Where to Stay in Edinburgh | 7 Areas & 11 Accommodation Options [2023]

Where to Stay in Edinburgh | 7 Areas & 11 Accommodation Options [2023]
Note – This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy via these, I may earn a small fee. This has absolutely no effect on the price you pay. As an eBay and Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

If you’re wondering where to stay in Edinburgh, Scotland, then this guide is for you! Whether you’re a UK resident who’d never been before or visiting from the other side of the world, no one wants to miss out Edinburgh. Where to stay, though? It’s not easy to decide when you’ve never spent time in the Scottish capital before.

Which is exactly why I wrote this guide to all the best places to stay in Edinburgh. I’m from the border county of Northumberland, and even visited Edinburgh Zoo on a school trip. After university, I also lived in several areas of the city, and that was on top of regular visits to a boyfriend who’d moved there.

I have first-hand experience of Edinburgh, both as a tourist and as a resident. So let me help you find the best area to stay in Edinburgh! If you’re wondering where is the best place to stay in Edinburgh, this guide covers seven of my recommended areas.

For those pondering where to stay in Edinburgh – Old Town or New Town, read on to explore what these areas have to offer. As well as Stockbridge, Bruntsfield, Leith, Grassmarket and the city centre. Also covered is a brief guide to getting to Edinburgh – and getting around the Scottish capital.

By the end of this article, you should have your stay in Edinburgh all sorted! To begin, let’s move onto where is best to stay in Edinburgh, area-wise. But first, a quick reference comparison table so you can start deciding where to stay when visiting Edinburgh straightaway.

Where to stay in Edinburgh contents

Where to stay in Edinburgh comparison chart

NameLocationRatingKey featuresPrice
The BalmoralCity centre*****Perfect location, spa, whisky & cocktail bars, castle views, great afternoon tea Check here
Market Street HotelCity centre****Rooftop lounge with terrace, boutique-style rooms, free mini bar, near train stationCheck here
Rutland Hotel & ApartmentsCity centre****End of Princes Street, late lounge bar, some castle views, rooms or apartmentsCheck here
Cheval Old Town ChambersOld Town*****On Old Town High Street, apartments with 1, 2 or 3 bedrooms, some with balconyCheck here
The Witchery by the CastleOld Town*****Famous restaurant, flamboyant decor, iconic location, only 9 exclusive suitesCheck here
Hotel IndigoNew Town****Georgian townhouse, media hubs in rooms, well-stocked bar, contemporary decorCheck here
TigerlilyNew Town****Boutique styling, club and bar downstairs, walking distance to many attractionsCheck here
Wilde AparthotelGrassmarket****Hotel-style amenities, kitchens with dishwasher, near Grassmarket & castleCheck here
The RaeburnStockbridge****Local feel, character property, bar & restaurant with outdoor terraceCheck here
Bruntsfield HotelBruntsfield****Green area, restaurant & bar with garden, some parking, great value ratesCheck here
FingalLeith*****Bar, daily breakfast, parking, unique accommodation, port locationCheck here

Where should you stay in Edinburgh – Top Options

Edinburgh Castle dominates the city skyline

Best places to stay in Edinburgh – An area guide

City Centre

Edinburgh’s city centre is clustered around Princes Street and most attractions are walking distance from here.

The city centre encompasses several of the areas detailed here. Where to stay in Edinburgh for a first time visit, though, can be very simple. For many – especially those in a hurry – the best location to stay in Edinburgh, Scotland is on or around Princes Street. From here, you can walk pretty much everywhere.

Princes Street is at the very heart of the city. This busy thoroughfare is home to shops, attractions, parks, galleries and restaurants. Of all the Edinburgh areas to stay, this is the most central of all. Some of the top places to stay in Edinburgh can be found here – including the most iconic hotel in the whole city.

High points:

  • Most central area of all
  • Iconic and luxurious hotels

Low points:

  • Can be very expensive
  • Busy area with an impersonal feel

Old Town

The Old Town is home to the Royal Mile and Edinburgh Castle, and is a charming, historic and central part of the city.

Edinburgh Castle and the Royal Mile can be found in the Old Town, so this is the historic heart of the city. If you’ve come to Auld Reekie to immerse yourself in history first and foremost, then this is the place to aim for. It’s also where to stay in Edinburgh for romantic types who want to wander the streets hand in hand each evening, with the stunning backdrop of the illuminated castle.

The Old Town is also just a stone’s throw from Princes Street. Grassmarket is also very close at hand, and this area is arguably home to the best pubs in the city.

High points:

  • Historic heart of Edinburgh
  • Close to Princes Street and Grassmarket

Low points:

  • Often thronged with tourists
  • Area can feel a little cramped

New Town

Edinburgh’s New Town is not new at all – the elegant streets are lined with Georgian architecture and it’s just north of Princes Street.

So the Old Town is just south of Princes Street, while the New Town lies immediately north. If you’re fond of graceful Georgian architecture, then this is where best to stay in Edinburgh. Elegant Georgian townhouses await, solidly constructed from golden-toned stone.

Properties in this area typically feature large, square windows that flood the buildings with light and spacious rooms. Edinburgh is often described as a genteel kind of place, and the New Town is surely the very epitome of that.

The New Town is packed with parks, tall sweeping terraces and curving crescents. It’s also located between Princes Street and the Stockbridge neighbourhood.

High points:

  • Very aesthetically pleasing
  • More of a neighbourhood feel

Low points:

  • Limited dining, drinking and shopping options
  • Parking can be impossible


The Grassmarket is Edinburgh’s pub hub and is packed with characterful places to eat and drink. It’s also very near the OId Town.

Grassmarket is a good answer to the question of where to stay in Edinburgh for couples. It’s close to the Old Town, and the nightlife in this area is legendary. If you’re coming to the city to experience if after dark, then Grassmarket is a good choice.

High points:

  • Legendary nightlife
  • Close to the historic Old Town and castle

Low points:

  • Can be noisy at night
  • Limited accommodation options


Stockbridge has a boho bent, with lots of boutiques, cafes and bars. This area also borders New Town and the Water of Leith.

Stockbridge is Edinburgh’s best-known boho locale. It’s just north of the New Town, and packed with appealing eateries, independent shops and stylish bars. The Water of Leith isn’t too far from here, so it’s easy to feel as though you’re escaping the big city when staying in Stockbridge.

It’s further to walk to the city centre and Old Town from here, however. I would recommend Stockbridge as best for those who don’t want to stay in the touristy centre and like walking – or for those on a second or subsequent visit.

High points:

  • Bohemian feel
  • Great shops, cafes, bars and restaurants

Low points:

  • Further from the city centre and Old Town


Bruntsfield is south of the city centre and is a lovely locale with lots of green space. It’s also near Morningside and Marchmont.

This one’s my personal pick. It’s a bit further from the city centre than other areas, but I love the local feel here. It’s also a very pleasant walk from here into town, and you get to see how the city’s people live en route. This is my favourite Edinburgh neighbourhood. It’s also ideal if you’re pondering where to stay near Edinburgh that’s more peaceful than the centre.

The refined suburb of Morningside is just around the corner from here, and Marchmont is also nearby. Bruntsfield, the Meadows and Marchmont are a designated conservation area. If you want to live as a resident and don’t mind a twenty minute walk to Princes Street, then Bruntsfield is an elegant choice.

High points:

  • Lovely local feel
  • Close to appealing districts and green spaces

Low points:

  • Walk from town is uphill and takes 20 minutes or more


Leith is home to Edinburgh’s historic port. It’s ideal for those who want to discover a new part of the city, or stay by the water.

Leith was once a rather down-at-heel district, but regeneration has seen the port seriously smarten up its act. If you’re wondering where to stay outside Edinburgh city centre and love the water, then Leith is a good option to consider.

This is the furthest of the districts from the city centre, but Leith does have a charm that’s all its own. It takes about 15 minutes by bus, or half an hour or so on foot from here to get to Princes Street. For a creative vibe plus vibrant shops and cafes, Leith has plenty to offer.

High points:

  • Waterside location
  • Quirky shops, eateries and bars

Low points:

  • Furthest area from Princes Street
best hotel location in Edinburgh
Photo credit: The Balmoral

11 of the best Edinburgh, Scotland hotels

The Balmoral

1 Princes Street, Edinburgh EH2 2EQ

City centre – 5 stars

Best for five star style

The five star Balmoral at number 1 Princes Street is an Edinburgh institution. It offers a spa, pool, bars, a fine afternoon tea and some accommodation with castle views.

Number one on the list of where to stay in Edinburgh city centre is this iconic place. The Balmoral’s address is number one, Princes Street. I used to walk past the Balmoral on a daily basis, and there’s certainly that grand dame air about the place. It’s a beautiful hotel inside and out, and a Scottish institution.

Being located this centrally is very beneficial when you want to see as much of Edinburgh as possible in a short space of time. The Palm Court and its glass dome are incredibly elegant, and rooms are decorated in a distinctly Scottish style. It’s a bucket list kind of stay, yet room rates here are far more reasonable than in the likes of London.

High points:

  • Unbeatable location
  • Whisky and cocktail bars
  • Some rooms have castle views
  • Spa, pool, steam room, gym and sauna
  • Best afternoon tea in the city at Palm Court

Low points:

  • High prices

Click here to check pricing and availability

Market Street Hotel

6 Market Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1DE

City centre – 4 stars

Best for rooftop views

Boutique-style Market Street Hotel is close to Princes Street, Edinburgh Waverley and the Old Town, and has a fabulous rooftop lounge with terrace serving food and drinks.

Market Street Hotel is located south of Princes Street, between Edinburgh Waverley and the Old Town. The Royal Mile is thus nearby. If the question is ‘where is the best place to stay in Edinburgh, Scotland’ and you’re arriving by train, then this one’s pretty much a no brainer.

Accommodation here is boutique-style, with local artworks, one-off pieces of furniture, Apple TV and Chromecast and even a bespoke coffee blend supplied in each room. The hotel also has a rooftop lounge which serves brunch, small plates and drinks, and offers some of the best views in the city.

High points:

  • Boutique-style accommodation
  • Rooftop lounge with terrace
  • Near Edinburgh Waverley
  • Close to Royal Mile
  • Free mini bar

Low points:

  • Lounge open to non-guests and often fully booked

Click here to check pricing and availability

Rutland Hotel and Apartments

1-3 Rutland Street, Edinburgh, EH1 2AE

City centre – 4 stars

Best for late night lounging

At the western side of Princes Street, Rutland Hotel offers deluxe castle view rooms, more spacious apartments with kitchenettes and a late night bar and restaurant on site.

The Rutland Hotel and Apartments has the feel of a hidden gem. It’s so close to the western end of Princes Street, and the range of accommodation includes castle view rooms plus one and two bedroom apartments. All rooms are ultra sleek and stylish, and there’s an eatery and late-night lounge bar on site.

Accommodation comes with luxuries like homemade shortbread, surround sound, GHD hair stylers and upmarket tea blends. You can stroll from here to the castle via Princes Street Gardens in around a quarter of an hour. This isn’t only among the best hotels in Edinburgh, Scotland either, as it also offers apartments with more space and kitchenettes for self-catering.

High points:

  • At end of Princes Street
  • Castle view rooms available
  • Apartments with kitchenette
  • Deluxe, stylish accommodation
  • Restaurant and late lounge on site

Low points:

  • Not the quietest location

Click here to check pricing and availability

Cheval Old Town Chambers

329 High Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1PN

Old Town – 5 stars

Best for self catering

Stay in the real heart of the Old Town at Cheval Old Town Chambers. Apartments come with fully fitted kitchens and living space, and some have a city view balcony.

Cheval Old Town Chambers really is in the heart of the Old Town – it’s right there on High Street. This place really does offer the best of both worlds too, as each self-contained apartment has a fully equipped kitchen plus living and dining areas.

The very best apartments here come with the likes of a Bose sound system and a city view balcony. For those considering where to stay in Edinburgh Old Town this is the top pick. The train station, castle, Royal Mile and Princes Street are all within very easy walking distance. Apartments come as open plan studios, plus one, two or three bedroom apartments.

High points:

  • Choice of studios and 1, 2 or 3 bedroom units
  • Some apartments have balconies
  • On the Old Town High Street
  • Living and dining areas
  • Fully fitted kitchens

Low points:

  • Open plan apartments are small

Click here to check pricing and availability

The Witchery by the Castle

The Witchery by the Castle

Castle Hill, Edinburgh, EH1 2NF

Old Town – 5 stars

Best for OTT opulence

You’ve probably heard of The Witchery by the Castle – the restaurant’s reputation precedes it. For a glamorous stay in an iconic location, there’s simply nowhere better.

Minimalists – look away now. The same applies to those searching for where to stay in Edinburgh on a budget. The Witchery by the Castle is not a place that’s shy of bold design and decadence. There are just nine suites, and in each you can expect features like velvet walls, four poster beds and free-standing silver bathtubs.

The restaurant here is also a firm favourite with foodies. If you want to dine here during your stay, then it’s wise to book months in advance. The same applies to the accommodation, in fact. With the castle right there, this is the best place to stay in Edinburgh for sightseeing as well as once-in-a-lifetime flamboyance and the city’s finest food.

High points:

  • Famous name
  • Castle location
  • Flamboyant decor
  • Only nine luxury suites
  • Scotland’s best restaurant

Low points:

  • Hotel and restaurant books up far in advance

Click here to check pricing and availability

Hotel Indigo

51-59 York Place, Edinburgh, EH1 3JD

New Town – 4 stars

Best for after-dark drinks

Hotel Indigo in Edinburgh’s New Town effortlessly combines the classic and the contemporary. The bar here offers a superb selection of craft beers and Scottish whiskies.

Hotel Indigo is situated on York Place, at the eastern side of the New Town and north of Princes Street. Rooms here come with a media hub, rainfall showers, Aveda toiletries and air conditioning. Twin doubles here have two double beds, so they can accommodate a family of three or four.

The on-site bar and restaurant here is a highlight, and this is very well stocked when it comes to Scottish whiskies and craft beers. Accommodation is modern in style, with smart teal or orange hues brightening up both the private and public spaces. This is the pick of the places to stay in Edinburgh for fans of Georgian architecture.

High points:

  • Modern decor
  • Georgian building
  • Rooms have media hubs
  • Well stocked on-site bar
  • Aveda toiletries and rainfall showers

Low points:

  • Rooms vary in size

Click here to check pricing and availability


125 George Street, Edinburgh, EH2 4JN

New Town – 4 stars

Best for clubbers

Tigerlily in the centre of Edinburgh’s New Town is a boutique hotel with a bar and club downstairs. The property also offers deluxe boutique accommodation and a restaurant.

Tigerlily Edinburgh is also located in the New Town. For many this is the best neighbourhood to stay in Edinburgh, and it’s one of my favourite areas. George Street runs parallel with Princes Street, so you’ll be close to everything if you want to stay here. This is also the same side of town as Stockbridge and Leith.

The hotel is very photogenic, and kitted out in a modern, boutique style. There’s a bar and club downstairs, so if you’re deciding where to stay in Edinburgh for nightlife this place is a serious contender. A range of rooms is available, including doubles, twins and several more spacious suites.

High points:

  • Heart of New Town
  • Beautiful boutique style
  • Bar and club downstairs
  • Some more spacious suites
  • Within walking distance of many areas

Low points:

  • Not ideal for families with children

Click here to check pricing and availability

Wilde Aparthotel

26 King’s Stables Road, Edinburgh, EH1 2JY

Grassmarket – 4 stars

Best of both worlds

Edinburgh’s Wilde Aparthotel is close to the Grassmarket and Old Town, and some units have castle views. There’s also hotel-style facilities including a gym, restaurant and bar.

Wilde Aparthotel Edinburgh can be found just west of Grassmarket and the New Town. If you’re a history lover or pub fan who’s wondering which area to stay in Edinburgh, then this could be the answer. A mix of studios and larger apartments means this is also an option for those seeking where to stay in Edinburgh with a family.

The aparthotel is also really close to the castle complex. Inside there are hotel-style amenities such as a bar, restaurant and gym, but you also have the option of self-catering when staying here. Even the smaller studios come with kitchen equipment and a dishwasher. Accommodation here also comes with luxury touches like wooden flooring, artworks, rainfall showers, handmade sweets and Hypnos mattresses.

High points:

  • Close to Grassmarket
  • Near Edinburgh castle
  • Lots of luxury touches
  • Gym, bar and restaurant
  • Kitchens with dishwasher

Low points:

Low points:

  • Not all rooms have castle views

Click here to check pricing and availability

Edinburgh best area to stay
Bruntsfield Hotel

The Raeburn

112 Raeburn Place, Edinburgh, EH4 1HG

Stockbridge – 4 stars

Best for arty sorts

The Raeburn isn’t only named after a painter, it’s also located in arty Stockbridge. Housed in a handsome Georgian home, it boasts a bar, restaurant and terrace.

If you don’t mind a 20 minute walk via the New Town, The Raeburn in Stockbridge might be right for you. When you’re weighing up where to stay outside of Edinburgh centre for a neighbourhood and boho vibe, this is the number one choice. It’s ideal for couples, and has an eatery on site.

The hotel is named for a prominent Scottish painter, and is housed in a delightful detached Georgian home. There are original and character touches throughout, including tartan fabrics, exposed stonework and a fireplace in the bar. This also has a terrace, so this could be the best location in Edinburgh to stay if you appreciate outside space.

High points:

  • Local feel
  • Ideal for couples
  • Character property
  • Buzzing, boho neighbourhood
  • Restaurant and bar with terrace
  • 20 minutes’ walk to Princes Street

Click here to check pricing and availability

Bruntsfield Hotel

69 Bruntsfield Place, Edinburgh EH10 4HH

Bruntsfield – 4 stars

Best for green space

Bruntsfield Hotel is in my favourite Edinburgh neighbourhood. It overlooks green spaces, has a bar and restaurant with a garden and even offers some on-site parking spots.

Bruntsfield Hotel is my favourite place to stay in the Scottish capital. I just love the fact that The Meadows and Bruntsfield Links are close by, and also enjoy the downhill walk into town (there are regular buses for getting back too). If you’re seeking where to stay in Edinburgh for cheap rates, this is the one.

The Neighbourhood Kitchen, Bar and Garden here also provides outdoor space as well as food and drinks. If you want to find where to stay in Edinburgh with parking, then stop right here because there are some spaces on site. Accommodation is comfortable and tastefully decorated, and comes with satellite flatscreen TV, work desk and seating area.

High points:

  • Great value rates
  • Close to green spaces
  • Limited parking on site
  • Bar and restaurant with garden
  • Close to Marchmont and Morningside

Low points:

  • Not the closest to all the sights

Click here to check pricing and availability


Alexandra Dock, Historic Port of Leith, Edinburgh, EH6 7DX

Leith – 5 stars

Best for something different

For something completely unique, why not book a stay on a boat moored in Leith? Fingal serves breakfast daily, has a bar and offers just 23 luxury double cabins.

Last but by no means least is the most quirky option of all. When you’re deciding where to stay in Leith, Edinburgh, then you just have to consider booking accommodation on a five star boat. All rooms here have King beds, and range from standard cabins to luxury rooms and duplexes.

With just 23 cabins on board, Fingal has an intimate feel. Rooms come with luxuries such as Egyptian cotton linen and Netflix, and the staff here are super helpful. This floating hotel has a bar, serves breakfast daily and also offers guest parking.

High points:

  • On-site bar
  • Parking available
  • Breakfast included
  • Unique accommodation
  • Historic waterside locale

Low points:

  • Furthest from the city centre

Click here to check pricing and availability

Getting to and around Edinburgh

Before you begin regarding the best area to stay in Edinburgh, Scotland, you really need to know how you’re going to get there. As well as, perhaps, how to get around. Here’s a few pointers.

Getting to Edinburgh

With Edinburgh Waverley in the true heart of the city centre, taking the train to Edinburgh is my recommended option.

Trains to Edinburgh

Edinburgh is very well served by public transport links. Waverley, the main train station, is right at the end of Princes Street – in fact it’s the most centrally located city station I can think of anywhere! So it’s ideal for reaching by rail. You can walk to many hotels from here.

Driving and parking in Edinburgh

Driving in Edinburgh is okay – we drove through the city centre a few years ago, and it was fine. But – parking is nothing short of shocking. Abysmal. Atrocious. Only in Edinburgh have I seen so many double parked cars. My best advice regarding driving to Edinburgh is simply – don’t do it, unless your hotel can guarantee a parking space, or you’re prepared to pay for a city centre car park.

Flights to Edinburgh

Edinburgh airport is compact, but busy. It’s about eight miles from the city centre, so flying into Scotland is a decent option. There are local and airport shuttle buses running between town and the airport, or you can take a taxi or the tram.

Getting around Edinburgh

You may not need any public transport in Edinburgh, as it’s one of the most walkable cities I know of.

Public transport in Edinburgh

The bus service is excellent, with routes running 24 hours per day. Edinburgh also has a tram network. The taxis are similar to those in London, which is to say that they’re spacious and comfortable, but can be costly.

best places to stay in Edinburgh, Scotland
Fingal in Leith

Edinburgh accommodation FAQs

Which part of Edinburgh is best to stay?

The seven best areas to stay in Edinburgh are the city centre, the Old Town, the New Town, the Grassmarket, Stockbridge, Bruntsfield and Leith. For first-timers, the city centre, Old Town or New Town are best. The Old Town is the historic heart of Edinburgh, while the New Town features Georgian architecture. Princes Street is central, and divides these two areas.

Where is the main centre of Edinburgh?

Princes Street is at the heart of Edinburgh, and divides the Old Town and the New Town. The former is the oldest area and home to the castle and Royal Mile, while the New Town’s architecture dates from Georgian times.

Is it better to stay in the Old Town or the New Town in Edinburgh?

Whether to look for places to stay in Edinburgh New Town or Old Town depends on what you want to see and do. The Old Town is best for historic sites like the castle and Royal Mile, while the New Town is great for Georgian architecture and a more local feel. Princes Street divides the Old Town and New Town, so you can stay around there for the best of both worlds.

Is Edinburgh a walkable city?

During summer 2022, Time Out named Edinburgh as the number one most walkable city on the planet. There’s lot of history and culture to discover, plus great shopping, an exciting food scene and some beautiful parks. You can walk to most of the key sites and neighbourhoods within the city, and can even encounter nature in Holyrood Park or enjoy panoramic views from Arthur’s Seat.

How many days in Edinburgh is enough?

You will need around two full days to see the main sights of Edinburgh. Longer allows you to explore and experience more of the city, however. It’s also possible to get a feel for the city during a day trip or a one night stay, though you’ll have to be more selective about what to see and do.

Where will you stay in Edinburgh?

I hope you’ve found this guide to the best area to stay in Edinburgh helpful. There are some really cool places to stay in Edinburgh, and picking the right one for you can make your stay even more memorable.

If you’re seeking where to stay for Edinburgh Fringe, or at Christmas or New Year, you’ll need to book way in advance. The most luxurious and unique places to stay in Edinburgh are always taken if you leave it too late!

I do hope you end up loving Edinburgh as much as I do.

Polly x

Note –  This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy via these, I may earn a small fee. This has absolutely no effect on the price you pay. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. 

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