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Situated 12kms to the west of the city, Edinburgh Airport is one of the UK's main airports, handling almost 10 million passengers per year, to and from dozens of, mainly, European cities. The single-terminal airport provides access to the Scottish capital, with the city's stunning surroundings best explored by car.
The terminal has been extended and refurbished over the years and now has all the facilities you would expect from a major airport. There are ATMs and money exchange outlets both land and air-side, as well as left luggage, extensive shopping, several bars and restaurants (in Departures), and multi-storey car parking.
The facilities for car hire in Edinburgh have recently been improved with the airports new car rental centre. It is now conveniently located with direct access from the terminal. It has many top companies like Avis, Hertz and Europcar represented here. It is best to book ahead to save money and get the right car for your needs. The main A8 route runs directly to Edinburgh, while the nearby M8 and M9 motorways offer a quick exit from the area.
Driving in Edinburgh itself can be interesting, especially in the Old Town, as it is a web of winding one-way streets. Car parks fill up quickly, are well monitored and are quite expensive so ensure you plan your trip well and park early if possible. Out of the central districts, driving is pleasant.
There are some pleasant sights within a 30-minute drive of the city and a ring road helps drivers to avoid the city centre. Tourists typically take in nearby Leith, which is located four kilometres to the north and is known for the Scotch Malt Whisky Society. Lauriston Castle is a popular daytrip, while St Andrew's and Stirling are about an hour away by car.
Edinburgh is not known for its great weather, but the weather here fairs better than that of most of the rest of Scotland. The best time to tour the area with car rental in Edinburgh Airport is between May and September. Average daily temperatures are 15°C, with a 30°C maximum in August. The Edinburgh Festival at this time is reason alone for a visit.