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Where to Stay in Edinburgh
The medieval city of Edinburgh is an international center for historic architecture, shopping and the arts. The city is divided into seven districts, each with its own unique attractions. The two most popular districts for tourists are Old Town and New Town. Filled with centuries-old buildings, including an iconic castle fortress, Old Town is the perfect place to stay for those looking to be near Edinburgh's top tourist sites. In addition to the famous Edinburgh Castle, visitors can walk down the Royal Mile and see such landmarks as the Scottish Parliament, the royal palace and St. Giles' Cathedral, the historic city church that dates back to the 13th century. Hotel options in this part of town are plentiful. Budget travelers can stay at one of a number of backpacker hostels and inns. Those looking for luxury accommodations can find a handful of high-end hotels, some of which are housed in beautiful antique buildings. If you want to be near Edinburgh's trendiest shops, restaurants and pubs, search for hotel deals in New Town. Just north of Old Town, this district is the prime place for boutique shopping excursions. Everything from international chains to high-end luxury designers have outlets here. There's also an array of historic sites in New Town as well. The towering Scott Monument enables visitors to get amazing vistas of the city center, while the National Gallery of Scotland features some of the best artwork in the country. Posh and mid-range hotels abound in New Town, though a few budget hostels exist as well. Although hotels aren't as plentiful in the outer districts of Edinburgh, you can still easily find comfortable rooms and discount rates wherever you decide to stay.
Edinburgh Hotel Tips
Edinburgh plays host to several major international festivals that attract thousands of attendees each year. One of the most famous events is the Edinburgh International Fringe Festival. This large, citywide celebration lasts for three weeks, usually beginning in August. During this time, hotel rates increase as does demand. If you are planning on attending this worldwide cultural event, make sure you book your rooms well in advance.
Because summer is Edinburgh's main season for cultural events, tourist destinations can become fairly crowded. If you are looking to avoid the influx of tourists, consider booking your trip for the spring or fall. Meanwhile, budget travelers looking to save big should check for hotel availability in the winter. Weather can be fairly rainy, but you can will find the best Edinburgh flight deals and hotel rates during this off-season.
Edinburgh Hotel Recommendations
Be a stone's throw from Edinburgh's ornate hilltop castle with a stay at The Witchery. This unique hotel offers luxury accommodations in the heart of the city's Old Town district. The boutique hotels, which is a popular choice among celebrities, features eight decadent suites, each of which is lavishly decorated with an assortment of antiques. Bathrooms feature spacious two-person tubs. Continental breakfast is included as is a complimentary bottle of champagne. Guests can dine at The Witchery's gourmet restaurant, which serves a range of classic fare from Angus beef fillet to hot smoked salmon. The hotel has garnered international acclaim for its excellent wine selection.
Or stay at the five-star Caledonian Hilton Hotel located on the bustling Princess Street in the heart of New Town. The grand hotel is just a short walk from the city's main convention center, making it a prime location for business travelers. In addition, the hotel sports eight meeting rooms, high-speed Internet access and a business center. The hotel also features, a heated indoor pool and a spa where guests can book a soothing massage. Rooms are feature contemporary furnishings bathed in cool, calming tones. As for food, the Caledonian Hilton Hotel boasts four restaurants and a causal bar. For scenic views of the Edinburgh Castle, grab a bite at the Castle Suite Lounge, the hotel's cafe, which looks out onto the historic building.
If you're looking for a more intimate stay in New Town, check for vacancies at the Adria House. This small, family-run guesthouse is just a short walk to Princess Street and several main bus and train stations. Guestrooms are tastefully decorated and feature private baths, though some baths are located just outside the suite. Antique furniture can be found throughout the inn, including the public area where a hearty breakfast is served each morning. Rates are significantly less than the high-end hotels nearby, making this an ideal destination for budget travelers.
Those looking to travel outside of Edinburgh to the city's nearby suburbs and beyond can take a ride on one of the several commuter railways that pass through the city. Popular stations include the Edinburgh Waverly station and the Haymarket station. As for inner-city travel, Edinburgh boasts a large network of buses. Many routes run down Princess Street, the main strip in the city's New Town district. Traveling by car within the city can be difficult, as traffic congestion is a problem. However, if you are planning on venturing outside the city's center, renting a car can be a reliable method of travel. If you are staying within the Old Town or New Town districts, you will easily be able to see many of the local attractions on foot.