Glasgow to Edinburgh

Transport links between Glasgow and Edinburgh are fantastic, so if you happen to be visiting one or the other it will be easy enough for you to travel through to the other at a reasonable cost. The two ways of commuting from one to the other is either by bus or train, both of which take just over an hour. Cost difference between these modes of travel can be stark, so if you’re planning the commute then make sure to book your tickets in advance to achieve the cheapest price possible.



The bus service between these two cities can be as often as every fifteen minutes and run twenty four hours a day. During the night they are once an hour, but even at this it’s the cheapest method of travelling to the capital. The bus takes between an hour and fifteen minutes and an hour and a half and costs £7.90 for a single ticket or £10 for both day and open returns. If you’re travelling throughout the UK or just Scotland on a budget, then travelling by bus is definitely the cheapest option for you.


Train travel in Scotland is exceptionally overpriced, so in order to get a deal I would recommend booking the train pretty far in advance. I’ve managed to get a return ticket for as little as £13 by booking in advance, but according to websites like trainline return tickets cost around £25 and a single £14. The train takes just less than an hour to arrive in Edinburgh and is a much more pleasant journey than the bus. It’s spacious, goes through the countryside and has a trolley service.

Car hire

To drive from Glasgow to Edinburgh will take around an hour. The drive is pretty much a straight road along the motorway. Cars can be hired from as little as £26 per day from trustworthy dealerships like Arnold Clark from their website. Typically, extra costs for car hire can include a pre-authorisation of up to and including £100 which will be refunded into your account within a few working days provided there have been no damages to the vehicle. Petrol for a return trip to St Andrews for a car with a one litre engine will cost you around £20, and could cost anywhere up to £35 for larger cars. If you’re visiting Scotland and have already hired a car, then car hire is definitely the most economical option for you. However, if you’re thinking about renting it just for the trip then it might not be as economical as the bus, and you would need to consider parking spots and the cost of parking for a long period of time in a city centre.

If you are planning on making this short journey, then budget is probably going to be the deciding factor for what method of transport to use. In my personal opinion, the train is the best way to travel – but don’t pay a fortune for it!

13 thoughts on “Glasgow to Edinburgh

      1. I know as far as I know regarding United Kingdom of Great Britain they are all together before but as far of today they are on their autonomous government and they are just waiting to be independent when I was in Edinburg I took the mega bus with sleeper for twenty pound going to London . It’s an eight hours trip . The trip start at ten pm then arrive London at six am . It’s a good experience .

      2. I’m Scottish, and I can assure you Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are all separate countries from England.

  1. I would never use Trainline to buy tickets. Firstly they charge a commission to pick up at the ticket machine at the station and secondly it is a hassle why you there are delay/cancellation to your train. Use the relevant Train Operating Company (TOC). Most have automatic delay repay if your train is cancelled or over 30 minutes late. Also if you subscribe to a TOC mailing list they have special offers from time to time which Trainline (or other third party ticket seller) do not have access to.

    Living in Glasgow and travelling to Edinburgh, I find the Edinburgh buses incomprehensible and rarely venture beyond the stations. Last time I used a bus I asked for a ticket from North Bridge to where I was going and the driver looked at me blankly and asked me what the fare was. At least the trams are easier to use.

    Glasgow has a reasonable train network, which fare wise is comparable to the London Underground, and then there is the Subway. I have not had need to use the Glasgow Buses for a long time (in fact not with I had a “Raillink” card back in the 1980s.

    As regards comments about the countries in the UK – they are not recognised as separate sovereign countries by the UN or EU. Our passport is that of the United Kingdom, you (and I) do not have a Scottish Passport to travel outwith the UK – YET! It is a very weird constitutional setup as US States, Canadian Provinces and Belgian Provinces have more autonomy that the Scottish, Welsh and NI (when constituted) parliaments. In fact I think the Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey have more autonomy than Scotland. That is a whole different discussion.

    I have only recently discovered your blog and am finding it fascinating.

    1. I have to disagree with the majority of your points, but that’s okay! I personally find it offensive when people assume Scotland is merely a smaller part of England, but if you don’t then that’s also okay.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment!

  2. I made my first ever visit to Glasgow & Edinburgh this summer & fell in love with both of them, for different reasons! We stayed in a fantastic Airbnb in Glasgow Green & caught the train to Edinburgh. We were lucky enough to be there for the Fringe #Happydays!

  3. The top photograph makes me think back to one of those imaginary childhood places that existed only in our minds.
    Also, this is a nice blog to read (admittedly, I’ve only read two posts, but still…)

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