Unlike London, Edinburgh does not yet have a tube or city wide train system (although a tram system is currently being built and is scheduled to be ready by 2012). So you’ll have to hop on a bus instead. Lucky for you, the Lothian bus company is easy to use and will take you to the four corners of the city. Here’s how to use it.
You will need to locate the correct number of bus for the correct route. A route map can be picked up from any tourist information office or from the lothian bus website. Every bus stop has a sign displaying which buses stop at that particular bus stop. Some bus stops (particularly in the city centre) have electronic signs stating how long you have to wait until the next bus arrives.
The cost of a single ride, any distance is £1.20 (adult), 70p (child). Alternatively you can purchase a day card for unlimited travel on one particular day for £3 (adult), £2 child. The later is more cost effective if you plan to do a lot of sightseeing.
You will need to have the correct money ready as change will not be given. You state your fare to the driver and place the money in the red box located next to teh driver. A ticket will then be printed, you take this and grab a seat!
How to ride
Bus rides can be particularly busy at rush hour times. Therefore between 8am and 9am going towards the city and between 5pm and 6pm going from the city.
Make sure you’re at the correct stop as streets like Princes Street and George Street have several stops which only selected buses stop at.
A bus driver should automatically stop if you are waiting but it is always good if you signal by sticking your arm out to acknowledge the bus to stop.
Edinburgh’s double decker buses means that you get a great view of the city’s attractions from the top deck.
Once you want to get off, make sure you press the button to alert the driver you wish to get off at the next stop. Make sure you give the driver plenty notice or you might miss your stop!
If you are unsure where to get off, a friendly local will always be on hand to help you.
Do leave the seats located near the exits for the disabled and elderly. If you have to sit on these seats as no other space then do make the seat available if an elderly or disabled gets on.
Do not talk too loud on the phone.
Do not eat or drink on the bus.
For more information and to download a guide, visit the Lothian bus website.
[Photo Credits: Bus from Lothian Bus website; All other photos by Alex Demianczuk]