Your Perfect Edinburgh Escape: The Best Area to Stay in Edinburgh!


Edinburgh, Scotland

Last Updated on May 15, 2024 by Rikki

Edinburgh, Scotland is a magical destination filled with beauty, history, and charm. With its cozy atmosphere, lively pubs, and picturesque cobblestone streets, it’s no wonder why visitors fall in love with this city.

Scotland is famous for its scotch whisky, and Edinburgh is a globally acclaimed city celebrated for its enchanting beauty. However, what often escapes notice is that locating whisky-related experiences in Edinburgh can be more challenging than one might assume.

Not only is Edinburgh compact and easily walkable, but it also offers a variety of neighborhoods to choose from for accommodations.

In this article, we will explore the best neighborhoods to stay in Edinburgh and recommend our favorite accommodations in each area, ensuring that you have the perfect base for your visit to this captivating city.

Where to Stay in the Old Town City Centre: Stay in Edinburgh Hotels or Near Edinburgh Castle

The Old Town of Edinburgh is the main center of the city and offers a wealth of attractions and historic charm.

Along the Royal Mile, you’ll find many of the main tourist sites, stunning historic streets to wander, and a variety of cool bars and restaurants.

Staying in the Old Town means being in the heart of the action and convenience, as everything is within walking distance.

The Royal Mile Edinburgh

For budget travelers, Castle Rock is a fantastic option. This hostel is located near the castle and offers a unique experience in a beautiful, historic house. With its lovely wood interiors, stone staircases, and royal feel, it’s like staying in an ancestral family mansion. The hostel staff organize events and dinners, and the dorms have comfortable mattresses and plenty of outlets for charging your devices.

A midrange option for accommodation, Stay Central Hotel is just a three-minute walk from the Royal Mile. It is located in a 17th-century building that has been completely modernized with amenities such as flat-screen TVs, tea/coffee makers, and rain showers in each room. The hotel is bright, clean, and offers a convenient location.

Luxury travelers will enjoy Cheval Old Town Chambers, a stylish five-star hotel offering luxurious modern apartments. This option is perfect for groups or travelers who need more space. The beds are incredibly comfortable, and the hotel also features a fitness center and rooms with a washer and dryer. Staying at Cheval Old Town Chambers allows you to indulge in the ultimate luxury experience in the heart of the Old Town.

Where to Stay in the New Town

The New Town of Edinburgh is the lower section of town and was built outside the castle area. It dates back to 1767 and is considered the more “modern” part of the city. Here, you’ll find neatly laid-out streets, beautiful town squares and parks, a lot of shopping opportunities, and a wider range of accommodation options. The New Town is a cheaper area to stay in compared to the Old Town.

best area to stay in edinburgh bagpipers

Haystack Hostel is a great option for budget travelers. Located near both the bus and train stations, this hostel offers a fully equipped kitchen and a cozy common room with lots of board games. Although the dorm beds are basic, with simple metal bunks and thin mattresses, each bed comes with lights, curtains, outlets, and lockers. Haystack Hostel has a small, quiet atmosphere, allowing guests to relax and meet fellow travelers.

For midrange travelers, Yotel is a four-star hotel that offers clean and modern rooms with spacious layouts and super comfortable beds. The hotel features a gym, a bar, and a full English breakfast each morning. Although it is located on the farther end of the New Town, it is just a 15-minute walk to the Royal Mile.

For those seeking luxury, Gleneagles Townhouse is an ornate and lavish five-star hotel. The rooms are beautifully decorated with antique furniture and historic designs. The hotel offers a delicious breakfast, a bar and gym, and a spa and wellness center with a relaxing sauna. The beds are wonderfully plush and comfortable, providing a truly luxurious experience.

Where to Stay in the Southside/University

The Southside/University area in Edinburgh is a separate part of town, although it is relatively close to the historic center. It has its own unique vibe and is known for its affordability, thanks to the university’s presence. This area offers a range of cheap restaurants, and pubs, and is in close proximity to the famous lookout, Arthur’s Seat. Staying in the Southside/University area provides a more local and less touristy experience.

Argyle Backpackers is a laid-back hostel located in an old townhouse. It offers a cozy and homey atmosphere, making guests feel like they are staying with a friend rather than in a hostel. Located on a quiet street, it is just a 10-15 minute walk from the Old Town. The hostel features a kitchen for cooking and a relaxing backyard space where travelers can hang out and meet others. The staff are friendly and create a welcoming environment.

The Salisbury Hotel is a boutique townhouse hotel in a quiet setting, only a five-minute drive from the Royal Mile. The hotel offers a simple breakfast buffet and the staff go out of their way to make guests feel welcome. The rooms all have original Georgian features, and parking is available for those with vehicles.

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For an ultra-luxurious experience, Prestonfield House is a five-star hotel known for its lavish decor.

The rooms are adorned with antique furnishings and the on-site restaurant hosts afternoon tea. This hotel is the perfect choice for an indulgent retreat or a romantic getaway.

Edinburgh is a compact city, and while there are hotels available in more distant neighborhoods, it is recommended to stay within the three main areas mentioned above.

Staying in these neighborhoods allows visitors to make the most of their time in Edinburgh and be close to the city’s best attractions.

From budget options to midrange and luxury accommodations, there is something for every traveler’s needs and preferences.

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Q: What is the best area to stay in Edinburgh?

A: The best area to stay in Edinburgh is the city center, particularly the Old Town and the New Town. These areas offer easy access to major attractions, shops, restaurants, and hotels.

Q: Where is the best place to stay in Edinburgh?

A: The best place to stay in Edinburgh depends on your preferences. If you want to be close to historical sites like Edinburgh Castle and the Royal Mile, then staying in the Old Town is recommended. If you prefer a more modern atmosphere with trendy shops and vibrant nightlife, the New Town area is a great choice.

The Royal Mile Edinburgh

Q: What are the best neighborhoods to stay in Edinburgh?

A: Some of the best neighborhoods to stay in Edinburgh include the Old Town, the New Town, Princes Street Gardens, and George Street. These areas offer a mix of historical charm, shopping, dining, and entertainment options.

Q: Is it better to stay in the city center or near Edinburgh Castle?

A: If you want to be close to the iconic Edinburgh Castle and the historical attractions of the Royal Mile, it is recommended to stay in the city center. This way, you’ll have easy access to these popular landmarks and can explore the surrounding areas on foot.

Q: What are some of the best hotels in Edinburgh?

A: Some of the best hotels in Edinburgh include The Witchery by the Castle, The Balmoral, The Edinburgh Grand, and Malmaison Edinburgh. These hotels offer luxurious accommodations and are located in convenient central locations.

Q: Where is the best area to stay in Edinburgh for sightseeing?

A: The best area to stay in Edinburgh for sightseeing is the city center, particularly the Old Town and the area around Edinburgh Castle. Staying in these areas will allow you to explore major attractions like the National Museum of Scotland, the Royal Mile, and the picturesque Princes Street Gardens with ease.

Q: What is the closest airport to Edinburgh?

A: The closest airport to Edinburgh is Edinburgh Airport. It is located approximately 8 miles west of the city center and offers domestic and international flights.

Q: Where is Edinburgh Waverley train station located?

A: Edinburgh Waverley train station is located in the heart of Edinburgh city center, near the Princes Street Gardens. It is the main train station in Edinburgh and provides excellent transport links to other parts of Scotland and the United Kingdom.

Q: What is the best area to stay in Edinburgh for nightlife?

A: If you’re looking for a vibrant nightlife scene, the best area to stay in Edinburgh is George Street and the surrounding area. Here, you will find numerous bars, clubs, and restaurants that cater to a variety of tastes.

Q: Where is the best place to stay if you’re visiting Edinburgh for foodies?

A: If you’re a food lover, staying in the Old Town area of Edinburgh is highly recommended. This area is home to many excellent restaurants and cafes that serve a wide range of cuisines, including traditional Scottish dishes.


  1. VisitScotland: Edinburgh – Explore Edinburgh’s diverse neighborhoods and find the ideal area to stay for your trip.
  2. Edinburgh City Council – Get official information on the city’s districts, accommodations, and local attractions.
  3. Historic Environment Scotland – Discover the historical sites and preserved areas in Edinburgh, aiding your decision on where to stay.
  4. Edinburgh World Heritage – Learn about the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Edinburgh, which can influence your choice of accommodation for a memorable visit.

These resources will provide valuable insights into the best areas to stay in Edinburgh for your unforgettable trip.

Hi, I’m Rikki

I’m a passionate author and blogger, sharing my thoughts and experiences on life and travel.

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