Where to stay in Edinburgh 2023? Best hotels & map

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If you’re looking for a place to stay in Edinburgh, there are plenty of options. Large hotel chains, smaller boutique hotels or hostels with a cosmopolitan atmosphere. So choosing the right accommodation can sometimes be quite difficult.

To make your decision easier, we’ve put together a detailed guide on where to stay in Edinburgh.

Read our recommendations and experiences for accommodation in Edinburgh. We’ll also add tips on what makes each area unique and what you can do in the area.

Edinburgh basic overview

Before we talk more about accommodation in Edinburgh, let’s introduce the city itself so you can get a basic overview of Edinburgh.

Edinburgh is located in the south-east of Scotland on the Firth of Forth, where the River Forth flows into the city. The bay is part of the North Sea and is known for its large bird colonies.

The centre is made up of Old Town and New Town, divided by the shopping thoroughfare of Princes Street. This is also the location of Waverley mainline railway station.

Princes Street takes you all over the city and also has buses from the airport. Waverley Station connects Edinburgh with surrounding towns and cities.

The city centre is easily walkable. You can take buses and trams to more distant areas, or use taxis and Uber.

The buses have their own dedicated lanes, so they are reliable. A single ticket costs £1.80, or a day ticket for £4.50. You can pay with a contactless card and cash (must have exact; drivers do not give change).

Read more in our guide to Edinburgh.

Where to stay in Edinburgh?

Old Town – the best place to stay for a first visit

The Old Town forms the oldest core of Edinburgh. The Royal Mile runs through the area, bordered by Edinburgh Castle on one side and Holyroodhouse Palace on the other. From the Royal Mile, the streets run downwards and together they form the labyrinth of the Old Town.

The Old Town is home to many of Edinburgh’ s most interesting and beautiful sites – Edinburgh Castle, the Palace, the National Museum of Scotland, the Grassmarket, the Museum of Edinburgh, Holyrood Palace and more.

It’s lively during the day, but quiet in the evening. This makes it the perfect area to stay in Edinburgh.

Canongate Street in the Old Town – the Tolbooth Tavern is located in the clock building
The Old Town lies between Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood Palace and the National Museum of Scotland

The old town is very accessible from the airport. At the airport, you’ll go to bus stop A, where you’ll get on the Airlink 100 bus (dark blue with Airlink on it; tickets are £4.50 or £7.50 return). The bus runs every 10 minutes and every 30 minutes at night. A taxi from the airport will cost approximately £23.

Get off at Princes Street next to Waverley Station. From here you can see the Old Town on the hill – it’s a few minutes walk depending on where you stay.

Best hotels in Old Town, Edinburgh

Motel One: Motel One hotels are known for their quality service and stylish rooms. The Edinburgh branch is no exception. The hotel is located right in the Old Town and the price is unbeatable considering the location and services. The rooms are clean, cosy and provide the necessary facilities, including a private bathroom. Reception 24/7; express check-in; luggage storage.

Motel One is located right in the Old Town a short walk from the train station

Holyrood Aparthotel: These apartments are located in a quiet area off the Royal Mile, in the historic Bakehouse Close. The store is just around the corner. The apartments are cosy, clean and fully equipped, including a kitchen and seating area. Ideal for couples and families with children.

CoDE Pod – The CoURT: Cheap accommodation in cells next to St Giles Cathedral on the Royal Mile. Everything is within walking distance. The accommodation is ideal for those looking for privacy at a low price. Clean and quiet accommodation where a delicious breakfast is served in the morning.

CoDE Pod – The CoURT is a great choice if you are looking for private accommodation at an affordable price

High Street Hostel: This accommodation is located in a historic alley behind the year by the Royal Mile. It’s quiet, but at the same time you’re steps away from the centre of the action. There is a choice of shared rooms and twin rooms if you are looking for more privacy. There is also a lounge and kitchen. Adults only; 24/7 reception; low price.

New Town – the best place to stay in the centre of the action

Don’t let the name fool you. The new town dates back to the 18th century. It has perfectly lined streets modeled on the British flag, lined with Georgian-style houses.

Edinburgh New Town

It’s easy to get here from the Old Town – just walk down the hill from the Royal Mile towards Princes Street. Princes Street is also the main street of the city centre and the New Town. There are plenty of shops, restaurants and Waverley Central Station along the route.

View of New Town and Princes Street – the tower building houses the Baltimore Hotel, with Waverley and Old Town stations on the left.

The new town is very well connected to the rest of Edinburgh. It is next to Waverley train station and there are several bus stops around Princes Street (bus stops are marked with 2 letters in Edinburgh).

At the airport, get on the Airlink 100 bus (stop A) and get off at Princes Street or South St David Street station (this is where the bus ends). From South St David Street you can then drive back to the airport – you’ll find the stop marked on the map below for easy reference.

Best accommodation in New Town, Edinburgh

Edinburgh Castle Apartments: Stylish, spacious apartment where you have privacy and everything you need (kitchen with dishwasher, seating area with TV and view, bathroom with washing machine). Great location on a side street off Princes Street and overlooking Edinburgh Castle. Online check-in; friendly staff; apartments for 2-6 people.

Spacious and airy Edinburgh Castle Apartments in the city centre

Cairn Hotel & Apartments: A cosy hotel on the edge of New Town near Calton Hill within walking distance of the centre. Rooms and apartments are clean, modern and some have a kitchenette. Helpful staff; 24/7 reception; great price.

Cairn Hotel & Apartments in a quiet part of New Town yet a short walk from the centre

Cityroomz Edinburgh: Hotel on Princes St, directly opposite the airport bus stop. Rooms and apartments with kitchenettes are available. Ideal accommodation for a longer stay as it provides all the facilities. Friendly staff; 24/7 reception; family rooms.

Rooms and fully equipped apartments at Cityroomz Edinburgh just off Princes Street

West End – the best place to stay near the centre

The West End is a Georgian neighborhood on the edge of downtown. The streets are lined with shops and restaurants with colourful windows (visit William Street). It provides a quiet background, good accessibility and at the same time you have everything you need nearby. The centre can be reached on foot in 20 minutes or by bus lines 3, 25, 31 and 33.

The West End lies to the west of Old Town and New Town. This will get you off the plane earlier.

accommodation Edinburgh
The charming residential area of Dean Village lies on the edge of the West End

The Airlink 100 bus service passes through the West End. The advantage is that it runs at frequent and regular intervals throughout the day and night. Taking the tram from the airport? Get off at the West End stop.

TIP: If you are arriving late in the evening or leaving early in the morning, it is a good idea to choose accommodation where the Airlink buses stop (city centre – Old Town and New Town, West End).

Get off at Haymarket train station (to get back to the airport, get on at HH – it’s signposted) or Shandwick Place (again, you’ll find it signposted on the map).

Best hotels in West End, Edinburgh

The Dunstane Houses: This 5-star boutique hotel in a Victorian villa is located in a residential area. Buses stop at the hotel – direct connections to the city centre and airport. Reception 24/7; breakfast included; friendly staff.

accommodation Edinburgh
5* boutique hotel The Dunstane Houses

The Haymarket Hotel: This hotel is set in a Victorian house on a quiet street. It is well connected to the airport. Rooms are stylish, cosy and decorated in a traditional style. Online check-in; excellent breakfast; family rooms.

where to stay in Edinburgh / accommodation Edinburgh
Located in a quiet area of the West End, minutes from the city centre, The Haymarket Hotel offers spacious and cosy en-suite rooms.

Leith – the best place to stay on the coast

Leith is a coastal district on the Firth of Forth. A trendy and independent area with a boardwalk that Time Out magazine ranked as the 4th coolest neighborhood in the world. Sounds like a good place to stay, doesn’t it?

where to stay in Edinburgh

Leith Walk runs through the quarter and connects to Princes Street. It is lined with shops and restaurants.

Leith is ideal for those looking for a less touristy area, but still close to the centre.

It is a 25-minute bus ride from the centre (bus 35 from the Royal Mile or buses 16 and 25 from Princes Street).

From the airport, the Skylink 200 direct bus (stop B) runs to Ocean Terminal. The Ocean Terminal stop is located in the centre of Leith near a large shopping centre.

Skylink 200 buses run at regular 30 minute intervals from 4:55-00:30 and return from Leith to the airport from 4:10-23:55. Every day from Monday to Sunday. The journey to Ocean Terminal takes 50-55 minutes. It depends on the traffic, but buses in Edinburgh have their own lanes, so they are reliable.

Other options are to take the Airlink 100 bus from the airport into the city centre to Waverley station and then take the city bus to Leith. This comes in handy at night when Skylink 200 buses are not running (Airlink buses run 24/7).

Best hotels in Leith

Holiday Inn Express – Leith Waterfront: A modern hotel in Leith’s old harbour district, just steps to the promenade and the Royal Yacht Britannia. There is a bus stop right in front of the hotel – buses to the city centre and airport stop here. Ocean Terminal Shopping Centre is a short walk from the hotel. Reception 24/7; family rooms; great price.

Modern Holiday Inn Express – Leith Waterfront hotel in Leith’s Old Harbour

Stockbridge – the best place to stay for an authentic atmosphere

Stockbridge is a neighbourhood with a suburban feel. Quiet, no tourists, but still close to the centre. The streets are lined with Victorian and Georgian houses. The district has a bohemian atmosphere with independent shops. It stretches around the Water of Leith, along which a path leads to the coast in Leith.

where to stay in Edinburgh

There are several attractions around Stockbridge, including the Royal Botanic Gardens and the charming Circus Lane. Every Sunday there is the Stockbridge Farmers Market, where you can buy local produce and eat well (they have excellent paella).

From the airport, you can take the Airlink bus to Princes Street, where you can catch the city bus. There are bus routes 24 and 29 to Stockbridge (about 10-15 minutes drive depending on where you get off).

It is only 15-20 minutes on foot from the Old Town. A pleasant walk slightly downhill.

Best hotels in Stockbridge, Edinburgh

New Town Guest House: If you are looking for authentic accommodation away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre, this accommodation is ideal. A small, cosy guesthouse in a residential area where the night is perfectly quiet. The rooms provide complete comfort – private bathroom, refrigerator, tea making facilities. Online check-in; breakfast included; Adults only.

where to stay in Edinburgh
Playful and authentic New Town Guest House in a quiet part of town and within walking distance to the centre

Hotels & accommodation in Edinburgh near the airport

ibis budget Hotel Edinburgh Park: This sustainable and affordable hotel is part of a popular chain of hotels offering smaller but modern rooms with the necessary amenities. Ideal for sleepovers. The tram is located directly opposite the hotel (taking you to the airport and the city centre) and there is a shopping centre right next door. Reception 24/7; family rooms; reasonable price.

The White Lady Wetherspoon: Do you prefer smaller, cosy hotels with good food? This hotel is located in a suburb close to Edinburgh Airport and Edinburgh Zoo. The bus stop is a short walk from the hotel (lines 26 and 31 take you directly to the centre in 20 minutes). The stop for the Airlink bus to the airport is an 8-minute walk away. Reception 24/7; family rooms; reasonable price.

where to stay in Edinburgh
The White Lady Wetherspoon is located in the suburbs, a few minutes by bus to the airport or city centre

Where to stay in Edinburgh on the map

HOW TO USE THIS MAP: Above you will find a detailed map of where to stay in Edinburgh. Click at the top left of the map to see separate layers with highlighted locations. You can hide and show the different layers or click on the icons on the map to see the names of the places I mention in the Edinburgh accommodation guide. If you want to save the map, star it. For a larger version, click on the icon in the upper right corner.

Find out more about the UK

EDINBURGH: Check out our 25 tips on what to see in Edinburgh (+ more useful information and tips for your trip).

SCOTLAND: Scotland is one of the most beautiful areas of the UK – here’s a list of things to do in Scotland, including a map and useful information, or get inspired by the most beautiful places on the Isle of Skye.

Planning a trip to Scotland? We’ve put together a complete guide to visiting Scotland.

LONDON: Read more about what to see in London. To help you plan your trip, we’ve created a 3-day London itinerary. In a separate article, we share tips on what to do in London with kids.

These were our recommendations for where to stay in Edinburgh. Do you have a question? Ask in the comments below. Have a safe journey!

Where to stay in Edinburgh – Frequently Asked Questions

Where to stay in Edinburgh?

Edinburgh has some great neighbourhoods to stay in. For a central location, I recommend staying in Old Town or New Town. Both neighborhoods are UNESCO listed, and there are plenty of restaurants, shops, and sights to see. If you’re looking for accommodation in a quieter location, the West End, Leith and Stockbridge are ideal.

What are the best hotels in Edinburgh?

Centrally located in the Old Town, Motel One is a safe bet – quality service at a great price. A short walk from Calton Hill is the cosy Cairn Hotel. In a quiet location yet a short walk from the centre. For the best accommodation experience, I recommend The Dunstane Houses located in a Victorian villa. The White Lady Wetherspoon is a stylish hotel halfway between the airport and the city centre.

What is the best budget accommodation in Edinburgh?

CoDE Pod – The CoURT offers unconventional cellular accommodation next to St Giles Cathedral on the Royal Mile. Everything is within walking distance. High Street Hostel is located in a historic backstreet behind the year old Royal Mile. It’s quiet, but you’re steps from the centre of the action. There’s a choice of shared rooms and separate rooms for two if you’re looking for more privacy. There’s also a lounge and kitchen. Private rooms and studios aCairn Hotel in New Town or ibis budget Hotel Edinburgh Park near the airport are also great options.

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