Useful Information

Useful information

Banks and currency

Banks and branches operate different opening hours however the majority of city centre banks are open Monday to Saturday and most provide 24-hour access to ATMs.

The UK currency is pound sterling and bank notes can be withdrawn from a bank ATM using an approved debit card (a transaction fee may apply). Scottish banks issue their own bank notes but they have exactly the same value as those issued by the Bank of England and they are legal tender in all parts of mainland UK.

Although most businesses in Scotland accept card payment, there is sometimes a minimum spend (usually £5) meaning that it is good to have some cash. 

For the current exchange rate or value please view a currency converter


British electrical standards are 50Hz 230 volts, so some North American and European electrical devices may require converters. All will require plug adapters.

Emergency Phone Numbers

The telephone number for emergency services (police, fire or ambulance) in the UK is 999 or 112.  The police non-emergency number is 101.


Scotland is part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and plays a full part in its parliamentary democracy. The Scottish Government is based in Edinburgh, with authority over education, health, law, transport and some social services within the country. The United Kingdom (UK) is a member of the European Union.


No vaccinations are required or recommended for entry to the UK.

The Western General Hospital operates a Minor Injuries Clinic and is open seven days a week from 8am to 9pm.

The main Accident & Emergency Unit is at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, a large general teaching hospital, located 15 minutes from the city centre.


The Colloquium 2018 accepts no liability for any personal injury, loss, or damage of property belonging to or additional expenses incurred by congress participants either during the congress or as result of delays, strikes or any other circumstances. Participants are requested to make their own arrangements with respect of health, travel, and cancellation insurance.


The official language of the Colloquium will be English.

Local time

In September, the UK observes British Summer Time (BST), which is one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

Passports and visas

Every visitor to the United Kingdom must have a valid passport. Information regarding visas can be obtained from your travel agent or diplomatic or consular representative in your area. You can check if you need a visa at the UK Home Office visas page.

If required, you can download a visa invitation letter through your account. It should be understood that this letter will be sent only to help participants to raise travel funds or to obtain a visa. A letter of invitation is not a commitment on the part of the organizers to provide any financial support. Please note that only delegates with an online account will be able to access a letter of invitation.

Programme changes

The organizers cannot assume liability for any changes in the programme due to external or unforeseen circumstances. Changes will be mentioned on message screens throughout the venue.


Since April 2006, smoking is banned in all enclosed public spaces throughout Scotland, including conference venues, shops, restaurants, pubs and hotel bedrooms.


Gratuities are not obligatory but are appreciated in Edinburgh. A guideline for visitors is the following: porters/concierges, taxis 10%, waiters, and waitresses in restaurants 10%.

Travelling with children

You may be asked at the border to prove the relationship between yourself and any children travelling with you, if you don’t seem to be the parent, eg if you have a different surname.

You can prove this with:

  • a birth or adoption certificate showing your relationship with the child
  • divorce or marriage certificates if you’re the parent but have a different surname from the child
  • a letter from the child’s parent giving permission for the child to travel with you and providing contact details, if you’re not the parent

Value Added Tax (VAT)

VAT is charged on all purchases in shops, hotels and restaurants at a rate of 20%. Visitors travelling to Scotland on business may be entitled to reclaim the 20% tax charged on event expenses, accommodation, business entertaining, meals, transport and more.  Further details are available from HM Revenue & Customs.  


As the old Scottish saying goes, 'there's no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothes!' In the Autumn (or Fall), Scotland is likely to experience temperatures ranging from around 8°C (46°F) to 14°C (57°F) from September to November. 

As a major city, and capital, Edinburgh appears on many weather websites but you can also use this link to look directly on the BBC Weather site.