There are plenty of Airbnbs to choose from in the Scottish capital, including historic apartments in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle and luxury glasshouses with panoramic views.
Whether you want to be right in the action on the historic Royal Mile, devouring first-class food and drink on the Shore or sleeping soundly in a leafy suburb, there’s an Airbnb in Edinburgh with your name on it. It might even come with a welcoming dram of whisky if you’re lucky.
Historic apartment on the Royal Mile
Classical apartment on the Royal Mile | Courtesy of Calim / Airbnb
You’ll find this regal one-bedroom apartment just steps from Edinburgh Castle. Reflecting its location at the heart of the ramshackle Old Town, the space is filled with secret nooks and crannies, including a box bed hidden behind a wall of books. Oil paintings of lords and ladies and oak panelling give the place a classic 18th-century feel, ideal for any history-packed trip to Scotland’s capital.
What better way to experience the city that inspired the boy wizard than in a Harry Potter-themed apartment. Tucked away behind Princes Street, it’s an easy walk to the sights that inspired the stories – George Heriot’s School, Victoria Street and the café where JK Rowling gazed up at the castle and conjured up the wizarding world. This homely, one-bedroom pad is filled with Potter-themed trinkets, including Hogwarts house bunting, floating keys and a tempting jar of chocolate frogs in the kitchen.
Perched over the Meadows, this contemporary apartment offers some of the best views in the city. From the top floor of the stylish Quartermile development, you can admire the jagged spires of the Medieval Old Town. The main university campus is right on your doorstep, and the surrounding streets crackle with energy during the Fringe Festival. It’s five-star accommodation for two that’s worth splashing the cash for.
Any search for budget Airbnbs should start in Leith. Down on the trendy Shore, this snug two-bedroom apartment is perfectly positioned to get a flavour of the area. The elegant interior and sea views prove that budget accommodation doesn’t have to be shabby. Nearby seafood restaurants, Michelin-star establishments, hipster bars and weekend farmer’s markets show off the full breadth of Edinburgh’s food and drink scene.
For couples with a mid-range budget who don’t want to compromise on location or comfort, this little nook is perfect. It’s an apartment housed in a traditional tenement on the Royal Mile, and the walls have seen centuries of history. Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace are within equal walking distance. The stylish furnishings are a mix of contemporary chic and upcycled vintage pieces, adding a bit of quirkiness to a historic abode.
Once home to horses and grooms, this converted 19th-century coach house has been redesigned in minimalist, Scandi-chic style. The sleek white walls with precision spots of colour make it 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 cafés of Stockbridge. The UNESCO-protected Dean Village is a stone’s throw away, so you can fully experience Edinburgh’s finest architecture.
For couples that want to be in the centre but still enjoy a quiet night, this place is tucked down a narrow lane in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle. Gaze up at the facade of Edinburgh’s most famous landmark from the front door. The distinctly Scottish decor features porcelain stags’ heads, artwork of hairy highland cows and a portrait of Mary Queen of Scots. Just off the Grassmarket, you’re steps away from pubs, restaurants and the main sights of the Old Town.
Walls stripped back to exposed brick, a leather sofa and industrial light fixtures bring a touch of New York loft living to Scotland. This one-bedroom apartment is the epitome of cool and is conveniently located at the heart of the West End, close to Haymarket station. The chic bars of the city’s New Town are in the area and it’s an easy, picturesque walk to the Gallery of Modern Art.
Set in the grounds of a Morningside garden, this 16th-century dovecote cottage has been converted into an enchanting Airbnb. 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.
Fancy a city break with a village atmosphere? Look no further than this one-bedroom apartment with a balcony overlooking the babbling Water of Leith, nestled in the tranquillity of Dean Village. Converted 19th-century mills and winding cobbled lanes make this one of the most photogenic parts of Edinburgh (and it’s just a five-minute walk to Princes Street). The nearby independent shops and cafés of Stockbridge and the impressive Modern Art Gallery at Dean Bridge are an added bonus.
Big Georgian windows let in plenty of light so you can admire the vintage touches of this quirky apartment, which include kitsch blankets, a rotary telephone and an old typewriter. This one-bedroom basement flat also has a beautiful private walled garden, twinkling with fairy lights at night. If that’s not enough, the Royal Botanic Garden is just around the corner.