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Heading to the Scottish capital and wondering where to stay in Edinburgh? I spent a full week exploring Edinburgh, choosing two different sides of the city to explore. My guide will help you find the best place to stay for your trip with my hotel recommendations in the areas to stay.

Depending on your interests and travel style, there are plenty of choices from boutique hotels to luxury hotels.

Well connected by public transport, there are areas rich in history coupled with a vibrant dining scene. This curated guide of the best hotels in Edinburgh will help you decide which neighborhoods are the best for your trip. I have my favorite two that I always recommend.

What I love about Edinburgh is that it still has a small-town vibe while having everything you could want from a modern city. Its streets tell century-old tales as you walk under the shadow of Edinburgh Castle and it feels like it’s straight from a novel.

From my go-to stay whenever I visit, to my top picks in my favorite neighbourhoods, the city is full of incredible accommodation options. Read on to discover the best hotels and areas to stay in Edinburgh to make the most of your time in this idyllic city.

Short on Time? Here Are My Top Picks for Where to Stay in Edinburgh

  1. The Witchery by the Castle, for the best Old Town hotel
  2. Eden Locke, for the best New Town hotel
  3. Nira Caledonia, for the best Stockbridge/Dean Village hotel

Where to Stay in Edinburgh


Before You Visit

Where to Stay in Edinburgh: Best Areas & Hotels 2024
Top choice: Eden Locke Hotel

To help you better plan your time in Edinburgh, here are a few guides to reference:


My Takeaway on The Best Area to Stay in Edinburgh

Edinburgh is such a beautiful city with iconic views, so making the most of the sights is key during your stay. My favorite areas in Edinburgh are Old Town and New Town. Both of these are centrally located in the heart of the city.

You can explore historic streets and try delicious food in Edinburgh’s lively culinary scene right outside your door. This makes it perfect for walking and discovering top tourist spots. 

You’ll find easy access to Edinburgh Waverly Station, as well as bus and tram stops that connect you to the rest of the city. These are the best places to stay for convenience coupled with history and beautiful sights.


Top Pick #1: Old Town

Where to Stay in Edinburgh Best Areas & Hotels

My top choice when staying in Edinburgh is the Old Town. Known for the Royal Mile and Grassmarket, this is the best place to soak up the historic charm that Edinburgh is famous for. You’ll have bars, restaurants, museums, and the city’s iconic castle. Staying in Edinburgh’s Old Town is perfect for first-time visitors and history enthusiasts.

In Edinburgh’s historic area, you’ll find charming cobbled streets with bagpipe players and tartan souvenir shops. I find the historic streets are the most charming in this area of Edinburgh.

If you’re looking to stay somewhere close to plenty of sights and in a central location, you can’t go wrong with the Old Town. The best hotels in Edinburgh are located here for a reason. And especially those that resemble the same old-world charm inside as the streets around you.

Hotels in Old Town

  1. The Witchery by the Castle ($$$) — This is my top pick for an indulgent stay in Edinburgh. With just nine suites, The Witchery feels exclusive with luxury details like antique furniture, roll-top baths, and tapestry-draped beds. Full of character, and just a stone’s throw from Edinburgh Castle, this is perfectly located for history lovers.
  2. Virgin Hotels Edinburgh ($$$) — This is one of the best views I’ve seen of any hotel in Edinburgh, with windows and terraces overlooking the rooftops of the Old Town. Tucked between the Royal Mile and Grassmarket, you’re at the center of the best boutiques and dining on your doorstep. 
  3. The Balmoral Hotel ($$$) — Calling the most prestigious address in the Scottish capital home, the Balmoral boasts a Michelin-starred restaurant. Those looking to splash out can book into the JK Rowling suite, where the Harry Potter author penned the final installment of the series. 
  4. Apex Grassmarket Hotel ($$) — Situated in a market square filled with pubs and restaurants, this is a great mid-range choice if you want a lively atmosphere. With a pool, gym, and sauna, you have everything you could want here.
  5. The Scotsman Hotel ($$) — I love the airy rooms and light-filled interiors at The Scotsman. Overlooking the iconic Carlton Hill and Princes Street Gardens, it’s perfectly located within walking distance of Waverly Station. 

Top Pick #2: New Town

Edinburgh New Town is the perfect place for those who want a bit of everything. You’ll find shops, be able to enjoy theatre and modern galleries. Plus you can dine at the many culinary staples and cocktail bars that fill its streets. 

Located opposite the Old Town, this newer end of Edinburgh’s city center has a more structured feel to its layout. It has a much different feel to the ancient streets in the city’s cultural hub. Glitzy designer stores flank George Street, while independent shops and cafes pepper Thistle and Rose Streets. 

Still ideally located close to the top attractions in Edinburgh, New Town hotels are more budget-friendly. You’ll find excellent boutique hotels, as well as larger family-friendly options too.

Hotels in New Town

  1. Eden Locke ($$) — This is my favorite place to stay when I’m visiting Edinburgh. The pastel Wes Anderson-esque interiors make this aparthotel feel like a haven of relaxation at the end of a busy day. With a delicious cafe on the ground floor and cozy rooms where I could truly unwind, it’s my first choice in New Town.
  2. Gleneagles Townhouse ($$$) — I love the grandeur of Gleneagles Townhouse. Both a private members club and hotel, this lovingly restored building was formerly one of the grandest banks around St Andrew Square. Just a 5-minute walk from Waverly station and with a tram stop right out the front on Princes Street, it’s easily connected.
  3. Cheval The Edinburgh Grand ($$$$) — A great choice for families and groups wanting a high-end stay, this apartment-style hotel is spacious, with some rooms offering terrace views. In addition to the in-house restaurant, bar, and coffee house, you’re also surrounded by some of the most popular restaurants including Hawksmoor and Dishoom.
  4. Tigerlily ($$) — Bold, vibrant, and centrally located on George Street, Tigerlily is great for younger crowds. It features a sparkly cocktail bar and is surrounded by some of the city’s best restaurants. Within a 15-minute walk from most major sights, you can make the best of everything Edinburgh has to offer.

Top Pick #3: Stockbridge and Dean Village

Where to Stay in Edinburgh Best Areas & Hotels

Located northwest of the city center along the banks of the Water of Leith, Stockbridge has a distinct character and is known for its charming streets, independent boutiques, and vibrant community atmosphere. With a village-like appeal, the Sunday farmer’s market is a must-visit.

Stockbridge is a great place if you want to live like a local in Edinburgh. Sip coffee as you people-watch at cozy cafes, spend the day vintage shopping, or enjoy a lazy afternoon pint at one of the pubs. 

On sunny days, walk along the waterway to admire the mixture of architectural styles in Dean Village. This is an excellent location for those wanting to enjoy the quieter side of Edinburgh.

Hotels in Stockbridge and Dean Village

  1. Nira Caledonia ($$) — Bordering Stockbridge and New Town, this boutique hotel is housed in two original Georgian townhouses. Cozy rooms make it feel like home, but with luxe touches you’d expect from a hotel of this caliber. 
  2. The Raeburn ($$) — Ideally matched to Stockbridge’s village-like feel, the Raeburn is a tastefully decorated bolthole in a renovated Georgian townhouse. It’s the perfect place for a city break, surrounded by gastropubs, rustic cafes, and green space.

Leith

Where to Stay in Edinburgh Best Areas & Hotels

For an eclectic neighborhood with an edgy appeal, Leith is the ideal place to stay. Bringing together creatives, young families, and die-hard locals, this pocket gets you away from the hustle and bustle of the tourist hotspots. 

Foodies will love this culinary hotspot, with two Michelin-starred restaurants, concept bars, and organic-focused cafes. Known for its creative and artistic community, with numerous galleries, studios, and cultural spaces, you can also enjoy the annual Leith Festival each June.

Hotels in Leith

  1. Malmaison Edinburgh ($$) — On the banks of the Forth in Leith, this 19th-century sailor’s home with a clock tower is the first of the Malmaison brand’s properties in the UK. Each room in this boutique hotel has been individually designed and the hotel is surrounded by maritime history near Leith’s port.
  2. Fingal ($$) — This is by far the most unique place to stay in Edinburgh. Once a functional vessel catering to lighthouses along the west coast of Scotland, this opulent floating hotel boasts a rich maritime history. Tucked in a private berth near Leith Docks, it’s just a 10-minute drive from the city center.
  3. 89 The Merchants by The House of Danu ($$) — A great self-catering option is the one and two-bedroom apartments in the heart of Leith just a short walk from tram stops connecting you with the city centre. Located 15 minutes from the Royal Yacht Britannia and Leith Docks, it’s a great option for families or small groups.

West End

Where to Stay in Edinburgh Best Areas & Hotels

The West End’s combination of historical architecture, cultural amenities, and a thriving financial district makes it a well-rounded area in Edinburgh for visitors. Located in the west of the city, it puts you close to key tourist attractions including Edinburgh Castle, Princes Street Gardens, and the Scottish National Gallery.

There’s a sense of luxury with high-end stores, and elegant townhouses and buildings dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries. This is a great choice if you want to be close to the best of everything Edinburgh offers.

Hotels in West End

  1. The Bonham ($$$) — Nestled in Edinburgh’s West End, The Bonham Hotel occupies a Victorian townhouse, with the majority of its bedrooms providing scenic city views. Princes Street, Calton Hill, Edinburgh Castle, The Royal Mile, and the EICC are close by.
  2. The Rutland Hotel & Apartments ($$$) — This glamorous hotel located on the west end of Princes Street with views of Edinburgh Castle has stylish rooms, a luxurious late lounge, and a unique restaurant with a glass wine cellar. It’s also within walking distance of iconic landmarks like the Scott Monument and the EICC.
  3. Hapimag Resort Edinburgh ($$) — Close to Edinburgh’s financial district, Hapimag Resort is a charming 4-star hotel in the West End. Just a 5-minute walk from St Mary’s Cathedral and the Water of Leith Walkway, the rooms are spacious and comfortably decorated throughout.

Morningside and Bruntsfield

Where to Stay in Edinburgh: Best Areas & Hotels 2024

Morningside in Edinburgh is known for its charming, residential atmosphere with beautiful Victorian and Georgian architecture. The area has a suburban vibe with lots of green spaces and tree-lined streets, creating a peaceful and pretty setting. 

Well-connected to the city center, Morningside is home to charming boutiques, traditional bakeries, bookshops, and specialty stores. The area also offers a variety of restaurants and eateries offering a range of cuisines.

Hotels in Morningside and Bruntsfield

  1. The Lane ($$) — If you’re staying in Edinburgh on a road trip, this bright and airy hotel is perfect as it has free private parking, as well as a terrace and bar. Modern interiors and large windows make the space feel calm, as does the location just outside the city center.
  2. Black Ivy ($$) — Bold colorful interiors and views overlooking Bruntsfield Links Park make this a great place to stay if you want to base yourself close to Edinburgh University and green spaces. It’s also just a 15-minute walk to the city center with plenty of sightseeing and dining options.

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Where to Stay in Edinburgh: Best Areas & Hotels 2024

PS — Are You Booking a Trip Soon? Use My Booking Checklist!

These are the sites I use most to book my own trips. Using the links below is a great way to support Bon Traveler’s travel journalism at no extra cost to you. If you need help organizing your itinerary, get my free travel itinerary template here.

1. Book Your Flights

I use Skyscanner to find the best flights. It searches 100s of airlines and websites across the globe to ensure you’re not missing out on any route options or deals.

2. Book Your Accommodations

I use Booking.com for hotels and guest houses. They have the biggest inventory and consistently offer the best rates.

3. Book Your Tours & Experiences

I use Viator or Get Your Guide to find the best tours and experiences. They are my favorite tour search engines. I always check both as their inventory varies depending on the destination.

4. Book Your Rental Car

Self-driving is the best way to explore most destinations. I use Discover Cars for our rental cars, select full coverage insurance, and opt for a reputable company like Alamo, Hertz, or Sixt.

5. Don’t Forget Airport Lounge Access

I use Priority Pass to gain access to 1,400+ VIP lounges and airport experiences worldwide. The Priority Pass app is the first thing I check when I have a layover. I’ve been a member for over a decade, and having a comfortable place to relax before and between flights makes air travel so much more enjoyable.

6. Don’t Forget Travel Insurance

I never leave the country without travel insurance. It provides comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong (ie. illness, injury, theft, and cancelations, etc.). I use it frequently for my travels to stay protected.

My favorite companies that offer the best coverage and rates are:


Xx,
Jessica

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