The financial district, Edinburgh International Conference Centre, and the development of Edinburgh Park are a few of the reasons the city has become known as the second largest financial center in the United Kingdom. The city itself is closely knit, making any hotel a great place to begin exploring the city. Easily navigated, the city is fun on foot, by bike, bus, or city tram. There are many reasons to visit Edinburgh, not the least of which is Edinburgh Castle, a tourist attraction whose walls harbor the stories of many battles fought there, as well as those of the royalty who lived and died there. The medieval streets of Old Town echo the footsteps of those who came before, and the wide array of arts and culture close at hand reinforce those steps.
Hotels are available to suit all budgets and tastes and are in all the hot spots, including modern hotels at the city center, small boutique hotels in the cobblestone streets of Old Town, luxury hotels in New Town ensconced by Georgian architecture, Leith by the waterfront, and The West End, which is surrounded by stunning views of Edinburgh Castle.
Edinburgh, Scotland: Seasons in the Rainy City
Perched between the sea coast and high hills, Edinburgh captures the warm air from the North Atlantic Current which creates a temperate maritime climate — not too cold, not too hot — with temperatures typically falling between 72 degrees F in the summer months and about zero in the winter. While it does rain throughout the year, the rains are dispersed evenly, so don't forget to pack an umbrella, dress in layers and bring that emergency rain poncho! Don't avoid Edinburgh between October and May, as there are too many festivals you won't want to miss. Just check the weather for your travel dates, as European windstorms are prevalent during these months and coastal fog may dampen the view.
Below is a chart of the current pricing seasonality of hotels and motels in Edinburgh, United Kingdom:
Edinburgh, United Kingdom: Prices by Star Rating Class
Below are 3 charts illustrating avg. nightly cost trends by star rating class in Edinburgh, United Kingdom. Browse these illustrations to calculate the cheapest dates to stay in Edinburgh for upcoming travels.
Luxury Hotel Options in Edinburgh, Scotland
4 Star Average Prices: $130.47
The Balmoral Hotel is located in Old Town on famous Princes Street, and is priced at $200 USD per night. Its clock tower is a landmark in the distinguished skyline of the city. With luxurious, world-famous spas, star treatment from kilted doormen, and signature whisky in the bar, the Balmoral makes you feel like royalty. Close proximity to everything makes this hotel the perfect place to celebrate a special occasion.
For a more contemporary stay in a luxury atmosphere, the Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa is located at 1 Festival Square on the outskirts of Old Town and offers a competitive price of $170 USD per night. With a spa, fitness center, complimentary breakfast and evening drinks, you can relax with a view of Edinburgh Castle when you're finished visiting the National Museum of Scotland, which is a few blocks away.
Don't be fooled by the sixteenth-century façade of the Radisson Blu Hotel of Edinburgh. Inside this architectural wonder is ultra-chic modern styling that feels futuristic and fabulous.
Close to all the city attractions with five-star service, each of these luxury hotels provides memorable experiences for a variety of tastes. If you feel like being on a movie set, pick your favorite! Will it be a period piece from the early twentieth century or James Bond 007 in the twenty-first?
Affordable Hotels in Edinburgh, Scotland
3 Star Average Prices: $109.00
Mid-range hotels are available everywhere, with a wide variety of styles to choose from. Apex Waterloo Place Hotel dresses up classic architecture with contemporary design. It sits on historic Princes Street, boasting one of the best dining opportunities in town, Elliot's Restaurant & Bar, as well as state-of-the art amenities for fitness, business meetings and events, with affordable prices of $100 USD per night. The Apex Grassmarket Hotel in Old Town is even less expensive, and has a solid reputation for providing a great start to a day filled with Scottish adventures and a return to a room with a view. The Grassmarket is very close to the Scottish National Gallery, the historic Royal Mile, and Edinburgh Castle. The view is historic and not to be missed as you ramble through the streets of Edinburgh. Both Apex hotels offer special booking details such as flexible rates, seasonal sales, 10 percent off for advance bookings, and more.
Where are the real discounts in Edinburgh
Seniors are in luck in Edinburgh, as most of the major hotel chains offer senior discount rates. Two of these are the Radisson Blu on the Royal Mile and the Holiday Inn Express by the Leith waterfront.
At the Stay Edinburgh City Apartments, at only $59 USD per night, there are fifteen serviced apartments ranging from one to four bedrooms. Each room is fully furnished, equipped with an HD flat-screen TV and other technology, a fully equipped kitchen, and more. These apartments cater to both small and large groups, and are located on the Royal Mile.
The Dorstan Guest House is similar to an Airbnb, though it's listed as a Bed and Breakfast in Edinburgh. It's a little over a mile to the city center, with rates of $60 USD per night. A quaint upstairs apartment style room in a local home makes for an inviting stay in this Scottish city.
Best Value Options in Edinburgh, Scotland
If you want to save your spending money for attractions and delicious dining, the Holiday Inn Express in the New Town district is an affordable, comfortable alternative to luxury, with rates as low as $75 USD per night. The hotel is very close to the tram with easy access to the Edinburgh Airport. There are areas to dine, shop, and enjoy the theatre a stone's throw away. If you feel like taking a walk, the castle and Royal Botanic Gardens are close, and if you're on a business trip, this hotel is right for you, offering free Wi-Fi and an Express Start Breakfast.
The West End, priced at $65 USD per night, and Ibis Budget Hotels, with rates of $70 USD per night, also offer very reasonable rates for discerning tourists. The Ibis is a bit further from the city center, but still provides a comfortable walk to the train and downtown attractions. The non-smoking rooms can accommodate up to three people and include flat-screen TV, free Wi-Fi, and continental breakfast.
If you are looking for an alternative to the traditional hotel, the West End includes a hostel, with rates that are deeply discounted from traditional rooms. The hotel is located close to the tram and is central to the attractions of downtown Edinburgh. The accommodations are clean, the staff is friendly, and the neighborhood is quiet and safe. With a local band playing in the bar downstairs, the West End provides an opportunity to meet the locals and have an enriching experience.
Celebrating Edinburgh, Scotland;s Past and Present
Edinburgh is not only beautiful, with breathtaking landscapes and legendary history, it is a city of fun! Between July and early September, the city hosts the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Edinburgh Comedy Festival, Edinburgh International Festival, and Edinburgh International Book Festival. The Edinburgh Military Tattoo involves massed pipers and military bands from around the world accompanied by a fireworks display.
There are two film festivals, one in February and one in June, as well as the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival. In the spring, The Edinburgh International Science Festival opens.
Festivals aside, Edinburgh is steeped in other cultural opportunities, such as listening to the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, attending a live performance at the Edinburgh Playhouse or The Royal Lyceum Theatre, or stepping aboard The Royal Yacht Britannia, a five-star visitor attraction. Perhaps you would like to visit the coffee shop where J.K. Rowling penned some of the Harry Potter stories. When you visit Edinburgh, you won't want to sit down until you ferry yourself back to your comfortable hotel suite or quaint B&B to savor the adventures of your day.
Edinburgh, United Kingdom in a nutshell
Edinburgh is the Prince of Cities, with autumns that crown Scotland's capital in gold. Visitors are spoilt like royalty; the welcome alone is fit for kings and queens. Guests are usually welcomed through a traditional Scottish evening with the Ceremony of the Haggis, a festivity manned by Highland dancers and bagpipers. The succeeding treatment is nothing short of royalty. Guests are introduced to the world's most famous novelists, inventors, and scientists at the 200-year old New Town, while others are transported to the Old Town to admire the country's Crown Jewels, stretching from Edinburgh Castle to the Royal Mile. Tourists are brought into the Military Tattoo, where Scottish pipe bands provide quite a spectacle along the esplanade of the Castle. Now you no longer need to be born into the Royal family, or work together with a crew of 240 to board the five decks of the Royal Yacht Brittannia, which was once the perfect residence of the Queen in times of family holidays and glittering state visits. Guests can also tour through England's finest national park and admire the stunning scenery along Lake District. Visit Wordsworth's Grasmere, then follow the shores of lake Windermere and return a full-fledged poet.
'It's a fine city, Edinburgh. It's a fine countryside, Scotland. We look up to her for our concepts of happy civilization.'
Voltaire, that famous French revolutionary and philosopher who wrote 'Candide', thus wrote of his short trips to Edinburgh. Not many would disagree with his words and there's a fat chance that it would never be contested.
Without going deeper into murkier waters of 'ranking civilizations', let's just state that Edinburgh is a fine, fine city to visit, provided that your travels are backed amply and generously by the weather gods. Scotland, to many, is the land of mystery. It's a largely contoured country known for its bagpipers, traditional checked kilts that have gained worldwide fame, and of course, their Scotch malts and castles.
A traveler going to Edinburgh might well be justified in thinking about the naughty boy who ran off all the way to Scotland just to see what all the hubbub was all about in a poem titled 'There was a naughty boy' by eminent poet John Keats. It's such a land that enshrouds visitors in its misty surroundings, rolling hills and magnificent buildings, a setting borrowed straight from a fantasy land brewed up by a fertile mind of a genius like J.R.R. Tolkien, or alike.
Our readers who are thinking of making a trip up to Edinburgh need first be commended for their excellent choice of destination. Here's a to-the-point guide to hotels in Edinburgh to help you get started with your planning.
Affordable Hotels in Edinburgh
Edinburgh, despite being a capital city, is not really imposing like other capital cities like Paris or London. Yes, it boasts of a fair share of great buildings. Yes, it has efficient infrastructure. Yes, it houses many bigwig corporate offices. Yes, it's easily accessible from all corners of the world. But that apart, it's a city that revels in staying somewhere in the background, neither seeking, nor demanding the attention of the world.
Cheap hotels, in keeping with this mind set, are about in Edinburgh. Traditional bed and breakfast units form the largest share of such establishments and need to be given a thought if you are looking to cut down on your travel budget.
The Royal Scots Club is among the most popular hotels in Edinburgh and, contrary to what many would think from its name, is not at all overly expensive. Similarly, Brooks Hotel Edinburgh is a nice, comfortable hotel to lodge in at affordable prices.
Old Waverley Hotel and Hotel Indigo Inn are two more notable names in this segment of hotel establishments in Edinburgh.
Luxury Hotels in Edinburgh
It is quite predictable that Edinburgh, being the largest city in Scotland, has many luxury hotel options to offer to tourists and travelers who are ready and willing to spend a sizeable amount of money per night.
It's debatable whether money can buy you happiness or not. But a trip to one of these luxury Edinburgh hotels will be enough to convince you that it is indeed to please yourself if you are loaded enough.
Prestonfield is a top ranking luxury hotel in Edinburgh, located smack in the heart of the old city. It is spread over a beautiful expanse of land and houses every modern hoteling amenity you could think of.
Balmoral Hotel is the next entry in this list. It is an old, medieval-styled hotel furnished in old Gaelic styles. It is a perfect venue for banquets and reception.
Tigerlily and the Chester Residence are two more names that can give the ones listed above a stiff competition.
Alternative Hotels in Edinburgh
Edinburgh is not really big on independent or boutique resort and hotel establishment. If one must find an alternative to standard Edinburgh hotels, the best bet would be short stay apartment or house rentals.
Typically, villas and houses are rented out for short durations (three weeks or less) to visitors and tourists. It must be understood, however, that such rentals can be expensive at times.
For example, a standard five star suite in a luxury hotel in Edinburgh would cost you, on an average, $150 per night or thereabouts. A fully fledged house rental, on the other hand, will cost you something to the tune of $120 per night.
Must-Visit Sights in Edinburgh
The National Museum of Scotland, located in Edinburgh, is a must visit sight while you are visiting here. It's replete with ancient artefacts and relics of bygone eras, telling a story that has largely been hidden deep within the confines of history.
King Arthur's Seat is a surreally beautiful sight, from where you can overview all of Edinburgh in a wide panoramic scene. The Edinburgh Castle will probably be the first feature on your list, considering its popularity with tourists and its historical as well as cultural significance for Edinburgh.
The Royal Mile is a truly royal stretch of the street in Edinburgh that once used to see royal and stately processions every week. Another enchanting place in Edinburgh is the Palace of Illusions, or Camera Obscura. It is filled with mind-bending visual effect and illusions that will make you question your own sanity.
The old town of Edinburgh is a great place for shopping for souvenirs, as well as fine dining in an authentic Scottish setting.
Getting Around in Edinburgh
It's very easy. Getting around in Edinburgh should really not be a problem for those who know how things work in the UK.
The public transport of Edinburgh is one of the finest in the UK, with frequency of buses at any given route being more than one every ten minutes. So, you won't have to wait for longer than ten minutes, if your destination is on the bus route.
The best time to visit Edinburgh is December, despite the cold. Edinburgh Hogmanay festival takes place around New Year, and it is the most anticipated day in Edinburgh. With cheap hotels abounding in excess, you can only hope to have a lot of fun, without setting your wallet back by a strong jolt!