Holiday Hints (general information)
Travel Tips: 'Travel Light' is very good advice! There are stairs to climb throughout Edinburgh, so you will find smaller bags/cases easier to manage .. and the lighter the better! (Leaves room for all your Scottish shopping too!). The apartment is quite compact, so unpack and take advantage of the storage space provided! Bring clothes which can be 'layered' to give added warmth when needed (lightweight thermal underwear for winter visits). A quality lightweight rain coat is better than an umbrella in strong winds. Most theatres, restaurants and even the opera now accept travellers attending in smart casual attire. Finally, bring comfortable, well worn-in walking shoes for getting around the city!
Currency: The UK currency is complicated, so we've compiled some details for you here.
Buses: Double-decker buses pass the front door. Bus stops are outside the Filmhouse and near the Lothian Road entrance of Lothian House, for buses heading in a Northerly direction; and outside the Usher Hall and also across the road by Ali’s Cave for buses heading in a Southerly direction. Lothian Regional Transport (LRT) Day Passes/Tickets available for around £3.50pp, Child Day Pass £2pp, Single Journey Adult £1.50pp, Single Child 70pence. Two children under 5 years can travel for free. Purchase tickets on board buses. Exact change recommended, as drivers do not handle money.
Taxis: Black taxis are readily available within the city and can be hailed from the street, unless you are within close proximity of a Taxi Rank (in which case taxis are not permitted to stop for your fare). Average cost to Princes Street £3-£4; about £4-£5.50 to Waverley Bridge or St. James Centre. Taxi rates are Flagfall Mon-Fri 6am-6pm £2.50, at all other times Flagfall is £3.00. Meterage charges are the same 24/7. (0131)-229-2468 ‘Central Taxis’ OR (0131)-228-1211 ‘City Cabs’.
Luggage Storage: The Waverley Train Station has a convenient left luggage storage facility available for use by the general public. £6 per item per 0-24 hours. Open 7 days, 7am-11pm. They have limited space available and are busy all Sundays, on match week-ends and all through August. Sometimes it is possible to leave luggage in the apartment on your arrival or departure days, please arrange in advance with Jenny Stevenson.
General Tourist Information: The Tourist Information Centre is located in Princes Street, near the Waverley Station & Shopping Centre. For your convenience there are also several Tourist Information folders in the apartment sitting room (in a basket by the sofa), which contain many useful brochures. TIC PH: (0131)-557-1700
Child Minding: ‘Babysitters’ recommended by the Tourist Board:- Butterfly Child Care Agency (0131)-659-5065; Michelle’s Child Minding (0131)-476-4809 & North Edinburgh Child Care Creche Services (0131)-539-7561.
Food Facts: Edinburgh is full of wonderful restaurants, pubs and eating places. There are numerous brochures in the Tourist Information Folder, as well as Dining Guide books, which contain recommendations. Explore the city and Old Town on foot and you will enjoy the delights to be found tucked away in the ‘closes’ and in plain view all over town.
Visit Mellis’ in Victoria Street for a superb variety of cheeses. There is also a quality controlled ‘Farmer’s Market’ held in Castle Terrace some week-ends, which is highly recommended by our guests! They sell Scottish produce including haggis and other specialities.
Many different types of restaurants are close by: Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Italian, & Scottish Restaurants. Open long hours, some even into the ‘wee small hours’. There is also a ‘Pizza Hut’ in Lothian Road; ‘Burger King’ at the East & West End of Princes Street; ‘McDonalds’ at the West End of Princes Street.
Recommended Dining: Restaurants close by are Bar Italia, Dario’s, Stac Polly (their haggis in plum sauce is delicious!), Merchants, The Atrium is not to be missed, as is The Terrace buffet at The Sheraton (their other restaurants are excellent too), The Point Hotel’s restaurant is very good value for money and they have a nice Scottish menu. The Apex Hotel’s Grassmarket restaurant has really good dining deals, ask about their current offers! (For an unforgettable evening, try the Apex's top quality restaurant Heights, the Scottish menu and their view is stunning)! The Mussell Inn, Merchants, Fishers in the City, Top of the Tower & The Witchery/Secret Garden are also quality restaurants for special occasions. Some restaurants have 2 sittings for dinner though, so check with them before making your reservation, as you may have to 'release' your seat before you really want to (personally, we do not condone this practice, but understand that restaurants which do this often have premises which are quite small).
Shopping: The Grassmarket, George Street & Princes Street are full of excellent shops, including the famous “Jenner’s” on Princes Street, which is one of the oldest department stores in the world. Edinburgh has specialty shops galore and many of their brochures are included in our Tourist Information Folder. The St. James Centre is located at the East end of Princes Street, near the top of Leith Walk. There are also shops in the Waverley Centre, above the station. For luxury shopping, plan time to visit the prestigious Harvey Nichols store. Jenners & Harvey Nic's both have excellent tea rooms with superb city views ... take a break from shopping to enjoy Edinburgh's views!