City break in Edinburgh | ancient tradition and modern creativity

Edinburgh’s blend of ancient and modern, urban and wild, creative and traditional make it one of my favourite city breaks. From multi-arts venues to medieval heritage sites, there’s always something new to discover in the Scottish capital.

Hiking to Arthur’s Seat on a chilly December day, I looked back at the city of Edinburgh. The Scottish capital stretched towards the North Sea, a blend of medieval architecture and modern buildings. Standing halfway up the extinct volcano, surrounded by hills and crags, I knew I was looking at a city like no other.  

From innovative exhibitions to celebrated restaurants, Edinburgh is always evolving. Meanwhile, the city’s iconic attractions remain unmissable. Here,  I’ll show you how exploring both Edinburgh’s classic sights and its contemporary attractions will give you a deeper insight into this wonderful city; so as well as exploring the capital’s fascinating past, you’ll be hanging out at its most vibrant spots.

SEE | take in the sights of old and new in Edinburgh

In Edinburgh, you’re never far away from a heritage site, art exhibition, or an impressive view. Get your history fix while you explore Edinburgh’s Old Town, before enjoying some of the best contemporary art the city has to offer.

Hotels - Edinburgh

12754 Hotels
View Hotels

STAY | rest and relax in Edinburgh’s central hotels

From period-style elegance to contemporary cool, Edinburgh hotels are a diverse bunch. The following hotels offer comfort and style in unbeatable central locations.

Classic | traditional Scottish stay with views onto Edinburgh Castle


Built in 1905, The Scotsman hotel has retained lots of its original features. So if you’re looking for period-style elegance and luxurious touches, this the place to stay. From the elegant marble staircase to the stained glass windows, The Scotsman is full of classic appeal. And with clear views of Edinburgh Castle, you can pretend you’ve gone back in time to Medieval Scotland. No two rooms are exactly the same at The Scotsman. So depending on your budget, you can snuggle up in a cosy Study Room or sprawl out in a luxurious Feature Suite.

The Scotsman Hotel

8.4 Very good (1936 reviews)

Classic | historic hotel in the city centre for travellers on a budget


A three-star hotel in a historic building, the Leonardo Boutique Hotel is perfect if you’re on a budget. Originally built in 1879 as Simpsons Memorial Hospital, the hotel walls are steeped in history. Inside, touches of tartan are a fun nod to the hotel’s Scottish heritage. And despite the affordable price tag, you can expect to sleep in comfort in your spacious room. Just a short walk from Edinburgh Castle, the Royal Mile, and Princes Street, this hotel is a great base for exploring Edinburgh’s Old Town.

Leonardo Edinburgh City

Top rated
8.6 Excellent (1960 reviews)

Contemporary | boutique hotel with rooms for all budgets


With its glittering blend of baroque and modern details, staying at The Rutland Hotel feels like a treat. A short stroll from Princes Street Gardens, one of my favourite parks in the city, The Rutland is a boutique hotel in Edinburgh’s city centre. There are 12 individually designed guestrooms, each with a touch of glamour. Depending on your budget, you can relax in a standard room, or treat yourself to Room 5 – a dramatic black and gold room with castle views and a sparkling chandelier.

The Rutland Hotel

Top rated
9.2 Excellent (261 reviews)

Contemporary | boutique hotel with rooms for all budgets


If you’d prefer to save your pounds for shopping and dining, the IBIS Edinburgh South Bridge is a great choice. Located on the historic Royal Mile, it couldn’t be any more central for Old Town sightseeing. But inside, IBIS has a fully contemporary aesthetic. No matter which room you choose, you can expect comfy IBIS Sweet Beds and modern furniture. The IBIS is all about functional style with natural wood, exposed brick, and pops of colour dotted throughout. As an added bonus, there’s air conditioning in the rooms, making it a great choice for summer.

Hotel ibis Edinburgh Centre Royal Mile

8.3 Very good (1795 reviews)

EAT | feast on traditional grub and contemporary cuisine

Whether you’re looking for pub food or an elegant meal, you’ll find it in Edinburgh. From hearty Scottish dishes to vegan cuisine, there’s no shortage of delicious food options in the city.

DRINK | drink up in hip bars and classic pubs

Edinburgh has a seemingly endless number of places to drink. Sip wine in an airy cafe, drink cask ale in a historic pub or knock back cocktails in a buzzing bar.

DO | discover unmissable landmarks and new attractions

Given the huge number of things to do in Edinburgh, fitting it all into one trip is impossible. So make the most of your visit by mixing outdoor adventures with heritage, shopping, and theatre.