The best Edinburgh areas to stay in

Circus Lane, Stockbridge
Circus Lane, Stockbridge
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From a bustling city centre to a quiet seaside haven, there’s a different area of Edinburgh for everyone.

It might not the biggest of cities, but Edinburgh still has plenty of unique neighbourhoods to stay in, each with its own distinctive character.

Stockbridge

North of the city centre, Stockbridge is the place to stay if you love a welcoming small town atmosphere, refined food and drink and shopping at independent stores.

Popular restaurants and bars in the area include The Scran and Scallie (owned by Michelin star-winning chef, Tom Kitchin), The Stockbridge Tap and The Pantry.

St Stephen Street is packed full of fantastic independently owned shops and eateries, from record seller VoxBox Music and designer vintage clothes boutique Those Were The Days to The Last Word Saloon and social enterprise restaurant, Kilted Lobster.

On Sundays, treat yourself to some of the best produce Edinburgh has to offer at the ever-popular Stockbridge Market, or escape the hustle and bustle with a walk in the beautiful Dean Village.

Hotels in the area include The Raeburn in the heart of Stockbridge, or the Travelodge Edinburgh Learmonth slightly further out, as well as several B&B and Airbnb options.

Leith

Once a town in its own right, completely separate to Edinburgh, Leith to the east still feels like a self-sufficient city.

A blissful combination of industrial and modern influences, the formerly busy port is home to two Michelin-starred restaurants and countless highly praised eateries.

For breakfast or brunch, visit the popular Roseleaf (booking ahead is recommended) or the wonderful Ostara Cafe, just off the beaten track. In the afternoon and evening, stop in at gastropub Nobles, wine bar Toast or the recently opened Finn & Bear to refuel.

Alternatively, stroll up the dynamic Leith Walk towards the city centre and stop off at one of the many pubs and restaurants dotted along the way.

To keep yourself entertained, pay the Royal Yacht Britannia a visit at Ocean Terminal shopping centre (and stay for some retail therapy), or take a wander or bike ride along the beautiful Shore and Water of Leith walkway.

There are countless small hotels and guest houses in the area, with prices suitable for every budget.

Bruntsfield

South of the city centre (but still well within walking distance, and served by several reliable bus routes), Bruntsfield is ideal for culture vultures and foodies who love to watch the world go by.

The neighbourhood is home to the famous 100 year old Cameo cinema, which shows a varied programme of both brand new blockbusters and classic films in beautifully preserved surroundings.

To stretch your legs, take a walk around Bruntsfield Links park, or enjoy a round of golf there, as it’s said to be one of the earliest known locations where the game was played.

Grab a bite to eat at authentic sushi restaurant Harajuku Kitchen, indulge in some cheese and wine at Clark and Lake, or drink some of the best coffee in the city at Machina Espresso.

Edinburgh City Hotel and the Best Western Plus Bruntsfield Hotel are among the hotels convenient for this neighbourhood.

City Centre

Although perhaps more expensive to stay in than other parts of Edinburgh, you’ll be spoiled for choice for entertainment, sights and hotels in the city centre.

Book a hotel on the bustling main shopping thoroughfare of Princes Street and you’ll be treated to unrivalled views of Edinburgh Castle.

Alternatively, stay on George Street (directly behind Princes Street) and request a north-facing room to look out over the beautiful waters of the Firth of Forth.

George Street and its surrounding streets are also packed with fantastic restaurants, such as The Dome, Chez Jules and The Dogs.

As well as plenty of bars, clubs and shopping opportunities, the city centre is home to some of Edinburgh’s most famous sights, including Princes Street Gardens, Calton Hill and the Scottish National Gallery.

Marchmont

Conveniently located for anyone attending Edinburgh Fringe shows on the University of Edinburgh campus, Marchmont backs on to the lush green space of the Meadows - a prime spot for sunbathers in good weather.

Arts hub Summerhall is also nearby, where visitors can do everything from sample gin and try an escape room puzzle to see live music from internationally renowned artists.

Marchmont itself is relaxed and residential, but boasts several fantastic eateries, including The Rabbit Hole, Deadly Donuts and O’Kitchen, as well as some fantastic coffee, courtesy of the Cobolt police box.

Due to its residential nature, there aren’t any hotels in Marchmont, but there are plenty of Airbnbs available.

Portobello

Just east of Leith, but worlds away from the fast-paced Edinburgh city centre, Portobello was once a bustling holiday resort in the summer months, and still retains its seaside charm.

Wander the long promenade and admire the view out to sea, or walk along the beach barefoot and dare to paddle on a warm day.

With a lovely high street and plenty of cosy cafes and welcoming restaurants, the area is both family and dog-friendly.

Stay locally at Rockville Hotel or one of several quaint guest houses.