Free Parking in Edinburgh

Free Parking in Edinburgh

You can explore the beautiful city of Edinburgh by parking for free near to the city centre without restrictions.

Whether you are visiting with the family or you are heading out for a bite to eat at one of the local restaurants, parking for free is stress free and convenient.

6 places to Park for Free in Edinburgh (2024)

If you’re a regular visitor to Edinburgh, you will know that getting around the city centre by car is somewhat of a stressful experience.

The city streets are narrow, cobbled in places and the parking restrictions are tight – not to mention that, in 2024, the Low Emission Zone will come into force across the city.

I would always recommend parking further out of the city in one of the free parking spots below and walk into Edinburgh. It’s much more enjoyable and cheaper as well.

You can park for free in Edinburgh on the following streets near to the city centre:

StreetTo Edinburgh CastleTo Royal Mile
Spring Gardens1.4 miles0.9 miles
Stanley Place1.5 miles1 miles
Sloan Street1.7 miles1.4 miles
Dickson Street1.8 miles1.3 miles
Buchanan Street1.5 miles1.3 miles
Dryden Street1.6 miles1.3 miles

You can expect a 20-25 minute walk to your free parking spot from the city centre, or you could jump on the regular bus service that heads into the city centre.

What to know about parking free in Edinburgh

When parking, please take into consideration:

  • Be considerate – most free parking is on residential streets, so do not block driveways or exit routes
  • If you are parking for an event, give yourself plenty of time to get there as spaces will fill up quickly.
  • Parking in Edinburgh comes at a premium, so expect a walk of around 20-25 minutes

Here are our list of available free parking in Edinburgh, so if you are here on holiday, you can save money by finding a free parking spot.

Cheapest monthly parking in Edinburgh

We found the cheapest car park for monthly parking in Edinburgh to be Sainsbury’s car park, which costs £42 per month, even if you are not a customer, making it ideal for commuters.

You can use this car park 7 days a week, including overnight, and leave and re-enter the car park as many times as you need to, but you must pre-book via Your Parking Space

Free Parking near Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle is located in the city centre, so parking is either at a premium or hard to come by. You can park for free near to Edinburgh Castle using one of these free parking spots to avoid hefty parking charges

Free Parking near Royal Mile

Royal Mile is one of the most visited area in the city and just a stones throw from Edinburgh Castle and The Edinburgh Dungeon. If you want to explore the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, you can use one of the free parking spots nearby.

Free street parking in Edinburgh

You can park for free in Edinburgh after 5.30pm daily and on Weekends at the following on-street locations close to the city centre:

  • Northumberland Street
  • St Stephen Street
  • Royal Crescent
  • Bruntsfield
  • Sciennes
  • Dumbiedykes
  • Stockbridge
  • Extended Controlled Parking Zones (N1-N5 & S1-S4)

There are also some on-street parking locations that are free to park in after 6.30pm daily and before 12.30pm on Sundays:

  • George Street
  • St Andrew Square
  • Charlotte Square
  • Queen Street
  • Market Street
  • Cockburn Street
  • Stafford Street
  • Melville Street (area)
  • Morrison Street
  • Moray Place
  • South Side
  • West End
  • Tolcross
  • Fountainbridge
  • Heriot Row
On Street LocationAreaFree Parking
George Street
St Andrew Square
Charlotte Square
Queen Street
Market Street
Cockburn Street
Stafford Street
Melville Street (area)
Morrison Street
Moray Place
South Side
West End
Tolcross
Fountainbridge
Heriot Row
CentralAfter 6.30pm daily and before 12.30pm on Sunday
New Town
Northumberland Street
St Stephen Street
Royal Crescent
Bruntsfield
Sciennes
St Leonard’s
Dumbiedykes
Stockbridge
Extended Controlled Parking Zones (N1-N5 & S1-S4)
Peripheral, ExtendedAfter 5.30pm daily, all-day Saturday and Sunday

Edinburgh Park & Ride Sites

Edinburgh has six park and ride sites around the city, meaning that whichever route you access the city from, you can benefit from free parking. You just need to pay for the bus fare into Edinburgh.

Park and Ride SiteAddressSpacesParkingOvernight Parking
Hermiston Park & RideEH14 4AT450FreeYes
Ingliston Park & RideEH28 8LS1,085FreeNo
Newcraighill Park & RideEH21 8RX56550p for 24 hoursYes
Ferrytoll Park & RideKY11 1HN1,040FreeNo
Sheriffhall Park & RideEH22 1FF561FreeYes
Straiton Park & RideEH20 9NP600FreeYes
Wallyford Park & RideEH21 8JX300FreeYes

Edinburgh Park & Ride Bus Ticket Prices

Park and Ride Site2024 Price
InglistonLothian Bus
Adult Day – £5.00
Family Day (2 adults, 3 children) – £10.50
Edinburgh Trams
Adult Day – £4.50
Family Day (2 adults, 3 children) – £8.00
HermistonLothian Bus
Adult Day – £5.00
Family Day (2 adults, 3 children) – £10.50
NewcraighallLothian Bus
Adult Day – £5.00
Family Day (2 adults, 3 children) – £10.50
Scot Rail (to Haymarket)
Return – £3.60 (children currently travel for £1 with paying adult)
FerrytollStagecoach Bus
Adult Day – £9.50
SheriffhallLothian Bus
Adult Day – £5.00
Family Day (2 adults, 3 children) – £10.50
StraitonLothian Bus
Adult Day – £5.00
Family Day (2 adults, 3 children) – £10.50
WallyfordLothian Bus
Adult Day – £5.00
Family Day (2 adults, 3 children) – £10.50
Scot Rail (to Waverley)
Return – £3.40 (children currently travel for £1 with paying adult)

Overnight parking in Edinburgh

You can park for free in Edinburgh from 5.30pm (or 6.30pm) at on-street parking locations close to the city centre. These areas include:

On Street LocationAreaFree Parking
George Street
St Andrew Square
Charlotte Square
Queen Street
Market Street
Cockburn Street
Stafford Street
Melville Street (area)
Morrison Street
Moray Place
South Side
West End
Tolcross
Fountainbridge
Heriot Row
CentralAfter 6.30pm daily
New Town
Northumberland Street
St Stephen Street
Royal Crescent
Bruntsfield
Sciennes
St Leonard’s
Dumbiedykes
Stockbridge
Extended Controlled Parking Zones (N1-N5 & S1-S4)
Peripheral, ExtendedAfter 5.30pm daily, all-day Saturday and Sunday

Free disabled parking in Edinburgh

If you have a Blue Badge, you are entitled to park in on-street parking bays across Edinburgh free of charge:

On Street LocationArea
George Street
St Andrew Square
Charlotte Square
Queen Street
Market Street
Cockburn Street
Stafford Street
Melville Street (area)
Morrison Street
Moray Place
South Side
West End
Tolcross
Fountainbridge
Heriot Row
Central
New Town
Northumberland Street
St Stephen Street
Royal Crescent
Bruntsfield
Sciennes
St Leonard’s
Dumbiedykes
Stockbridge
Extended Controlled Parking Zones (N1-N5 & S1-S4)
Peripheral, Extended

Free Motorcycle parking in Edinburgh

Motorcycles are permitted to park free of charge across Edinburgh in dedicated motorcycle bays marked with Solo M/Cs Only. The locations include:

Zone 1

  • Ainslie Place
  • Alva Street
  • Belford Road
  • Coates Gardens
  • Douglas Gardens
  • Dremsheugh Gardens
  • Eglington Crescent
  • George Street
  • Grosvenor Crescent
  • Magdala Crescent
  • Melville Crescent
  • Melville Street
  • Palmerston Place
  • Randolph Place
  • Roseberry Crescent
  • Rothesay Place
  • Rothesay Terrace
  • Walker Street

Zone 1A

  • Castle Street
  • Glenfinlas Street
  • Heriot Row
  • Manor Place
  • Moray Place
  • Queen Street
  • Young Street

Zone 2

  • Albany Street
  • Calton Hill
  • Forth Street
  • George Street
  • Queen Street
  • Regent Road
  • Register Place
  • St Andrew Square
  • St Ninian’s Row

Motorcycles using pay and display car parks must purchase a ticket.

Free motorhome parking in Edinburgh

Motorhomes and long/large vehicles can park fully in bays in zone 5 to 8 and those with the prefix S, N and B as the bays are not marked. Parking zones can be found using this handy parking map.

Permit parking in Edinburgh

If you are a resident of a disc zone in Edinburgh, you can apply for a residents parking permit, entitling you to park your car on any street in that zone. 

Residents permits cost from £30.30 for 12 months. In order to apply for a permit, you will need proof of residence and proof of vehicle.

About Edinburgh

There’s so much that can be said about Edinburgh. As Scotland’s capital city, it’s packed with culture, history and plenty of architecture to sample, as well as a wide range of restaurants and shops to visit.

Edinburgh Castle is one of the cities most visited attractions and thought to have dated back to the early 1100’s. The castle offers fantastic views across the city and even further afield, so it’s worth a walk up to the entrance, even if you don’t visit the castle itself.
Edinburgh is also host to Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where you can enjoy some of the world’s best comedians all in one place.
If you’re visiting the city for a weekend or longer, you can take advantage of the CityPass, which offers access to a wide range of attractions, including The Edinburgh Dungeons, Harry Potter Tour and Butterfly and Insect World.

Other towns and cities nearby

If you’re visiting the area for a short trip or just looking for things to do nearby, you can explore these towns and cities that are near to Edinburgh:

About the Author

Hi, my name is Amber and I’m here to help find you suitable free parking in towns and cities across the UK.

When I visit new towns and cities, I always take note of where you can (legally) park for free, whether this be on-street parking bays or council run car parks, which offer free parking during certain hours of the day.

Although I take every effort to ensure this information is up to date and correct, if you notice an issue, please get in touch so I can rectify it for everyone.

Amber

Information was last updated on March 27th, 2024