Best Places to Stay in Edinburgh: Accommodation and Area Guide

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The Best Places to Stay In Edinburgh, Scotland – Here Are Our Local Tips!

Are you wondering where to stay in Edinburgh? You are not alone! The capital of Scotland is a popular place to visit. This means that there are so many hotels and accommodations in Edinburgh to choose from spread out all over the city. Luckily, Eric used to live in the heart of the Old Town (across from the very popular ibis Hotel South Bridge) so he knows his way around the city.

So consider this a “local’s guide” on finding the best places to stay and the best areas to stay in Edinburgh. There’s a good chance you are looking for the best hotels in Edinburgh. You might already know you’re searching for the best hotels near the Edinburgh city centre – which includes the famous Old Town and the Royal Mile. That’s easy to do – when you know the city as we do.

From the famous Edinburgh hotels like the Scotsman Hotel to hotels with views of Edinburgh Castle like Apex Grassmarket Hotel, our guide cuts right to the chase. We’ll dive into the best accommodations in Edinburgh Scotland by style and budget and then outline a few of the best areas to stay in Edinburgh with popular and reliable examples whether you are travelling as a couple or as a family with kids.

Oh, and if you want more Edinburgh travel knowledge, you can find many more posts below:

**Friendly Disclosure: We paid for the accommodations we stayed at ourselves and were not told to include them in this article.

Where to Stay in Edinburgh – Accommodation Options

As the capital of Scotland, Edinburgh is loaded with rich history and architecture, a vibrant culture, and top attractions. Edinburgh hosts the Fringe Festival in August and Hogmanay for New Year so if you plan to visit Edinburgh at these time, be sure to book well in advance. Even during other times, we recommend booking in advance since the city is so popular!

To give you a better overview of the options out there, we’ll first walk you through the accommodations in Edinburgh by type. If you are looking for a particular type of lodging in Edinburgh, you can find it easily. The second part of the article then takes you through the best areas to stay in Edinburgh (these are places where we have/would stay). Let’s first dive into hotels in Edinburgh, Scotland!

Hotels in Edinburgh

square hotel building on royal mile best places to stay in edinburgh
The Inn on the Mile is a hotel located – right on the Royal Mile!

Since Edinburgh is one of the most popular places to visit in the United Kingdom, hotels are a very popular accommodation choice. There are a number of nice hotels in Edinburgh – ranging from historic or modern hotels to family hotels and budget hotels. We’re pretty confident you will have no problem finding hotels around Edinburgh.

Get started searching for hotels in Edinburgh here.

If you are looking for some of our recommended hotels in Edinburgh in great areas that balance value for money, location, and amenities, have a look at some of the best hotels in Edinburgh as rated by other travellers. Many of these we would consider the best hotels in Edinburgh’s Old Town so you cannot go wrong with the top hotel picks below:

  • Motel One Edinburgh – Royal – One of the top hotels in Edinburgh’s city centre (in the Old Town) for location and value
  • ibis Hotel South Bridge – A convenient budget hotel in the heart of Edinburgh Old Town close to the Royal Mile
  • Apex Grassmarket Hotel – A bright and clean hotel in Grassmarket (Old Town) with views of Edinburgh Castle
  • B+B Edinburgh – A trendy top boutique hotel located steps from quiet Dean Village/West End
  • The Scotsman Hotel – A historic and luxurious hotel with views of the city centre around

Budget/Cheap Hotels in Edinburgh

If you are searching for the best budget hotels in Edinburgh, don’t let the word “cheap” scare you. There are some really nice cheap hotels in Edinburgh – but not cheap in the sense that they are rundown and dirty – quite the opposite!

These are clean and affordable hotels – all of them among the most popular hotels in the city! Many of them are also kid-friendly hotels so you can stay in Edinburgh on more of a budget as a family. You don’t even have to sacrifice location for cost since there are a number of budget hotels in Edinburgh’s city centre:

Boutique Hotels in Edinburgh

If you are looking for a more unique place to stay in Edinburgh, there are some top boutique hotels found across the city. Many of these cool hotels in Edinburgh are in the Old Town but you can also find boutique hotels scattered around the city in areas like Haymarket and in Leith. From neat designs and decor to unique buildings with history, check out some of the best boutique hotels in Edinburgh:

  • B+B EdinburghA trendy yet historic hotel with breakfast close to beautiful Dean Village (Our Pick)
  • Hotel Du Vin Edinburgh A historic and charming hotel in an old asylum building near the University of Edinburgh in the Old Town
  • The Inn on the MileOne of the best small hotels in Edinburgh – an old banker’s building right on the Royal Mile
  • Malmaison Edinburgh – A cool and stylish hotel in Leith right at the water’s edge

Luxury Hotels in Edinburgh

large hotel with clock tower in edinburgh scotland the balmoral
The beautiful Balmoral standing proudly in Edinburgh’s New Town!

If you are heading to Edinburgh to indulge in luxury, you will not be disappointed as you’ll find the best luxury hotels in Edinburgh all over the city. Edinburgh can be a very classy city with a number of 4-star and 5-star hotels in Edinburgh’s city centre. Many of them are located in historic buildings in both the Old Town and New Town. So, if you are searching for Edinburgh luxury hotels, you have some really great options to choose from!

  • The Scotsman HotelA trendy and historic hotel in the Old Town overlooking New Town (Our Pick)
  • Edinburgh The George – A elegant and upscale hotel located in the heart of New Town with parking
  • The Balmoral HotelA historic luxury hotel in New Town with the iconic clock tower
  • The Witchery – A uniquely elegant hotel experience beside Edinburgh Castle at the top of the Royal Mile

Guesthouses/Bed and Breakfasts in Edinburgh

yellow stone guesthouse with sign out front in edinburgh
Eric stayed here at the Dorstan Guest House and it was awesome!

If you are interested in a quieter accommodation in Edinburgh, you’ll find a number of bed and breakfasts (sometimes called guesthouses while others are called inns) in Edinburgh. The name doesn’t matter all that much – these are cozier accommodations that usually come with breakfast in the morning.

The best B and B in Edinburgh is definitely a tough title to hand out since there are so many. Eric loved his stay at the Dorstan Guest House, which is located in Prestonfield. The host was super friendly and accommodating, the house was charming and lovely, and the breakfast was absolutely fantastic. You submitted your order each evening and it was cooked up in the morning!

There are actually a number of guesthouses in the city centre. Generally, though, they can be found in quieter, more residential areas close to Haymarket or in New Town. These often make a good place to stay with kids since they also have parking and you can get a good night’s sleep! You can check here for guesthouses in Edinburgh. We’ve included a variety of great guesthouses to get you started:

Hostels in Edinburgh

hostel sign hanging with edinburgh castle behind
You can see why Castle Rock Hostel has the name…

If you are a backpacker or a solo traveller looking for budget accommodation, you will be happy to know that there are dozens of hostels in Edinburgh. The hostel scene is really diverse with hostels being among the cheap places to stay in Edinburgh. That said, there are many really, really good options for cheap hostels in Edinburgh.

Eric (and numerous friends) have stayed in most of the major hostels in Edinburgh and can vouch for how great the hostels in the city centre are. Many of them are hostels in the heart of the Old Town or on the Royal Mile so you cannot beat the location.

You can check here for hostels in Edinburgh. Below are some of the best hostels in Edinburgh – with Castle Rock taking the top spot for a reason… Edinburgh Castle is very close by!

Apartments in Edinburgh

stone exterior of building in edinburgh new town with sidewalk in front
The Mode Aparthotel sitting pretty in New Town..

If you are wondering where to stay in Edinburgh with family or with kids, apartments usually make for a good answer. Edinburgh is loaded with apartments that rent up fast around the summer season.

There are also a number of great aparthotels in Edinburgh. They can offer travellers the best of both worlds: their own space in Edinburgh with a reception and the potential for breakfast.

Apartments are also generally popular with larger groups of friends. We sometimes like apartments for a longer stay so we can cook a meal or two. You can check here for great apartments in Edinburgh. Below are a few nice apartments in many great locations around Edinburgh:

If you are searching for an apartment accommodation, you might also look into an Airbnb in Edinburgh. Airbnbs – depending on the city – can be a nice option as a place to stay. Some Airbnbs in Edinburgh have parking available which can come in handy.

That said if we book an Airbnb we try to book a room in someone’s apartment. That way we don’t contribute even more to housing shortage issues. This is what we did in Edinburgh once – we booked a room in Leith and the host ended up bring a great guy!

Where to Stay in Edinburgh – By Neighbourhood/ Area

Having covered accommodation types in Edinburgh, it’s time to dive into the best areas to stay in Edinburgh. We’ll introduce the area, tell you what you can find there and why it may be a good choice. Then we’ll offer up some of the best accommodation recommendations in each.

It’s no surprise that there are some popular districts and/or best neighbourhoods to stay in Edinburgh and so we have focussed on these areas. Many people just search for their accommodation in Edinburgh’s city centre – and that would not be a bad idea. There are a number of different accommodation styles – from hotels to apartments – located all around the city centre (and in Edinburgh neighbourhoods or areas surrounding it).

Another top priority for some travellers is to find accommodation near Edinburgh Castle. If this is you, you will be happy to hear that there are a number of great hotels near Edinburgh Castle – and even some apartments and hotels with views of Edinburgh Castle (like in the Apex Grassmarket, mentioned below).

In fact, some people might already know the city and are wondering whether to stay in the New Town or Old Town. We will explain the differences between the two top areas to stay in Edinburgh below.

Keep in mind, these are not all the areas to stay. These areas are just considered some of the best areas to stay. As we said above, usually people are searching for the best places to stay in Edinburgh city centre (which is a good idea). So why make it harder and more confusing than it needs to be to find a great Edinburgh accommodation?

Whatever your interests for seeking out an area – like playing tourist in the castle or enjoying the seaside – there’s an area for you below. You’ll find hotels in central Edinburgh in Old Town, New Town, and Haymarket with Leith being a nice seaside destination. If you know when you’re travelling to Edinburgh, then you can get started having a look at these top picks in each of the best areas outlined below!

It should also be noted that Edinburgh is a very safe city to visit. We lived there and always found the city to be welcoming – even in the busy tourist season. Of course, there are not some not so great areas to stay in around edges of the city (not because they are unsafe). As a visitor, there is a good chance you would not find your way there anyway. If you stick to the areas below for accommodations, there’s nothing to worry about!

Old Town – For Sightseeing

historic old street with shops and cars along royal mile edinburgh
A shot of the Royal Mile looking down a ways from Edinburgh Castle…

To stay in the area with the best sights, history, attractions, and things to do, plan to stay in Edinburgh’s Old Town. Just so you know, the centre is divided up into a number of smaller areas and Old Town is essentially the heart of this area. This is where you’d find some of the best hotels in central Edinburgh. This is also where Eric used to live so he knows it well!

A feature of this area is the famous Royal Mile which runs the length from Edinburgh Castle to the Palace of Holyrood and Arthur’s Seat. It’s lined with shops and attractions. If you are searching for hotels near the Royal Mile – or hotels right on the Royal Mile – then this is where you should stay. The Mile is also close to the train station for easy travels.

Another top area in the Old Town is called Grassmarket. This public square is lined with pubs and restaurants on one side and hotels on the other side. This is where you can find some of the best hotels near Edinburgh Castle (since it’s just a few staircases away). There are also museums in this area like the National Museum of Scotland and the University of Edinburgh is close by too.

Check Here For Old Town Edinburgh Hotels

For all these reasons, the Old Town makes a great place to stay. The Old Town has lots of cobblestones and hills but it’s still walkable. You should know that even if you stay in the Old Town, it’s not impossible to find places to stay in Edinburgh with parking. However, the city centre is pretty old and can be tight in places so parking can be an issue. Some Old Town hotels have onsite lots which is a bonus!

Featured Accommodations in Old Town

Below are some of the most centrally located hotels in Edinburgh’s Old Town. You’ll find mainly hotels since these are just the most popular accommodation option – especially when it comes to Royal Mile hotels in Edinburgh. There are a number of really, really popular places to choose from so you really can’t go wrong unless you are very picky.

Motel One Edinburgh – Royal – Check Now

hotel building on old street corner motel one edinburgh
Motel One Royal is popular for its location and value for money…
  • Style: A Cool and Trendy Hotel (very popular)
  • Price Range: Upper Budget
  • Location: Close to the Royal Mile at the foot of Cockburn Street, across from the train station with views of New Town
  • Featured Amenities: nice breakfast, clean rooms, onsite bar

ibis Hotel South Bridge – Check Now

  • Style: A Simple and Reliable Hotel
  • Price Range: Budget
  • Location: On popular South Bridge – heart of the old town close to National Museum of Scotland and Royal Mile
  • Featured Amenities: Onsite bar/restaurant, modern rooms, good WIFI

Apex Grassmarket Hotel – Check Now

  • Style: A Bright and Trendy Hotel
  • Price Range: Mid-Range
  • Location: Overlooking lively Grassmarket area, a short walk to the Royal Mile with views of Edinburgh Castle
  • Featured Amenities: Castle views, onsite bar/restaurant, pool, parking for a fee (rare for this area!)

The Scotsman – Check Now

old hotel building with flags flying out front by busy edinburgh street
You can’t miss the Scotsman sitting overlooking Princes Street Gardens!
  • Style: A Historic and Charming Luxury Hotel
  • Price Range: Upper Mid-Range
  • Location: Right on North Bridge – steps from the Royal Mile, near New Town and Princes Street Gardens
  • Featured Amenities: Bar/restaurant onsite, small cinema, room service, wheelchair accessible

New Town – For Shopping

buildings and cars parked on street in edinburgh new town
New Town is a lot more organized compared to Old Town!

Another top area to stay in Edinburgh is New Town. This area is located to the north of the Old Town and is divided from it by the Princes Street Gardens. The New Town was built later so you will find that it is set-up much more practically with right angles and wide streets as opposed to cobblestone alleyways in the Old Town!

Edinburgh doesn’t really have a “downtown” since the Old Town and New Town are both popular. That said, we’d say that New Town is the most like a downtown area with many restaurants, shopping areas – and downtown Edinburgh hotels scattered throughout.

A key difference in New Town compared to the Old Town is the space. It is more likely to find hotels that are kid-friendly, potentially quieter, and have parking since there’s just more room than in the Old Town. There are also attractions in New Town like Scott Monument and you can find a number of great pubs and bars along Rose Street.

Check Here for Hotels in New Town

Featured Accommodations in New Town

Below are a number of places to stay in New Town. Many of these places to stay are among the top hotels in Edinburgh – not only because of what they offer but also because they are among the most central hotels in Edinburgh. Waverley train station is very close by and you can hop on a tram or bus in New Town to Edinburgh Airport easily from just outside some of these properties.

Mode Edinburgh – Check Now

  • Style: A Bright and Modern Aparthotel
  • Price Range: Upper Budget
  • Location: Right off a main street in New Town, walkable to Dean Village and shopping
  • Featured Amenities: Speakers in rooms, shared lounge area, limited onsite parking

Motel One Edinburgh – Princes – Check Now

  • Style: A Trendy and Cool Hotel
  • Price Range: Upper Budget
  • Location: In New Town right off of Princes Street (shopping) and also close tom Princes Street Gardens and Waverley Train Station
  • Featured Amenities: Nice bar onsite, simple breakfast available, great location

The Balmoral Hotel – Check Now

  • Style: A Historic Luxury Hotel
  • Price Range: Luxury
  • Location: Right in New Town off Princes Street with gardens, shopping, Calton Hill, and Waverley Train station close by
  • Featured Amenities: Pool/spa facilities, top restaurants/bars onsite, parking available

Haymarket/West End – For Convenience

river flowing through historic coloured houses in edinburgh
The water at historic Dean Village is very close to B+B Edinburgh (listed below!)

For a stay that is still quite central but not right in the heart of the Old Town, you might want to look into Haymarket. This area – located to the west of New Town – also includes smaller areas like West End. Generally speaking, this is a more residential area that is not as touristy. Lisa lived in this area for a couple of months and really enjoyed it.

A highlight of this area is connectivity. You are a short walk to historic Dean Village, New Town, Stockbridge, and the Haymarket Train Station. This station runs right to Edinburgh Waverley but is also accessed easily by street tram and buses that run between the city centre and the airport.

So, Haymarket is a good area for people “on the go”. There are also a number of restaurants, pubs, and shops in this area which make it a lively place to stay but in a different way than in New Town. Also, once you get off the main road (Haymarket Terrace) you’re staying in residential areas which can be much quieter.

Check Here For Hotels and Accommodations in Haymarket

Featured Accommodations in Haymarket

Below are a handful of the top hotels and guesthouses in the Haymarket area. Remember that you are in the west end of the city centre but still within walking distance to New Town and to the area around Edinburgh Castle. In general, it’s a more residential location but some of the accommodations that are here are really good choices.

B+B Edinburgh – Check Now

  • Style: A Trendy yet Historic Hotel
  • Price Range: Budget (yes, seriously)
  • Location: In the quiet West End near historic Dean Village, close to New Town and Haymarket train station
  • Featured Amenities: Great breakfast included, bar/lounge onsite, good WIFI

Haymarket Hotel – Check Now

  • Style: A Charming and Historic Town House Hotel
  • Price Range: Mid-Range
  • Location: Right off the main street, very close to Haymarket Train Station
  • Featured Amenities: Bar/lounge onsite, pet friendly, breakfast available

The Haymarket Lairg Hotel – Check Now

  • Style: A Cozy and Charming Guesthouse
  • Price Range: Mid-Range
  • Location: On a quiet street in the West End, very close to Haymarket train station
  • Featured Amenities: Great hot breakfast, better suited for travellers without a car

Leith – For Water Views

Last, but certainly not least, we have the area of Leith. This area – located northeast of the city centre right on the banks of the Water of Leith – is directly connected to the Edinburgh city centre via “Leith Walk” (a long road with frequent buses to hop on, if needed).

The shore area in Leith – literally called The Shore – offers up a different vibe from that of the Old Town. As a port area with fishing village vibes, it can feel much quieter and in a way more unique/cool compared to the city centre.

That said, there are still plenty of shops, bars, restaurants, and even a top attraction or two – like the Royal Yacht Britannia – nearby. We stayed near/in Leith before and it was quite lovely. Leith is also a good area to stay in Edinburgh if you have a car since there is more space (like physical space) out there and accommodations more often than not have onsite parking available.

Check Here For Accommodations in Leith

Featured Accommodations in Leith

Below you can find a handful of great accommodations in Leith. The area is made up of mainly apartment rentals since it’s a bit more residential but you can find the odd hotel mixed in. Leith can be a great alternative if you have stayed in the city centre before and want to see a different side of Edinburgh. Plus, water views are hard to beat!

Malmaison Edinburgh – Check Now

  • Style: A Cool and Stylish Hotel
  • Price Range: Upper Budget
  • Location: Right at the water’s edge in Leith, a short walk to the Royal Yacht Britannia
  • Featured Amenities: Bar/restaurants onsite, nice breakfast, free parking

Hillside Luxury Apartment – Check Now

  • Style: A Trendy and Boutique Apartment
  • Price Range: Mid-Range
  • Location: A quiet area behind Calton Hill closer to New Town city centre than Leith
  • Featured Amenities: Full kitchen, good Wifi, stores and restaurants nearby

Coburg Street – Check Now

  • Style: A Clean and Bright Apartment
  • Price Range: Upper Budget
  • Location: Right down by the water in the heart of Leith
  • Featured Amenities: Full kitchen, terrace, private parking available

And there you have it – a rundown of the best places to stay in Edinburgh, Scotland! As we said, there are so many areas to stay in with great accommodation options that as long as you keep your budget and needs in mind, you can find a great spot in Edinburgh. If you’re in doubt, just book a well-rated hotel in the city centre – you’re unlikely to go wrong!

As always, Happy Edinburgh Accommodation Waddlin’,
-L&E

Booking Your Trip Soon? This Is How We Do It:
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  • Check for Hotel Deals or Book A Hostel
  • Get A Rental Car (depending on the destination)
  • Look Into Travel Insurance
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