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Edinburgh, Great Britain City Info
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Population:
448,850

Area:
100 sq mi

Country:
Scotland

Time Zone:
GMT/UTC

Telephone Area Code:
0131

Weather:
For weather forecasts and road conditions, call tel. 0891/505-322. This number also provides data about weather information for Lothian, the Borders, Tayside, and Fife.

Average Temperatures (In Fahrenheit):

High Low
January - March 46F 34F
April - June 62F 39F
July - September 65F 49F
October - December 54F 36F

The climate in Edinburgh is most pleasant from May to September, but whenever you go, you're likely to see both sun and rain (or snow). In summer, daylight hours are long, and the evenings are luxuriously lengthy. In winter, it's cold and daylight hours are short, but with so much going on, Edinburgh is a wonderful place to visit at any time of the year, . There is one caveat: the city becomes impossibly crowded during the main festival period from August to early September, so make reservations well ahead of time if you plan to visit then.

Equivalent Weights And Measures:
1 cm 0.39 inches
1 meter 3.28 feet / 1.09 yards
1 km 0.62 miles
1 liter 0.26 gallons
1 inch 2.54 cm
1 foot 0.39 meters
1 yard 0.91 meters
1 mile 1.60 km
1 gallon 3.78 liters

Holidays:
January 1, 2: New Year's Day
March or April (varies): Good Friday
March or April (varies): Easter and Easter Monday
First Monday in May: Bank holiday
May (mid-late May): Victoria Holiday
From 1st Monday in July for 2 weeks: Edinburgh Trades Holiday
1st Monday in August: Bank Holiday
3rd Monday in September: Autumn Holiday
December 24-26: Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day

Laundry:
Centrally located is: Sundial Launderette, 7-11 East London St. (tel. 0131/556-2743; Bus: 34, 35), open Monday to Friday 8am to 7pm, Saturday 8am to 4pm, and Sunday 10am to 2pm. For dry-cleaning: Johnson's Cleaners, 23 Frederick St. (tel. 0131/225-8095; Bus: 23, 41), open Monday to Friday 8am to 5:30pm and Saturday 8am to 4pm.

Luggage/Storage/Lockers:
You can store luggage in lockers at Waverley Station, at Waverley Bridge (tel. 0131/550-2333), open Monday to Saturday 7am to 11pm and Sunday 8am to 11pm.

Newspapers/Magazines:
Published since 1817, The Scotsman is a quality daily newspaper containing national and international news, and the arts.

Magazines:
Edinburgh Review, published quarterly by the University Press, is a cultural journal.

Business Hours:
In Edinburgh, banks are usually open Monday to Wednesday from 9:30am to 3:45pm and Thursday and Friday from 9:30am to 5 or 5:30pm. Shops are usually open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 5:30 or 6pm; on Thursday stores are open to 8pm. Offices are open Monday to Friday from 9am - 5pm.

Internet:
For checking email or sending messages, try Cyberia Edinburgh, 88 Hanover St. tel. 0131/220-4405; Bus: 23, 41; e-mail: edinburgh@cybersurf.co.uk.

Dentist:
For a dental emergency, the Edinburgh Dental Institute, 39 Lauriston Pl. is available. (tel. 0131/536-4900; Bus: 23, 41). It is open Monday to Friday, 9am to 3pm.

Doctor:
In a medical emergency, call the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, 1 Lauriston Pl. (tel. 0131/536-1000; Bus: 23, 41). Medical attention is available 24 hours.

Drugstores:
There are no 24-hour drugstores (called chemists or pharmacies) in Edinburgh. The major drugstore is Boots, 48 Shandwick Place (tel. 0131/225-6757; Bus: 3, 31), open Monday to Wednesday and Friday 8am to 6pm, Thursday 8am to 7:30pm, Saturday 8am to 7pm, and Sunday 10am to 5pm.

Emergencies:
Call 999 in an emergency for police, ambulance, or to report a fire.

Post Office:
The Edinburgh Branch Post Office, St. James's Centre, is open Monday to Friday 9am to 5:30pm and Saturday 9am to noon. For postal information and customer service, tel. 0131/550-8232; Bus: 23, 41).

Rest Rooms:
These are found at rail stations, terminals, restaurants, hotels, pubs, and department stores. Public toilets, ( often marked WC, at various corners and squares throughout the city are safe and , but likely to be closed late in the evening.

Taxes:
A 17.5% value-added tax (VAT) is included in the price of all goods and services in Edinburgh, and elsewhere in Britain. There are no special city taxes. Hotel prices usually include this tax.

Getting There & Away:

Edinburgh's international airport has frequent direct flights to Europe, Ireland and other parts of the United Kingdom and a limited number of services to Africa, the Middle East and Asia. There are no direct air services from North America.

You can reach Edinburgh from airports in Britain and Europe and connect easily to and from America. Edinburgh International Airport is close to the city, a bus or taxi-ride away. Car rentals are available at the airport, or from numerous businesses in town.

Traveling from the United States to Edinburgh, the usual route is to fly to London, then take the train or bus north. The 4-hour London to Edinburgh rail trip takes only about an hour more than flying in actual travel time and is much less costly.

Buses are the cheapest, but not the most efficient mode of transportation for travel between Edinburgh and Europe or other parts of the UK. Discount rail tickets are competitively priced.

Arriving By Plane:

Edinburgh is about an hour's flying time from London, 393 miles south. Edinburgh Airport (tel. 0131/333-1000) lies 6 miles (10km) west of the center, receiving flights from within the British Isles and the rest of Europe. A double-decker Airlink bus makes the trip from the airport to the city center every 10 minutes, discharging passengers near Waverley Bridge, between the Old Town and the New Town

Other Modes of Transportation for Reaching Edinburgh:

Edinburgh lies 46 miles east of Glasgow and 105 miles north of Newcastle-upon-Tyne in England. No express motorway links London and Edinburgh. The M1 from London goes part of the way north, but entry into Edinburgh is via secondary roads: A68 or A7 from the southeast, A1 from the east, or A702 from the north. The A71 or A8 comes in from the west, A8 connecting with M8 just west of Edinburgh; A90 comes down from the north over the Forth Road Bridge. Allow 8 hours or more for the drive north from London.

InterCity trains link London with Edinburgh and are fast and efficient, providing both restaurant and bar service as well as air-conditioning. Trains from London's Kings Cross Station arrive in Edinburgh at Waverley Station, at the east end of Princes Street (tel. 0345/484-950 in London for rail info). Trains depart London every hour or so, taking about 4 1/2 hours

Overnight trains have a sleeper berth, which you can rent for an extra amount. Taxis and buses are right outside the station in Edinburgh.

The least expensive way to go from London to Edinburgh is by bus, but it is an 8-hour journey. Scottish CityLink coaches travel between London's Victoria Coach Station and Edinburgh's St. Andrew Square Bus Station, St. Andrew Square (tel. 0800/23-23-23 for information).

Within the City and Environs:

Bus:

The bus is the chief method of transportation. The fare you pay depends on the distance you ride, referred to as "stages." A stage is not a stop but a distance of about half a mile with a number of stops. Children 5 to 15 are charged a flat rate but teenagers 13 to 15 must carry a teen card as proof of age, and children 4 and under ride free. Exact change is required if you're paying your fare on the bus. A family ticket for two adults and four children is available at a reduced rate. The Edinburgh Freedom Ticket allows 1 day of unlimited travel on city buses at a set price. Tickets and further information are available in the city center at the Waverley Bridge Transport Office, Waverley Bridge (tel. 0131/554-4494; Bus: 3, 31), open daily 6:30am to 10:30pm, or at the Hanover Street office (Bus: 3, 31), open daily 9am to 7pm. For details on timetables, call tel. 0131/555-6363.

Frequent LRT Airline buses run from Waverley Bridge near the train station to Haymarket and the airport, taking 35 minutes. Other bus services are frequent and cheap, and most leave from either St Andrew Square bus station or Waverley Bridge. Two main companies, Lothian Regional Transport and Scottish Motor Traction, compete on some services and their tickets are not interchangeable.

Trains:

Edinburgh does not have its own separate rail network. Trains running through the city are part of the national rail system. Trains heading west and north link Waverly station with Haymarket. A less costly alternative is to catch a bus down Princes St. There are regular trains west to Dalmeny and east to North Berwick.

The East Coast line is the fastest inter-city railway in Britain, and links Edinburgh's Waverley station with London and Europe. ScotRail, Railtrack and West Coast lines link the city with northern and western Britain, and the latter are ideal for side trips to the English Lakes, Chester or Bath.

Driving a Car:

Though useful for day trips beyond the city, a car in central Edinburgh is difficult to handle. There is restricted access on some streets and many are one-way. Public transportation is the most efficient way to navigate the steeper hills. Walking through the city is pleasant and preferable to driving. Because of its narrow lanes, wynds, and closes, you can explore the Old Town in any depth only on foot. Edinburgh is fairly convenient for the visitor who likes to walk, as most of the attractions are along the Royal Mile or Princes Street or on one of the major streets of the New Town. Even with steep hills, Edinburgh is idea for cycling - nothing is more than half an hour away, and there are well marked cycle routes.



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