When to Book Hotels in Edinburgh

Book your Edinburgh hotel early to avoid hassle

Edinburgh has become an all-year round tourist destination thanks to milder weather, a vibrant nightlife and cultural scene and world-class shopping. There are also many exciting cultural and sporting events throughout the year such as the Military Tattoo, the International Festival, the Rugby Sevens and of course the famous Hogmanay celebrations. The hotels in Edinburgh are seeing more reservations and bookings not only during the summer but also off season.

Why you should book as early as possible

It's generally advisable that you book your Edinburgh hotel as early as possible in order to get the cheapest deal -- compare rates online between the discount travel and hotel sites or take advantage of price promotions on the hotels own website.

Booking early means that you are more likely to find exactly what you are looking for in terms of facilities and location - and at the right price - among the many hotels in and around the centre of Edinburgh. The longer you wait, the more likely it is that you will have to make do with a hotel which does not fit your requirements, and often at a much higher price..

If you're thinking of staying in one of the luxury hotels on or around Princes Street, famous for their panoramic views and with one of the best shopping streets right on the doorstep, book as early as possible. The rooms overlooking Edinburgh's historic buildings are not surprisingly the most popular ones and speed is essential if you are to find a room with a view at all, let alone at a good price. At the same time, booking early ensures that you can often specify any particular requirements you have such as a room which does not overlook a busy street or a room with a bath instead of a shower. If you do have any special requests, put them in writing to the hotel and ask for confirmation to avoid disappointment.

The trickiest times to book a hotel in Edinburgh

The summer season is a very busy time for Edinburgh. Tourists start flocking into the city as early as May and the rush continues throughout the summer until early October.

The most popular event in Edinburgh is the International Festival which is held in August when every hotel in the city, from the two star to the five star luxury hotels, is completely booked out. This means that finding hotel accommodation in the city becomes a luxury in itself and you have to expect to pay far higher prices during this time. Booking early does not mean you will find a cheap room but at least you will have a room.

If you're on holiday in Edinburgh in August, you should make sure that you book your hotel accommodation at least 4 months in advance. Another extremely busy time for Edinburgh is the Hogmanay, the Scottish New Year celebrations.

Some tourists are inappropriately advised to wait until the last minute to book hotel rooms for Edinburgh's Hogmanay in order to get the cheapest rates. This is extremely risky as most hotels and self-catering apartments in Edinburgh are booked up well in advance. The only hotels you can usually find at the last minute are the luxury ones where you will probably pay the standard rate or even higher.

The bottom line about booking a hotel in Edinburgh

  • If you're on holiday in Edinburgh during the summer, particularly in August, you must book your hotel accommodation at least 3-4 months in advance. For the Hogmanay you must book your hotel room at least 1-2 months prior.
  • The earlier you book the more choice you have in terms of choosing hotels in Edinburgh and if you have fixed ideas on location or facilities you should not leave it until the last minute.

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