The 5 Best Hotels in Edinburgh’s Old Town

Built in amongst the rocks and crags of its landscape, Edinburgh’s World Heritage Listed Old Town is a vibrant, lively city centre as well as a beautiful and historic monument. During the day the alleys, or closes, are a hive of commerce as well as a magnet for visitors getting lost in the city’s charms, and after dark the famous pubs and rather decadent restaurants are just as popular with local revellers as those from far away. And it’s that life which makes this such a great base. And why our Gurus say that the 5 best hotels in Edinburgh’s Old Town are also the best places to stay in Edinburgh.

EdinburghImage by Peter H from Pixabay

The Royal Mile is probably the place to start your ramblings, starting with the Castle at one end, a thousand years old and in excellent condition, and with the Scottish Parliament building and the Palace of Holyrood at the other - most famously its known for being the home of Mary Queen of Scots, the Royal Mile is also lined with St. Giles Cathedral, Mary King’s Close, Gladstone’s Land and plenty of ‘closes’ or alleyways to explore and pubs and restaurants to review your experiences in. Behind the Royal Mile is the Old Parliament Hall and Greyfriars Kirkyard, where you’ll find the grave of Greyfriars Bobby. And on Chambers Street you’ll find the excellent National Museum of Scotland.

EdinburghFlickr user Drew Richardson

The Grassmarket is a focal point in the Old Town, where the gallows once stood and Burke and Hare once operated, but also where you’ll find the White Hart Inn, which claims to be the city’s longest serving pub - it’s been serving since 1516, and was patronised by Robert Burns and William Wordsworth. Cowgate was where the cattle were driven, but it’s now one of the liveliest streets in Edinburgh come nightfall.

The Meadows, which is like Edinburgh’s Central Park but on a much more modest scale, is a good place to stroll and relax, as is Holyrood Park and Arthur’s Seat, which is designed to be a Scottish landscape in miniature. The views are well worth your effort.

The Old Town is well connected to the rest of Edinburgh by bus, but it’s only a short walk across North Bridge to the elegantly arranged Georgian New Town, which is where you’ll find the National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery, The Georgian House and the Scott Museum.

The 5 Best Hotels in Edinburgh’s Old Town

The Best Hotels on the Royal Mile

The Scotsman is good for being in the thick of things, and effortlessly blends old and new and has great facilities, including a top notch spa and 3AA Rosette standard brasserie.

The Scotsman

You can’t get closer to the action than The Inn on The Mile, a nine room hotel and inn on the Royal Mile just five minutes stroll from the castle.

The Most Romantic Hotels in Edinburgh's Old Town

For complete over the top decadence it'll have to be a night at the Witchery by the Castle - think gilded ceilings, panelling and swathes of jewel-coloured velvet.

Witchery by the Castle

Prestonfield feels more like a country house hotel than a city central one, but here you’re just five minutes from the Royal Mile - despite being surrounded by 20 acres of spectacular parkland. The dining is fine, the bedrooms divine and nothing is too much trouble.

The Hippest Hotels in Edinburgh's Old Town

The Hotel Du Vin Edinburgh is close to the National Museum of Scotland, just past Cowgate, which is a great, central location. This version of the chain has a whisky snug as well as an extensive wine list in its bar and brasserie.

Hotel du Vin

If you haven’t found your idea of the best hotel in Edinburgh’s Old Town on our Guru’s list of the 5 Best Hotels in Edinburgh's Old Town you could:

The 5 Best Hotels in Edinburgh’s Old Town

  • The Witchery by the Castle Edinburgh (Royal Mile) 9 rooms from £365

    Foodies  -  Serving Scottish beef, lamb, game, the Witchery's famous steak tartare, briny-fresh seafood platters and even some haggis.
    Romantic Break  -  The glamourous, plush yet cosy interiors with love seats, four poster beds, and plenty of candles are perfect for couples
    Sights nearby  -  In the heart of the Old Town on Edinburgh's famous Royal Mile
    Full of character  -  Theatrical red & gold, velveted rooms
    Air conditioningRestaurantViewsNo pets
    Recommended by  -  Frommers, Good Hotel Guide

    Superbly located at the gates of the Castle, on the Royal Mile, sits this intimate, Gothic hotel. The rooms are luxurious, romantic & eccentric – think candlelit, wood paneling and plenty of velvet. Enjoy delicious Scottish food in the equally atmospheric restaurant. See More

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  • The Scotsman Hotel Edinburgh 82 rooms from £195

    Great walks  -  Calton Hill, the city's UNESCO World Heritage Site or Arthur's Seat for even more impressive views.
    Sights nearby  -  Overlooking Edinburgh Castle.
    Views  -  Good city views.
    SpaRestaurantDisabled accessViewsParking
    Recommended by  -  Fodors, Frommers, Good Hotel Guide

    This landmark Edinburgh building, the former Edwardian offices of The Scotsman newspaper and well-placed between the Old and New Towns, carefully mixes original features with a low-key modern luxury. The private cinema is an indulgent treat. See More

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  • The Inn on the Mile Edinburgh 9 rooms from £146

    Sights nearby  -  Within five minutes walk of Edinburgh Castle and St Giles Cathedral.
    Great walks  -  Take a walk up the nearby picturesque Arthur's Seat.
    Landmark  -  Situated on Edinburgh's historic Royal Mile.
    Air conditioningNo pets

    Those looking for a ringside seat for Edinburgh's famed Hogmanay celebrations, or who just like to be in the heart of things at any time, will like the Inn on the Mile. See More

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  • Prestonfield Edinburgh (Priestfield Road) 23 rooms from £252

    Romantic Break  -  This hotel oozes glammour, romance and seduction, with its wildly opulent canopied beds, rich fabrics and roaring fires.
    Local exploring  -  The best of both worlds- set in 20 acres of spectacular parklands, yet within spitting distance of Edinburgh.
    Great walks  -  Don't forget your welly boots, there are 20 acres of parkland to explore.
    Restrictions on children  -  Adults only
    Air conditioningRestaurantGardenPet friendlyDisabled accessParking
    Recommended by  -  Frommers, Good Hotel Guide, Kiwi Collection

    Opulent extravagance at the Prestonfield just 5 mins from the Royal Mile in Edinburgh. Come for attentive service, divine bedrooms and spoiling galore. Fine dining is served in an ultra romantic setting. The concierge have a 'nothing's too much' attitude. Best for a truly indulgent stay. See More

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  • Hotel du Vin Edinburgh Edinburgh 47 rooms from £105

    Local exploring  -  Superb central location in the heart of Edinburgh's Old Town meaning all its highlights are close by
    City Style  -  You can expect Egyptian cotton linens, sleigh beds, monsoon rain showers and much more
    Sights nearby  -  Situated just off the Royal Mile bang in between Holyrood Palace and Edinburgh Castle
    Restaurant  -  Bistro du Vin serves tradition French Brasserie style dishes
    Air conditioningRestaurantDisabled access
    Recommended by  -  I Escape, Tablet, Kiwi Collection

    Contemporary hotel close to the Royal Mile. Wine cellar, whisky snug, bar and brasserie. Large comfortable rooms. See More

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Written by Kat Parr Mackintosh

posted Wednesday, 21st July 2021