Looking for the perfect place to make your stay in Edinburgh? You’re in luck! There are tons of incredible options to choose from, and this post is all about finding you the perfect accommodations for your next visit.
History, culture, nature, and charm – Edinburgh is a city that has it all. It’s the capital of Scotland and one of the most beautiful cities in Europe.
Whether you want to explore its medieval Old Town, admire its Georgian New Town, visit its royal palace or hike up its iconic hill, this city is sure to enchant you with its sights and experiences.
Edinburgh offers a variety of options for different tastes and budgets. Whether you are looking for a vibrant urban lifestyle, a quiet suburban retreat, or a mix of both, you can find your ideal place to live in Edinburgh.
So, without any delay, let me tell you about the best places to stay in Edinburgh Scotland so you can take your pick!
Where to Stay in Edinburgh: Top Recommendations
🏅 Best Place to Stay in Edinburgh with family: Cheval Old Town Chambers
🏅 Best Place to Stay in Edinburgh for nightlife: Intercontinental Hotels – Edinburgh the George
🏅 Best Place to Stay in Edinburgh for couples: The Witchery by the Castle
🏅 Best Place to Stay in Edinburgh with parking: The Scholar
🏅 Best Place to Stay in Edinburgh for New Year’s Eve: The Virgin Hotels
🏅 Best Place to Stay in Edinburgh for the Fringe Festival: CoDE Pod – The CoURT
🏅 Best Place to Stay outside of Edinburgh: Marine North Berwick
🏨 The Best Luxury Hotels in Edinburgh
1. The Witchery by the Castle
The Witchery by the Castle is a renowned restaurant that also doubles as a luxury hotel offering a unique and romantic experience in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town.
Located at the base of Edinburgh Castle, this hotel is housed in a historic building that dates back to the 16th century.
The hotel features nine lavish and individually decorated suites, each with a unique charm.
The suites are equipped with antique furniture, velvet drapes, four-poster beds, roll-top baths for two, and modern amenities such as free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, and minibars.
The Witchery by the Castle also boasts two dining spaces in its acclaimed restaurant: The Witchery Dining Room and The Secret Garden.
Both serve exquisite Scottish cuisine in an atmospheric setting, and the latter also has a separate terrace.
Amenities of the hotel include a 24-hour front desk, in-room breakfast, and one of the most accommodating staff you will ever meet.
With its intimate vibes and unforgettable luxury, The Witchery by the Castle is a perfect choice for couples looking for a memorable and intimate getaway in Edinburgh.
👉 Check rates and availability on Booking.com
2. BrewDog DogHouse Edinburgh
BrewDog DogHouse is a luxury hotel that offers a craft beer lover’s dream in Edinburgh.
Located in the historic Old Town, this hotel is part of the BrewDog Bar that serves 30 taps of amazing craft beer and a variety of cocktails, wines, and spirits.
The property features stylish and comfortable rooms, each with its own fridge, Wi-Fi, smart TV, and en-suite bathroom.
Some of the rooms also feature added facilities like kitchenettes with modern appliances.
Complimentary breakfast options include a la carte, Full English, Irish, and American dishes.
The hotel also has a rooftop bar and terrace that overlooks the city skyline and offers more delicious food and drinks.
Additional amenities such as free bikes, room service, and a 24-hour front desk are also provided to the guests here.
3. The Virgin Hotels
Another luxury hotel located in the Old Town of Edinburgh, The Virgin Hotels offers a stylish and vibrant stay with the medieval charm of the city all around you.
Nestled in a historic building on Victoria Street, this hotel is close to many attractions such as Edinburgh Castle, Royal Mile, and Grassmarket.
The hotel features chic and comfortable rooms, each with a unique two-chamber design that separates the sleeping area from the dressing area.
The rooms are equipped with free Wi-Fi, smart TVs, minibars, and rainfall showers. The property also has a coffee shop, an onsite restaurant that serves delicious food, and a bar.
Guests have access to amenities like room service, a fitness center, and a 24-hour front desk.
4. The Bonham
The Bonham is a luxury hotel in Edinburgh’s West End, only minutes from the main attractions.
It offers guests luxurious rooms and suites with stunning views over the city or the gardens.
The hotel also features a stylish restaurant and bar that serves exquisite dishes with seasonal and local produce, as well as a famous Boozy Snoozy 3-course lunch with wine.
Rooms at The Bonham come with 5-star amenities including flat-screen TVs, wireless internet, and private bathrooms.
Room service and a front desk are available round-the-clock, and the property also provides free parking for guests.
With its elegant rooms, modern amenities, and stunning location, The Bonham is a perfect choice for those who want to enjoy 5-star hospitality in a beautiful Georgian building with a touch of contemporary.
5. The Scotsman Hotel
Set in a former newspaper building dating back to 1905, The Scotsman Hotel is a luxury Old Town stay in Edinburgh.
Perfect for a 4-star stay in a historic and iconic building with a great view of the city, The Scotsman Hotel provides amenities like free Wi-Fi throughout the premises, a 24-hour front desk, and paid parking.
The hotel offers guests elegant rooms and suites with modern facilities and marble bathrooms, and room service is provided as well.
Scotsman Hotel also features an atmospheric cafe that serves delicious food, drinks, snacks, and afternoon tea, as well as a nightclub and a salon for entertainment and relaxation.
It is conveniently located within 2 minute walk from the Royal Mile, Waverley Train Station, and Princes Street.
And with easy access to New Town, the hotel is perfect for visitors seeking to explore the Scottish capital thoroughly.
6. Intercontinental Hotels – Edinburgh the George
Speaking of the New Town, the Intercontinental Hotels – Edinburgh the George is a high-end hotel in it, set in a collection of Georgian townhouses dating back to 1775.
Located in a UNESCO World Heritage site on George Street, this hotel is perfect for a vibrant stay in the center of the city.
Intercontinental Hotels – Edinburgh the George has been in operation since 1881, so you can bet they have perfected the art of hospitality.
It offers guests elegant rooms and suites with modern amenities, free Wi-Fi, and spacious private bathrooms.
The hotel also features a sophisticated restaurant and bar that serves modern Scottish cuisine and cocktails, as well as a coffee shop for casual bites and drinks.
Additionally, it’s close to many great shops, restaurants, and attractions as well.
🏨 The Best Budget Accommodation in Edinburgh
7. The Scholar
The Scholar is a budget hotel in Edinburgh’s Southside, within walking distance of many attractions and shops.
The hotel offers guests cozy rooms with comfortable beds, flat-screen TVs, and rainfall showers.
The hotel also features a contemporary restaurant and bar that serves mouthwatering Scottish food and drinks, as well as a garden dining area for outdoor seating.
Despite offering pocket-friendly rates on accommodations, The Scholar provides a comfortable stay in a beautiful location with a large variety of amenities.
Free parking is available, and the hotel goes the extra mile by providing added comforts like electric car charging points, free breakfast, and a 24-hour front desk.
High-speed wireless internet is accessible throughout the property, and it also has the friendliest staff.
So if you’re looking for one of the best Edinburgh hotels for a budget stay, especially when visiting by car, The Scholar is a great choice.
8. Eden Locke
Another one of the best cheap hotels in Edinburgh is Eden Locke, an elegant aparthotel in New Town that features tastefully-designed apartments with a lifestyle hotel atmosphere.
Here is where you can book an entire apartment for yourself to enjoy an intimate and private stay with all the incredible attractions and great restaurants nearby.
The 4-star hotel also features modern amenities like free Wi-Fi throughout the property, a fully-equipped kitchen, and free toiletries in the private bathrooms.
Each guest room has amenities like flat-screen TVs, heating, and lush furnishings, and massage and spa service is also provided to the guests in-room.
Some of the rooms also have additional spaces like seating areas or dining rooms, and you can also rent a one-bedroom suite here if you’re looking for a private stay all to yourself without renting an entire apartment.
9. Ten Hill Place
Ten Hill Place is a 4-star Edinburgh hotel located in the gorgeous Southside of the city, and it is within walking distance of Edinburgh’s main attractions, including tourist hotspots like the Royal Mile and Princes Street.
The hotel has a total of 129 well-furnished and spacious guest rooms with sleek bathrooms and modern amenities like flat-screen TVs and Wi-Fi coverage.
An onsite restaurant, a bar, a fitness center, and a conference room are also part of the property.
The bar here features a selection of local ales and wines, while the restaurant serves an a la carte menu.
Also, as I already mentioned, some of the most popular attractions are within walking distance of the hotel, making it the perfect budget accommodation option in Edinburgh for a central stay with deluxe amenities.
10. The Raeburn
The Raeburn is an elegant boutique hotel located in the Stockbridge area of Edinburgh.
It is housed in a beautiful Georgian property with a modern design and features such as exposed stone walls, sash windows, and tartan fabrics.
The accommodation options include standard and double rooms, which feature modern decor along with comfortable facilities like flat-screen TVs, minibars, and iPod docking stations.
Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the hotel, and The Raeburn also has a restaurant and a bar that serve delicious food and drinks, and romantic dining options for special occasions are also provided by the hotel.
The staff is really friendly here, and room service, a 24-hour front desk, and a terrace are all part of the amenities.
The location of the hotel is also great and not far from many top attractions like the Georgian House, Edinburgh Castle, and New Town.
11. Point A Hotel Edinburgh Haymarket
Haymarket is another charming area of Edinburgh with unique architecture and landmarks, and the Point A Hotel in it is one of the best budget accommodations in the neighborhood.
The hotel has a friendly and relaxed atmosphere, with cozy seating areas and a 24/7 reception.
This boutique hotel offers modern and comfortable rooms with smart TVs, power showers, and free Wi-Fi.
The daily breakfast options include a buffet and continental, and the property also has a bar and shared lounge.
Amazing restaurants and cafes are just steps away from the hotel, and you can easily reach all the popular attractions of the city from its location within minutes.
Onsite parking isn’t available here, but the hotel has arrangements with a nearby car park for discounted rates if you’re traveling by car.
🏨 Best Hostels in Edinburgh
12. CoDE Pod – The CoURT
CoDE Pod – The CoURT is an Edinburgh hostel that offers all the luxury amenities you need and a central location in the city’s Old Town.
Along with having one of the best locations, the hostel is also very cheap, making it a great option for budget travelers.
The hostel provides a 24-hour front desk and breakfast is available every morning, including continental and buffet options.
The hostel also offers free WiFi, daily local drink tastings, and access to the Lost Close, an underground space beneath the building for beer and whisky tastings as well as events.
The staff here is friendly and helpful, and all the luxury facilities of the location are a cherry on top of its central location.
So, if you’re looking for a luxury hostel with top attractions like Edinburgh Castle within walking distance, you can never go wrong with CoDE Pod.
13. Edinburgh Backpackers
With a central location in the city, Edinburgh Backpackers is another excellent Old Town hostel for a comfy stay.
Edinburgh Backpackers may not be a luxury hostel, but it still offers comfy stays in the heart of the city at unbeatable prices.
Amenities like free Wi-Fi, heating, spacious bathrooms, and a kitchen are provided to the guests.
The room is cozy and intimate, with comfortable bunk beds and modern facilities.
These amenities combined with the coveted location of Edinburgh Backpackers make it a great accommodation option for a cozy, budget stay in central Edinburgh.
14. Pollock Halls Edinburgh
With over 2,000 bedrooms, Pollock Halls Edinburgh hostel is a campus accommodation that offers great value in a convenient location at the foot of the city’s famous volcano and within easy walking distance of the Old Town.
The hostel offers free parking, high-speed Wi-Fi internet, free breakfast, conference facilities, meeting rooms, self-serve laundry, and an onsite restaurant serving breakfast as well as lunch and dinner during the summer months.
The cafe bar here also serves food, fine wine, beers, and spirits.
The accommodations provided by Pollock Halls are perfect for solo travelers and groups alike, with different room types such as single, twin, or double rooms with en-suite facilities or standard rooms with shared bathrooms.
🏨 Best Accommodations for Group Travelers
15. Cheval Old Town Chambers
Located in the heart of Edinburgh’s historic Old Town, directly on the famous Royal Mile, the Cheval Old Town Chambers is a luxurious all-apartment residence.
The place is ideal for family and group stays in Edinburgh, allowing guests to enjoy the city’s attractions and culture while still having a comfortable and private space to retreat to.
Boasting 74 spacious and stylish apartments that range in size from studios to three bedrooms, including spectacular penthouses and a 15th-century two-bedroom townhouse with its own front door, this residence provides ample space, comfort, and privacy for guests.
Several apartments feature balconies with city views, cinema TV systems, and Bose sound systems, while all apartments come equipped with fully functional kitchens, free WiFi, flat-screen TVs, and luxury bathrooms.
On-site, guests can take advantage of the bar and restaurant which serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, and cocktails.
Additionally, there is a complimentary gym with a personal trainer who is available upon request.
16. Grosvenor Suites
Grosvenor Suites is another great place for groups to stay in Edinburgh. This elegant residence is situated in the city’s West End, just steps away from Haymarket Train Station and a short stroll to Old Town and Princes Street.
Each suite comes equipped with smart TVs, free Wi-Fi, coffee machines, seating areas, and private bathrooms featuring power showers and hairdryers.
Some of the suites also include additional facilities like kitchenettes fitted with modern appliances.
With its spacious and tastefully appointed suites that can accommodate couples, groups, and families, Grosvenor Suites offers a comfortable and convenient base for exploring Edinburgh’s attractions and culture.
17. Destiny Scotland – Hill Street Apartments
Destiny Scotland – Hill Street Apartments is a good place to stay in Edinburgh. It offers 1- and 2-bedroom renovated Georgian townhouses with contemporary decor and modern amenities.
The apartments are spacious, stylish, and comfortable, featuring fully equipped kitchens, dining areas, living rooms, and private bathrooms.
The elegant design of the apartments is coupled with amenities like flat-screen TVs, DVD players, and free Wi-Fi.
The location of Destiny Scotland – Hill Street Apartments is near many incredible attractions of the city, and the apartments are also surrounded by a variety of bars, restaurants, shops, and pubs.
With a capacity for 2 to 4 guests each, these apartments are one of the best places to stay in Edinburgh’s New Town for couples and small groups.
18. Edinburgh Western Harbour
Edinburgh Western Harbour is a unique and vibrant stay in Edinburgh. It is located in the buzzing Leith area of the city, close to many bars, restaurants, shops, attractions, and festivals.
The property offers luxury apartments with sea views, balconies, fully equipped kitchens, and free WiFi.
The apartments are spacious, modern, and comfortable, featuring satellite flat-screen TVs, coffee machines, and private bathrooms.
Free parking, a terrace, and a garden are also part of the property. The three-bedroom apartments are great for groups of up to 6 looking to enjoy a private and secluded stay in Edinburgh with all its charm and attractions just a short distance away.
👉 Check rates and availability on Booking.com
Best Neighborhoods in Edinburgh
Edinburgh neighborhood map
🏙️ Old Town – best neighborhood for culture and sightseeing
Old Town is the oldest part of Edinburgh. The neighborhood has most of its medieval streets and many Reformation-era buildings in excellent condition, which is why it’s also part of a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site.
One of the most famous streets in the Old Town is the Royal Mile, which runs from Edinburgh Castle to the Palace of Holyroodhouse.
Along the Royal Mile, visitors can find many historic landmarks and attractions, including most of the top tourist hotspots of the city.
Another notable feature of Old Town is the many narrow closes (alleyways) that lead steeply downhill to both north and south of The Royal Mile.
Some of these closes have interesting names and stories, such as Fleshmarket Close, Mary King’s Close, and Advocates Close.
The Old Town is also home to several festivals throughout the year, including the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the largest arts festival in the world.
During the festival season, the streets of Old Town come alive with performers, street vendors, and crowds of people from all over the world.
Why stay in Edinburgh’s Old Town?
Edinburgh’s Old Town is the perfect place for a central stay to enjoy all the attractions of the city.
There are tons of amazing things to see here that will definitely make the top highlights of your trip to the stunning capital of Scotland.
With its rich history, stunning architecture, and vibrant atmosphere, the Old Town is a must-visit area for anyone traveling to Edinburgh to experience its charming culture and unforgettable sightseeing. What’s more, you can enjoy many pubs, cafes, shops, and festivals in this area.
Things to do in the Old Town
👣 Explore the Royal Mile: As I mentioned earlier, the Royal Mile is where you will find most of the top attractions of Old Town. Despite its name, it’s not actually a mile long, so you can explore it on foot. Walk up and down the Royal Mile to explore one of the most important thoroughfares in the Old Town. The cobbled street leads from Holyrood Abbey and Palace in the east to the top of Edinburgh Castle’s hill.
🏰 Go see the famous Edinburgh Castle: It’s a fortress that dominates the skyline of Edinburgh, and seeing it is a must-do activity no matter which part of the city you’re visiting.
🖼️ Visit the National Museum of Scotland: This is a museum that showcases the history, culture, and people of Scotland as well as offers hands-on attractions like racing car simulators.
🍻 Enjoy the delicious food and drinks: The Old Town isn’t just all about sightseeing, the food, and drinks offered in its many restaurants, cafes, and pubs are truly a delight. You can also take a walking tour to combine both the best sights and tastes of the area.
💃 Enjoy the Fringe Festival: The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is one of the biggest events of the year, and Old Town is brimming with performances and festivities during it.
📍 How to get to the Old Town
👉 Airport to Old Town
From the airport, you can simply get on a tram and get to the Old Town in about 30 minutes.
The stop near Scott Monument is the closest. Alternatively, a taxi or bus are also good ways to swiftly get there in less than half an hour.
👉 Waverley Train Station to Old Town
If you are arriving by train at Waverley Train Station, the Old Town High Street is only a short stroll from it.
You can simply walk up the stairs of Fleshmarket Close and turn left to find yourself on the High Street.
But if you have luggage, the best option is to instead take a taxi from the station for a quick and easy ride to Old Town. You can check the best taxi app in this dedicated article..
👉 Public Transport and driving to Old Town
Public transport is a great way to get to Old Town. Many buses and trams have stops in and near Old Town, making public transport the best way to reach here if you’re not up for a walk to it.
Driving to the Old Town is also an option to get here.
If you are driving, you can park your car at one of the car parks near the Old Town or private parking provided by your hotel.
However, parking in the city center can be expensive and difficult to find, so you may want to consider using public transport instead.
🏙️ New Town – best neighborhood for Georgian landmarks and cocktail bars
Even though it has new in its name, New Town is actually another one of the historic neighborhoods in Edinburgh.
Built between 1767 and around 1850, this neighborhood is considered one of the best-preserved examples of Georgian-era architecture and city planning in the world.
Because New Town has most of its original neoclassical and Georgian period architecture intact, it is also part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site along with Old Town.
Large squares, lush gardens, and scenic lanes are all characteristic of New Town.
What’s more, New Town is also home to many incredible shops, restaurants, and pubs, as well as several museums and galleries – making it another one of the must-see neighborhoods if you’re visiting Edinburgh.
Why stay in Edinburgh’s New Town?
Just like Old Town, the New Town is excellent for a central stay in Edinburgh with lots of sightseeing opportunities and some of the best boutique hotels as well as cocktails bars.
However, it is a more popular destination for visitors who are looking for an upscale and modern experience compared to the historic Old Town.
Additionally, the New Town is well-connected to other parts of Edinburgh, with several bus routes and tram lines running through the area.
It is also within walking distance of the Old Town, making it easy to explore both areas.
Things to do in the New Town
🍸 Enjoy the vibrant nightlife and dining scene: The New Town is home to trendy bars and cocktail lounges as well as a wide range of chic restaurants and cafes, offering a lively atmosphere and everything from casual dining to fine dining experiences.
🎭 Explore the cultural attractions: New Town has some of the best cultural attractions, including the Georgian House, the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, and Charlotte Square. The area is also home to several theaters, including the Edinburgh Playhouse, which hosts a range of shows and musicals throughout the year.
🌿 Visit the lush gardens: The New Town is home to several large green spaces, including the huge Royal Botanical Garden, and The New Town Gardens (which are a collection of gardens dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries).
🛍️ Do some shopping: The New Town is known for its elegant Georgian architecture and high-end shopping. The streets of New Town feature malls, several department stores, designer boutiques, and specialty shops.
📍 How to get to the New Town
👉 Airport to New Town
If you are arriving at Edinburgh Airport, the easiest and most convenient way to get to New Town is by tram, which takes around 20-30 minutes and stops at various points throughout the city center.
Alternatively, you can take the bus or taxi from the airport to the city center, which takes around 30 minutes.
👉 Waverley Station to New Town
Waverley Station is located in the heart of the city center and provides easy access to New Town.
From the station, you can take a short walk to Princes Street and the surrounding areas of New Town.
👉 Public transport and driving to New Town
If you prefer public transportation, there are several bus routes that pass through New Town, and the nearest tram stop is located on Princes Street.
And if you are driving, there are several car parks located throughout the city center.
🏙️ Princes Street – best neighborhood for shopping
Although Princes Street is part of New Town, it deserves a separate mention because of its unique atmosphere, unparalleled shopping opportunities, and world-renowned gardens.
The thoroughfare is located on the southern side of New Town and is one of the most famous and busiest in town.
Considered the go-to place for luxury shopping, this is where you will find the top luxury brands, shops, and boutiques of the town.
Also, the street has practically no buildings on the south side, allowing panoramic views of the Old Town and Edinburgh Castle.
Why stay in Princes Street?
Staying on Princes Street means enjoying some of the most stunning views as well as the best shopping experiences within walking distance.
Princes Street is lined with a mix of high-end retail stores, trendy cafes, and restaurants, making it a popular destination for locals and visitors alike.
Princes Street is also home to several great hotels, including the famous Balmoral Hotel, which is an iconic landmark in Edinburgh.
With its mix of shopping, dining, and sightseeing options, Princes Street is a must-see thoroughfare for anyone traveling to Edinburgh.
Things to do on Princes Street
🛍️ Go shopping: New Town is popular for its shopping scene, but its Princes Street is the most premium area if you want to enjoy truly the best of it. With some of the best shops, boutiques, and luxury brands in town, make sure you don’t miss the chance to go shopping here.
⛲ Visit the Princes Street Gardens: One of the most notable gardens in the city is the Princes Street Gardens, which offers stunning views of Edinburgh Castle and the Old Town. Along with the shopping scene, these gardens are the top attraction of the area and definitely worth a visit.
📷 See the Scott Monument: One of the highlights of Princes Street is the Scott Monument, which is a tribute to the famous Scottish author Sir Walter Scott. The monument is a Gothic tower that stands over 200 feet tall and provides stunning views of the city from its top.
🌆 Enjoy the breathtaking views: Whether you’re going shopping or sightseeing, Princes Street is the perfect spot to enjoy the jaw-dropping views of Edinburgh Castle as well as the cityscape. I highly recommend taking the time to savor these views, they’re magnificent!
📍 How to get to Princes Street
👉 Airport to Princes Street
Again, the best option to get from the Airport to Prince Street is by using the tram. The option is both fast and cheap, so it only takes about 35 minutes to reach Princes Street using it.
Although, using the bus is also a good option, and you can take a cab if you don’t want to wait for the tram or bus and be on your way as soon as you arrive at the airport.
👉 Waverley Station to Princes Street
Princes Street is just a short walk from the station, so you can easily make it there on foot.
The two are located very close to each other, so walking is definitely the best option when going from Waverley Station to Princes Street.
However, you can also opt for a taxi if you have luggage.
👉 Public transport and driving to Princes Street
As I mentioned earlier, public transport is a great option to travel into the city center, and the tram has a convenient stop right on Princes Street.
Buses are also a good way to get to Princes Street.If you’re driving, Princes Street is one of the off-limit areas in the city center – but you can use any of the nearby car parks such as Q-Park OMNI.
🏙️ Stockbridge – best neighborhood for art, souvenirs, and bohemian vibes
Stockbridge is a charming and affluent neighborhood located in the north of Edinburgh’s city center.
It has a rich history, and the streets are lined with beautiful Georgian and Victorian townhouses, which are now primarily used as residential properties.
One of the main attractions of Stockbridge is its vibrant street market, which takes place every Sunday.
The market features a range of stalls selling local produce, artisan crafts, and vintage goods.
It’s a great place to sample some of the best food and drink that Edinburgh has to offer.
Stockbridge is also known for its independent shops, including boutique fashion stores, art galleries, and vintage shops.
There are also several cafes and restaurants, ranging from traditional Scottish pubs to trendy brunch spots.
Why stay in Stockbridge?
Stockbridge has a village-like atmosphere, and it is a popular destination for locals and visitors alike due to its unique character, independent shops, cafes, and restaurants – making it the perfect place to stay in Edinburgh for a laid-back atmosphere and bohemian vibes.
Being a delightful neighborhood with a unique character and a relaxed vibe, Stockbridge is an ideal neighborhood for those looking for a break from the busy city center and a chance to explore a different side of Edinburgh.
Things to do in Stockbridge
🥐 Shop in famous markets: The local markets in Stockbridge are the perfect place to shop for artisan bread, delicious food, cheese, souvenirs, and jewelry. The Sunday market in Jubilee Gardens is one of the most popular, and another great option is The Neighborhood Market where you will find food stalls and live music.
🍃 Visit Inverleith Park: This is a large urban park with sports facilities and stunning views of the city skyline, making it another great spot to hit up if you’re in Stockbridge. It also serves as a popular spot for picnics during the summer.
📸 Visit Circus Lane: Just like the rest of Edinburgh, Stockbridge has a variety of gorgeous streets and historic highlights. Among these, Circus Lane is considered one of the most gorgeous, which is why it’s also a go-to spot for tourists looking to capture stunning photos for Insta.
📍 How to get to Stockbridge
👉 Airport to Stockbridge
The quickest way to go from the airport to Stockbridge is by hailing a cab and hopping in it.
The journey should take about 25 minutes if there isn’t heavy traffic. Alternatively, if you take the tram from the airport, the Haymarket stop is the closest to Stockbridge.
👉 Waverley Station to Stockbridge
The city center isn’t far from Stockbridge, and a walk from Waverley Station to the area takes only about 15 minutes.
Along the way, you will get to enjoy many scenic sights and nice cafes. However, if you don’t wanna walk, you can take a taxi.
👉 Public transport and driving to Stockbridge
You can take various bus lines that stop near Stockbridge, such as 24, 27, 29 or 36. If you’re on the train, you can get off at Haymarket and walk the rest of the way.
Though driving in central Edinburgh is usually the least recommended option, Stockbridge usually has lighter traffic so you can take a drive to it as well.
🏙️ Bruntsfield – best neighborhood for foodies
Bruntsfield is a charming and affluent area in the south of Edinburgh, located just a short distance from the historic center.
Here you will find boutiques and gift shops, as well as hidden gems like the John Livingston Tomb and the Wild West-themed furniture market from the 90s.
Bruntsfield is a popular destination for foodies, with a wide range of restaurants and cafes offering everything from artisanal coffee to fine dining experiences.
There are also several bars and pubs where you can enjoy a pint of locally brewed beer or a glass of whiskey.
Why stay in Bruntsfield?
Bruntsfield is a vibrant and attractive neighborhood that offers a mix of historical charm, modern amenities, and natural beauty, making it a popular destination for both locals and visitors to Edinburgh.
With its charming cafes and eateries, the neighborhood is also great for food lovers.
The area is also close to the city center, including Old and New Towns, so it’s a great place to stay with lots of intimate eateries within steps and all the top attractions just a short distance away.
Things to do in Bruntsfield
☕ Enjoy eating and drinking: You can enjoy a variety of cafes, restaurants, and bars that offer local and international cuisine. Some recommended ones are Montpeliers, Project Coffee, and Three Birds.
🏌Go golfing: Playing golf is another famous activity in Bruntsfield. You can play golf at Bruntsfield Links Golfing Society, which is the fourth oldest golf club in the world and has an 18-hole course with stunning views.
🚵🏻♀️ Unwind and relax: With its laid-back vibes, Bruntsfield is a great place to relax. You can unwind at Bruntsfield Links park or Meadows park, where you can have a picnic, take a walk, cycle, or watch street performers.
📍 How to get to Bruntsfield
👉 Airport to Bruntsfield
Bruntsfield is located just a little south of the central city, so you can take the tram to West End and then get on the bus going to Bruntsfield from Usher Hall.
The entire journey should take less than 40 minutes. Again, taking a taxi is also a convenient and direct option.
👉 Waverley Station to Bruntsfield
Waverley Station is located close to the Usher Hall bus stop I mentioned above. But a closer bus station is the one near Scott Monument, which is only a few steps from the station and takes you directly to Bruntsfield.
And you can opt for a cab right from the station as well.
👉 Public transport and driving to Bruntsfield
Many buses go from different parts of Edinburgh to Bruntsfield, so you can take any one and be there in no time.
Driving is another option if you have a car. However, if you’re in the city center, you can also take a walk to Bruntsfield for an enjoyable experience.
🏙️ Haymarket – best neighborhood for a lively atmosphere
Located in the west of the city center, Haymarket is another unique area of Edinburgh with lots on offer.
It is named after the Haymarket Railway Station, a major transportation hub connecting the city to various destinations across Scotland.
Haymarket is known for its bustling atmosphere, with plenty of shops, bars, and restaurants lining the streets.
The area is also home to several important landmarks and attractions, including the war memorial clock and the impressive Edinburgh International Conference Centre, which hosts a range of events throughout the year.
Why stay in Haymarket?
Haymarket is part of the city center, close to both the New Town and Old Town, and this is where several main roads, tramways, as well as a train station, let people easily visit other parts of Edinburgh and Scotland with ease.
Visitors can find a range of accommodation options in the area, from budget-friendly hostels to upscale hotels.
Things to do in Haymarket
🛎️ Shop and dine on Dalry Road: This busy street has a variety of shops, cafes, and restaurants, and is a great place to experience local culture.
🏞️ Take a trip to Dean Village: The historic Dean Village is a unique place that will bring you back to the 19th-century industrial village that produced paper and fabric for the city. A beautiful stream and a fascinating museum are also part of the area.
🏉 Check out the Murrayfield Stadium: This sports stadium hosts rugby matches and concerts and is also the home of the Scottish Rugby Union.
🎙️ Enjoy a night out at the Stand Comedy Club: This popular comedy club showcases local and international talent and has a lively atmosphere.
📍 How to get to Haymarket
👉 Airport to Haymarket
The tram is one of the best ways to make your way to Haymarket from the airport. Haymarket is one of the closer central areas to the airport, so the tram takes about 20 minutes to get you there.
Cabs and buses are an option as well.
👉 Waverley Station to Haymarket
If you’re coming to the city via train, and you need to get to Haymarket, you can just choose to take the train to Haymarket station instead of Waverley Station and directly reach there.
Other options include taking a cab or simply walking there.
👉 Public transport or driving to Haymarket
Since Haymarket is one of the areas where many main roads intersect, and the second largest train station in the city is also here, public transport is definitely the best way to get to it.
You can take the bus, tram, or train and reach right in the middle of Haymarket. You can also drive to Haymarket.
🏙️ Newington – best neighborhood for the charm and calm ambiance
Newington is a historic and vibrant neighborhood located south of Edinburgh’s city center, adjacent to the Old Town and southeast of the Meadows park.
It is primarily residential but also boasts a lively commercial area with a diverse range of shops, restaurants, cafes, and bars.
Newington is also known for its parks and green spaces, including The Meadows, which is a large public park that offers various sports facilities and a peaceful place to relax.
Additionally, the area has several theaters, including the Queen’s Hall and the Festival Theatre, which host various cultural events and performances throughout the year.
Why stay in Newington?
Newington is an excellent neighborhood to stay in Edinburgh for a number of reasons.
It’s close to the city center and within walking distance of many of the city’s top attractions, including Edinburgh Castle, the Royal Mile, and the National Museum of Scotland.
It’s also home to the University of Edinburgh, so the area has a vibrant student atmosphere with plenty of cafes, restaurants, and bars.
Accommodation options in Newington are varied and include budget hostels, boutique hotels, and self-catering apartments.
Overall, Newington is a great choice for those looking for a lively and convenient base from which to explore Edinburgh.
Things to do in Newington
🎓 Visit the University of Edinburgh: Newington is home to the University of Edinburgh, which is considered one of the finest universities in the world. You can explore the beautiful campus and visit some of its historic buildings.
🌳 Enjoy the outdoors at The Meadows: The Meadows is a large public park that offers a great escape from the city’s hustle and bustle. You can have a picnic, play sports, or take a leisurely walk in the park.
👩🏻🍳 Explore the local food scene: Newington has a diverse range of restaurants, cafes, and bars that offer delicious food and drinks. You can sample traditional Scottish cuisine or international dishes.
📍 How to get to Newington
👉 Airport to Newington
The quickest and most direct way to get to Newington from the airport is via taxi. However, if you’re on a budget, buses are another great option.
You can either take the bus or tram to Haymarket, and then take another bus to get to Newington.
👉 Waverley Station to Newington
Newington is located very close to Old Town, and since Edinburgh is a walkable city, you can take the short walk from Waverley Station to Newington in no time.
However, if you want to get there faster or don’t feel like walking, you can take a cab instead.
👉 Public transport or driving to Newington
There are several bus lines that connect Newington to various areas of the city. You can take a direct bus from Haymarket to Newinton, and you will find buses to the neighborhood from other parts of central city as well.
Driving is another option to get here.
🏙️ Leith – best neighborhood for nightlife
The bustling port district of Edinburgh, Leith is located in the northern part of the city. Historically, it was a separate burgh from Edinburgh, but it was incorporated into the city in 1920.
Leith is known for its maritime heritage, historic architecture, lively waterfront, and diverse culinary scene.
The area has undergone significant development in recent years, with a number of modern constructions mixed in with its traditional buildings.
One of the main attractions in Leith is the Royal Yacht Britannia, which was the former yacht of the British monarchy and is now open to the public as a museum.
Why stay in Leith?
Leith is a vibrant area with a mix of traditional and modern bars, pubs, and restaurants, making it a great destination for foodies and those looking for a night out.
A stay here means getting to enjoy the community vibe and vibrant nightlife of the neighborhood.
The sea views and contemporary accommodation options make Leith truly iconic.
Additionally, the area is known for its annual multicultural events like Edinburgh Mela and Leith Festival, so there’s always something going on here.
Things to do in Leith
⚓ Visit the Royal Yacht Britannia: The yacht was once the royal residence of Queen Elizabeth II and is now a popular tourist attraction. You can tour the yacht and see how the royal family used to live.
🌇 Explore the Leith Shore: The Leith Shore is a lively area with plenty of restaurants, bars, and cafes. You can also take a walk along the Water of Leith Walkway and enjoy the scenic views.
🎫 Visit the Trinity House Maritime Museum: The museum offers a fascinating insight into the maritime history of Edinburgh and Scotland. You can learn about the history of the harbor and see exhibits on shipbuilding and navigation.
📍 How to get to Leith
👉 Airport to Leith
The tramway has recently been extended to Newhaven, meaning you can get the tram from the airport and reach Leith directly without any fuss.
Another way to get to Leith are taxis, but they can be a bit expensive unless you’re a group.
👉 Waverley Station to Leith
Getting to Leith from Waverley station is fairly straightforward. You can take a walk, get on the tram to Newhaven, or catch the 22 bus and get off at Ocean Terminal.
Additionally, taxis are also a good way to get from Waverley station to Leith.
👉 Public transport or driving to Leith
You can catch a tram from the city center, and the bus that goes to Leith departs from Broughton in New Town.
Also, driving to Leith is an option as well. However, instead of taking public transport or driving to Leith, I highly recommend taking a walk along the Water of Leith Walkway – a scenic path connecting Leith to the city center.
It’s a unique and charming experience!
How many days do you need in Edinburgh?
The answer to this question depends on your preferences and interests. Edinburgh is a beautiful city with many attractions and activities to enjoy.
So, you can choose to spend more days here based on how much time you have and what you want to see and do, but I recommend at least 3 to 5 days in Edinburgh for an unforgettable experience.
When is the best time to visit Edinburgh?
The best time to visit Edinburgh depends on your preferences and budget, so there isn’t a simple answer.
However, I’ll give you a breakdown of the different travel seasons of Edinburgh to help you choose the perfect time for your trip.
The high season is July through August, with warm temperatures and long daylight hours but higher prices and more crowds.
Shoulder seasons in May and June or September and October have pleasant weather, fewer crowds, and discounts on airfare and accommodation.
The low season from November to April is quieter and more affordable but with shorter daylight hours and some attractions closed.
Where can you find affordable stays in Edinburgh?
You can find affordable stays in most areas of Edinburgh, including its most popular Old Town, Princes Street, and New Town.
I have highlighted the best of these in the budget accommodations section above.
Which part of Edinburgh is best to stay in?
There is no one best part in Edinburgh when it comes to a stay, but Old Town and New Town are two of Edinburgh’s best areas to stay.
The former is the historic heart of the city, while the latter is an elegant neighborhood with shopping and nightlife.
There are also many other amazing areas to choose from, and I have highlighted the top ones in the best neighborhoods section of this post.
Is it better to stay in Edinburgh Old Town or New Town?
Whether to stay in Edinburgh’s Old Town or New Town depends on your personal preferences and interests.
Old Town is the historic heart of Edinburgh, with cobblestone streets, narrow alleys, and medieval buildings.
It’s a great place to stay if you want to immerse yourself in the city’s history and enjoy a unique and authentic atmosphere.
Old Town is also home to several iconic attractions, including Edinburgh Castle, the Royal Mile, and the Palace of Holyroodhouse.
On the other hand, New Town has its own unique charm and character, with wide streets, elegant Georgian architecture, and plenty of green spaces.
It’s a great place to stay if you’re interested in shopping, dining, and nightlife.
Also, both Old Town and New Town are within walking distance of each other, which means you can easily explore both areas during your stay in Edinburgh, so you can choose any one of them when deciding on Edinburgh’s best area to stay and still enjoy a memorable vacation.
Is Edinburgh Old Town a good place to stay?
Yup. Edinburgh Old Town is a good place to stay if you want to experience the history and culture of the city.
It has many attractions like Edinburgh Castle, St Giles’ Cathedral, Holyrood Palace, and the Scottish Parliament.
It also has a lively atmosphere with restaurants, pubs, markets, and festivals. However, it can also be crowded, noisy, and expensive during peak seasons.
If you don’t mind these drawbacks, then Edinburgh Old Town is a good place to stay.
How can I spend 3 days in Edinburgh?
There are many things to see and do in Edinburgh, so you can follow different itineraries based on your tastes and interests.
For spending 3 days here, the following itinerary should give you a good taste of the city’s history, culture, and natural beauty.
➡️ Morning: Start your day in the Old Town by visiting Edinburgh Castle, one of the city’s most famous landmarks. Be sure to catch the One O’Clock Gun ceremony at the castle’s Half Moon Battery.
➡️ Afternoon: Wander down the Royal Mile towards Holyrood Palace, the official residence of the British monarch in Scotland. Along the way, you can stop by St Giles’ Cathedral and the Museum of Edinburgh.
➡️ Evening: Grab a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants on the Royal Mile or in the Grassmarket area. Then you can head to a traditional Scottish pub like The Bow Bar or The Royal Oak for a pint and some live music.
➡️ Morning: Explore the New Town by starting at Princes Street Gardens, a beautiful park that separates the Old and New Towns. You can also climb the Scott Monument for great views of the city.
➡️ Afternoon: Walk along George Street, the main shopping street in New Town, and stop by the National Gallery of Scotland or the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.
➡️ Evening: Take a ghost tour of the Old Town to learn about the city’s spooky history, or see a show at one of the many theaters in Edinburgh.
➡️ Morning: Visit Arthur’s Seat, an extinct volcano that offers panoramic views of the city. You can hike to the top or take a drive up part of the way.
➡️ Afternoon: Check out some of Edinburgh’s hidden gems, like the Dean Village, a picturesque neighborhood along the Water of Leith, or the Royal Botanic Garden.
➡️ Evening: Enjoy a final dinner in Edinburgh at one of the city’s many excellent restaurants, like The Witchery or The Kitchin.
Is it worth visiting Edinburgh?
Edinburgh is definitely worth visiting! It is a vibrant and historic city with plenty of attractions and activities to offer visitors.
From exploring the stunning architecture of the Old Town and New Town to visiting famous landmarks like Edinburgh Castle and the Royal Mile, to enjoying the city’s many cultural events and festivals, there is always something to see and do in Edinburgh.
Edinburgh is also known for its excellent cuisine, shopping, and nightlife, making it a great destination for a diverse range of interests.
Is Edinburgh a walkable city?
Yes, Edinburgh is a very walkable city, particularly in the central areas of the Old Town and New Town.
Many of the city’s main attractions, such as Edinburgh Castle, the Royal Mile, and Princes Street Gardens, are located within close proximity to each other, and can easily be explored on foot.
Additionally, Edinburgh has a network of pedestrianized streets and walkways, making it easy to navigate the city on foot.
But it’s worth noting that Edinburgh is a hilly city, and some of the streets and sidewalks can be steep, so comfortable walking shoes are recommended.
Wrapping up: Where to stay in Edinburgh
Edinburgh offers a wide range of options when it comes to accommodation, each with its own unique charms and advantages.
From the historic charm of the Old Town to the stylish elegance of the New Town, there’s a neighborhood to suit every taste and budget
Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, Edinburgh is a destination that is sure to leave a lasting impression.
I have listed some of the best stays in the city, so all you need to do is pick one that suits you best and get ready for an unforgettable vacation!