Staying in Edinburgh Accommodation Guide
What are the Best Places and Areas to Stay in Edinburgh?
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Where to stay in Edinburgh? That's not a crucial decision when booking accommodation in Scotland's capital. The city is very small compared to other European capitals and everything in the City Centre -- from shopping, attractions, restaurants and pubs -- is literally within reach.
Edinburgh's very compact City Centre allows for easy access by public transport from most areas of the city. This gives you greater flexibility when choosing hotels and other types of accommodation because you can focus on finding the best accommodation deals on good places to stay and not worry too much about the location.
What Area To Stay in Edinburgh?
Staying in Edinburgh City Centre
The centre of Edinburgh is Princes Street, the renowned shopping street and its surrounding area to the North (the New Town), and the South (Old Town). There are many hotels on Princes Street and accommodation can also be found very close to Edinburgh Castle on the Royal Mile.
Places to Stay near Train Station, Bus Station and Airport Shuttle
Princes Street is also Edinburgh's connecting transport hub -- Waverley Train Station, St Andrews Square Coach Station and the Airport Shuttle pick-up/drop off points are all located on Princes Street itself or very close to it (3 minute walk on average).
As you would expect, Princes Street and the Royal Mile are the best areas for staying in Edinburgh due to the ultra-central locations. Acommodation around here include some of the best places to stay in Edinburgh but they can be very expensive.
However, whatever type of hotel you are looking for in central Edinburgh, chances are that you will find it. There are many small and intimate romantic places to stay, boutique hotels, designer hotels, elegant Victorian-style hotels and reasonably priced chain hotels. There are also some very unusual places to stay and many holiday apartments and bed and breakfast accomodation.
Accommodation in Edinburg Old Town
Away from Princes Street and the heart of the City Centre lies the Old Town with its wide variety of guest house, hotel and hostel accommodation. Self catering or serviced apartments in this area of Edinburgh are also popular with both tourists and business people as they are far more spacious than a hotel room.
Serviced apartments have one or more bedrooms, a living area and a fully equipped kitchen making them a much more flexible place to stay in. They can also work out much better value for money than a hotel for people travelling in groups or for larger families.
The Old Town is one of the most beautiful and atmospheric areas to stay in Edinburgh and you will not fail to be charmed by its maze of streets and sense of history, particularly the Grassmarket area with its amazing views of Edinburgh Castle. There are places of interest at every step and the Old Town is famous for its unusual and intimate pubs and bars, and specialty family-owned stores.
Accomodation in Edinburg New Town
Another central area to stay in Edinburgh is the fashionable New Town. Just north of Princes Street are George Street, which is very popular with travellers looking for a vibrant nightlife scene, and Queen Street, which overlooks Queen Street Gardens, two of the finest streets in Edinburgh. Accommodation in this area ranges from excellent hotels and apartments to guest houses and hostels.
Most accommodation in the West End and New Town is Georgian or Victorian-style accommodation located in tastefully restored mansions and apartments featuring high ceilings and many of the original period features.
The New Town has a character of its own, historic and elegant, yet vibrant and stylish and there are many fashionable clubs and restaurants in the area.
As many of the buildings in the New Town are converted old townhouses, there are many listed buildings. While this means that they have been tastefully restored, with most offering elegant and stylish accommodation, it does mean that many of the Georgian townhouse hotels do not have lifts due to planning restrictions and some of the guest rooms can vary in size and shape.
Both the Old Town and the New Town are home to some of the most quirky and unusual accommodation in Edinburgh. The Hotel du Vin in the Old Town, is a converted former asylum.
If you choose to stay in a place in Edinburgh City Centre be aware that, as with any city centre, it can be quite noisy at night especially around the most popular areas such as Princes Street, the Royal Mile, George Street and the Grassmarket. Many of the hotels have double or triple glazing but if noise is likely to bother you then either ask for a room which faces away from the main street or look for a hotel in one of the quieter back streets.
Staying in Edinburgh City Centre but Away from Princes Street
Whether you stay in Edinburgh's Old Town or New Town you are still very close to Princes Street and within walking distance from the city's main tourist attractions, train station, coach station and airport shuttle. These are very good and safe areas to stay in and also full of charm.
You won't need taxis for such short distances which will partly compensate for the expensive Edinburgh accommodation and will make your holiday cheaper on the whole. Remember, though, that although very compact, Edinburgh is quite a hilly city, so expect some fairly steep hills on your walks around the city.
If you are looking for a hotel with parking, many of the really central places in Edinburgh do not have parking facilities and those that do, often charge very high daily rates. However, some city centre hotels do have reasonably priced parking.
Best Value Accommodation - Stay in Other Parts of Edinburgh
For cheap and Haymarket are a tourist's dream in terms of choice -- great acommodation deals, lovely places to stay and still close enough locations to the City Centre.
Most accommodation in these areas are Victorian-style guest houses and bed and breakfasts. The prices are lower than those in the City Centre but the frequent local buses more than make up for it. Accommodation outside of the city centre is also more likely to be in a more peaceful and secluded area and to have a garden and parking.
It takes around 10 minutes by bus to reach Edinburgh's centre from these neighbourhoods. With excellent public transport links throughout the City staying in a location outside of Edinburgh City Centre is best for students, families, groups or those travelling on a budget.
How Expensive is Edinburgh to Stay In?
Edinburgh is an expensive city, so accommodation prices are quite high. The cheapest accommodation in Edinburgh City Centre is probably too expensive for students and budget travellers. The city has, however, a great variety of acommodation ranging from cheap to luxury hotels and guest houses to apartments, inns and hostels close to or in the City Centre.
Best Area To Stay in Edinburgh - Conclusion
The best place to stay in Edinburgh is a good hotel for a good price. Many people choose to stay right in the heart of Edinburgh, in the atmospheric Old Town or in the elegant New Town, but expect to pay a premium for this. You can make considerable savings if you are prepared to stay slightly out of the centre.
However, it is always worth spending a little time researching accommodation options as even in the city centre there are some great deals to be found at certain times of the year and a city centre hotel might well be more affordable than you think.