Transport & Travel

all you need for relocation to scotland: edinburgh

Edinburgh Bus Service 

Lothian Buses | First GroupService 13

There are 2 main bus companies operating in Edinburgh which should cover all your needs, whether you are a regular traveller or just passing through on holidays.

However, there is a special mention to Service 13 at the end of this section as the company provides a very good service albeit made of only 1 route.

gold-star.pnggold-star.png Lothian Buses

Commuting with Lothian Buses is ideal if you're travelling within Edinburgh or just outside.

Where can I buy bus tickets? 

Almost anywhere and at any time is the straight answer! Lotian Buses has 3 travelshops in the city centre alone, you can buy single and day tickets from drivers (EXACT change please!) or online.

Buying bus tickets


Lothian Buses has 2 travelshops in the city centre and 1 just outside Edinburgh, in Dalkeith. 

If you're coming as a tourist or have recently moved to live here, you'll definetely want to visit a Lothian Buses travelshop sooner rather than later to get information about:

  • tickets and concessions

  • routes, timetables maps

  • Scottish National Entitlement Card (if you are over 60 or disabled)

Bus drivers

You can purchase your SINGLE ticket or DAY ticket directly from the bus drivers however, make sure you place the EXACT change into the red fares box as drivers do not have access to cash and cannot give change. 

When you see your bus coming, DO signal the driver that you want them to stop. The bus might not stop otherwise. Once aboard, let the driver know the type of ticket you require. He/she will then issue you with a ticket valid for your journey.

Online shop

from which you can purchase your SINGLE and DAY tickets in advance. If you are planning to travel to Edinburgh and stay with friends, your tickets will be waiting for you when you arrive! The company aims to deliver tickets within 7 working days.

Fares & types of bus tickets

Lothian Buses provides a flexible choice of tickets and fare depending on how often you want to travel, day or night

warning-32.png Children up to 5 years old travel for free!

Up-to-date timetables

The timetables are up-to-date, very simple and easy to use. They will give you the timetable for each bus service, Monday to Sunday, including how to get to the New Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh as well as colleges and universities.

Lothian Buses provide a bus tracker service to access bus information in and around Edinburgh in real time.

The service number is displayed at the top front of the bus and has numbers e.g. 3, 22, 29, occasionally preceded by a letter e.g. N22.

Routes, maps and day & night services

Route maps. The link to route maps gives you all the bus services, the bus stops for the city centre and the night buses.

Day services run from approximately 04.00 to just after midnight. The vast majority of bus services operating during the day have stops across Edinburgh city centre. 

Night services - over 10 night services run between midnight and 04.00 .  

disabled-access-32.png All of Lothian buses have easy access. This means that buses are fitted with a dedicated wheelchair space, and for some of the newest buses a specific buggy space as well.

They have a low entrance that can “kneel” to kerb height to give step free access through a flat retractable boarding ramp.

Park & Ride

Park & ride are located on the key routes into the city centre. The idea is simple, allow motorists to leave their cars at the edge of the city and beat the traffic in bus lanes. 

Even better, you won't have to drive in circle for hours before eventually finding a car space in the city centre!

Park & Ride locations

Park & Ride

There are currently 7 Park & Ride on the outskirt of Edinburgh and Lothian buses serve the following 6 park & ride: 

Hermiston Park and Ride*

Ingliston Park and Ride*

Wallyford Park and Ride*

Sheriffhall Park and Ride*

Straiton Park and Ride*

Newcraighall Park and Ride*

Ferrytoll Park and Ride is served by 4 bus companies

* links to the City of Edinburgh Council website

did-you-know.png Did you know?

Buses use “greenways” to travel quicker on main roads into and out of the city centre. 

Bus & Skiing in Edinburgh

Bus service No. 4 can take you to Midlothian Snowsports Centre which is just outside town.

The ski centre is set in the stunning Pentland Hills Regional Park and that alone is worth the (short) trip.

The centre offers ski lessons for juniors and adults, private lessons, weekend classes and a great café.

Bus No.4 stops at St. Andrew Square and Haymarket Dalry Road and takes you to Hillend (terminus) in around 30/40 min. The 4 runs every 20 minutes.

practical-info.png  Practical info!

Small animals are allowed on buses at the driver’s discretion. Assistance animals are allowed, providing there is enough space.

gold-star.pnggold-star.png First Bus Edinburgh

FirstGroup will suit you if you travel between Edinburgh and the neighbouring towns although buses do stop throughout the city.

Telephone: (0044) (0)132 460 2200

FirstGroup (plc) is Britain's largest bus operator and provides regional, intercity and commuter services. The company has bus services throughout South East and Central Scotland and they also provide train links.

First buses has a dedicated webpage which explains step-by-step how to use their buses. It has very useful information, from planning your journey to locating the correct bus stop using SMS.

warning-32.png  First buses don’t serve Edinburgh airport.

Buying bus tickets that suit your needs

This link will explain simply how First makes it easy and convenient to buy tickets that suit your needs. 

  • Occasional travellers can purchase tickets directly from the driver. He/she will tell you which ticket is for you depending on your circumstances

  • Frequent travellers can purchase their weekly or monthly bus pass through loads and loads of shops, from small to big, in and out of the city. This link will tell you where your nearest PayPoint outlet is located. Frequent travellers can also purchase their e-tickets online.

Fares, tickets & zones

First covers a large geographical area and you can purchase tickets and concessions for the zonal area that is relevant to you.

  • This link shows the Fares Zone map and the towns covered. 

  • Clicking the following link will tell you what fare you need to pay according to your zonal area and the type of ticket/ concession you require.

practical-info.pngPractical info!

  • Edinburgh and the neighbouring towns are in zone M.

  • Drivers will only give you change for your ticket if you travel in Central Scotland and the Borders area. For all travels in Edinburgh and the Lothians you need to give the driver the EXACT change.

Up-to-date timetables

To find out about First timetables for South East and Central Scotland visit the company's dedicated webpage. It's well done and comprehesnsive.

Alternatively, you can call Traveline on 0871 200 22 33. 

Route maps & Bus services

● Route maps. This link will show you a network map of First bus services across Edinburgh and East Lothian (travelling East- West) as well as the bus number for each route.

practical-info.pngPractical info!

First buses service number is displayed at the top front of the bus and generally has a combination of letters and numbers e.g. HS1, X29 or numbers only e.g. 86, 44.

Park & Ride locations

Park & Ride are located on the key routes into the city centre. The idea is simple, allow motorists to leave their cars at the edge of the city and beat the traffic in bus lanes. 

The only Park & Ride served by First buses is Sheriffhall, located south east of Edinburgh.

disabled-access-32.png Almost all of buses operated by First have a low floor, easily accessible for wheelchair users and people travelling with young children and buggies.

Some buses have a dedicated buggy zone where the buggy can stay unfolded. If they don’t, you will need to fold them in the luggage rack.

When your low floor bus arrives at the bus stop, just signal to the driver that you want to get on. He/she will lower the step and/or ramp to allow you to board.

gold-star.png Service 13

Telephone: (0044) (0)131 554 5413

Silver Coach Line is a small company that provides “Service 13”, an excellent service which runs across Edinburgh from Lochend (East) to Blackhall (West).

Ideal for daily commuting, the service starts from around 06.30 to 19.15 (Monday to Friday) and stops in the city centre, the modern art galleries and the big Sainsbury’s supermarket in Blackhall. 

Just like the other bigger companies, you have a choice of single, daily and weekly tickets available from the driver and the fares are consistent with Lothian Buses and First.Service 13’s buses are clean and the drivers friendly.

practical-info.png  Practical info!

Scotland operates a proper queuing system where people who are waiting at the bus stop form one orderly line. If you are thinking of “jumping the queue” expect to be reminded of this by other passengers...

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