How To Get Around Edinburgh
The compact nature of Edinburgh and the close proximity of the major tourist attractions means its an easy place to get around, just watch out for the occasional hill!
Edinburgh has one airport, and getting to city centre from the airport is simple. The 24/7 Airlink 100 Bus Service is my favourite because its fast, efficient, and reasonably priced at £4 one way or £7 open return. The journey will take about half an hour, and you can buy the ticket when you arrive or, for a small premium , you can buy your ticket in advance via Get Your Guide.
In terms of other public transport options beyond the Air Link bus, theres the new Skylink 200 Bus Service , or the newer Edinburgh Tram Service, which is also very convenient. The local Number 35 bus is a cheap alternative at only £1.60, but its a much longer journey unless youre staying in the western suburbs.
If youd prefer to not take public transportation, you can arrange a private transfer through Viator starting at around US $17.50. It looks like this company had some service issues when they first got started on Viator , but all recent reviews are excellent. Alternatively, you can take a cab when you arrive. Expect to pay somewhere around £20 to the city centre.
Regarding stations, Edinburgh Waverley Train Station is located between the Old Town and New Town, and Haymarket Train Station is most convenient if youre staying closer to the West End, or if youre heading to Glasgow.
Aparthotel Adagio Edinburgh Royal Mile
Clean, modern, and an ex-servicemans hostel is the Aparthotel Adagio Edinburgh Royal Mile. It once used to help the citys homeless before and after World War II.
Today it stands as a competitive and affordable aparthotel in the Royal Mile.
Each room apartment features an equipped kitchen that comes with a coffee maker and kitchen utensils. Thus, enables you to cook your own food.
However, if youre not in the mood for cooking, you will find a little shop next to the lobby. You can grab drinks, snacks, and microwaveable products. The hotel also provides a self-service laundry and a fitness room you can use.
You will find Fraser Suites Edinburgh nestled near the Edinburgh Castle.
And this Victorian-style 130-year-old building has the best views of the Princes Street Gardens.
Rooms are installed with contemporary design and sophistication. And perfect for families, the hotel provides a suite with generous space. It is also installed with a separate kitchen, dining, and living area. Making it your home away from home.
They also offer laundry service and 24- hour reception to make sure your needs are met during your stay.
Old Town Royal Mile Where To Stay In Edinburgh For First
As you may have gathered from the name, the Oldtown is Edinburghs historic city center and a part of Edinburghs downtown. The streets here are lined with stunning buildings, dating back through the centuries to the medieval era.
Packed full of many of the top attractions that you will no doubt recognize from postcards and travel photos, the Old Town is ideal for first-time visitors to Edinburgh.
Its also perfect for anyone who is planning a shorter trip and wants to pack in as much sightseeing as possible. Just a stones throw from Waverly Train Station, it is also super convenient for anyone traveling in or out of the city by train.
Probably the most famous attraction in the city is Edinburgh Castle.
The castle dates back to the 11th-century, with numerous restorations, additions, and alterations made throughout the intervening centuries. The castles St Margarets Chapel is believed to be the oldest remaining building in Edinburgh.
Having been a royal residence for centuries and seen countless significant battles and uprisings, the castle boasts an incomparably rich history. Today it houses Scotlands crown jewels, as well as the National War Museum and various monuments and memorials.
Nowadays, the royal residence in Edinburgh is the Palace of Holyroodhouse. The stunning 16th-century palace houses the British monarchy for at least a week each summer when they attend meetings and carry out royal duties in and around the Scottish capital.
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Final Thoughts On Where To Stay In Scotland
Scotland is a small but mighty country with so much to offer visitors! If you can, we recommend visiting a few places in this guide to truly gain an understanding of the culture and history of the nation. Tartan, haggis and bagpipes are all interesting but there is so much more on offer if you scratch below the surface and really take in the country.
Edinburgh is our overall best pick because it is an excellent gateway to everywhere else on the mainland! We also love Glasgow, however, which is growing as a hub for alternative culture, nightlife and dining. It is also cheaper, and as the largest city has great transport links across Scotland and Northern England.
That being said, what you want to get out of your trip will shape where is best for you! If you only have a week in the country, we recommend picking one urban and one rural location to get a good overview of everything on offer.
Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments!
The Best Hotels On The Royal Mile
- You cant get much closer to the action than The Inn on The Mile, a bar with kitchen, and nine room hotel on the Royal Mile, opposite the Tron Kirk, where the South Bridge meets the High Street, just five minutes stroll from the castle. Sit outside and watch the traffic pass up and down the Mile, or enjoy the live music and food indoors. The rooms are chic, offering complimentary mineral water and chocolate-dipped strawberries, bathrobes, slippers and tea and coffee. The Royal Mile rooms are the larger ones with the views.
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Some Of Edinburgh’s Best B& bs
- 23 Mayfield is an elegant, five star B& B in a beautiful Victorian building. There are only seven rooms, some with four poster beds, and all with wood panelling, fireplaces and big bathtubs. They serve an excellent breakfast and theres a lovely garden. The location isnt super central, but its a really charming place to stay.
- The Hedges is a five room B& B in a charming Edwardian townhouse just a short stroll from Carlton Hill and Holyrood. Its simple, affordable and the owners are also the managers, so youll get plenty of local recommendations if you need them.
Edinburgh Budget Hotels City Centre
The City Centre is not simply reserved for the rich and famous, however! There are a number of budget options available for travellers looking to save some cash.
Jurys Inn is located 5 minutes from Waverley Station, at the base of the Royal Mil close to Cockburn Street which has lots of food and drink options.
Rooms are basic yet clean and the staff are friendly.
Some rooms have views of Calton Hill.
Not bad for under £100 per night!
Friend of the website, Joella also recommends Hotel Indigo, across from Edinburgh Waverley Train Station.
Check out our guide to budget hotels in Edinburgh for more.
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Broughton Best Place To Stay In Edinburgh On A Budget
For a local feel like Leith, but a little less grit, consider staying in Broughton. Its adjacent to New Town and has many bars, restaurants, cafes and boutiques, but its just far enough off the tourist path that youll see more locals and have a more authentic Edinburgh experience. Broughton is a great neighbourhood if youre looking to rent a flat, as there are more private homes than commercial hotels in this neighbourhood, offering cheap hotels Edinburgh.
Morningside/bruntsfield Upscale Neighborhood In Edinburgh
Elegant Leafy Avenues, and Independent Stores
The leafy avenues of these sister neighborhoods just south of the center are home to some of Edinburghs most elegant addresses.
Morningside has the reputation of being one of the most well-to-do neighborhoods in Scotland, and its next-door neighbour Bruntsfield isnt far behind.
This combined area located just south of the city center has leafy terraces, beautiful Victorian and Georgian mansions, quirky independent shops, churches and parks.
Quieter than the other neighborhoods in this guide, it is one of the safest in the city.
Famous Irish comedian Dylan Moran resides here and at one of his recent gigs I was at, in The Stand said he thinks the leading cause of death in Morningside is too much Earl Grey tea.
The area has inspired other famous names to locate there too including s JK Rowling, Muriel Spark, Ian Rankin and Alexander McCall Smith.
The fictitious characters of Miss Jean Brodie and Maisie the Cat from childrens stories by Aileen Paterson have made the area famous as one of Edinburghs fanciest postcodes.
If you want high class, peaceful parks, tantalizing tearooms and beautiful bistros, this is the best place to stay in Edinburgh.
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Stockbridge Coolest Place To Stay In Edinburgh
Stockbridge is a small neighbourhood just north of Edinburghs city centre. Once a separate community, Stockport merged with the city in the 19th century and quickly became one of Edinburghs most popular districts.
Since merging, Stockbridge has retained much of its bohemian vibe, making it one of the coolest places to stay in Edinburgh. This is where youll find eye-catching architecture, a range of local and independent shops, and a number of terrific pubs and innovative restaurants.
Westend Where To Stay In Edinburgh On A Budget
The Westend neighborhood of Edinburgh is a large section of the city centre and one of the best areas to stay in Edinburgh. It is home to a large number of the citys arts institutions and venues, including Usher Hall, the Royal Lyceum, the Traverse Theatre and the Filmhouse. Many arts festivals and craft fairs are held in this Village rather than other areas in Edinburgh.
In this area, Georgian architecture is plentiful, and there are many attractive retail shops and boutique here. The Westend Village is one of Edinburghs hidden treasures to experience during your stay in Edinburgh. On William and Stafford Streets, the stylish shops and colorful pubs and cafes create a charming bohemian world to be explored by both locals and newcomers to the city.
Landmarks in this region include Bute House, the official office of the First Minister of Scotland. Its highly impressive Georgian facade includes giant-pillars and an ornate doorway.
Traveling westward on Shandwick Place, you will arrive at historic Haymarket Station, now providing good train networks for city centre travelers and Westend commuters.
Nearby is the grand BT Murrayfield Stadium, home of the Scottish Rugby teams and seating more than 67,000 spectators. Join the fans to see an exciting, fast-paced match while you are in the neighborhood for a great Edinburgh experience.
You will find a variety of prices for guest accommodations in this area, from hostels to hotels, with something to fit each and every budget.
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Luxury Hotels Near Edinburgh Castle
Radisson Collection Royal Mile is a modern 5-star hotel, less than 250m away from the castle. The spacious rooms feature classic Scottish design and striking views of the city. The restaurant on site offers excellent gluten-free choices.Why book 250m from the castle, private parking on-site, exceptional staff
The Witchery by the Castle is one of the most lavish hotels in the city. Located only 50m away from the castle, this 5-star hotel features unique luxurious rooms. If you look for a special place to stay with your loved one, dont look further.Why book 50m from the castle, restaurant on-site, opulent themed rooms
Best Areas And Neighborhoods To Stay In Edinburgh
Edinburgh is divided into four main areas:
Because Edinburgh is a fairly walkable city, all of these areas provide easy access to all of the citys main events, attractions and points of interest.
In some cities, some parts of town are way away from other parts of town.
In Edinburgh, thats not the case. No matter where you stay from the four options above, youll be able to enjoy the entire city very simply and very easily.
All four areas can be reached from one another by foot. Alternatively, you can use Edinburghs excellent, extensive and affordable bus network or hire bicycles from the several easy-to-use rental points throughout the city.
Whether you want ancient streets, seaside strolls or the iconic port of Leith, you can easily access all of them from each point of the city.
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Why Stay In Leith
The food and drink hub of Edinburgh, it has an entirely different vibe to the rest of the city that people find difficult to leave. Once a more undesirable area, Leith recently become gentrified and is now one of the most eclectic and exciting areas in the city, set beautifully along the waterfront.
Leith offers everything from fine-dining at Michelin star restaurants like The Kitchin and Martin Wishart to cute cafes, artisan coffee houses, and eateries.
It’s also one of the more budget places to stay in Edinburgh, and in a good location for getting around the city. Split into Leith Walk and Leith Docks. Leith Walk is lined with shops, restaurants, bars, and independent bookshops.
There are beautiful apartments, mews dwellings, and yachts lining the harbourside. It’s also the most multicultural part of Edinburgh and a perfect way to catch a real slice of authentic life in the city.
Code Pod Hostels The Loft
Different from the usual bunk-beds, the CoDE Pod Hostels THE LoFT features their signature pods, from the name itself.
The hostels pods are like having a private room of your own. Each pod has comfy beds, curtains for your privacy and are equipped with USB sockets, LED reading light, hooks, and a shelf. But if ever youre claustrophobic or just not into these pods, you can always book a private room.
Aside from this, the coolest new features of their pods include LED mood lights behind the headboard. And according to science these lights can affect your mood giving you a more relaxed sleep.
Moreover, breakfast is served in buffet where you can choose from freshly made waffles to pastries to savory meals. And as for thr drinks, have your unlimited variety of coffee, tea and juice.
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Budget: Best Western Plus Edinburgh City Centre Bruntsfield Hotel
Overlooking Bruntsfield Links Park, this classic yet contemporary hotel offers bright rooms with free Wi-Fi and limited free parking. Edinburgh city centre is a 15-minute walk or a 5-minute bus ride away. Each spacious bedroom at the Best Western Plus Bruntsfield is well equipped with a flat-screen TV with international satellite channels, a work desk, a seating area and a private bathroom. Book on Booking.com
We are sure you will love the city, once you decided where to stay in Edinburgh. If this is your first visit, make sure to take a long walk through the street of Edinburgh.
You can also spend half a day visiting the Royal Botanic Gardens Of Edinburgh, featuring one of the most well-kept palm houses in the UK.
Things To Do In Edinburgh New Town
- Shop til you drop at St James Quarter
- Enjoy a drink with a view at Juniper Edinburgh
- Visiting at Christmas? Dont miss The Dome
- Drink cocktails on George Street
- Pub crawl along Rose Street
- See a show at The Stand
- People watch over St Andrews Square from Harvey Nichols
- Consider Edinburghs link with the slave trade, many of the New Town buildings were built by merchants who profited from it
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Where To Stay In Edinburgh Near Leith
Malmaison Edinburgh This exquisitely decorated hotel on the banks of the Forth in Leith has modern conveniences. An acclaimed restaurant & luxurious rooms.
Check out Availability & Prices Trip Advisor / Booking.com
Mayfair House Located in a central neighbourhood near the Playhouse. This hotel has a warm and cozy atmosphere.
Check out Availability & Prices Trip Advisor / Booking.com
Hermitage Guest House From around £50 a night, with free full fry up breakfast, Wi-Fi and in quiet but accessible and pretty location by Leith Links.
Check out Availability & Prices Trip Advisor / Booking.com
Things to see near Leith
Leith Market This weekly market has a variety of wares on offer. Anything goes at this Saturday Market. Located at Commercial Street, EH6 6LU.
Royal Yacht Britannia For some regal regalia, check out the Royal Yacht, which has been docked here and used as a static floating museum since 1998. It also serves some superb afternoon tea in the onboard restaurant.
Ocean Terminal Shopping Center The largest shopping mall in the Leith area spanning two floors of Ocean Terminal. The second floor has a varied food court and a cinema.
Sweet treats at the Sicilian Bakery Situated on Albert Street, just off Leith Walk, this bakery is famous throughout Edinburgh. Its owners are genuine Sicilians and their sweet treats are so loved that the cannoli sells out by 11 am daily.
Inverness Best Place To Stay In Scotland For Families
Right in the far north, Inverness is considered the capital of the Highlands! This small city has a warm and welcoming atmosphere, making it the perfect destination for families. Getting around the main attractions can easily be done on foot and most of the Highlands are only a short car journey away.
Inverness is, of course, a major gateway to Loch Ness where you can try to spot the famous monster! This region is one of the most touristy in Scotland, but for families it can provide an exciting and magical day out. There is also Urquhart Castle, where you can learn about Scotlands ancient history and the first sightings of the monster.
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