How Safe Is Edinburgh for Travel?

Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Safety Index:

Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland and it’s situated in the Central Belt region of the country.

The unique Scottish atmosphere that you’ll get a whiff of in this city, is the mixture of the modern and the ancient.

It also boasts historic monuments and sites – The Old and New Towns of Edinburgh were listed as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO in 1995.

It has so many historic sights and landmarks, that if you want to visit them all (and you’re staying in Scotland for a while) – it pays to get a Historic Scotland Membership, with passes to all historic sights that last for a year.

Warnings & Dangers in Edinburgh

Overall Risk


In a poll conducted in 2014, Edinburgh was voted the safest of the ten most populous cities in the UK. This tells you that this city is extremely safe and you have nothing to worry about.

Transport & Taxis Risk


Transportation and taxis are generally safe and reliable in Edinburgh, though you could get scammed by a taxi driver, or there can be some pickpockets on the subway, stations and other forms of public transport. Taxis are usually your safest bet.

Pickpockets Risk


The petty crime in this city is of a lower level. That still doesn't mean that you shouldn't take precautions when in public places and take care of your belongings. If you do, the chances of someone stealing your valuables will be minimized.

Natural Disasters Risk


Flooding is the most prominent natural disaster that could hit Edinburgh. It can happen at any time of the year. Besides, generally speaking, flooding is the most common natural disaster in the UK.

Mugging Risk


There are low chances of getting mugged or kidnapped in this city, although it is advised to remain cautious and avoid poorly lit and deserted streets and areas. If you find yourself in such a situation, hand over your belongings immediately.

Terrorism Risk


Since the UK has been targeted by terrorists numerous times, there is a reason to believe that this city can be targeted again. This is why it is important to remain aware of your surroundings at all times and report any suspicious activity.

Scams Risk


As in any city, especially a top tourist destination, there is a risk of getting scammed. Be wary of people trying to distract you or offering you unwanted help, check your change twice and always negotiate every service beforehand.

Women Travelers Risk


Edinburgh is very safe to travel to if you are a female traveling solo. Apart from a few general precaution rules you should apply, such as not walking alone in poorly lit and deserted areas, not finding yourself in a strange company at night, etc, you can relax because Edinburgh is very safe in this respect.

So... How Safe Is Edinburgh Really?

Edinburgh is, generally, a very safe city, especially for foreigners.

During the day, tourists are very safe, as they can travel safely almost anywhere on the streets of downtown Edinburgh and visit all the landmarks and tourist sites without any fear of getting mugged or even stolen from.

And even though there aren’t any of them, the fact remains that the biggest threat to travelers is pickpockets and muggers and it’s still advisable that you take care of your belongings and always exercise precaution.

For the most part, violent crime doesn’t even exist, but when it does, it’s mostly in the inner areas of the country, and outside of Edinburgh, and usually between hooligan-like, typically unarmed groups that don’t affect tourists in any way.

Travelers should take a little more caution at night, and are strongly advised to avoid clubs and bars at night, around closing time, when drunk people have been known to roam around and cause trouble.

The only, let’s say, the more danger is the fact that Scotland is a part of the United Kingdom, and as such – a target for terrorist attacks that have been happening often in the last couple of years.

How Does Edinburgh Compare?

CitySafety Index
Northern Ireland56
Phnom Penh (Cambodia)61
Niagara Falls (Canada)87
Calgary (Canada)82

Useful Information

  • Visas - If you're from one of the EU countries, you don't need a visa to enter Edinburgh. All you need is a passport valid for at least three months from the date of your departure. If you're not from the EU, you might need a visa. It depends on how long you are planning to stay and why you are visiting.
  • Currency - The British pound is the official currency in Edinburgh. You can find ATMs at every airport, most train stations and on every other street corner in all towns and cities. Credit cards are widely accepted throughout the city.
  • Weather - Edinburg's weather belongs to a temperate and oceanic climate, but it isn't extreme. It does change swiftly though, in a matter of hours, and a bright morning can have a cold, wet and windy ending. Pack extra warm and rainproof clothing, regardless of the time of year.
  • Airports - Edinburgh Airport is an airport located in the Ingliston area of Edinburgh, just 9 km west of the city center. It was the busiest airport in Scotland in 2018.
  • Travel Insurance - Just like anywhere else, we recommend getting travel insurance when traveling to Edinburgh, since it covers not only medical problems but also theft and loss of valuables.
Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Edinburgh Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 3° C
Feb 4° C
Mar 6° C
Apr 7° C
May 10° C
Jun 13° C
Jul 15° C
Aug 15° C
Sep 13° C
Oct 10° C
Nov 6° C
Dec 5° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

Where to Next?

4 Reviews on Edinburgh

  1. A
    Anonymous says:

    I live just outside Edinburgh. There is no subway or metro system. There are no armed gangs. Guns are banned and knife crime is palm st zero.

  2. M
    Michael Laing says:

    Since the UK has been targeted by terrorists numerous times, there is a reason to believe that this city can be targeted again. This is why it is important to remain aware of your surroundings at all times and report any suspicious activity.”

    This is complete tripe. The risk of terrorism in Edinburgh or Scotland as whole is practically zero. There has been one single incident in Scotland in my lifetime (I’m 57), and it was such a farce that everyone in Scotland knows and laughs about it. I would recommend anyone reading this to ignore that absurd statement.

  3. Edinburgh is very safe

    I’m from the US, but have lived in Edinburgh for 33 years. I wouldn’t live anywhere else. It is very safe, incredibly beautiful and easy to explore. We don’t have subways, let alone unsafe ones. Transportation is very easy, efficient and safe. There are some slightly sketchy areas where I wouldn’t linger at night. But there would be no reason for tourists to find themselves there, far away from the city’s attractions. And even if there it’s only at night where you might come across some trouble, mainly between drunk men fighting amongst themselves. As you can probably find anywhere in the world. As for terrorism risk, although we are part of the UK, like one commenter said, we have had only one -almost comically stupid – attempt at terrorism. This was at Glasgow airport. It was swiftly stopped by a quick thinking local man. He put the would-be terrorist in the hospital. Come to Edinburgh. We welcome everyone – all genders, ethnicities, religions, …. A very tolerant city.

  4. T
    Thomas Cameron says:

    Need to get back to Scotland, I miss it.

Rated 4.25 / 5 based on 4 user reviews.

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