Practical Information

Travel and accommodation

The event will be held in 50 George Square, which is part of the university’s central area. Edinburgh is well connected through Edinburgh Airport and the UK rail system, and the university’s central area is easily accessible, on the edge of Edinburgh’s remarkable Old Town, a few minutes’ walk from the Royal Mile. Edinburgh is the ancient capital of Scotland, and its Old Town and (18th century) New Town form a large UNESCO World Heritage Site. The University is easily accessible from anywhere in the city, and is within walking distance of the train station and all the city centre shops and restaurants.

Getting to the Symposium from the airport and city centre
For most people, travelling to the Symposium will involve either flying into or getting the train to Edinburgh and then either walking or getting a bus or a taxi to the conference venue (or to your accommodation first, perhaps). The airport’s website is here – it’s quite a big airport, with connections to most large airports in Europe and a few outside of Europe (if you’re flying from afar, you may need to change to get a connecting flight to Edinburgh, of which there are lots from UK airports, and nearby airports in other European countries). It’s easy to get into the city centre from Edinburgh airport: use the tram (or the number 100 Airlink bus), which will drop you off near to Waverley Station, the main railway station in Edinburgh (the nearest tram stop is St Andrew Square). This is where most intercity trains terminate, too.

Waverley Station is a good orientation point – it’s situated right in the centre of the city, between the New Town and the Old Town, just next to Princes Street (Princes Street is the main central shopping street in Edinburgh), and there are normally lots of taxis available at the station (app-based taxi-type booking systems also work in Edinburgh). It’s about 15 minutes’ walk from Waverley station to the University. You need to head south: walk up from the station into the Old Town along Cockburn Street and then up the Royal Mile and along George IV bridge. The symposium venue, 50 George Square, is shown on a map here.

If you need to book accommodation for the symposium, we recommend trying KM Hotel and Apartments (this is affiliated to the university and is close to the symposium venue and city centre). The university also has some other types of accommodation at other nearby locations, which may also be worth investigating (although they will not be the cheapest options).

If they are full, or you’d like to stay somewhere more luxurious or cheaper, the easiest way to find somewhere is to use one of the many internet accommodation search sites. If you try Trip Advisor, you’ll find lots of details and some interesting comments about the hotels (not always to be trusted, but you can probably go by the average opinion). Enter your check-in and check-out dates, select the number of adults staying in the room and click on ‘find hotels’. If you click on ‘View map’, you can see where the hotel is – look for one towards the south of the city centre.

Some hotels listed there which could be suitable are:

  • The Grassmarket Hotel
    This one may be quite loud (the Grassmarket is a popular drinking area), but seems quite cheap, and is 10 minutes’ walk from the conference venue
  • Jurys Inn
    This is in the ugliest building in Edinburgh, but it’s probably fine as a hotel (about 15 mins’ walk)
  • Royal British Hotel
    Very central in Edinburgh, maybe a little jaded (about 20 mins’ walk)
  • Ten Hill Place Hotel
    Recommended, if a bit more expensive (very close to the conference)
  • Ibis Edinburgh Centre South Bridge
    Fine if faceless (about 10 mins’ walk)
  • Express By Holiday Inn Edinburgh Royal Mile
    Looks fine but may be a bit loud (about 10 mins’ walk)
  • Travelodge Edinburgh Central
    Faceless but probably fine (about 15 mins’ walk)
  • Apex Grassmarket Hotel
    May be quite loud (it’s on the Grassmarket), but seems quite nice (about 10 mins’ walk)
  • Radisson Blu
    More pricey, but meant to be nice, well situated (about 10 mins’ walk)

Lots of other hotels will be equally good, though!

The cheapest option would be to stay at one of the many hostels in Edinburgh. These have some very cheap accommodation, and several have private rooms, too. There are a number of hostel searching websites, which should help you to see what’s available, and to book accommodation, including this one:

There are hostels all over Edinburgh. The following, listed on the hostel websites above, are all quite close (10-15 minutes’ walk) to the conference venue:

  • Budget Backpackers
  • Castle Rock Hostel
  • Argyle Backpackers
  • Royal Mile Backpackers
  • Euro Hostel Edinburgh Halls
  • Edinburgh Backpackers
  • St Christopher’s

The main YHA hostel in Edinburgh is also fine, although it’s a bit of a distance from the conference (30 minutes’ walk). There are lots of buses, though.

Central Edinburgh
Central Edinburgh is made up of the New Town, to the north, and the Old Town, to the south, with Princes Street and (Princes Street Gardens) in between. Most of the buildings of the University of Edinburgh (including the symposium venue) are in the Old Town, towards the south. You should make sure that you have the chance to walk round the city while you’re here – it’s stunning. Walk up and down the Royal Mile to the castle at the top and the Scottish Parliament at the bottom, walk around the New Town (which starts at Princes Street and carries on northwards for several streets), or walk up Calton Hill and around Holyrood Park. You can find some information about Edinburgh here: