Parking in central Edinburgh is expensive with parking garages and pay and display areas charging high rates. Despite all of this, it is possible to find on-street metered parking and there are excellent park and ride facilities on the outskirts of the city that can help you avoid parking stress. Edinburgh is a great city to explore on foot with many streets being off-limits to private road users, so using a park and ride lot is a great option.
Where to Find On-Street Parking
Edinburgh Council has an excellent website where you can see a map of everywhere to park in the city with some information on the rates you will be expected to pay. You will also find that the rates depend on how central you are trying to park. In some cases, if you head to the districts such as Broughton not so far from the Old Town, the hourly rate can be nearly 4 times cheaper.
Where to Find Parking Garages
There are parking garages throughout the city but we recommend taking a look at a website such as Parkopedia before you arrive to find the cheaper spots and even find garages where you can book a spot in advance, saving you the disappointment of not finding a space in your desired area.
Where to Park for Free
There are some free spots if you know where to look. Often these come with a maximum time limit of two hours but sometimes this is enough time to explore a particular area or take a quick shopping trip. Try out these free spots:
- St. Margaret’s Loch in Holyrood Park.
- Tesco’s car park in Canonmills, close to the Botanic Gardens.
- If you are up for a walk of around 20 minutes to the center you can try the free places on Dryden Street, Pilrig Street, Iona Street and Lorne Street.
Park & Ride Locations
There are seven major park and ride stations operating on the outskirts of Edinburgh. Usually you can park for free then take a train or bus straight into the heart of the city. The main sites are at Ingliston (west), Hermiston (west), Newcraighall (east), Ferrytoll (north), Sheriffhall (south), Straiton (south) and Wallyford (east). Edinburgh Council has detailed information online about all park and ride sites, plus a map.