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St Andrews Travel Guide

Our St Andrews Travel Guide includes recommended places to visit and things to do, accommodation options, tips and more for this popular Scottish town. Everything you need to plan your visit and essential reading for any visitor to St Andrews!

St Andrews Travel Guide

Any golf lover will instantly recognise the famous name of St Andrews in Fife, Scotland …the home of golf!

The well-known seaside town, located on the east coast of Scotland, is a small town with a rich history,  stunning scenery and many golf courses. And all in the easy reaches of Edinburgh which makes it perfect for a day trip.

Also globally famous for its prestigious university (its where Prince William and Kate met) St Andrews often feels like you are stepping back in time with its old buildings with impressive architecture, quaint streets and even spacious beautiful beaches.

With so much to see and do, and not just golf related, this town is a must-visit destination for day trips or longer on many Scottish itineraries.

St Andrews travel guide image of two people standing on the Swilcan Bridge at the Old Course in St Andrews.

Plan your visit to St Andrews – FAQs

When is the best time of year to visit St Andrews?

  • Weather

The weather in and around St Andrews is typical of Scotland, with cool temperatures, frequent rainfall and windy conditions being a coastal location. Between June and August, summer months, temperatures average around 13-17°C (55-63°F), with occasional warmer days reaching up to 20°C (68°F) or higher. 

In the winter months of December to February, temperatures generally average around 2-6°C (36-43°F), with occasional colder spells bringing freezing temperatures. Wind chill factors must also be considered.

The wise visitor to St Andrews will also note the unpredictability of the weather, with conditions occasionally changing suddenly and dramatically.  So it is always a good idea to check the forecast before your trip and pack accordingly for all eventualities.

Read our guide to visiting Scotland in winter

  • Festivals and events

⛳️ The St Andrews Golf WeekA twice-annual event in April and October: A  festival celebrating golf with various events including tournaments for amateur golfers and demonstrations.

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 St Andrews Highland GamesJuly: A traditional Scottish event featuring Highland dancing, tug-of-war, pipe bands, heavy weights, cycling and sports competitions.

🎶 St Andrews Voices FestivalOctober: A unique celebration of vocal and choral music featuring concerts, workshops, and talks organised by the University of St Andrews.

What is the best way to explore St Andrews?

St Andrews is a small town and flat to walk in the town centre which makes it easy to explore on foot.

Bicycles are also available for hire, making it easy to cover more ground and explore the surrounding areas. 

How to travel to St Andrews from Edinburgh

By train

Leuchars Train Station
Leuchars Train Station
  • The closest railway station to St Andrews is Leuchars.
  • Direct trains from Edinburgh Waverley to Leuchars take approximately 1 hour for the fastest service.
  • Multiple trains run in each direction every day.
  • Leuchars is on the Edinburgh Waverley train railway line to Dundee and Aberdeen.
  • Check the train schedules and book your tickets in advance. You can do this online through websites like the National Rail Enquiries, the Trainline or Omio
  • Approx cost of a return (at date) is £20 booked on the day.  The single journey ticket is around £9. All for standard class.
  • From Leuchars train station – take a short bus or taxi ride to St Andrews town. It Takes around 15 mins.
  • The bus takes you to St Andrews bus station which is about 15 mins walk to the old course.

By bus

Bus from Leuchars to St Andrews
Bus from Leuchars into St Andrews
  • Buses run regularly from Leuchars station car park to the town centre, or you can hail a taxi outside the station. 
  • Bus timetables are at the bus stop. A regular service runs throughout the day.  Single and return tickets are available for around £9 per person.
  • From Edinburgh, Princes Street or Edinburgh bus station, catch the Stagecoach East Scotland service, which takes around 2 hours and costs around £10 for a single ticket.

By car

The distance from Edinburgh to St Andrews is approximately 50 miles, and the journey typically takes around 1 hour 15 mins depending on traffic.

Car rental is available from Edinburgh Airport or various rental companies in the city centre.

Attractions and things to do in St Andrews

  • St Andrews Cathedral Explore the ruins of this once-grand cathedral and learn about its history as the centre of medieval Scotland.
  • St Andrews LinksPlay a round of golf on one of the seven courses that make up the Links, including the famous Old Course.
  • St Andrews UniversityTake a guided tour of the historic university and its many notable buildings.
  • West Sands BeachRelax on the beach made famous in the opening scene of the movie “Chariots of Fire”.
  • St Andrews Botanic GardenStroll through the stunning gardens and see a wide variety of plant life from around the world.
  • The Byre TheatreCatch a play, movie or comedy show at this cultural hub, housed in a former cow byre.

Best Tours of St Andrews

St Andrews Old Course 1
St Andrews Old Course 1 2
St Andrews Old Course
No St Andrews Travel Guide would be complete without a few photos of the Old Course!

Multiple tours are available for exploring St Andrews from various locations, whether an organised day tour or a smaller group walking tour starting and finishing in the town.

From Edinburgh

Where to eat and drink in St Andrews

St Andrews Jannettas
Wonderful choice of gelato flavours at Jannetta’s Gelateria

St Andrews offers a great selection of restaurants, cafes, and bars that cater to a variety of tastes and budgets.

Here are some recommendations for places to eat and drink in St Andrews:

  • The Adamson: This trendy restaurant offers a modern take on Scottish cuisine, with dishes made from locally sourced ingredients. The Adamson is popular for its brunches, but they also offer lunch and dinner menus.
  • The Seafood Ristorante: A seafood speciality restaurant offering fresh seafood caught locally, as well as Italian-inspired dishes made with Scottish ingredients.
  • Mitchell’s Deli: This cosy cafe is a great spot for breakfast or lunch. They serve up homemade sandwiches, soups, and baked goods, as well as tea and coffee.
  • Jigger Inn: This historic pub from 1852 is located on the grounds of the Old Course golf course and is a popular spot for golfers and non-golfers alike. They offer pub fare and a great selection of whisky.
  • The Criterion: This traditional family-run Scottish pub is known for its friendly atmosphere and live music. They serve up pub classics like fish and chips and steak pie, as well as a great selection of beer and whisky.
  • Rogue: An elegant restaurant serving sustainable Scottish seafood and dry-aged beef. Popular for its cocktail bar with homemade gin!
  • and a bit different .. visit the world-famous Jannettas Gelateria for delicious gelato! No St Andrews travel guide would be complete without mentioning the traditional Italian tarts, bespoke gelatos and semifreddo cakes on offer at the gelateria. Be sure to stop by – you will not be disappointed. 

Accommodation in St Andrews

St Andrews offers a range of accommodation options to suit all budgets and preferences. From luxury hotels to cosy B&Bs.

If you are looking for something a bit more unique and memorable for your stay in St Andrews, consider booking a room at the Old Course Hotel. 

This luxurious hotel is situated immediately next to the famous Old Course with many rooms offering spectacular views of the course and the sea beyond. The hotel also has several dining options, including the Road Hole Restaurant, which boasts a Michelin-starred chef.

There are also more budget-friendly options, including several hostels that offer comfortable and affordable accommodation. 

The St Andrews Tourist Hostel is a popular choice, located just a few minutes walk from the town centre and offering private and dorm-style rooms.

More special stays – Accommodation Guide for Scotland

Tips for travelling to St Andrews

  • Bring comfortable shoes for walking around the town and the golf courses.
  • If you plan on visiting the Old Course, book your tee time well in advance as it is a popular course and can be difficult to get a spot.
  • St Andrews can get quite busy during the peak summer months, so consider visiting in the shoulder seasons (spring and autumn) to avoid the crowds.
  • Take advantage of the local buses and trains to explore other areas of Fife and beyond.
  • Remember to bring warm clothing and rain gear, as the weather in Scotland can be unpredictable.

Enjoy your visit to St Andrews & beyond

With the help of our St Andrews travel guide, we know you will plan a fantastic visit to this lovely Scottish city. We have more travel guides to help plan your entire itinerary including: