Where to Stay in Edinburgh: Best Areas & Hotels

Edinburgh's city center is the ideal place to stay for first-time visitors who want to see the city's best-known sights. The historic Old Town surrounds the Royal Mile, stretching from the Palace of Holyroodhouse to Edinburgh Castle. This neighborhood is popular for its old-world charm and plentiful museums as well as its historical significance. The adjacent Princes Street neighborhood is famous for its posh retail shops and the stunning Princes Street Gardens, which decorate the grounds in front of the castle. The New Town business district offers some of the city's best dining, from the ritziest restaurant to cozy bistros. The neighborhood's laid-back atmosphere is perfect for people-watching, and independent shops offer an alternative to Princes Street's retail chains. The Broughton & Calton neighborhood is a bit more spread out, home to Calton Hill and the National Monument of Scotland.

Where to Stay for Luxury

Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa
Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa This is Edinburgh / photo modified

In the heart of the Old Town neighborhood and at the epicenter of the city's most historic sites, Old Town Chambers provides luxury apartments in a stunning 15th-century building. Spacious rooms, generous furnishings, and an on-site self-serve laundry make this perfect for extended stays and families.

The Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa, in the West End, is conveniently located near Haymarket Station, with shops and restaurants nearby as well as a wide range of on-site amenities like a full-service spa, fitness center, and an excellent fine dining restaurant featuring local ingredients. The experience is topped off by fantastic castle and city-wide views from many of the guest rooms and from the spa's rooftop pool.

Classic luxury meets technology at 24 Royal Terrace in the Broughton & Calton neighborhood. Here, you get the best of both worlds, spending the afternoon admiring the hotel's private art collection and its Georgian terraces, then retiring to enjoy the best in tech, including smart TVs and Blucube speakers in each room.

The star service at The Howard in New Town includes a personal butler for the duration of your stay. Located just off Princess Street, this boutique hotel's rooms and suites occupy three Georgian townhouses and each is decorated uniquely.

Where to Stay for the Best Value

Princes Street Gardens
Princes Street Gardens

The Premier Inn Edinburgh offers reasonable rates with a castle view across Princes Street Gardens from its ideal location. This top-rated, family-friendly hotel is convenient to historical landmarks, restaurants, and the popular Princes Street shopping district. The Rutland Hotel is nearby and is also convenient to the city center. This boutique-style hotel occupies a Georgian house in a quiet neighborhood, close to Charlotte Square, St. Mary's Cathedral, and Ross Fountain.

As its name suggests, The Inn on the Mile sits right on the Royal Mile, in the center of the Old Town. Built in a historic landmark, the former 1923 British Linen Bank, the hotel has no elevators, but the rest of the amenities are above and beyond, including an iPod docking station connected to ceiling speakers, an assortment of Scottish treats to go with the in-room tea and coffee station, and even hair straighteners in the bathroom. As a bonus, the on-site restaurant uses locally sourced produce and sustainably raised meat and seafood, as well as free-range poultry and eggs.

Centrally located on St. Andrew square in New Town, near the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Ibis Styles Edinburgh Centre St. Andrew Square has crisp, bright rooms and modern décor. A generous continental breakfast and high speed Wi-Fi are included with all stays.

The Dunstane Hotel occupies two stunning Victorian townhouses in the posh West End, easily accessible to bus transportation yet still within a reasonable walking distance from the most popular sights. Only the price distinguishes this from a luxury hotel, with its top-rated service and bright, spacious rooms. This boutique hotel is also well known for its restaurant, which serves locally sourced meals all day, and - of course - offers afternoon tea.

Where to Stay on a Budget

Cairn Hotel Edinburgh
Cairn Hotel Edinburgh Karen Bryan / photo modified

The Travelodge Edinburgh Central Princes Street is centrally located near the intersection of the four downtown neighborhoods, close to Old Town sights, near Princes Street shopping, and adjacent to the Royal Mile. It lies just opposite the Edinburgh-Waverley train station, a bustling neighborhood in the center of the action.

Just outside the Southside & Holyrood neighborhood, Hotel Ceilidh-Donia is a family hotel with accommodating staff. The rates make a short ride into the city center worth it, especially with breakfast and Wi-Fi included in the stay. Just outside the edge of the Broughton & Calton neighborhood, located in the theater district, the newly refurbished Cairn Hotel Edinburgh is still within a 15-minute walk to the city center. Their most popular feature is a welcome basket full of snacks and goodies, replenished each day.

Where to Stay for Romance

Old Town, Edinburgh
Old Town, Edinburgh

Although it sits conveniently at the junction of the Old Town, New Town, and Princes Street neighborhoods, a couple could easily find themselves reluctant to leave The Balmoral Hotel. The building's grandeur is magnified by an imposing clock tower, and its charm begins right at the entrance, where you're greeted by kilted doormen. The hotel's fitness center offsets the inevitable indulgence of afternoon tea at Palm Court, followed by dinner in the Michelin-rated restaurant, while a day of pampering at the spa and pool is always an option.

Located in a quiet neighborhood in Edinburgh's West End yet still within a reasonable distance from the city center, the Chester Residence earns its five stars not only as a top-rated luxury lodging but also as the city's premiere romantic getaway. The elegant suites are spacious and have generously equipped kitchens, making this the perfect place for longer stays.

A bit out of town, the Prestonfield is a favorite wedding venue thanks to its perfect combination of luxury and romance. The charming grounds are home to flower gardens, freely roaming peacocks, and even a herd of Highland cattle.

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