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Royal Mile, Edinburgh

Ultimate Edinburgh Guide 2024 : Top Picks for Hotels, Restaurants & Bars (2024)

Welcome to the captivating city of Edinburgh. This beautiful part of Scotland is where history meets with modernity to create a perfect symphony. Wondering where to stay, eat and drink in Edinburgh? Join us then.

Edinburgh has been a tourist favourite and, thus, the second most visited city in the United Kingdom. Edinburgh hosts a large number of diverse tourists and manages a range of Hotels, Resorts, Restaurants, and Bars. From offering cherished Scottish traditions to diverse global flavours, Edinburgh ensures a delightful experience for every food lover. Edinburgh’s gastronomic landscape seamlessly fuses its rich heritage with global influences.

Beyond its culinary delights, Edinburgh hosts some of the most happening places to stay, with medieval allure, iconic architecture, and breathtaking vistas. So, what are you waiting for? Join us as we uncover the Best Places to Stay, Eat, and Drink in Edinburgh. It’s all about the Hotels and Restaurants/ Bars in Edinburgh.

Ultimate Edinburgh Guide 2024: Top Picks for Hotels, Restaurants & Bars

Where to Stay in Edinburgh? Best Hotels and Neighbourhoods

1. Royal Mile, Edinburgh

The Royal Mile is a historic neighbourhood and the most charming area to stay in Edinburgh. Nestled in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town, Royal Mile is known for its medieval architecture, picturesque cobblestone streets, and a range of cultural and historic tourist landmarks. Staying in this neighbourhood means immersing yourself in the very essence of Edinburgh’s heritage. The Royal Mile area in Edinburgh is also full of eateries and Scottish pubs. While the neighbourhood has its undeniable charm, remember it can get heavily crowded during the peak tourist season.

Places to Stay in Royal Mile
  • The Witchery by the Castle
  • Radisson Collection Hotel, Royal Mile Edinburgh
  • G&V Royal Mile Hotel Edinburgh
  • Apex City of Edinburgh Hotel
  • The Scotsman Hotel
  • Old Town Chambers
  • Parliament House Hotel
  • Fraser Suites Edinburgh
  • Hotel Du Vin Edinburgh
  • Canongate Luxury Apartment by Reserve Apartments

2. Grassmarket

Once home to public gallows and a hub for brothels and drinking establishments, Grassmarket was a notorious site of Edinburgh. However, after a remarkable transformation, the area has shed its darker associations and is now breathing a new life. Currently, this lively and vibrant neighbourhood is home to restaurants and bars with a majestic castle backdrop. As night falls, the Grassmarket truly comes alive. The area is also popular for its pubs and clubs, especially stag and hen parties. If you are a young adult in Edinburgh, or visiting with friends, Grassmarket is an ideal neighbourhood to stay.

Places to stay in Grassmarket
  • Apex Grassmarket Hotel
  • Grassmarket Hotel
  • The Inn on the Mile
  • Castle Rock Hostel
  • Castle View Guesthouse
  • Cowgate Hostel Edinburgh
  • High Street Hostel
  • Stay Central Hotel
  • The Grassmarket Hotel

3. Old Town and New Town Edinburgh

Old Town and New Town are the most charming neighbourhoods to stay in Edinburgh. While Old Town is the historic heart of Edinburgh, New Town is its modern offering. Both sitting adjacent to each other offers a truly immersive experience. Old Town Edinburgh is known for its narrow lanes, medieval streets and landmarks like the iconic Edinburgh Castle. Not only that, but Edinburgh’s Royal Mile also runs through the Old Town. With multiple pubs, restaurants, shops and café, Old Town is majorly busy. The streets here are hilly and uneven.

Whereas the elegant and spacious New Town is known for its wide streets, well-designed squares, and neoclassical architecture. Staying in New Town provides a more relaxed and upscale experience. The area offers easy access to green spaces like Princes Street Gardens as well as to high-end shops, fine dining restaurants, and cultural institutions.

Places to Stay in Old Town
  • The Witchery by the Castle
  • Radisson Collection Hotel, Royal Mile Edinburgh
  • G&V Royal Mile Hotel Edinburgh
  • Apex City of Edinburgh Hotel
  • The Scotsman Hotel
Places to stay in New Town
  • The Balmoral Hotel
  • The Principal Edinburgh George Street
  • The Bonham Hotel

4. Leith

Once an industrial port of Edinburgh, Leith has now become a dynamic and appealing neighbourhood. It is, in fact, a popular area for tourists to stay in Edinburgh. The waterfront location of Leith, with a refreshing maritime ambience and mesmerising views of the Firth of Forth, adds to its atmosphere. For years now, this area has gained fame for its eclectic dining scene, trendy bars and vibrant art scenes. In fact, it is where one can find the finest seafood restaurants in Edinburgh. Leith is also popular for its cultural attractions, like Royal Yacht Britannia and Scottish Arts Trust’s Custom House, along with the annual Leith Festival. Leith may be slightly away from Edinburgh’s city centre but well connected via public transport. The area is full of budget inns, boutique hotels, cosy guesthouses and hostels.

Places to Stay in Leith
  • Malmaison Edinburgh
  • The Shore Edinburgh
  • The Balmoral Hotel
  • Dakota Edinburgh
  • Ocean Serviced Apartments
  • Leith House
  • Queen’s Stay Apartments – Ocean Drive

5. Dean Village

Nestled in the picturesque water of Leith, Dean Village is another beautiful area to stay in Edinburgh. This hidden gem isn’t typically touristy but ideal for those seeing a tranquil and charming atmosphere to stay. Dean Village is full of 19th-century, well-preserved cottages and lush greenery. A visit here is like stepping back in time. Staying in Dean Village allows visitors to escape the hustle and bustle of the city centre while still being within walking distance of major attractions. However, it’s worth noting that accommodation options within the village itself are limited.

Places to Stay in Dean Village
  • The Bonham Hotel
  • The Raeburn
  • The Chester Residence
  • The Dunstane Houses
  • The Raeburn House

6. Morningside

Wondering where to stay in Edinburgh? Head towards Morningside, then. This peaceful and charming neighbourhood is ideal for visitors who want to enjoy a relaxed experience while feeling like a local. Morningside is close to the city centre and is well connected to all the major attractions in the city. It is basically a residential area with beautiful Victorian and Edwardian architecture, tree-lined streets and friendly people around. Tourists who choose to stay here can enjoy exploring independent shops, local cafes and restaurants. The area is also full of parks and green spaces ideal for leisurely strolls. Morningside doesn’t have a plethora of hotels and resorts, though you can find charming guesthouses and some cosy accommodations.

Places to Stay in Morningside
  • Cherrytree Villa Guest House
  • The Lane Hotel
  • The Morningside Guest House
  • Albyn Townhouse
  • Ardmore House
  • Blossom House
  • Averon Guest House
  • Highfield Guest House

Where to Eat and Drink? Best Restaurants/Bars/Pubs in Edinburgh

1. The Gardener’s Cottage (Popular for Scottish Meals)

Nestled inside an 1836 quaint stone cottage, the Gardener’s Cottage is a hidden gem of Edinburgh. The stone cottage, originally home to the gardener of Royal Terrace, has now turned into a charming restaurant. With its communal dining setup, guests can dine at two long tables, each accommodating ten people. Arrangements like this create an intimate and convivial atmosphere, making it ideal for gatherings.

Gardener’s Cottage boasts a rich gastronomic heritage featuring Scottish delights. For those looking to start their day with a traditional Scottish breakfast, the à la carte menu offers this delightful option. You can also try a hearty Scottish porridge or the quintessential Scottish haggis, neeps, and tatties for your breakfast.

Not only for breakfast, but the restaurant also serves a seven-course set dinner menu to satisfy your taste buds. With the best of seasonal Scottish ingredients, sustainability and local sourcing, they are right at the forefront of their culinary philosophy. Many of their ingredients come directly from their own garden in front of the Cottage.

2. Angels with Bagpipes

Angels with Bagpipes is a popular restaurant in Edinburgh’s Royal Mile. It is nestled inside a 16th-century building, and its location is a testament to its historical significance. A visit here offers diners an authentic Scottish experience. Featuring a seamless blend of old and new, it is popular amongst both locals and tourists. While you’re surrounded by the echoes of centuries gone by, the interior decor strikes a harmonious balance between tradition and contemporary elegance.

When at Edinburgh’s Angels with Bagpipes, make sure to explore the à la carte menu. Or embark on a culinary adventure with the set 4-course tasting menu. Their tasting menu specifically is the highlight, offering diverse flavours of Scotland. To pair along, the restaurant has a fine selection of wine that can enhance the overall dining experience. Dinning as the warm glow of angel candlesticks illuminates the space is an experience on its own.

3. The Kitchin

A top-notch restaurant in Edinburgh, the Kitchin is nestled in Leith. This culinary gem is known for its Michelin-starred excellence. The restaurant belongs to Chef Tom Kitchin, who is known for his culinary prowess. What sets this place apart from other Edinburgh restaurants is its finest Scottish produce with a fusion of French culinary techniques. As a result, the chef produces a repertoire of refined and chic dishes. Chef’s culinary power revolves around an appreciation for locally sourced and seasonal ingredients. And undoubtedly, his passion can be seen through every dish.

At Kitchin, one can truly savour the essence of Scotland. Every single traditional French recipe here is given a uniquely Scottish twist. If you like the idea, you can also explore Chef’s authored cookbooks like Fish & Shellfish, Meat & Game and more. Dining at The Kitchin is not just a meal; it’s a gastronomic journey where the flavours of Scotland and the finesse of French cuisine harmoniously come together.

4. Lady Libertine

Wondering where to eat and drink in Edinburgh? Look no further than Lady Libertine. This vibrant and trendy establishment is a mix of a bar, restaurant, and nightclub. It is an ideal spot for a memorable nighttime experience. Lady Libertine is known for its chic and stylish ambience. With modern aesthetics and a touch of luxury, the place becomes welcoming and appealing. It is where you can dance the night away, enjoy a meal and unwind with friends.

For a diverse culinary experience, Lady Libertine boasts a menu for every taste and preference. Their menu is an eclectic mix of fashion and international dishes. From delectable small bites and sharing platters to full-fledged meals, there’s something for everyone. To pair with, a creative and expertly crafted selection of cocktails adds a highlight. The bar staff here is skilled in curating delightful combinations like none other.

Further, as the night progresses, Lady Libertine transforms into a lively nightclub with DJs spinning tunes to keep the dance floor alive. If you want to explore the nightlife scenes of Edinburgh, visit here.

5. Toast

Another popular place to drink in Edinburgh is Toast. This popular café and wine bar offers a unique and relaxed dining experience. Toast prides itself on its casual and welcoming ambience. Whether you want to catch up with friends or enjoy a leisurely meal, look no further. With a laid-back setting and cosy, inviting interiors, Toast comes out as a local favourite.

The menu at Toast is so diverse that it can cater to a range of tastes and preferences. You can typically find a range of dishes, including breakfast options like hearty morning classics, sandwiches and paninis for lunch, and a selection of small plates for sharing. Their menu also includes vegan and vegetarian options. Along with that, Toast serves some of the best quality coffee and espresso-based beverages in Edinburgh. To start your day with a fresh brew, it is perhaps a nice place.

However, if you are looking for some adult drinking game, try a selection of wines and other beverages at Toast. The options may be limited, but it is worth trying. During pleasant weather, Toast often provides outdoor seating options, allowing patrons to enjoy their meals and drinks in the open air. Whether you’re a regular or a first-time guest, whenever you are at Toast, you can expect to be well taken care of.

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