The Best Edinburgh Hotels in Old Town (for Easy Exploring!)

Edinburgh Castle view through the window of a hotel in Old Town

When you visit Edinburgh, hotel choice is key! Here are my favorite Edinburgh hotels in Old Town for easy walkability to all the top sights.

With stunning scenery, dramatic architecture, and fascinating medieval history, it’s easy to see why Edinburgh is one of the most popular travel destinations in the world. It also happens to be one of my favorite cities in the world.

From underground haunted vaults to a lofty castle, Scotland’s energetic capital city has plenty of things to see and do. And I’ve already covered that in-depth in this post:

Epic Edinburgh: 16 Things Not to Miss in Scotland’s Sensational Capital City

But where should you stay when you visit Edinburgh?

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. If you choose to book through these links, I receive a small commission, which I will undoubtedly blow on more flights (it’s a vicious cycle).  All of this internet voodoo takes place at no additional cost to you. 

Well, the good news is, Edinburgh is a terrific walking city. So all of those fun things to see and do are within easy reach….if you pick the right hotel in a central location.

That’s why I recommend staying in the heart of the city center, in Edinburgh’s Old Town, where you can take full advantage of all that walkability. There are a wide variety of Edinburgh hotels in Old Town (and close enough to the centre of Edinburgh) to choose from.

Victoria Street Edinburgh Scotland
Victoria Street, Edinburgh

And there’s something for every budget. Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway or a roomy space for the whole family, you can find a great hotel in Edinburgh’s city center. And luckily, there are even a few budget-friendly finds.

So let’s get started!

All of the options listed below meet the walkability criteria and all offer a private bathroom and air conditioning (my other two non-negotiables). Most are in the heart of the Old Town but a few are just outside (I’ve noted which ones).

With that in mind, here are my favorite hotels in Edinburgh’s Old Town, depending on your style of travel:

Best Edinburgh Hotels for Full-Service Luxury

If you’re looking for a splurge with all the amenities, these hotels won’t let you down:

The Balmoral Hotel – Opened in 1902, Edinburgh’s historic grand dame is more than just a luxury hotel, it’s a 5-star destination (with a price to match). Features include a Michelin-starred restaurant, a decadent spa, a whisky bar boasting 500+ varieties of Scottish Whiskey, and, of course, top-notch service. For Harry Potter fans, Room 552 (now called the JK Rowling Suite) is where JK Rowling completed the final book in the series, Deathly Hallows.

Virgin Hotels Edinburgh – Yes, that’s Virgin, as in airlines. Less than 5 minutes’ walk from the Real Mary King’s Close, this historic property is in a perfect location. feels more like a museum than a hotel. Think plush furnishings, heated floors, clawfoot tubs, and a wood-paneled cozy bar. Tip: Terrace rooms have amazing views over the rooftops of Old Town and the castle.

Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa – This is one of my personal favorites because we stayed here on our honeymoon trip. With comfortable rooms and friendly staff, the hotel’s location is a short walk from everything. The spa features an indoor pool and sauna. And after a full day of exploring, you can also take advantage of their room service.

Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa Edinburgh View from room

Cheval – The Edinburgh Grand – If you’re looking for luxury AND extra space, this 5-star condo hotel is tough to beat. Balcony rooms also feature generous outdoor space with sweeping city views.

Best Edinburgh Hotels for Scottish Charm

Mid-range in price, these hotels have a decidedly local flavor if you’re in search of something more uniquely Scottish:

Six Brunton Place – If you’re looking for local charm instead of a chain hotel, this cozy guest house is a terrific choice. From the tasty breakfast options to well-appointed rooms, it’s the perfect home away from home after a long day exploring the city.

The Rutland Hotel – With a prime location and colorful, trendy Scottish decor this hotel is a great pick for walkability. Rooms range from standard doubles all the way up to two-bedroom apartments but the Castle View rooms are my top pick.

The Bonham – This classic Victorian townhouse hotel oozes Scottish charm on a quiet street in Edinburgh’s West End. This one is outside the Old Town but still walkable to Edinburgh’s main sights.

Best Edinburgh Hotels for a Tight Budget

This one is tougher since most hotels in Edinburgh’s Old Town are fairly pricey. However, there are a few affordable finds in town, like these:

Motel One Edinburgh Royal – Just a 5-minute walk from the train station and half a mile from Edinburgh Castle, this affordable hotel is the ideal choice for anyone on a budget. The modern rooms may be a little on the small side but they’re sparkling clean and stylishly decorated. Tip: It’s well worth the few extra bucks for one of the view rooms.

CoDE Pod – The CoURT Edinburgh – This is primarily a hostel-type accommodation with “pods” in dormitory-style shared rooms. However, they do have a few private rooms with an ensuite bath. That’s definitely my pick if you choose to stay here. On the plus side, this one is in a truly great location in the heart of Old Town.

Motel One Edinburgh Princes – Another solid Motel One option in the heart of the city. Modern, stylish, and trendy, these hotels remind me a lot of the Aloft hotel chain.

Grassmarket Edinburgh
Grassmarket, Edinburgh

Best Edinburgh Hotels for a Romantic Escape

Visiting Edinburgh with the one you love? These hotels are a great choice for romance:

House of Gods Royal Mile – Located just off the Royal Mile, this unique hotel fully embraces Edinburgh’s medieval, spooky vibe. Dark and decadent rooms feature plush, intimate interiors. Think sumptuous, mahogany woods and lavish amounts of velvet. More than just a hotel, this one is a truly extravagant experience and a great choice for a romantic getaway. Tip: Even if you don’t stay here, the public areas alone are worth a visit. Stop by for a cocktail in the hotel’s swanky lounge.

The Witchery by the Castle – This boutique hotel has just 9 opulent suites, each designed with Gothic touches like 4-poster oak beds and velvet-lined walls. It’s a similar sexy decor vibe to House of Gods, just on a more intimate boutique scale.

The Scotsman Hotel – If you’re not into spooky decor and velvet walls, this historic hotel across the street from the Waverly Station is a more traditional choice for romance. Built in 1905, this 4-star hotel was once the Scotsman newspaper. Today, its stylish rooms with muted beige tones, marble-tiled bathrooms, and scenic city views are the perfect place for a relaxing getaway. Bonus: This is one of the few Old Town hotels with discounted parking available (at the train station).

(And, of course, The 5-Star Balmoral Hotel Edinburgh is always a great choice for romance, too!)

Best Edinburgh Hotels for Families (or anyone who needs a little more space!)

If you’re traveling with the whole family, visiting for a longer stay, or just like the convenience of having a kitchen, all three of these all-suite apartment hotels will give you plenty of space to spread out:

Princes Street Suites – When you’re traveling with the family, extra space is key. And it’s hard to beat the roomy options at this all-suite hotel overlooking Edinburgh Castle. With everything from well-equipped studios to huge 3-bedroom apartments, you’ll find just the right fit for your family no matter how many beds you need.

Wilde Aparthotels by Staycity Grassmarket – With modern, well-appointed apartments, this hotel gets top marks for both cleanliness and convenience. My favorite room option here is the “One-Bedroom Apartment with Castle View” because this hotel is so close to Edinburgh Castle that the views are totally unobstructed.

Braid Apartments by Mansley – Another apartment-style hotel, the options here range from surprisingly roomy studios to very spacious 2-bedroom apartments. All apartments have kitchens that feature not just a fridge and an oven but also a dishwasher. If you’re planning a longer stay in Edinburgh, this one is a winner. Note: This one is located in New Town, not Edinburgh Old Town but it’s still within easy walking distance to everything important.

And that’s a wrap on the best hotels in Edinburgh’s Old Town

If you’re planning a visit to Edinburgh, I highly recommend booking a hotel in Edinburgh’s charming Old Town district for easy access to all of Edinburgh’s best sights.

It’s the most lovely and historic part of Edinburgh to explore. And staying in the heart of Edinburgh is the perfect way to experience the best of this vibrant city (and all those fun things to see and do!) with ease.

Oh, and when you’re done exploring the best of Edinburgh, be sure to get out and see the rest of Scotland, too!

Read More: 7 Day Trips from Edinburgh that Prove Scotland is Awesome

Best Hotels in Old Town Edinburgh Scotland
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