the brightest way to enjoy Edinburgh. We've got two Hop-On, Hop-Off open top bus tours - the City Tour or Britannia Tour - to take you to all the sights of Scotland's capital city. You'll be able to enjoy all that Edinburgh has to offer from just £16 for 24 hours or £20 for two tours across two days. There's commentary ...

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    US$ 19.93 per person. Instant confirmation E-Voucher. Bright Bus Edinburgh Combo: City Tour & Britannia Tour Hop-On, Hop-Off. from. US$ 24.91 per person. Instant confirmation E-Voucher. Edinburgh Majestic Hop-On, Hop-Off Bus. from. US$ 22.42 per person.

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    2 days. Personalize your Edinburgh sightseeing schedule with this hop-on hop-off bus tour ticket, which hits all the main city attractions…. Free cancellation. Recommended by 94% of travelers. from. $89. per adult. 3. Edinburgh Hop-on Hop-off City Tour.

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    Highlights. Tour Edinburgh at your own pace with a 24-hour ticket for the hop-on hop-off bus. 3 Kids Go Free per paying Adult until 31st March 2024! Hop off at Edinburgh Castle and get great city views. Learn as you go with the informative on-board audio commentary. Keep the kids entertained with kid-friendly historical stories. Full description.

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    Download the Edinburgh Bus Tours App for live bus times, information on discounts and attractions. Available free for iPhone and Android. Finding Us. Our tours all start at Waterloo Place (stop ZG), just off Princes Street. You can join a tour at any stop and hop on and off for the duration of your ticket.

  8. Edinburgh: Hop-On Hop-Off City or Britannia Bus Tour

    The City Tour buses come every 10 minutes from 09:00 till 18:40 which is the last bus of the day. The Britannia tour buses come every hour from 09:00 till 18:00 which is the last bus of the day. From $20.22 per person. Check availability. Reserve now & pay later to book your spot and pay nothing today. Give this as a gift.

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    City Sightseeing Edinburgh Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour. 2,076. An Edinburgh bus tour is the perfect way to hear commentary on city sights and get a panoramic overview. This City Sightseeing tour of Edinburgh lets you hop on and off at several strategically placed stops as many times as you like.

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    As Scotland's capital city, Edinburgh packs historical monuments, regal landmarks, cultural destinations, and more—and this hop-on hop-off bus tour provides a thorough introduction to the city's top sights. Board and disembark as and when you wish. On-board commentary will share the stories behind landmarks like the Royal Mile, Holyrood Palace, Edinburgh Castle, and more.

  11. Edinburgh Bus Tours

    The popular Royal Edinburgh Ticket bundle includes all three city tours PLUS guaranteed entry to Edinburgh Castle, the Palace of Holyroodhouse and Royal Yacht Britannia. The 3 Bridges Bus and Boat Tour (running April - October) heads out of the city with a half day tour to South Queensferry where you will board a 90-minute cruise of the Firth ...

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    Your bus driver and tour guide are well-read on Roman history and are on hand to answer any questions you may have. CHECK Tour Prices and Availability Here. 8. Edinburgh: Loch Ness, Glencoe & The Scottish Highlands Tour. RATING: 4.7 out of 5 Stars, 3660+ reviews | TOUR LENGTH: 12 hours 30 minutes | BOOK NOW.

  13. Edinburgh Public Buses

    Lothian Adult Airport DAYticket: This ticket offers unlimited use of Lothian buses and trams and includes travel to and from Edinburgh Airport for one day for £ 9 (US$ 11.40). First buses do not run to the airport. Lothian Child Airport DAYticket: £ 4.50 (US$ 5.70). Lothian and First both allow its passengers to purchase the tickets on the bus.

  14. Edinburgh Tour

    Edinburgh Tour. A great introduction to Edinburgh's Old and New Towns. Specially trained live guides look forward to welcoming you and to telling you about the city's rich history. Edinburgh Tour runs every day except 24,25,& 26 December. Child tickets will be issued when you board (up to 3 children free with every paying adult)

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    Discover Edinburgh effortlessly with Bright Bus Tours. See stunning city sights on our guided tours. View our City Tour & Britannia Tour maps HERE.

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    In addition to the comfort of the bus, Flixbus also offers a wide range of routes to choose from, making it easy to find a bus that fits your travel plans. Top things to see in Edinburgh. If you are planning a trip to Edinburgh, there are a few must-see attractions that you will not want to miss: Edinburgh Castle: it is a historic castle ...

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    See the sights of Edinburgh by bus . When you're a little short on time, guided bus tours are a great way to see the best of what Edinburgh has to offer. The various hop-on, hop-off routes take you past all of the top tourist spots, including Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh Castle, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Grassmarket and much more, all in ...

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    Explore the historic sites in and around Edinburgh on the Hop-On, Hop-Off Bus from 16£ Skip the line Admission + Guided Tour of Edinburgh Castle ... Tours with departure and arrival on the same day from Edinburgh and tours throughout Scotland. More than 23 different routes that will take you to know places like Loch Ness, the Highlands, Doune ...

  19. Journey Planner

    Menu. Live Travel Info. Journey Planner - Travelling around Edinburgh and the surrounding areas has never been easier with our popular Journey Planner.; Live bus times - With our live tracker we follow the location of your bus and tell you when it's due to arrive at your stop.; Service Updates - Check here for the latest alerts and diversions.; Maps & Times

  20. 10 Cheap Day Trips From Edinburgh By Bus

    Edinburgh to Stirling By Bus: 1.5-2.5 hours. 6. Kinross (East) Lying 13 miles south of Perth, the quaint town of Kinross is barely an hour's bus ride from Edinburgh. With Lochmond Hills looming from above and the waters of Loch Leven washing its shores, Kinross is a beautiful place to spend the day.

  21. Home

    Lothian has been keeping Edinburgh moving for over 100 years, connecting local communities across Edinburgh and the Lothians. With over 70 services and 700 buses running day and night throughout the year, Lothian are part of the fabric of the local communities we serve, providing key and critical journeys for our customers.

  22. Majestic Tour

    One of our live guides will show you the highlights of Edinburgh including Edinburgh Castle, Scottish Parliament, the Palace of Holyroodhouse and the Famous Royal Mile. Find out more. Regal Tour. This multi-language tour will take you to Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Royal Yacht Britannia and Leith. Find out more.

  23. One day Itinerary Help

    Visit St Giles Cathedral in the morning. Bus to Sheep Heid? Sheep Heid Inn for lunch. Explore Duddingston. Climb Carlton... Edinburgh. Edinburgh Tourism Edinburgh Hotels Edinburgh Bed and Breakfast ... Recommended Day Trips from Edinburgh 18 replies; Edinburgh Airport to Glasgow Buchanan station. 22 replies; Military Tattoo 2012? 31 replies; 1 ...

  24. Tours

    Edinburgh Tour. Live guide in English. See the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh Castle and the Georgian New Town. Tour lasts up to 75 minutes. Easy access for all including space for a Class 2 Mobility Scooter. Find out more.