Using the Edinburgh Tram

Edinburgh Tram

Using the Edinburgh Tram

The Edinburgh tram network consists of one line, which was completed and opened to the public in 2014, and is a quick link between the airport and the city centre.

Where can I travel on the tram?

Many people choose the tram to travel between Edinburgh airport and the city centre – it terminates on York Place, near Princes Street and St Andrew Square. This journey takes just 30 minutes. There are also various other stops along the way including; West End, Haymarket, Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh Park and Edinburgh Gateway.

Currently, the City of Edinburgh council is carrying out work on the tram extension, to continue the line from York Place to Newhaven, via Leith Walk, Constitution Street, The Shore and Ocean Terminal. This is expected to be in operation by early 2023.

How much does the tram cost?

The Edinburgh tram line is operated by Lothian Buses, so ticket fares are the same as on their bus network. You can find the current bus and tram fares on their website here.

Single and day return tickets are a set fare, regardless of the distance travelled within the city zone (up to Ingliston Park & Ride). There is a higher fare for travelling to and from the airport, and you can also buy an open return ticket for this journey, which is valid over multiple different days. Lothian Bus day tickets are also valid on the tram, which are more cost-effective if you are taking three or more journeys on their network in the same day – check out our guide to Edinburgh buses for more information about the network.

You can also use a Ridacard on the tram, which is a prepaid travel card for unlimited journeys within a set time period; either 1 week, month, or year, and can then be topped up when it expires. This is the best option for longer stays in Edinburgh, involving regular travel within the city.

How do I buy a tram ticket?

Tram tickets must be purchased before boarding the tram. Every stop has electronic ticket vending machines on the platform, and you can use cash, debit or credit cards with them, although they don’t provide any change so you need the exact fare.

You can also buy tickets by debit or credit card on the Edinburgh ‘m-tickets’ mobile app, which you must activate before boarding. Note that you have to buy at least £4 minimum of tickets transaction, and you can only use one mobile device per person. You can also purchase a Ridacard, or a prepaid citysmart card from the Lothian Bus Travelshops, which must be validated at the card readers on the platform before boarding the tram.

Your ticket will not be checked when you board the tram, but an inspector may come around the carriage at any point and ask to see it. If you do not have a valid ticket, you will have to pay the £10 on-board fee, so we don’t recommend taking that risk!

How often does the tram run?

The Edinburgh tram line operates between 5.30am and 11.30pm, with services running every 7-10 minutes. Each stop has an electronic screen displaying the wait time until the next service arrives, or you can check on the Edinburgh Bus & Tram mobile app.

There is also a full timetable and journey planner available on their website here. And unlike the buses, where you have to wave to get them to stop, and then ring the bell to get off again, the tram will stop at every location on the route!


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