Navigating the bustling streets of Edinburgh is made remarkably easy thanks to Edinburgh’s public transport system. Among the various modes of transport available, the city’s bus and tram network stands out for its efficiency and comprehensiveness.


In comparison with other cities, I would go as far to say the Edinburgh bus system is excellent. There is a really comprehensive bus network across the city and most although routes differ in frequency, with a little planning it’s easy to work around.

There are two apps key to having a easier time on the bus system:

The Transport for Edinburgh app has a really great function where you can type in your current location and where you want to go. It then shows all possible routes, travel time on each and exactly where the stops are that you require. As it shows the location of each bus, it’s possible to follow your own journey as you go – which my kids certainly enough.

The other useful app is m-tickets which allows you to buy tickets on the app and then activate them to then show the driver. This has a few downsides in that there is a minimum spend – so you have to purchase multiple tickets at once; and it’s not possible to purchase children’s or family tickets. You can also now just tap your debit or credit card when you get on the bus, but of course come cards charge extra for that.

Kids under 5 go free but for those between 5-15 it’s only 80p for a single or £2 for a day ticket.  Children who are residents of Edinburgh are entitled to travel free until they are 25 if they apply for the pass. An adult single is £1.70 and £4 for a day ticket.

The left hand image shows the inside of an Edinburgh tram. It is spacious. The right image is of a tram ticket. It is an adult day return priced at £3.80.


In addition to its commendable bus system, Edinburgh boasts a modern and efficient tram network that further enhances Edinburgh’s public transport options. The Edinburgh Trams provide a sleek and comfortable way to traverse the city, connecting key destinations with ease.

One of the notable advantages of the Edinburgh Trams is their accessibility and user-friendly design. Equipped with spacious interiors and designated areas for passengers with reduced mobility, the trams cater to the diverse needs of travellers. They are buggy and wheelchair accessible because the platforms sit at the same height as the tram doors. 

Moreover, the trams feature modern amenities such as Wi-Fi connectivity and electronic displays, ensuring a pleasant and connected journey for commuters. Whether you’re commuting to work, exploring the city’s attractions, or simply enjoying a leisurely ride, the Edinburgh Trams provide a reliable and comfortable transportation option in Scotland’s capital. 

The only tricky thing is working out what to do with tickets – if you have a young persons travel card – then you need to validate it BEFORE getting on the tram. There are white boxes at the tram stop that you need to tap with the card. You also can’t buy tickets on the tram and need to buy them at the platform before getting on. The trams usually have a conductor checking tickets so don’t think about ticket dodging!

The left image is of a ticket machine at a tram stop in Edinburgh. An Edinburgh bus can be seen in the background. The right hand image is a child validating their ticket before getting on a tram in Edinburgh.
A tram ticket machine and how to validate travel cards – both needed before boarding!

Airport links

Linking Edinburgh’s bustling airport with the heart of the city, both the bus and tram services offer convenient and efficient transportation options for travellers. The Airlink bus service provides a direct connection between Edinburgh Airport and the city centre, making it a popular choice for those seeking a swift journey. With frequent departures and dedicated luggage storage areas onboard, the Airlink bus ensures a hassle-free transfer experience for passengers arriving or departing from the airport.

Alternatively, travellers can opt for the Edinburgh Trams to access the airport, enjoying a seamless journey from the city centre to the terminal. The tram route conveniently stops at key locations, including popular tourist spots and transport hubs, offering passengers a comfortable and scenic ride to their destination. We often make use of free parking in Newhaven and then hop on the Tram to the airport rather than forking out the extortionate airport parking!


On that note… if you’re driving in Edinburgh then expect to pay a premium. On street parking, particularly around the city centre is pricey and limited. The council are doing everything they can to push people into making the most of the  Edinburgh’s public transport system. It often is much quicker to take a tram than drive due to congestion and pot holes! So I would always advise taking the bus, tram, or make use of the Edinburgh Cycle Network.

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