The Best Airbnbs and Holiday Rentals in Edinburgh

Take in panoramic views of Edinburgh from your very own apartment in the city
Take in panoramic views of Edinburgh from your very own apartment in the city | © robertharding / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Isabella Noble
22 April 2021

Whether you visit for a crisp winter weekend, in dazzling spring bloom or in the thick of August’s theatrical Fringe festival, Scotland’s enchanting, fun-loving capital is crammed with seductive hideaways for independent travellers. Sleep in graceful Georgian townhouses jazzed up with boutique design, settle into a sleekly reimagined whisky distillery or find luxe apartments tucked down Old Town alleyways in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle. Here are the best holiday rentals in Edinburgh that you can book right now on Culture Trip.

Historical-chic apartments by the 19th-century North Bridge

Vista Vela 2104 3 BR by Casago
Courtesy of Vista Vela 2104 3 BR by Casago / Expedia

The listed 1890 Scotsman building, just steps from the Royal Mile and Waverley station, now hosts a collection of fabulous serviced boutique apartments (from studios to five-person pads) in the heart of Edinburgh. Some are split-level lofts with sprawling city views; others have claw-foot baths set into the window, or sloping attic ceilings transformed into design features (we love the romantic Lord Lyons Chambers rooms). There are Molton Brown toiletries, Nespresso machines and handy USB charging points, and families are well catered for with bunk bed options.

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Garden retreat boutique apartments in the New Town

Sonder - Royal Garden Apartments
Courtesy of Sonder, Royal Garden Apartments / Expedia

Next to 19th-century Queen Street Gardens in Edinburgh’s New Town, with its gleaming Georgian architecture, this elegant historical building conceals a series of stylish studios and one- to two-bedroom apartments. Original period detailing such as floor-to-ceiling windows blends with the boutique-style design, including velvet bedheads, geometric lamps, floral-print walls and subway-tiled bathrooms with rain showers and Gilchrist & Soames toiletries. Wander the shops, gardens and galleries on Princes Street and visit the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, before dining at the Gardener’s Cottage, where the locally sourced menus change seasonally.

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Urban-smart New Town aparthotel

Map View
Stewart by Heeton Concept
Courtesy of Stewart by Heeton Concept / Expedia

Punchy coloured furniture, walk-in showers and Edinburgh photography murals create a moody, pared-down vibe at these serviced pads, which range from smart studios to two-bedroom family apartments with a lounge. The New Town location is a joy, on a residential backstreet steps from Princes Street Gardens, the shops of Rose and Princes streets, and the 18th-century Georgian House. Plus, you can wander over to Edinburgh’s Old Town and Royal Mile in just 15 minutes.

A glammed-up Georgian home

Haymarket Apartments
Courtesy of Haymarket Apartments / Expedia

Over in the West End, Edinburgh’s financial hub, a Georgian townhouse has been elegantly recast as seven cosy apartments with kitchenettes. Ground-floor grey-toned Room 3, with its island bar, king-size double and free-standing bath, is our top choice, though lily-white Room 4 has knockout city views. Haymarket station is five minutes away; boutiques, pubs and restaurants fill the surrounding streets; and you’re a 15-minute stroll to the Royal Mile, the New Town’s shops and restaurants and the neoclassical Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.

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Bewitching Old Town homestay on Canongate

Luxury, Apartment
Canongate Luxury Homestay
Courtesy of Canongate Luxury Homestay / Expedia

Inspired by Edinburgh’s celebrated Harry Potter legacy, with ticking vintage clocks, scattered potion vases, bookshelf-print wallpaper and a crackling log fire, this handily central self-catering apartment sits just along the Royal Mile from the Scottish Parliament Building and the 16th-century Palace of Holyroodhouse. You’ll feel like a true Hogwarts student in the main double, which has a king-size four-poster bed and Gryffindor-coloured curtains, plus board games, Whittard teas and a Nespresso coffee maker. You can clamber up to Arthur’s Seat from here in 40 minutes.

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Stylish 19th-century church conversion

Linton Collection - Blackfriars Lofts
Courtesy of Linton Collection, Blackfriars Lofts / Expedia

Victorian churches have never felt so chic. These fresh-faced designer apartments take full advantage of the historical beauty of an 1871 stone church building in the thick of the Old Town. Red-brick walls and polished-wood floors frame smartly contemporary kitchens, lounges and bedrooms, with space for up to five. Nespresso machines and digital sound systems bring a touch of luxury, while bathrooms have subway tiling, Molton Brown toiletries and rain-effect showers. The National Museum of Scotland, Cowgate’s clubs and buzzy Canongate are around the corner.

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Sleep in a former whisky house

4.7/5 (103 Reviews)
Destiny Scotland - The Malt House Apartments
Courtesy of Destiny Scotland, the Malt House Apartments / Expedia

There’s oodles of atmosphere at this smartly creative reimagining of a listed, stone-built whisky warehouse in Edinburgh’s commercial West End. Adapting to the building’s original architecture, each apartment has its own flair, with steely-blue or glossy-white styling, wooden floors and recovered beams and nooks. The superior one-beds have nifty sliding doors to maximise space, while two-bedroom pads come with a separate open-plan kitchen-lounge. Stroll over to the New Town, Princes Street Gardens and the Royal Mile in 10 minutes.

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Old Town luxury living

Serviced Apartment, Apartment
4.8/5 (1384 Reviews)
Cheval Old Town Chambers
Courtesy of Cheval Old Town Chambers / Expedia

Hidden down a narrow close dating from the mid-16th century, this dreamy, history-inspired line of pet-friendly serviced apartments evokes all that’s so magical about Edinburgh. Options range from open-plan studios to three-bedroom apartments and swish penthouses flaunting their skyline views; the show-stopping four-person townhouse apartment occupies a sensitively restored 15th-century home, with vaulted brick ceilings and a free-standing copper bath. There are welcome hampers, Malin & Goetz bathroom products, sultry design tones and free gym access – all within a five-minute meander of Edinburgh Castle.

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  • Classical apartment on the Royal Mile


    You’ll find this regal one-bedroom apartment steps away from Edinburgh Castle. Reflecting its location at the heart of the ramshackle Old Town, it’s filled with secret nooks and crannies, including a box bed hidden behind a wall of books. Oak panelling and paintings of lords and ladies give the place a classic 18th-century feel, ideal for any history-packed trip to Scotland’s capital.

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    Artistic mews house near Stockbridge

    Map View

    Once home to horses and grooms, this converted 19th-century coach house has been redesigned in a minimalist, Scandi-chic style and sleeps two. The sleek white walls with precision spots of colour make you feel as if you’re stepping into a work of modern art. Secreted down a cobbled mews lane, it’s just a short walk to the artisan shops and bohemian cafes of Stockbridge. The Unesco-protected Dean Village is also a stone’s throw away, so you can fully experience Edinburgh’s finest architecture.

    16th-century dovecote

    Map View

    Set in the grounds of a Morningside garden, this 16th-century dovecote cottage has been converted into an enchanting Airbnb that can sleep up to four. Rose-hued stone walls and wooden furniture give it a fairytale feel. The wood-burning stove keeps away the winter chill, while the private garden is the ideal place to enjoy the summer sun. The cottage is located in one of Edinburgh’s upmarket suburbs, and there are plenty of buses into the centre, should you fancy a change of pace from woodland fairy fantasy.

    Rustic-urban apartment in Leith

    Map View

    Exposed stone masonry walls, lashings of contemporary art and rustic wood furnishings make this one-bed apartment a design lover’s dream. The open-plan living room-lounge is full of unusual architectural details, vintage decorative touches and plenty of plants, while the light-filled bedroom has a comfy king-size bed piled with colourful throws and pillows. Though compact, the apartment has plenty of conveniences, including a washing machine, smart TV and coffee maker, plus on-site parking makes it easy for you to venture into the hip port neighbourhood of Leith.

    Suzy Pope contributed additional reporting to this article.

    These recommendations were updated on April 22, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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