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Where to stay in Edinburgh – a neighborhood guide

Find a place to stay

You’re never far from a sense of history when staying in Edinburgh - whether you opt for a classic Georgian hotel with views of the castle, or a friendly guesthouse on the outskirts of Leith. The city center is fairly compact and easy to explore, with a startling contrast between the medieval Old Town and the cosmopolitan New Town. Choose an independent hotel for the best service and local knowledge while staying in Edinburgh.

Paul McGlinchey

My Destination local expert on


Old Town


Encompassing iconic areas such as the Royal Mile and Grassmarket, Edinburgh’s Old Town is the medieval heart of the city, with grand old tenements and twisting cobbled alleyways to explore. Here you’ll find the magnificent Edinburgh Castle, St. Giles’ Cathedral, the Royal Museum of Scotland and the atmospheric ruins of Holyrood Abbey.


Hotels in Old Town


Arguably the most central area of Edinburgh, the Old Town has a diverse range of accommodation, allowing visitors of all budgets to stay within sight of the Royal Mile. Arty hostels share streets with international chains and classy hotels.


New Town


As its name suggests, this part of the city was built more recently than the Old Town, but it’s still not really ‘new’. It was slowly built over a century from 1765, in a grid format of Georgian and neo-classical architecture. The New Town features Edinburgh’s main shopping streets, including the famous Princes Street.


Hotels in New Town


The streets of Edinburgh’s New Town are stuffed with attractive and traditional hotels, some of which are five star rated. This area is also a good choice if you are looking to stay in a private apartment.


West End


To the west of the center and encompassing the other train station of Haymarket, this area of Edinburgh is another charming district of Georgian streets and crescents. The West End is a prime location for culture vultures, with venues such as Usher Hall, the Royal Lyceum and Edinburgh’s classically independent cinema, The Filmhouse.


Hotels in the West End


The West End is home to some of Edinburgh’s most upmarket hotels, offering both international brands and local gems. Perfect if you fancy a four poster bed or a need a posh conference center.




Built around the old port of Edinburgh and on the shores of the Firth of Forth, the vibrant and exciting area of Leith is a couple of miles outside the city center. With a distinctly different feel to Edinburgh, Leith has a flourishing gourmet scene, several cultural festivals and unrivalled waterside walks.


Hotels in Leith


Visitors to Leith find hotels to be more affordable here than the center of the city, when comparing the same national brands. You’ll also find cheap and cheerful hotels and guesthouses around the park of Leith Links.