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Away Supporter's Guide to Edinburgh

by UAFC Editor on Thu May 03, 2012 1:43 am
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With a population of just under half a million people, Scotland’s capital, Edinburgh, is the nation’s second largest city.

Situated on the eastern coast of the central belt, 45 miles from Glasgow, the city plays host to some 13 million visitors in year, making it the largest tourist centre in the UK outside of London.

Known as the Athens Of The North, because of the predominance of neo-classical architecture dotted around its historic city centre, it’s variety of galleries and museums, as well as its world famous annual festival, have helped build areputation as a centre of arts, history and culture, while, with literally hundreds of bars and clubs throughout its compact city centre area, it also enjoys a reputation for providing visitors and locals alike with a fantastic night out.

Directions to Stadium:

Murrayfield Stadium is located approximately 3 miles (4.5 kilometres) to the west of Edinburgh city centre. Lothian Buses offer several services from Princes Street to the stadium, with tickets priced at £1 each way. Service numbers 12, 26, 30 and 31 pass the North Stand, allowing the easiest access to the West Stand, the lower tier of which seats all fans during Magner’s League games. Service number 22 takes an alternative route to the stadium, dropping fans across the railway line that runs just behind the South Stand. On busier match days, this route may be preferable as it avoids the main thoroughfare to the stadium. For those who wish to walk, the main access to the stadium is on a straight road from the West End of Princes Street.

How to get here?

Easy Jet offers four daily flights from Belfast International Airport to Edinburgh,

Fly Be flies from George Best Belfast City Airport to Edinburgh, also offering four flights per day.

On arrival at Edinburgh airport, the Airlink bus (service 100) leaves from just outside the terminal building and offers drop offs outside Murrayfield Stadium, as well as on Waverley Bridge, which runs adjacent to Princes Street.

City Link runs a twice daily coach from the Europa Bus Centre to St. Andrew’s Square in the centre of Edinburgh, via Glasgow and Stranraer for £33 - £39 per person return, and with a journey time of approximately 7 hours.

An alternative to the coach is available from Scotrail who run a rail service between Stranraer and Glasgow Central Station, however, a separate ferry booking is required.

Stena Line’s HSS service runs from Belfast to Stranraer three times daily, with ticket prices from £20 each way,

while P&O sail from Larne to Cairnryan.

A short walk across Glasgow city centre will take you from Central Station to Queen Street Station where Scotrail’s quarter-hourly shuttle service will have you at Waverley Station, in the very heart of Edinburgh, in approximately 45 minutes.

OK, I’ve made it to Edinburgh - what to do?

Drinking: A favourite Edinburgh past-time

The self-professed busiest bar in Edinburgh is the Three Sisters on Cowgate. Boasting an enormous beer garden and a titanic screen, it is a friendly, but loud refuge for all sports fans in Edinburgh.

The Beehive Inn on Grassmarket offers a much more relaxed, quiet and secluded beer garden, with a much more laidback atmosphere and views towards the castle.

A short walk along Grassmarket will bring you to The Last Drop, which offers good food and beers at decent prices, and all served up with a welcoming and surprisingly local feel.

The darker side of Edinburgh’s history can be found in literary themed Jekyll and Hyde on Hanover Street, with an interior to match the lab of Stevenson’s hero and villain and a good range of beers and spirits.

Another twist on the traditional theme bar can be found at The World Famous Frankenstein’s on George IV Bridge, which comes complete with a life size Frankie mannequin that is lowered, periodically, from the ceiling amongst much fanfare and dry ice. Offering a reasonably priced menu, as well as a variety of sports on two big screens, everything a rugby fan could need for a night out is right here.

A night of live music can always be found at Whistle Binkies on South Bridge. Known as one of the cheaper bars in the city centre area, with free entry before midnight, three or more acts performing each day and a 3am license, all the ingredients for a great night are there.

With upwards of a dozen bars on Rose Street in the New Town, not to mention Finnegan’s Wake and Biddy Mulligan’s Irish bars on Victoria Street and Grassmarket respectively, a little something for everyone is never far away.


While Scotland may well be known as the land of haggis and deep fried Mars Bars, there is a truly international feel when it comes to eating out in Edinburgh.

If spicy dishes are your thing, La Cantina Mexicana at the West End of Rose Street offers a small but varied Mexican menu as well as a range of tequilas, while Jimmy Chung’s Chinese Buffets on Waverley Bridge and Grindlay Street offer quality all you can eat Chinese food, with prices starting at £5.99 before 5pm.

For heartier Scottish fare, Milnes on Rose Street and The Advocate in Hunter Square offer everything from haggis, neeps and tatties to Aberdeen Angus steak pies. With the tourist hubs on Rose Street, Grassmarket and The Royal Mile in the city centre, something to suit even the most varied tastes is never more than a short walk away, but if the call of battered chocolate proves too strong, the Castle Rock Take Away at Cowgatehead will see you right.


Happily, shopping in Edinburgh is largely restricted to three main streets; on Princes Street one can find all of the usual high street names. On George Street are slightly more upmarket clothes shops, with boutiques on North St. Andrews Street. With plenty of gift shops scattered around the Old Town and The St. James’ centre at the top of Leith Walk and Princes Mall at the corner of Waverley Bridge and Princes Street, a whole day of shopping can be found with only the scantest use of the feet.

Where to stay?

A list of all Visit Scotland accredited hotels, hostels and guesthouses can be found here:



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