Updated: December 2017
Transportation from Edinburgh Airport into Downtown Edinburgh:I just returned from a long trip playing golf in and around Scotland. Our last stop was in Edinburgh Hilton Airport location before departing on our flight back to the United States. Unfortunately this was the exact time that the volcano in Iceland was becoming active (April 2010) so we had a few extra days staying right near the airport. I had returned the rental car and was still wanting to use my time and go back into the city centre of Edinburgh from the hotel. I had driven into Edinburgh with the rental car, but I don't suggest this for most casual drivers since the streets are chaotic to maneuver through. Hiring a taxi or cab from the airport is an expensive route if you want to get into downtown Edinburgh. The easiest and best solution is to go with a bus or coach. There are lots of buses leaving the airport every few minutes, some go directly into the city centre while others head out in other directions. Be sure to get on the right bus, just ask the driver if need be. The ideal spot for taking the bus into downtown is to be dropped off right at Waverley Bridge which is in the middle of town and perfect for starting your sightseeing or shopping.
You can see a complete bus route map (in PDF format) HERE. A bus from Edinburgh Airport to city centre is available right out front of the airport and most leave every 10 to 20 minutes. For us, we caught the bus right in front of the Hilton Hotel on it's way back into Edinburgh. I found it to be a relaxing ride compared to the stress involved of driving into downtown with our rental car and having to try and find parking. Edinburgh is a very walkable city, although some areas do have hills to climb, such as the Royal Mile up towards the Edinburgh Castle. Once you get dropped off near Waverley Station, you can catch other buses to take you further into the city or just get out on foot and walk around. Get yourself a good map and see the city. Getting back to the transportation options from the airport, if you have multiple people in your party, then perhaps a taxi is a reasonable bet. The cost is roughly 15 GBP ($24 US) to get a taxi from the airport to the city centre. They can drop you off anywhere you want versus the bus which only stops at certain places.