Cheap flights from Cardiff to Edinburgh

Although Edinburgh is probably most famous for its history and its cultural attractions, it’s also a fun city with plenty of leisure options and a superb nightlife scene.

Cardiff Airport Facilities

In simple terms, if there’s something you might reasonably need for your trip, you’ll be able to pick it up at Cardiff Airport.  Although retail space is limited there are shops stocked with the basic essentials alongside ATMs and currency exchange services.

There’s also a decent range of places to eat and drink while you wait, together with plenty of toilets (some with baby-changing facilities), WiFi, internet kiosks and a charging station.  Young children are catered for with special feeding areas and dedicated play areas.

Flight time from Cardiff to Edinburgh

Direct flights from Cardiff to Edinburgh take just over an hour.

Getting to Cardiff Airport

Cardiff Airport is about 13 miles to the west of Cardiff.  Take the M4 and exit junction 33, then follow the signs along the A4232, A4050 and A4226.  Use either approach for drop off/pick up and short-stay facilities and the Eastern Approach (Port Road) for long-stay parking.  In addition to private cars (including hired cars) and taxis, there are service buses and private coaches connecting Cardiff Airport with Cardiff city.  There is also a special shuttle bus to connect Cardiff Airport with Rhoose Cardiff International Airport railway station.  This journey takes just 10 minutes.

Travelling to and from Edinburgh Airport

Edinburgh Airport is about 13 Km from the city centre.  If you’re using sat nav, the post code is EH12 9DN.  Without sat nav, you follow the A8 towards Glasgow and turn off on the Western Approach Road.  There are plenty of signs to guide you.  In addition to private car and car hire, there are plenty of taxis, coaches and services buses make the trip.  If you take a bus from the airport, make sure it is actually going to Edinburgh as some buses go to other destinations such as Fife, in the opposite direction.  There is also a tram link to and from the city centre.

Pro tip - neither the buses nor the trams in Edinburgh give change so buy your tickets online (or via app) or in a shop or make sure you have the right money.

Things to see and do in Edinburgh

While Princes Street is Edinburgh’s main shopping street (and its gardens are very pleasant), the Royal Mile (from Edinburgh Castle to Holyrood Palace) is probably more interesting for visitors and a lot of Edinburgh’s top attractions are found on or near it.  Here are three of the best.

The National Museum of Scotland

In spite of the name, the Museum doesn’t actually focus on Scottish history.  It does, however, have a roof terrace with panoramic views over Edinburgh to the one side and the Pentland hills to the other.  The terrace is accessible by lift as well as by a combination of escalators and very manageable stairs.

Greyfriars Kirkyard

For Harry Potter fans, this may be Edinburgh’s top location.  This is the place where J.K. Rowling looked for (and found) the inspiration for many of the characters in the Harry Potter series, including Tom Riddell, whose grave you can visit.  Even if you’re not a Harry Potter fan, Greyfriar’s Kirkyard is rich in local history, including being closely associated with the legend of Greyfriar’s Bobby, a dog who refused to leave his dead master’s grave.

The World’s End Pub

The World’s End Pub takes its name from the fact that, when it was built, it was, literally, the end of the world, at least as far as the people of Edinburgh were concerned.  These days, it’s a fun and historic pub and for Outlander fans, it’s the pub referenced in Voyager.

Best time of year to visit Edinburgh

When deciding the best time of year to visit Edinburgh, there’s really only one question to answer.  Do you want to see one or more of the festivals?  If the answer is yes, then you need to come in the summer months when the festivals are running.  If the answer is no, then you would probably be best to visit the city at any other time of year when prices are (much) more affordable.  If you’re hoping for good weather than April, May and September are all reasonable options, but even though Edinburgh has a chilly climate, it really is an all-year-round destination and makes a special effort over Christmas and New Year.  In fact, its Hogmanay party (New Year’s Eve party) is famous around the world.

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