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Parking in Edinburgh

We will be in Edinburgh from August 19-23rd and are trying to figure out how to get around.

We have a couple of Scottish day trips planned and will need to get a rental car. Is it possible to park a rental car anywhere near the center of Edinburgh at this time of year? We wonder if we should just get two separate car rentals one on the 20th, one on the 23rd or try to keep the car and park it overnight - but this seems like it might be really tricky, especially with festival season on. How much hassle would it be to park outside of town - I see free parking at a mall outside of downtown and we could take a bus/train back into town. Any advice?

Posted by
1577 posts

Where will you be staying? There might be parking at the hotel or somewhere the hotel can recommend. In the centre most of the on street parking is resident permits only enforced by parking attendants who can smell fear. The parking at the shopping centres is free to a point and there are parking contractors who will ticket. Although there are legal issues in the UK over these tickets, the hire car company will not bother with appealing, and just pass on the fine to you.

Posted by
5677 posts

Once I had a car when I stayed in Edinburgh. I was staying near the Royal Botanic Gardens. The hotel told me about a place where I could park on the street that wasn't too far away. But MC is right, it wasn't easy. That's one of the reason's that I usually recommend that people visit Edinburgh at the beginning or end of their trip and try to do all driving before or after their stay.

I would second the recommendation to contact your B&B or hotel.


Posted by
154 posts

I agree with the other travelers that you should check if your hotel has parking or has recommendations on where to park your car. It can be annoying to have a car in Edinburgh so if you can't find an easy option for parking your idea of dropping it off and picking up another one might be the best option.

Posted by
4042 posts

Letter from Glasgow ; You really don't want to deal with a car in any city ( except Wells , perhaps ) and certainly a major one ; ie London , Glasgow , Edinburgh - especially during the festival and tattoo . Pam's suggestion is your first line of attack ( or defense , your choice ) , but depending on where you are headed on those day trips , rail or even bus ( I hate buses in general , but love rail ) would likely be a better plan .