Where To Stay in Edinburgh [5 BEST Neighborhoods!]

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In what city can you find a mix of medieval and Georgian architecture, huge grassy parks, ocean views, an extinct volcano, a prime shopping district, top-notch restaurants, bagpipe buskers and happening nightlife? Only in Edinburgh!

As the capital of Scotland, the weather up this far north city Edinburgh can be on the wee chilly side, we know.

Luckily, the city is full of fascinating museums, cozy pubs, hip cafes and raucous comedy clubs to warm you up after a hike up Arthur’s Seat! And once you know where to stay in Edinburgh, you won’t need to travel far to get to the places that you want to see.

Written by our travel experts, this guide will help you decide where to stay in Edinburgh. Whether you’re traveling on a budget, with children or it’s your first time in the city – let us help you find your perfect neighborhood!

Table of Contents

Quick Tips – Where to Stay in Edinburgh

Where to stay in Edinburgh the first time – Old Town
Where to stay in Edinburgh on a budget – West End
Best area to stay in Edinburgh for nightlife – New Town
Coolest place to stay in Edinburgh – Stockbridge
Best neighborhood in Edinburgh for families – Leith

Where to Stay in Edinburgh

Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Edinburgh.

Best Budget Hotel in Edinburgh – Budget Backpackers

Budget Backpackers

Budget Backpackers is the best budget hotel in Edinburgh

This central hostel offers free Wi-Fi, a 24-hour reception and a cool on-site bar housed within an old camper van! Their private rooms offer a budget alternative to travelers who want to stay in the heart of the city without spending too much. Great or sociable travelers.

 

Best Mid-Range Hotel in Edinburgh – Apex Grassmarket Hotel

Apex Grassmarket Hotel

Apex Grassmarket Hotel is the best mid-range hotel in Edinburgh

In the heart of the city, the Apex offers easy access to Edinburgh’s key sightseeing destinations. They have a sauna and an indoor pool. Rooms feature modern touches including complimentary Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs and luxury toiletries. They provide tea and coffee making facilities and an en suite bathroom.

Haven’t found what you’re looking for? Try our hotel guide for Edinburgh!

Best Luxury Hotel in Edinburgh – Radisson Collection Hotel Royal Mile Edinburgh

Radisson Collection Hotel Royal Mile Edinburgh

Radisson Collection Hotel Royal Mile Edinburgh is the best luxury hotel in Edinburgh

This 5-star hotel is moments from St Giles Cathedral and popular attractions and dining spots. The stylishly furnished 136 rooms offer all the necessities to ensure a comfortable stay, including private bathrooms and hot drinks making equipment. The hotel has a gym and obliging staff available around the clock.

 

Edinburgh Neighborhood Guide

Edinburgh

Edinburgh

Practically perfect in every way, Scotland’s capital has so much to offer visitors.

With the imposing gothic buildings of Old Town looming over the bonnie streets of New Town, pretty monuments, a vibrant port suburb, sweeping ocean views, green hills and even an extinct volcano to summit, it’s a real stunner to take in.

Edinburgh is broken into a number of districts. Old Town and New Town together form Edinburgh’s centre. Edinburgh is a large city, but most of the places you’ll want to visit are clustered together with walking distance. Just mind those pesky hills! The cheerful vibe gives the capital a ‘small town’ character.

Edinburgh is well-served by buses and the tram. Walking up to the iconic Edinburgh Castle along the Royal Mile will give anyone’s lungs a work-out, but trust us – the views are worth it.

Old Town is the home of most of the main tourist attractions. Together with New Town, there are lots of opportunities to shop, eat and be merry in this neighborhood.

Those on a budget will appreciate the low prices of hotels and hostels in the West End.

Stockbridge and Leith are slightly further out of the centre, but only by a couple of miles. We think Stockbridge is easily the coolest part of the city, with its laid-back cafes, pubs and boutiques frequented by locals.

Leith is a popular spot for families. Children will love being near the sea and the accommodation here is particularly suited to families.

Edinburgh’s 5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in:

Now let’s take a look, in greater detail, at the best neighbourhoods to stay in Edinburgh. Our guide will help you decide which part of the city is best for you!

Neighborhood #1 - Old Town

(Where to stay in Edinburgh the first time)

Old Town

Old Town is our pick for where to stay in Edinburgh the first time

Edinburgh’s Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage site, which tells you that you’re in for a visual treat! The architecture in this neighborhood, much of it from the early 12th century, is truly mesmerising.

Old Town is the medieval heart of the city, with grand old tenements and twisting cobbled alleyways to get lost in. The spine of Old Town is known as the Royal Mile. Slightly longer than a mile, this thoroughfare connects Edinburgh Castle to the Palace of Holyroodhouse. All visitors should explore the length of it!

Old Town is where you’ll find the vast amount of tourist attractions, so its the ideal place for first-time visitors to stay and explore these ancient streets on foot.

Top things to do in Old Town:

  • Hike up to one of the city’s highest points and explore the fortress of Edinburgh Castle
  • Tour St. Giles’ Cathedral
  • Spend a few hours at the National Museum of Scotland
  • Take the kids (or yourself) to Camera Obscura and World of Illusions
  • Visit the Palace of Holyroodhouse, one of the royal residences of the Queen
  • Find the Greyfriars Bobby Memorial Statue, which commemorates a Skye Terrier who guarded the grave of his owner for 14 years
  • Snap a photo of the Scottish Parliament Building
  • Have coffee in The Elephant House where J. K. Rowling wrote the Harry Potter books
  • Sample the Scottish national drink at the Scotch Whisky Experience
  • Spook yourself out on a City Of The Dead ghost tour in the vaults

Where to Stay in Old Town

Best Budget Hotel in Old Town – Stay Central Hotel

Stay Central Hotel

Stay Central Hotel is the best budget hotel in Old Town

Budget 3-star accommodation with chic, contemporary interiors in the centre of Old Town. The rooms are equipped with air-conditioning, private bathrooms, a flat-screen TV, an iPod docking station and free Wi-Fi. There is the option to add breakfast. Clean, comfy, and a fabulous location for exploring!

Excited to visit Edinburgh? Get excited to take an amazing day trip too!

Best Mid-Range Hotel in Old Town – Radisson Blu Hotel Edinburgh

Radisson Blu Hotel Edinburgh

Radisson Blu Hotel Edinburgh is the best mid-range hotel in Old Town

This 4-star hotel has a wellness centre, the Melrose Spa and Healthclub, and an indoor swimming pool for guests to enjoy. The front desk is available 24/7 and the staff are happy to help you plan your stay. The rooms are big and comfortable. A daily breakfast buffet is available.

 

Best Luxury Hotel in Old Town – Old Town Chambers

Old Town Chambers

Old Town Chambers is the best luxury hotel in Old Town

These spacious apartments are designed to be warm, welcoming and homely at a luxury, 5-star standard. There is a concierge and 24/7 reception available to help you make the most of your stay. They are equipped with lounge areas, a kitchen and sweeping city views from the penthouses.

Do you have an open schedule? Figure out the best things to do in Edinburgh before you visit!

Neighborhood #2 - West End

(Where to stay in Edinburgh on a budget)

West End

West End is our pick for where to stay in Edinburgh on a budget

As you can probably hazard a guess, to the west of Edinburgh’s city centre is the West End, a neighborhood made up of grand Georgian crescents and where you’ll find Haymarket station.

Despite the architectural opulence, the West End is a hotbed for budget beds. There’s plenty of backpacker hostels and cheap guest houses for those traveling on a shoestring. It’s not too far to walk to the centre but the area is well-served by buses and the tram if needs be.

The West End has plenty of cool attractions and cozy pubs to keep its guests entertained and well-fed. There are a number of green spaces to catch some fresh air. A little hub of chilled bars and pubs at the junction of Princes Street and Queensferry Street gives the area an after-hours buzz, although it quietens down around midnight.

Top things to do in the West End:

  • Ride the tram to Edinburgh Zoo and meet the UK’s only giant pandas!
  • Embrace the full gin experience or take a tour at the Edinburgh Gin Distillery
  • Explore the contemporary collection at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art
  • Catch traditional Scottish music and a Ceilidh performance and drink a local ale at Ghillie Dhu
  • Stroll along the Water of Leith walkway and check out the bucolic settlement Dean Village
  • Have veggie light bite or piece of cake at the Cornerstone Cafe
  • Visit 18th-century museum the Georgian House. The former residence features Scottish artwork and traditional furniture

Where to Stay in the West End

Best Budget Hotel in the West End – No 32 Hotel

No 32 Hotel

No 32 Hotel is the best budget hotel in the West End

This 3-star hotel makes for an ideal base in Edinburgh with cozy, warm rooms. It also offers an airport shuttle, an express check-in / check-out feature, free Wi-Fi, tea and coffee making facilities and a bar. Guests can wake up to a sumptuous continental breakfast every day.

 

Best Mid-Range Hotel in the West End – Apex Haymarket Hotel

Apex Haymarket Hotel

Apex Haymarket Hotel is the best mid-range hotel in the West End

This trendy hotel offers 24-hour room service. Rooms come with private bathrooms, flat-screen TVs, luxury toiletries and blackout curtains. They provide tea and coffee making facilities and bottled water. The front desk operates 24/7. The friendly staff can recommend places to visit and provide other tourist information.

 

Best Luxury Hotel in the West End  Palmerston Suites

Palmerston Suites

Palmerston Suites is the best luxury hotel in the West End

A short walk from St Mary’s Cathedral, the Palmerston Suites can be found in an elegant Georgian townhouse offering comfortable apartments equipped with big, comfy beds. They provide tea and coffee making facilities, a microwave and refrigerator so they’re perfect for budget travelers who want to enjoy luxury-standard accommodation.

 

Neighborhood #3 - New Town

(Best area to stay in Edinburgh for nightlife)

New Town

New Town is our pick for the best area to stay in Edinburgh for nightlife

Cross the North Bridge from Old Town and, hey presto, you’re in Edinburgh’s Georgian-era New Town

The network of streets between Queen Street, George Street and Princes Street are chockablock with pubs, bars, clubs and other night-time temptations so this is a great place for party animals to stay whilst in Edinburgh. There are some delicious restaurants to chose from, offering all kinds of international food!

New Town is also Edinburgh’s number one shopping destination, with all the retail chains and big department store Jenners located here as well as tourist shops if you want to pick up a Scottie dog keyring in a tartan jacket.

As you stroll around New Town, glance up to see Old Town peering down over you and take in the sights of Edinburgh Castle.

Top things to do in New Town:

  • Sing along to ABBA and Queen at Supercube karaoke bar in your own private booth
  • Have some very swanky cocktails then dance the night away at Lulu Bar and Nightclub
  • Familiarize yourself with Scottish humor at The Stand Comedy Club
  • Have a traditional Scottish feast of haggis, neeps and tatties at Auld Hundred
  • Climb the 287 stairs to the top of Scott Monument
  • Catch a live music or cabaret show at the Voodoo Rooms
  • Explore the Princes Street Gardens with a picnic
  • Drink rum and wriggle your hips at El Barrio Latino
  • Visit Scotland’s National Gallery
  • Get retro at The Shack Comedy Club & Nightclub which generally plays ‘70s and ‘80s classics

Where to Stay in New Town

Best Budget Hotel in New Town – Mercure Edinburgh City – Princes Street Hotel

Mercure Edinburgh City - Princes Street Hotel

Mercure Edinburgh City – Princes Street Hotel is the best budget hotel in New Town

This stylish hotel offers an express check-in / check-out feature, 24-hour room service and the professional staff are available 24/7. Moments from nearby bars and clubs, this 3-star hotel also allows guests to easily explore what the local nightlife has to offer. Breakfast is served daily.

 

Best Mid-Range Hotel in New Town – Princes Street Suites

Princes Street Suites

Princes Street Suites is the best mid-range hotel in New Town

This stylish New Town property boasts a rooftop terrace and in-house spa offering a variety of facial and body treatments. Each apartment has free Wi-Fi and a kitchenette that is equipped with a refrigerator. Bathrooms and bedrooms are beautifully designed, and a satisfying breakfast is available each morning.

 

Best Luxury Hotel in New Town – The Balmoral Hotel

The Balmoral Hotel

The Balmoral Hotel is the best luxury hotel in New Town

Offering views of Edinburgh Castle, this 5-star hotel is a convenient base for those looking to check out popular attractions in Edinburgh and retire to a wholly luxurious room. On-site you’ll find the Balmoral Spa, an indoor pool, sauna and a Turkish steam bath – perfect for some downtime!

 

Neighborhood #4 - Stockbridge

(Coolest place to stay in Edinburgh)

Stockbridge

Stockbridge is our pick for the coolest place to stay in Edinburgh

Stockbridge is a niche and friendly little neighborhood which officially became part of Edinburgh’s city in the 19th century.

Since its merge, this quirky little spot has maintained its own character and independence. It’s well connected to the Old and New Towns so you can explore all the attractions of the city, but retire to a more chilled spot away from the crowds. There’s something undeniably cool about Stockbridge – it’s the perfect retreat!

Stockbridge is home to arty cafes serving good coffee, as well as cheesemongers and boutiques perfect to potter around. It even has it’s own weekly farmer’s market! There are traditional pubs which offer perfect refuge on a nippy Scottish evening.

You can enjoy a pleasant walk into town or catch a bus.

Top things to do in Stockbridge:

  • Spend an afternoon trying all the coffees on the menu at Artisan Roast Stockbridge
  • Walk or cycle along the Water of Leith river
  • Feel classy with a sophisticated cocktail at The Last Word Saloon
  • Have a proper pint among proper Scottish locals at The Stockbridge Tap
  • Play poker or test your trivia in the pub quiz at The Antiquary Bar!
  • Make a wish at St Bernard’s Well
  • Buy local produce and artisan crafts at the Sunday Farmer’s Market
  • Pick up some pre-loved bargains at one of the charity shops on Raeburn Place
  • Find your new favorite author at the Golden Hair independent bookshop
  • Explore the 70-acres that form the Royal Botanic Gardens just north of Stockbridge

Where to Stay in Stockbridge

Best Budget Hotel in Stockbridge – Stockbridge Riverside Apartment

Stockbridge Riverside Apartment

Stockbridge Riverside Apartment is the best budget hotel in Stockbridge

There are 2 apartments at the property, each offering all the essentials to ensure a comfortable and private stay. Tasteful, bright and clean – they are maintained to an excellent standard. Wi-Fi is complimentary, and you have an ideal base to explore Stockbridge and wander into the centre of town.

 

Best Mid-Range Hotel in Stockbridge – Nira Caledonia

Nira Caledonia

Nira Caledonia is the best mid-range hotel in Stockbridge

This stylish, boutique townhouse oozes sophistication and makes for a very glamorous stay. Rooms are complete with luxury linen, luxury toiletries and an iPod docking station. Each 4-star room includes its own bathroom with slippers, a hairdryer and bathrobes. Start your day with their fresh, tasty buffet breakfast!

 

Best Luxury Hotel in Stockbridge – The Raeburn

The Raeburn

The Raeburn is the best luxury hotel in Stockbridge

Step inside this 5-star hotel and you’ll find that the interiors are as beautiful as its exterior! Relax in your freestanding roll-top bath or curl up with a book in the hotels’s library. A delicious breakfast is available daily. The hotel has a rooftop terrace that guests love.

 

Neighborhood #5 - Leith

(Best neighborhood in Edinburgh for families)

Leith

Leith is our pick for the best neighborhood in Edinburgh for families

A mere few miles east out of the city centre you’ll find the vibrant port neighbourhood of Leith. As Edinburgh’s major harbour Leith opens out into the Firth of Forth.

Whilst still part of Edinburgh City, this seaside neighborhood does have its own distinct vibe.

Leith is an ideal spot for a family vacation due to its peaceful neighborhood and its abundance of apartment rentals – ideal for those wanting a little more space than a hotel room. Prices in Leith are generally lower than in the centre.

Leith has plenty of restaurants and cafes to choose from. Besides traditional Scottish and a plethora of international cuisine, Leith boasts plenty of seafood restaurants with fresh catches of the day. There’s enough to keep you busy in Leith, but the city is only a brief bus ride away.

Top things to do in Leith:

  • Take a walk to Newhaven Lighthouse
  • Get your skates on at the Broadwalk roller skating rink. Beginners welcome!
  • Take a tour of the Royal Yacht Britannia, a huge ocean liner used by Britain’s royal family on official state visits for more than 40 years
  • Catch up on your shopping at the Ocean Terminal shopping mall
  • Eat scones, tea and pastries with a river view at quaint and cute Mimi’s Bakehouse
  • Get to know your scotch with a tasting at The Scotch Malt Whisky Society
  • Wander around the shipyard and pick out your favourite yachts
  • Let the kids use up their surplus energy at Wonder World Soft Play

Where to Stay in Leith

Best Budget Hotel in Leith –  Pillars House

Pillars House

Pillars House is the best budget hotel in Leith

The traditional family rooms at this intimate guest house come with private bathrooms and a hearty breakfast is available daily for the whole family to tuck in. The staff are welcoming and professional and will be happy to help you plan your stay in Edinburgh. Free Wi-Fi is included.

 

Best Mid-Range Hotel in Leith – Malmaison Edinburgh

Malmaison Edinburgh

Malmaison Edinburgh is the best mid-range hotel in Leith

Malmaison Edinburgh is close to local sightseeing spots in Leith, including The Kitchin, The Royal Yacht Britannia and Ocean Terminal. They offer 24-hour room service in their opulent rooms which come with stylish bathtubs. This 4-star hotel has all the amenities you need for a relaxing stay!

 

Best Luxury Hotel in Leith – The Shore

The Shore

The Shore is the best luxury hotel in Leith

These clean, modern apartments in the heart of Leith have a luxury touch. They come with a kitchenette and a spacious living area for the family to spread out. They have fabulous views of the river and there are plenty of local restaurants nearby, plus a bus stop right outside.

 

Final thoughts on Edinburgh

Edinburgh has all the benefits of a hip, contemporary city hidden away beneath its grand exterior. You get the full urban experience but with a stunning backdrop of Scottish nature, with rolling hills and a charming port neighborhood.

Old Town is our top choice for where to stay in Edinburgh. This is the oldest part of Edinburgh – you’ll feel like your wandering through a postcard! However, there’s tonnes of fun attractions, homely pubs and cute cafes to keep you busy. Prices aren’t bad at all, for such a prime location!

Our top pick for the best hotel in Edinburgh is the Radisson Blu Hotel Edinburgh. This stylish hotel has an indoor pool, spa, impeccable rooms and professional service at a friendly rate for this enviable location. You seriously won’t find a better place to stay in Edinburgh.

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About the Author Emma Johnson

Emma Johnson lives to travel! Born in Washington D.C., Emma is a hotel connoisseur and a staff writer at Hotel Jules. An army brat, Emma got the travel bug early and has never been able to stop. Now, she has proudly visited 70+ countries and plans to visit every country in the world! Passionate about her ukelele (obviously) and her family, Emma eventually wants to retire in Thailand and write a book about all of her travel experiences.