Edinburgh is a wonderfully welcoming city, and is really accessible for getting around. The conference itself will be hosted at the University of Edinburgh’s McEwan Hall and Appleton Tower which are within easy walking distance from the city centre, but I’ve tried to put together a small transport guide for the rest of the city so you can explore freely and make the most of your visit to our wonderful capital!
For those of you arriving at ALTC this year by plane, Edinburgh Airport is a short way outside the city centre and is serviced by regular 24 hour buses, taxis and trams to all areas of the city and beyond. The Airlink 100 bus and the trams take about 30 mins to get to the city centre from the airport, and cost £4.50 single or £7.50 open return with tickets being interchangeable between all Lothian bus and tram services.
Edinburgh has a number of rail stations, but if you are coming to the conference by train you are most likely to arrive at Waverley Station right in the city centre. The Central Area of University of Edinburgh where the conference will be held is only a 15 minute walk from the station through some of the most beautiful and vibrant parts of the city, or a one way taxi fare for this trip will cost approximately £7.
Lothian buses provide the city of Edinburgh with an excellent bus service all across the region. All buses in Edinburgh cost £1.70 for a single journey irrespective of how far around the city you are travelling, or you can purchase a day ticket for £4 and use the buses as many times as you like until 1am the following morning. Beware though… at the time of writing this, only the airport buses are able to accept contactless payments, for all other buses you will need the exact fare as no change is given.
Buses 23, 27, 35, 41, 42, 45, 47, 67, and 300 all stop near the University buildings hosting the conference depending on where you’re coming from, and I highly recommend Lothian’s free app to help you plan your journey and see real time bus updates.
Driving within central Edinburgh can be pretty congested and parking is strictly controlled. There are a couple of public carparks nearby the conference locations including Q Park at Quartermile (£2.50 per hour) and Nicolson Square Car Park (up to 7 hours for £10.50) and the postcodes of locations for your satnav are EH8 9AG for McEwan Hall for plenaries, exhibition and refreshments, and EH8 9LE for the Appleton tower for breakout sessions.
For a more sustainable and healthier option, Edinburgh has a network of on and off road cycle routes. The University provides a range of bike parking facilities if you are planning to bring your own, or Edinburgh has a network of hire bikes which you can find and unlock with the mobile app for £1.50 per hour or £3 for a day pass. There are bike hire points all across the city, including one in the University’s Central Area so you can easily hire or return your bike close by the conference.
Edinburgh is a wonderful city with friendly people and a real atmosphere at all times of the year, and by far the best way to experience it I think is to walk amongst our historic buildings and interesting shops and cafes! I’ve lived here for nearly two years now and every time I go for a walk I still discover something new and fall in love with the place a little bit more! There are a range of great (and often free!) walking tours to help you explore a little more, no matter if your interest is history, whisky or Harry Potter!
Well that’s a brief round up of some of your travel options for ALTC, hopefully you’ll find it useful! And however you decide to get to us in September, we’re looking forward to giving you a warm Edinburgh welcome!