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hanl Feb 14th, 2008 10:10 PM

There certainly are several decent, clean, free public toilets in Edinburgh, usually with attendants (e.g. at the foot of the Mound near the galleries, and next door to Waverley station, among other places)

ozrick33 Feb 14th, 2008 11:13 PM

I guess desperate times call for desperate measures. I have certainly wandered into hotels etc while I have been in India and Thailand. Public toilets there are scary.

GSteed Feb 15th, 2008 12:25 AM

Anecdote...I wondered why the walls outside of Victoria station were always wet. They serve as a public loo. Worst ever, The Windsor station. The loo was locked, the depression in front of the door was abrim with yellow liquid! Next, I regularly see mothers de-watering little ones on public by-ways. Limit liquid intake!

Steve_James Feb 15th, 2008 12:32 AM

'When in Rome, do as the Romans do ...'

Walk into a bar, use their facilities ... and order a small drink (- mineral water is cheap ;) ) - OR ... leave a good tip.


KayF Feb 15th, 2008 01:06 AM

Check this out - the world's largest guide to public toilets -

Public toilets are almost non-existent in Italy, I found it a real problem. London is also an issue, if you plan ahead you'll be OK, but they can be hard to find. I don't mind having to pay, it's when there aren't any that it becomes a desperate situation!


Steve_James Feb 15th, 2008 01:19 AM

Don't expect to find PUBLIC toilets in Italy - they are virtually non-existant.

Bars provide this facility - but they expect an order or a tip in return, obviously ...

Like I said, when in Rome ...

elina Feb 15th, 2008 02:36 AM

Just a word from a non-English-speaker: If you have to ask people, donīt ask for a "restroom". Not that I would not know (after a little thinking) what it means, but the idea that first comes into my head is that you are looking for some strange public place where people go and take a nap. All cosily in one room. And it isnīt a "powder room" either.

It is a TOILET or WC.

kenderina Feb 15th, 2008 03:05 AM

I always think that Americans drink too much LOL I mean, I've only searched for a public toilet once in my St Peters in Rome.

I manage quite well with bars, cafes and , as our moms have always told us, "go peeing before leaving home!" (when travelling it means before you leave the hotel).

At bars and cafes, if I don't want to rest there for a while (I usually want when travelling !!) I ask for a water bottle that I can carry in my purse, it's cheap and it comes handy also if you get thirsty :)

bilboburgler Feb 15th, 2008 03:45 AM

In the UK any restaurant has to have facilities so go to department stores with restaurants.

mjsilver Feb 15th, 2008 04:00 AM

The toilets at the National Portrait Gallery in Trafalgar Square are close-ish to the entrance -- well you have to go down a staircase, but it's right near the front, and you don't have to go into the museum at all.

Just thought you'd like to know.

caroline_edinburgh Feb 15th, 2008 04:10 AM

The public loos in Edinburgh are free but there aren't that many. But it's easy enough to use those in a department store or museum. I have also been known to nip into one of the larger hotels, like the Balmoral, a busy pub, or a Macdonalds (all also free).

In Italy, my answer is always to use the facilities in museums etc when I'm in there, and if I need to go in between, to stop for a drink at a bar and use theirs :-)

Pete_R Feb 15th, 2008 04:58 AM

I can't speak for Rome, as I've never been but as far as the UK goes I'd say we have the same amount of public loos as the US.

I've never seen a municipal public toilet the the US (not to say they don't exist.) So that leaves the same sort of places as in the UK, dept. stores, bars, restaurants, 'malls' and hotels.

GSteed Feb 15th, 2008 05:00 AM

How about Colorado, USA? Sign posted outside pub..No public toilets, no public telephone.

Pete_R Feb 15th, 2008 05:09 AM

P.S. I wasn't trying to make it some kind of toilet competition.

I was just trying to reassure the OP that if they can manage at home then there is no need to worry in the UK - the same strategies will work here.

Tulips Feb 15th, 2008 05:30 AM

As other posters suggested; walk into a hotel as if you are staying there.

Claridges has particularly nice loos! And in Harrods the ones on the fourth floor, near the Georgian Restaurant.

ozrick33 Feb 15th, 2008 11:41 AM

Thanks everyone for your most invaluable help. Here in Australia they are not easy to find either. However, I can tell you where just about every McDonalds is in Sydney because I am constantly on the road here. I will be cutting and pasting a lot of these posts and taking the information with me.

bubblywine Feb 15th, 2008 01:15 PM

Something I do for gelato and pizza, and I imagine would work for toilets in all the cities mentioned is mark on my map where they all are. That way, whichever neighborhood I'm in when the gelato urge hits, I know exactly where to head and what I'm in for.

ozrick33 Feb 16th, 2008 07:46 PM

Nothing l;ike a bit of preplanning Bubbly, good idea.

LoveItaly Feb 16th, 2008 08:22 PM

Hello ozrick, since this thread is still going strong I will share a story with you that still amazes me to this day.

It was our first trip to Italy, in the 1970's. We were in Milan. All of the Italian men were using a male type shoulder bag and so my husband decided he would buy one as he hated anything in the pockets of his clothes.

We had our morning espresso and started wandering around the streets of Milan. He saw a small leather good store which he liked the looks of so we went inside. It was owned by an older gentleman and his daughter worked in the shop also.

The owner was showing my husband various bags (all beautiful Italian leather) and suddenly..oh no! I needed a ladies room, lol. My Italian was terrible but I said to the daughter of the shop owner "toilette, per favore?". She smiled, came around the counter, took my hand and led me up the stairway and down a short hall. She opened up a door and took me into what was their apartment..their home! She took me through the living room, the dining room, and down a short hallway and opened up a door to the "toilette"..their personal bathroom. I was stunned. She indicated she would see me in the shop.

So there I was, a complete stranger from America in their home. She left me alone in their home!

This happened on our first day in Italy, well the day after we arrived, our first full day in Italy.

My husband purchased a beautiful buttery Italian leather male bag. Thank goodness!

I will never forget that lovely young Milanese woman and her kindness and warmth. A very special memory.

greg Feb 16th, 2008 09:40 PM

Another comment about McDonald's. The restroom at McDonald's across from the Arles TI was locked. Had to get the combination for the lock from the cashier.

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