The Definitive Guide to the Best Places to Stay in Edinburgh, Scotland

The Definitive Guide to the Best Places to Stay in Edinburgh, Scotland

Updated On: June 09, 2024 by   Fatma MohamedFatma Mohamed

The best places to stay in Edinburgh, Scotland, are as diverse as the city itself. From historic castle hotels to modern city-centre apartments, the Scottish capital offers an array of accommodations to suit every traveller’s needs and preferences. Whether you’re seeking breathtaking views of Edinburgh’s iconic landmarks, a cosy retreat in the heart of the Old Town, or a luxurious home base for exploring the Highlands, this definitive guide will help you discover the perfect place to rest your head during your visit.

Edinburgh’s storied past is woven into the fabric of its most exceptional lodgings. Spend a night fit for a king (or queen) at Balmoral Hotel, a grand 19th-century landmark overlooking Princes Street Gardens, or sink into the plush furnishings of Prestonfield House, a 17th-century mansion that was once the estate of a Scottish aristocrat. For a more contemporary experience, consider one of the city’s stylish aparthotels, which provide the comforts of home combined with the amenities of a luxury hotel.

No matter which of the best places to stay in Edinburgh, Scotland, you choose, you’ll be surrounded by the city’s breathtaking architecture, rich history, and vibrant culture. From the medieval charm of the Old Town to the modern elegance of the New Town, Edinburgh offers an unparalleled travel experience that will leave you longing to return again and again.

The Best Places to Stay in Edinburgh, Scotland

The Definitive Guide to the Best Places to Stay in Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh, a city rich in history and character, is a mosaic of diverse neighbourhoods, each appealing to a unique type of traveller. Discovering what each area offers will help you find the ideal spot to rest during your Scottish getaway.

Old Town

Dive into Edinburgh’s historic core, where cobblestone streets wind past landmarks like Edinburgh Castle on its volcanic perch and the magnificent St Giles’ Cathedral. This vibrant area, bustling with energy, places you near the Royal Mile’s lively shops filled with tartan treasures and pubs alive with traditional folk music. Note that the charming historical ambience often draws crowds, especially during peak tourist season.

New Town

For those seeking elegance, New Town’s sophisticated Georgian architecture and wide avenues present a refined retreat. Recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it features upscale shops such as Jenners and Harvey Nichols. Princes Street offers panoramic city views and a cosmopolitan atmosphere with its chic cafes and renowned theatres. While a bit quieter than Old Town, it remains within easy reach of major attractions like the National Gallery of Scotland.


The Definitive Guide to the Best Places to Stay in Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh’s docklands have blossomed into a trendy hotspot. Leith’s vibrant nightlife includes stylish bars like The Shore, with its harborside seating, and Michelin-starred restaurants like The Kitchin, serving innovative Scottish dishes. History enthusiasts can tour the Royal Yacht Britannia, now a floating museum. With its cobblestone streets and repurposed warehouses housing art galleries and quirky shops, Leith offers a distinctive and lively charm.


Experience a village-like enclave teeming with independent shops offering vintage clothing and artisan crafts. Art galleries showcase local talent, while cafes like The Scran & Scallie serve delectable brunches and teas. Don’t miss the Saturday market at St. Stephen’s Square for local produce, handcrafted gifts, and antiques. This serene neighbourhood is a peaceful escape yet close to attractions like the Royal Botanic Garden.

Southside, Newington, and Prestonfield

Ideal for budget-conscious travellers and students, these areas are brimming with youthful energy. Enjoy live music at pubs like The Brough and unique experiences at places like The Banshee Labyrinth, a Harry Potter-themed pub. Independent cinemas such as The Cameo feature cult classics and arthouse films. With a variety of multicultural restaurants, this area provides an authentic and lively Edinburgh experience, though it may lack luxury.

Dean Village

The Definitive Guide to the Best Places to Stay in Edinburgh, Scotland

Nestled just northwest of the city centre, Dean Village is a picturesque sanctuary with quaint stone houses along the serene Water of Leith. Explore the remnants of the Dean Village Distillery, reflecting the area’s industrial heritage. This charming retreat is perfect for a romantic getaway, offering a peaceful glimpse into the past.

Bruntsfield and Morningside

These upscale, family-friendly suburbs provide a relaxed pace. Bruntsfield’s green spaces are ideal for picnics and outdoor activities, while Morningside boasts charming bookshops like Barclay Books and delis filled with gourmet cheeses and locally sourced produce. These areas are perfect for those seeking a tranquil haven with convenient access to the city.

Whether you’re drawn to history, culture, vibrant nightlife, or serene escapes, Edinburgh has a neighbourhood ready to welcome you. Find your perfect haven and immerse yourself in the magic of Scotland’s capital!

Unlocking Edinburgh: Finding Your Ideal Stay

The Definitive Guide to the Best Places to Stay in Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh, with its rich history and captivating charm, invites travellers to explore its dramatic landscapes and vibrant culture. Before you embark on your Scottish journey, a vital decision awaits: where to lay your head. This guide will help you navigate the options to find your perfect Edinburgh accommodation!

Consider Location

Edinburgh’s diverse neighbourhoods cater to various traveller preferences. If you seek history and a central spot, Old Town is perfect, with landmarks like Edinburgh Castle and the bustling Royal Mile, filled with tartan shops and lively pubs. For a touch of sophistication, New Town offers elegant Georgian architecture and upscale shops along Princes Street. If you prefer a trendy vibe with maritime charm, Leith promises vibrant nightlife with bars like The Shore, featuring outdoor seating by the harbour. For a hidden gem, explore Dean Village, a picturesque oasis with quaint stone houses along the tranquil Water of Leith, ideal for a morning stroll before city adventures.


Edinburgh accommodates a range of budgets. Luxurious hotels such as The Balmoral offer impeccable service, opulent rooms, and stunning views. More affordable options include charming guesthouses like Mary’s Street Residence, providing a cosy atmosphere and friendly staff. Budget-friendly hostels like St Christopher’s offer social settings perfect for solo travellers. Vacation rentals throughout the city provide a home-away-from-home experience, like waking up in a Georgian townhouse in Stockbridge, a village-like enclave with independent shops and cafes, where you can explore local markets and cook meals in your fully-equipped kitchen.

Type of Accommodation

The Definitive Guide to the Best Places to Stay in Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Hotels: Enjoy luxury with a stay at The Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh, featuring a spa perfect for relaxation, or The Scotsman Hotel, with an on-site Michelin-starred restaurant showcasing the best of Scottish cuisine.
  • Apartments: For a more independent stay, consider an apartment. These self-catering options offer the flexibility to cook your own meals and experience local life, such as staying in a modern apartment in Leith, cooking fresh seafood from the harbour, and exploring the area’s trendy bars.
  • B&Bs: For a personal touch, consider a B&B like Rosebery Guest House in New Town, often housed in historic buildings and offering home-cooked breakfasts, perfect for fueling a day of exploring Edinburgh’s castles and museums.

Reviews and Ratings

Online reviews are invaluable. Check guest experiences on travel websites and social media to learn about noise levels, cleanliness, and amenities. Knowing details like thin walls or dated decor can help you avoid unpleasant surprises.

Amenities and Services

The Definitive Guide to the Best Places to Stay in Edinburgh, Scotland

Determine your priorities. Do you need a hotel with a gym or spa for post-adventure relaxation, like the Nira Caledonia with its ESPA spa treatments? Is laundry service essential, or will you be exploring local cafes with laundry facilities nearby? Identifying must-have amenities will narrow your search.

By considering these factors, you’ll turn your search into an exciting treasure hunt. Discover the secrets of Edinburgh’s neighbourhoods, set your budget, choose your accommodation style, and prepare to find your perfect home away from home!


The Definitive Guide to the Best Places to Stay in Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh, Scotland, offers a diverse range of accommodations to suit every traveller’s taste and budget, from luxurious hotels with stunning views of the city’s historical landmarks to cosy bed and breakfasts tucked away in charming neighbourhoods. Whether you’re seeking the vibrant atmosphere of the Royal Mile, the tranquil beauty of the New Town, or the cultural richness of Leith, there is a perfect place for you to stay. Each area provides a unique experience, ensuring that visitors can immerse themselves in the city’s rich history, vibrant arts scene, and warm Scottish hospitality.

Choosing the right place to stay in Edinburgh enhances your overall experience, making your visit truly unforgettable. With this definitive guide, you can confidently select accommodations that align with your preferences and needs, ensuring a comfortable and memorable stay. Explore the best of what Edinburgh has to offer, from its iconic attractions to its hidden gems, all while enjoying the perfect home base for your adventures.


1. Are there affordable hotels included in this guide?

Yes! The guide lists quite a few affordable hotels for all types of travellers, including young ones, which are located in Edinburgh city centre, among other parts.

2. How does this guide help if I have never been to Edinburgh before?

Not only does it give information about the available accommodations but it also highlights local attractions such as restaurants and sights plus some advice on using the buses in Edinburgh.

3. Does this definitive guide cover luxury accommodations, too?

Surely! It includes high-end options like the Balmoral Hotel, renowned for its beautiful views from balconies overlooking the whole city.

4. Can I use this guide to plan my stay mainly around popular tourist spots?

Absolutely! The best places to stay listed here take into account the proximity of both key attractions and top dining spots, making things easy for tourists.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *