Cruisin’ around and escaping the city

Going upstairs on a double-decker bus while the bus driver is showing off his skills can be a shaky adventure. First you have to find the bus stop you need. Bu­ses only stop at every other stop in the city centre. Arriving at the right stop you may see a queue. Join the end of […]

Going upstairs on a double-decker bus while the bus driver is showing off his skills can be a shaky adventure. First you have to find the bus stop you need. Bu­ses only stop at every other stop in the city centre. Arriving at the right stop you may see a queue. Join the end of the line, otherwise you might get a disappro­ving glance. When you get on the bus, have the exact fare ready; the bus driver won’t give you any change. After taking the ticket, the really courageous person dares to go upstairs now. But take care, don’t break your neck! Once safe on the second floor, enjoy the view. Don‘t forget to say thank you to the bus driver, when you leave the bus, even if you don‘t know where he got his licence.

Buses are the best way to move through the city, its surrounding areas and even the whole country. There are several bus companies, specialising in different are­as. Lothian Regional Transport is the main provider of bus services in the city and runs mainly double-decker buses. Most of the routes go via Princes Street. Lothian Buses run the night buses too. For travelling further afield Scottish City­link goes to cities across the UK. The Flybus links the city centre to the airport in twenty minutes. There are also diffrent open top double-decker buses for tourist sight seeing. The tours start at Waverly Station in the city centre.

The Waverley Station is one of the main train stations in Edinburgh. Travelling by train is qui­te expensive compared to the buses and there aren’t many areas co­vered by rail further in the north.

In 2007 the council deci­ded to rebuild the tram rails through Edinburgh. After being absent from the city‘s streets for 50 years the trams will con­nect Leith to the airport at great cost and energy. This is the first phase of the new Edinburgh tram system due in 2014. If you want a long, angry conversation with a local, just mention the trams.

If you prefer travelling by car, there are a lot of the legendary black ta­xis. You can also rent a car if you want to go out of Edinburgh, but please mind that in the UK peo­ple drive on the left side of the street.

Text by Sanna Giavanoli

Leith – the new upcoming “Hot-spot”

With modern houses by the port, many different pubs and restaurants and the new shopping centre “Ocean Terminal”, it’s easy to see why Leith is known as the new trendy neighbourhood. A lot of people know the cult hit-film “Trainspotting” from Danny Boyle (based on Irvine Welsh’s novel 1993), but few realise that the story was set in Leith. The film is about a generation in the 1990s who were caught up in the drug scene, once known as a problem area. During the last 10 years many changes have occurred and the district has become quite ambitious in impro­ving its reputation and social scene in Edinburgh. There will be more changes in the future. Leith also sees itself as distinct and separate from Edinburgh. Locals proudly call themselves “Leithers” rather than Edinburgh residents. So, if you want to experience an adventure, just start at the top of Leith Walk and head the whole way down to the harbour. Don’t forget to stop at one of the charming Swedish pubs like the Victoria Bar. Due to its location it is filled with local residents and you’ll have an extensive drinks menu with Lagers from all over the world. After having a pint with a real “Leither”, the Leith Walk will lead you to the historic port of Leith where you can, among other things, visit the “Royal Yacht Britannia”. This ship was home to the Queen and the Royal family and is today a popular tourist attraction. Across the street you can have a different shopping experience in the Ocean Terminal based on the waterfront. Apart from having over 70 stores under one roof, you’ll also find a great selection of bars, restaurants, spa, cinema and an indoor skate park. Be careful as you may find your­self with an empty wallet. If you are still not tired of discovering, don’t miss a good dinner in one of the seafood restaurants around the harbour.

Did you know that you can listen to live-music whilst enjoying a pint in a pub on the Leith harbour?

Text by Pamela Kölbl

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