Are you wondering what it’s like to navigate Edinburgh? Easy-peasy, thanks to its compact, navigable streets and localised landmarks – think the Castle, Royal Mile, Scott Monument and Calton Hill – all within a short stroll from each other. That means no fussing over public transport or taxi queues, giving you extra time to explore all of the hidden gems and places in between. If that sounds right up your alley, we’ve compiled the best accommodation in Edinburgh for every traveller.
A short walk away from the Royal Botanic Gardens, by way of the cobbles and clocktower of Stockbridge, this hotel is steps away from the capital’s smartest neighbourhood. It’s in a whisper-quiet location where it’s easy to blend in as a local, but also close enough to all of the city’s big hitters. Within half an hour’s walk, you can visit the Castle, Holyrood palace, walk up Arthur’s Seat, as well as explore numerous gardens and historical monuments. Beyond the ornate exterior, the hotel houses the best of Edinburgh, and features floor-to-ceiling windows showcasing New Town’s Unesco-listed Georgian terraces. Then, there’s also Blackwood’s Bar & Grill, where the main attraction is prime Perthshire beef and Berwickshire lamb.
Located between The Meadows and the Royal Mile, the Hotel du Vin exists between the tourist side of Edinburgh, with its tollbooths and steampunk towers, and the student quarter, with its cafes, terrace bars and curry houses. That puts you steps away from the National Museum of Scotland, the busy bars of Grassmarket and Cowgate, as well as close to a riot of Fringe festival venues come August. If all that doesn’t seem ideal, then consider doubles with five-star appeal at four-star prices and a classic French-style bistro and bar. If you’re craving something different, the street food at nearby Ting Thai Caravan is also worthy of a chef’s kiss.
Geared towards a young, if well-travelled crowd, this rambling series of townhouses is so close to the many pubs of Rose Street and the splashier clubs of George Street that you’ll be enjoying a cold one just minutes after check-in. The hipster-vibe rooms feature record players, scarlet-red bedside telephones and punky safari prints, and there is also a tucked-away pool, sauna and steam room for rainy days. Hungry? Try Syrian-inspired charcoal kebabs, and mint and pomegranate cocktails at Baba.
If a red-eye flight out of Edinburgh Airport is part of your plans, then few other hotels are better placed. A five-minute drive from the terminal, this country house charmer ditches the stratified urban look for old-school glamour, full Scottish breakfasts and afternoon tea. There are also many attractions nearby – take time to visit Edinburgh’s three Forth bridges, all masterpieces in their own right, take a waterside saunter along the Union Canal from The Bridge Inn at Ratho, and stop for fish and chips in South Queensferry.
Rave-worthy hotels are a rare find in Edinburgh’s salt-tanged suburb of Leith, putting this Georgian-era townhouse – located a short walk away from Waverley Station and Calton Hill – head and shoulders above the rest. Once a historic regimental club for kilted veterans of the British Army – the entrance tiles were once smashed by beer barrels as they were wagon-wheeled through the front door – this boutique hotel now excels at understated luxury. Handily, The Gardener’s Cottage, one of Edinburgh’s most fabulous lunch spots, is nearby on London Road.
Moneyed Murrayfield, ground zero for Scottish rugby fans, is the backdrop to this Victorian-era duo of townhouses. Inside, the rooms showcase enough design flashes to fill a World of Interiors magazine, but even then they aren’t the main attraction. That would instead be the location: families will love the hassle-free access to Edinburgh Zoo and the path down the Water of Leith to Dean Village and beyond. Couples should beeline to the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art and make sure to look out for the random Antony Gormley statues popping up in the river and on the road.
This George Street boutique is a test for your mind as much as it is your body. The individually-distinct globe-trotting themed rooms – from Havana to Moscow to Rio – will test your geography, while the cocktail masterclasses and indulgent buttery scone teas will test your willpower. You’re here to dose-up on culture and shopping, so with the city’s must-see museums and best selection of boutiques in the near vicinity, planning the days has never been easier. For expert barista coffee with a twist, try Urban Angel.
For picnics in Inverleith Park – where locals swear you get the most sumptuous view of the Edinburgh skyline – and lost-in-the-city walks along the Water of Leith, this mansion can’t be beat. The Raeburn is the beating heart of Stockbridge community life, and is situated among the neighbourhood’s knick-knack shops, barbers and butchers. On Sunday, sample paella or a wild game pie at the farmer’s market, then return to the hotel brasserie for a pint in the beer garden. As for rooms? How about drench showers, espresso machines and plasma TVs.
Travelling on a budget? Not to worry – take a look at our selection of the best cheap hotels in Edinburgh and save your spending for the sights. If a more lavish accommodation takes your fancy, treat yourself and book a stay in one of the city’s best luxury hotels. Not sure what to do whilst you’re there? Browse the top most unusual things to do in Edinburgh for a one of a kind Scottish experience.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
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Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
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