Edinburgh Old Town oozes mystery. Its cobbled “wynds” (narrow alleyways) entice and delight with unexpected nooks and crannies that urge you to explore. In the town that spawned Stevenson’s “Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde”, let Grassmarket’s cosy pubs bring out the bard in you. To unravel the ghostly tales behind Old Town’s hidden gems, join a guided tour.
Places to stay from $32 a night
0.5 miles from downtown
Don’t be fooled by the name – New Town’s not that new. But its open spaces and elegant Georgian façades stand in stark contrast to the scrunched mediaeval maze of Old Town. Hidden behind neo-classical columns, New Town’s flats are among the city’s most sought after. If you fancy going the full Scottish, pick up a bespoke kilt from 21st Century Kilts.
Places to stay from $46 a night
0.9 miles from downtown
West End’s all about performance. This district’s chock-full of theatres, cinemas and concert venues. It really comes into its own during August’s Fringe Festival, when you can barely walk for grinning street comics or touts thrusting flyers into your hand. Need a break from the theatricality? Slip into Caley Sample Rooms for an off-stage brew.
Places to stay from $43 a night
0.9 miles from downtown
Hay ho, let’s go! Commuters zoom in and out of Edinburgh’s central business district in a whirl of brogues and briefcases. On match days, you’ll see (and hear) rugby fans bustle their way to iconic Murrayfield Stadium. There’s plenty to please foodies, too – from First Coast’s Scottish fare to Lovecrumbs’ exceedingly good cakes.
Places to stay from $22 a night
0.9 miles from downtown
Bruntsfield’s a leafy district where students eat, drink and sleep. On sunny days, grab a corner-shop beer and join the fresh-faced crowds in The Meadows Park, where you’ll find picnics, frisbees and sun cream galore. Head to funky gastro-pub Blackbird for Sunday brunch, before stopping off at Cameo Cinema’s cosy bar for a pre-film pint.
Places to stay from $62 a night
Compact, hilly, and packed with landmarks, Edinburgh delights visitors with its medieval old town and vibrant personality. Dominating the skyline is Edinburgh Castle, where Scotland’s rich history is on display, along with the crown jewels. Take a free guided tour of the impressive citadel to hear stories of its fascinating past, then head up to the Argyle Battery for incredible city views.
From the castle, the legendary Royal Mile leads down to Holyrood Palace through a mix of museums and gift shops, selling everything from kilts to vintage whisky. Some of the city’s best food can be found here, too. However, if the smell of fish and chips doesn’t tempt you, why not try a traditional pub lunch of "haggis, neeps, and tatties"?
Later, burn it all off with a walk to the top of Arthur’s Seat—an extinct volcano overlooking the city in nearby Holyrood Park—to admire the natural landscape that stretches for miles around.
Edinburgh promises a great time, no matter the time of year. In the winter there’s Hogmanay, a 3-day festival of street parties and events to celebrate the new year. Summer brings balmier weather, before rounding up with the world’s biggest arts festival: The Fringe. Lasting an entire month, this all-out celebration packs stand-up comedy, magic shows, and dramatic theater into a full schedule, creating a buzz that draws huge crowds to the Scottish capital year after year.
From $296 per night
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|Most popular time to visit||July-September|
|Cheapest time to visit||January-March|
|Local currency||£1 = $1.38|
|Average weekend price||$182 per night|
|Average weekday price||$172 per night|
|Average stay||2 nights|
Edinburgh is a big city but very walkable. There is so much to see and it's so easy to find everything. I loved Arthur's Seat, Edinburgh Castle, The University of Edinburgh, all the museums, my day in Leith, finding 44 Scotland Street (Alexander McCall Smith), Holyrood park and Holyrood House just to name a few. We ate all over and all sorts of cuisines (almost every shop front offers food). It felt safe at night. It was just such an easy city to visit! I'm already planning my next trip!
Be aware that the centre is in upheaval with road upgrades. Use local transport or taxis. If you are unsure of the road layout of Edinburgh even using your own car I personally would forget it. I left at Hotel and just used local transportation. Otherwise Capital of Edinburgh buzzing as always.
Edinburgh is a must stop for anyone visiting Scotland. In addition to the usual recommended sites to visit, don’t miss the Museum of History of Surgery. It is a gem for history buffs. If you drove to Edinburgh, leave the car at the hotel and walk the city.
Loved the sights, the views , the parks ,the castle.Great food venues and bars and good shopping too. Found a great little restaurant Toro Latino....everything we wanted in walking distance but plenty transport from trams to taxi's.Lots of stairs steps and slopes so take it easy .
This was our third time in Edinburgh and we will definitely be going back again at some point. The city is beautiful and having the older and newer side of the town “next to each other” is just excellent. Unfortunately, some shops and independent restaurants are now closed (most likely due to the pandemic) which was disappointing but understandable. Hopefully they will be re-opening soon!
Visited during the Fringe Festival. It was vibrant, full of people, artists accompanied with great weather! We loved it! A Walking tour is a must and so is the tour of the underground vaults. While in Edinburgh try to appreciate the history and the stories of the land.
From $847 per night 9.4 Awesome 2,180 reviews
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