Places to Stay in Edinburgh for an Unforgettable Experience

Welcome to our guide on finding the perfect places to stay in Edinburgh for an unforgettable experience. Whether you’re planning a short visit or an extended stay, choosing the right accommodation is crucial to ensure a memorable and comfortable trip. Edinburgh, with its captivating history, breathtaking landmarks, and vibrant cultural scene, offers a plethora of options to suit every traveler’s needs. In this article, we will explore the top places to stay in Edinburgh, helping you discover the ideal home away from home during your visit to this enchanting city. From historic areas like the Royal Mile to the bustling New Town, we’ll provide insights and recommendations that will enhance your stay and make it truly unforgettable. So, let’s embark on this journey to find the perfect place to stay in Edinburgh and create lasting memories in Scotland’s charming capital.

The Best Areas to Stay in Edinburgh

When it comes to choosing the best area to stay in Edinburgh, several factors come into play, such as proximity to attractions, ambiance, and personal preferences. Let’s explore two popular areas:

1. The Royal Mile

The Royal Mile is a historic and vibrant street that stretches from Edinburgh Castle to the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Staying along the Royal Mile offers the following advantages:

  • Proximity to Edinburgh Castle: Accommodations near the Royal Mile provide easy access to the iconic Edinburgh Castle, where you can immerse yourself in history and enjoy panoramic views of the city.
  • Convenience to Attractions: The Royal Mile is lined with captivating landmarks, intriguing museums, charming cafes, and bustling shops. You’ll be steps away from attractions like the Scotch Whisky Experience and the Camera Obscura.
  • Authentic Atmosphere: Staying on the Royal Mile allows you to experience the unique blend of medieval charm and modern buzz. You can wander through narrow closes and soak in the historic ambiance while enjoying the vibrant energy of street performers.

2. Old Town vs. New Town

Edinburgh offers two distinct neighborhoods, each with its own appeal. Let’s compare the Old Town and the New Town to help you make an informed decision:

a. Old Town

The Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, known for its winding cobblestone streets, medieval architecture, and atmospheric closes. Staying in the Old Town offers the following:

  • Historical Charm: Immerse yourself in the rich history of Edinburgh by staying in the Old Town. Explore iconic landmarks like St. Giles’ Cathedral and the Real Mary King’s Close.
  • Quaint Atmosphere: Wander through the narrow, winding streets and discover hidden gems, charming pubs, and cozy cafes. The Grassmarket area, with its lively atmosphere and eclectic shops, is a must-visit.
  • Proximity to the Royal Mile: The Old Town is adjacent to the Royal Mile, allowing easy access to its attractions and amenities.

b. New Town

Contrasting the medieval charm of the Old Town, the New Town boasts Georgian elegance, wide boulevards, and a cosmopolitan ambiance. Staying in the New Town offers the following advantages:

  • Upscale Shopping: Enjoy upscale shopping experiences on Princes Street, George Street, and Multrees Walk, where you’ll find luxury brands, trendy boutiques, and department stores.
  • Fine Dining and Entertainment: The New Town is home to a wide range of restaurants, cafes, and bars, offering diverse culinary experiences and vibrant nightlife.
  • Park Life: Explore the beautiful Princes Street Gardens, a tranquil oasis nestled between the Old Town and the New Town. The gardens provide a peaceful retreat amidst the city’s hustle and bustle.

Accommodation Options in Edinburgh

When it comes to accommodation in Edinburgh, the city offers a diverse range of options to suit every traveler’s needs and budget. Whether you prefer the convenience of a hotel, the cozy atmosphere of a guesthouse, the affordability of a hostel, or the local experience of an Airbnb, Edinburgh has something for everyone.


Edinburgh boasts a wide selection of hotels, catering to various preferences and locations. If you’re flying into the city, you may consider hotels near Edinburgh Airport for convenience. For those arriving by train, hotels near Haymarket Train Station or Waverley Station offer easy access to the city center and surrounding attractions. When choosing a hotel, consider factors such as location, amenities, and proximity to the places you plan to visit.

Guest Houses and B&Bs

For travelers seeking a more personal and intimate experience, guest houses and bed and breakfasts are popular choices. These accommodations provide a warm and welcoming atmosphere, often hosted by friendly locals who can offer insider tips and recommendations. Staying in a guest house or B&B allows you to experience Scottish hospitality and enjoy a homemade breakfast to start your day.

Hostels and Campsites

If you’re traveling on a budget or enjoy a more communal environment, hostels and campsites are excellent options. Edinburgh has a range of hostels scattered throughout the city, providing affordable accommodation for backpackers and solo travelers. Some hostels even offer private rooms for those seeking more privacy. For outdoor enthusiasts, campsites located in and around Edinburgh provide an opportunity to enjoy nature while still being within reach of the city’s attractions.


In recent years, Airbnb has gained popularity as an alternative accommodation option. Edinburgh offers a wide range of Airbnb listings, allowing visitors to stay in unique homes and experience the city like a local. From cozy apartments in the heart of the Old Town to stylish flats in the New Town, Airbnb provides a chance to immerse yourself in the local culture and discover hidden gems recommended by your hosts.

Exploring Edinburgh’s Attractions

During your stay in Edinburgh, make sure to explore the city’s iconic attractions. Here are a few must-visit places:

Edinburgh Castle

Perched on Castle Rock, Edinburgh Castle is a symbol of Scottish history and a major landmark. Explore its ancient halls, learn about the country’s royal past, and enjoy breathtaking views of the city from its ramparts. For easy access, consider staying in accommodations near the castle, allowing you to visit at different times of the day and avoid the crowds.

The Royal Mile and Holyrood Palace

The Royal Mile, a historic street that connects Edinburgh Castle to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, is brimming with history, shops, and eateries. Take a leisurely stroll along this famous stretch, admire the stunning architecture, and explore the hidden closes (alleyways). At the eastern end of the Royal Mile, you’ll find Holyrood Palace, the official residence of the British monarch in Scotland. Marvel at its grandeur, visit the State Apartments, and wander through the beautiful gardens.

The Edinburgh Dungeons and Edinburgh Playhouse

For those seeking entertainment and a bit of thrill, a visit to the Edinburgh Dungeons is a must. This interactive attraction takes you on a journey through Scotland’s dark history, combining history with humor and scares. Located near the city center, it’s easily accessible from various accommodations. Additionally, the Edinburgh Playhouse is a renowned venue for theater shows, musicals, and performances. If you plan to catch a show during your stay, consider accommodations in the nearby area for convenience.

Edinburgh’s Events and Shopping

Apart from its rich history and attractions, Edinburgh is known for its vibrant events and shopping experiences. Here are a couple of highlights:

Edinburgh Festival Fringe

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the world’s largest arts festival, attracting thousands of performers and visitors from around the globe. If you’re visiting during the festival season, booking accommodations in advance is essential, as availability can be limited. Consider staying near the festival venues to make the most of your time and immerse yourself in the artistic buzz.

6 Nations Rugby

For sports enthusiasts, the 6 Nations Rugby tournament is an exciting event to experience. Matches take place at Murrayfield Stadium, the home of Scottish rugby. If you’re planning to attend a match, ensure you secure accommodation well in advance, as it’s a popular time for visitors. Staying near the stadium or in nearby neighborhoods provides convenience and easy access to the matches.

Shopping in Edinburgh

Edinburgh offers a fantastic shopping experience, from high-end boutiques to quirky independent stores. Princes Street is a bustling shopping hub, featuring major retailers and department stores. Multrees Walk is where you’ll find luxury brands like Louis Vuitton and Harvey Nichols. If you prefer a more traditional shopping experience, explore the charming streets of the Old Town and New Town, where you’ll discover unique shops, artisanal goods, and local boutiques.


In conclusion, Edinburgh offers a wide range of accommodation options to cater to different preferences and budgets. Whether you choose a hotel, a guest house, a hostel, or an Airbnb, the key is to consider your needs, desired location, and the experiences you wish to have during your stay. By selecting the right place to stay, you can enhance your overall Edinburgh experience and create memories that will last a lifetime. Enjoy your journey through this enchanting city and embrace all that Edinburgh has to offer.