In Edinburgh, as in almost every European capital, you have many options to stay that fit every pocket. There are more than 500 hotels, hostels, bed&breakfasts, apartments and hostels where you can stay for as long as you want. Yet Edinburgh is a busy city we recommend that you book well in advance, particularly in high season.
Accommodation by area
The Scottish capital offers countless places to stay, in different categories. The best choice for you will depend on how you want to live your experience in Edinburgh. There are two main areas in the city, with different vibes: the medieval Old Town and the classic New Town. Below we offer you a list of accommodations listed by their location.
In the Old Town, the Royal Mile is the main street linking Holyrood Palace with Edinburgh Castle. This elongated street full of history is approximately one mile length (hence its name), yet it is divided into four sections that adopt different names: Canongate, High Street, Lawnmarket and Castle Hill. At 190 High Street is our meeting point from where our tours depart daily, which will be our reference point for accommodation.
About 10 minutes from 190 High Street
About 15 minutes from 190 High Street
About 20 minutes from 190 High Street
Across Princes Gardens, the New Town develops alongside its main road: Princes Street. Here you will find a buzzing street with a huge variety of shops and restaurants in every style. This area is slightly further away from our departure point, but on foot you can arrive on a pleasant walk. Yet you will not get rid of the slopes!
About 10 minutes from 190 High Street
About 15 minutes from 190 High Street
About 20 minutes from 190 High Street
Accommodation by type
Here we will list different types of accommodation to suit you best:
In Edinburgh you have a huge variety of hotels. It is the most traditional way of lodging and rates are usually around £100 per night for the most central ones. In those hotels a bit far away from the centre prices can go down to £60 per night. Of course, bear in mind that in August prices could be doubled because of the Edinburgh Festival..
In Edinburgh there is a good choice of hostels. It is the probably the cheapest option, although perhaps not the most comfortable. The facilities are usually very basic and you may have to share a room with other tourists. However, you can sleep for about fifteen or twenty pounds per night. If you travel in a group this may be an option to consider..
Bed & Breakfasts
This typically British accommodation is one of the most interesting options. B&Bs are private homes converted into small hotels. Some even said that B&Bs were born from the hospitality of the Scottish clans, evolved into a today business. On the upside, you would be able to feel at home, breathe a family atmosphere and try their succulent breakfasts. Prices are comparable to those of hotels and may vary depending on the chosen area.
Renting an aparment is one of the best options if you will travel for a few days and even more if you go with family or in a group. As you can imagine, it is a real home with all the necessary amenities and equipment to live, including options for your own catering. There are also other homes where you only have one room at your disposal, being the kitchen, living room and laundry, spaces to share. Prices may also vary depending on the picked area, although you may save some money if you want to cook in your apartment, reducing the number of times you will go to restaurants and coffee shops..
Where to stay in Edinburgh if…
Although everything will depend on what your plan is, our proposal to you includes surely some examples that will catch your interest. We will list them according to your interests, the days that your visit will last, location and price.
…You don’t have too much time
SIf you are only going to spend a couple of days in Edinburgh, it may be better to look for a central location that will allow you to explore the city on foot. For this reason we recommend the Old Town, and to be, its main axis, the Royal Mile. On the other hand, if you prefer the also central New Town, it is better to be as close as possible to another of its main nodes, Princes Street.
…You have a limited budget
If you want to keep the money in your pocket, you may also have some options. In the Old Town you can find hostels from £12. The High Street Hostel is a good example of this, it is right next to the Royal Mile and can offer you a room adapted to the amount you want to pay. Bedrooms come in all sizes and most of them are shared ones. It receives very good comments, especially from people who travel as a couple.
An interesting one is Castle Rock Hostel. As the name implies it is right next to Edinburgh Castle, so you will have no excuse not to visit it. From your hostel you can visit the entire historic center and move to the New Town without walking too much. Almost all comments highlight the good atmosphere and the exquisite welcome by the staff. Prices start at £12.
Very close to Princes Street is the Code Hostel Edinburgh, just ten minutes walking from the train station and fifteen from the medieval town center. It is an ideal option if you are interested in shopping, knowing the architecture of the New Town and the best restaurants. It has good facilities and is an ideal accommodation for couples. Prices start at £30.
As for the backpackers’ hostels, we would recommend you the Royal Mile Backpackers, in the Old Town, in an area full of bars, cafes and restaurants, five minutes away from Edinburgh station and less than ten from the castle. Prices start at £15.
…You can choose a nice place, within reason
You have lots of options. We recommend the Grassmarket Hotel because it is one of those with best rates from customers. It is located in the vibrant area of Grassmarket, less than a mile from Waverley train station and 900 yds downhill from the Royal Mile. The rooms are soundproofed and have modern and comfortable bathrooms. In addition, the hotel offers its own bike rental service and packed lunches. It is very close to pubs, discos, bars, restaurants and at the same time not far from the shops of Princes Street. Its privileged location, by the side of the Old Town, makes also very easy to explore the medieval centre of Edinburgh. Bookings start at £50.
Some twenty minutes walking distance from the Old Town and from Haymarket train station you can find The Albyn Townhouse, a 4 star B&B run by a lovely family. The house is four stories high and was built in the 19th century. It offers huge beds and a full and complete Scottish breakfast. Prices start at £100.
The Ibis Edinburgh Centre Royal Mile can also be another interesting option. It is located by the historic Royal Mile, five minutes away from Waverley train station and Princes Street. It is an elegant hotel and has a lively bar. The rooms are spacious, bright and have their own private bathroom. You can find double bed rooms from £80.
Finally, one of the most peculiar is the Martins Guest House, a Victorian villa twenty minutes away from Edinburgh Castle and Princes Street. It offers a good value for money and stands out for the period furniture that decorates its rooms and rooms. Prices start at £90
…Money is not an issue
If you want to enjoy hotels of outstanding quality, because the experience is more important than the bill, you can book The Witchery by the Castle, in the Old Town. It is a luxury restaurant that also offers nine suites, each one with distinctive features. Inside you will enjoy canopy beds, tapestries, a separate living area, dressing rooms, spacious bathrooms, etc. Many celebrities stayed here and their restaurant serves specially selected Scottish dishes. It is two minutes from the esplanade of Edinburgh Castle. Prices start at £400 in low season.
The Scotsman Hotel is another similar option. It is a four-star hotel built in 1905 as the headquarters of The Scotsman, a major local newspaper, and later transformed into a hotel. It offers wonderful views towards Edinburgh Castle and the historic center. Its rooms and suites include exclusive items such as panoramic windows or Egyptian cotton bedding. The hotel is mid way between the Royal Mile and Princes Street, so you can visit the historic city center or shops very comfortably. Prices start at £250.
Finally, another of those hotels that are an experience rather than a bedroom: Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh – The Caledonian. Like the Scotsman, it was also built in the early twentieth century. This five-star hotel was once upon a time part of a now vanished train station, built by the railways company. Its rooms have all the comforts of a hotel of such category: fantastic views of the historic center, luxury bathrooms, design toiletries, etc. It also harbours a spa and two restaurants. Edinburgh Castle is only a twenty minute walk away, and it is located at the end of Princes Street.
…You want to go out
Glasgow used to be the preferred city in Scotland when it comes to go partying, but over recent years Edinburgh is increasing the quality of its scene. Some say that the tourism and its visitors revitalized the city, but if you go to George Street, in the New Town, to the university district or to Grassmarket, you will realise that the atmosphere is very diverse. If you want to enjoy the night, clearly a good option is to choose your accommodation as close as possible to the New Town. The Old Town is also an option, because its High Street and Grassmarket, are also areas that attract party-goers, particularly during August, when the Edinburgh Festival floods the city. If you are interested in students fun, Cowgate is your street.
Edinburgh’s nightlife is very fun. You have many bars, pubs and coffee shops to choose from. In them you can try the best whisky and the best beer, lagger or ale. Yet drinking alcohol is not very cheap in Scotland, and there are laws in place to make drinking more expensive. Some of the pubs also program gigs, usually of local musicians and groups, which may be very interesting for you particularly if you are keen into folk or pop music.
Beware that some clubs require a formal dress, and also that children cannot access some bars or pubs if alcohol is served. Many pubs open until 3:00 at the most, or 5:00 if you visit Edinburgh during the Festival. Smoking is not allowed in closed public spaces, and drinking is public areas is also illegal. You could not buy alcohol from shops after 10pm or before 10am, unless those shops have a special license.
…You want to explore everything
If your plan is to move a lot and explore everything, the best option is to choose an accommodation as close to the center as possible. You have tram and bus stops on the main streets of the city, particularly in the New Town. You can’t forget that Waverley station is right in the heart of Edinburgh. Thus, whether you decide to stay in the Old Town or in the New Town you will have all the means of transport very close.
How to book your stay in Edinburgh
After reading all this information we prepared for you, we hope that you are already in a position to make the best decision about your accommodation in Edinburgh.