Where to stay in Edinburgh city centre: top hotels close to the sights

From the ancient, skyline-dominating castle to the medieval Old Town, there’s so much to see and do in Edinburgh city centre.

If you’re wondering where to stay in Edinburgh, here are our favourite hotels within easy walking distance of the Scottish capital’s sights.

Staying at one of these hotels will put you just steps away from the city’s most famous attractions, leaving you more time for exploring. Whether you want to hike up rugged Arthur’s Seat, catch a show at the elegant, glass-fronted Festival Theatre, or simply meander the cobbled lanes, your warm and welcoming room will be right around the corner.

A 5-star hotel in Edinburgh in the heart of the Old Town

The stately Radisson Collection cuts a sharp and modern silhouette. Discover for yourself its luxurious rooms and suites with a distinctively Scottish flavour. In some, dark wood reflects the city’s gothic character, while in others a light and airy feel is created by light blue crushed velvet. Classic motifs, like thistles and tartan, run throughout.

Perched at the historic intersection between the Royal Mile and George IV Bridge, every room at the Radisson offers a sweeping city view so that you can admire the changing light over the city’s grey chimneypots. You’ll be a short walk from the Scottish National Gallery with its neoclassical columns, built by one of Scotland’s most prominent 19th-century architects: William Henry Playfair. You’re also just steps from the Royal Mile, brimming with tea houses, pubs and curious side streets.

The hotel’s restaurant, Cucina, is a destination in its own right. Splashes of hot pink and pea green give the space an eclectic and dynamic feel, suffusing your dining experience with a sense of the offbeat. Discover Italian cuisine given a contemporary twist, such as crab tortellini with leek and shallot fondue.

Radisson Collection Hotel, Royal Mile Edinburgh

Top rated
9.0 Excellent (2357 reviews)

A hotel in Edinburgh brimming with Scottish heritage

The Macdonald Holyrood Hotel commands a ruggedly picturesque location at the foot of Arthur’s Seat and the Crags. It’s also just steps from the Holyrood Palace, which is the Queen’s Scottish residence, and the dramatic ruins of Holyrood Abbey, dating back to 1128. The hotel is at the heart of the city, but feels as quiet as a Highland mountain thanks to the triple-glazed windows in all guest rooms. Each room also has its own marble en-suite bathroom, with Arran Aromatic toiletries in suites, executive and feature rooms.

The hotel’s restaurant, Paul Tamburrini, celebrates the simplicity and flavour of local ingredients. Fresh and salty Orkney sea scallops are served with brown butter and baby capers, while line-caught turbot is cut through with zingy grapefruit. Wash it all down with some fruity pinot noir and relax in understated surroundings underpinned by dark wood and plush upholstery.

After lunch, pay a visit to the spa, where you’ll find a fitness centre, indoor swimming pool and Elemis spa. Boost the radiance of your skin with a facial, treat tired muscles to a massage or indulge in a nourishing wrap fragranced with sweet frangipani to soothe your senses. A foot massage followed by a pedicure and manicure is just the way to unwind before heading out to dinner.

Edinburgh Marriott Hotel Holyrood

8.3 Very good (6123 reviews)

An Edinburgh hotel in the shadow of the castle

Tucked away in the Old Town, the Grassmarket was once a bustling marketplace. Today, it seamlessly brings together striking gothic architecture, rich history and a generous handful of independent businesses, bars and restaurants. It’s also the setting for the luxurious Apex Grassmarket Hotel.

Take a dip in the indoor pool, let your worries drift away in the sauna or stretch out in the gym before heading to the hotel’s sleek, glass-fronted restaurant – the Metro Bar and Brasserie. As you tuck into traditional Scottish delights, such as haggis bonbons served with tart red onion jam, admire the sun setting over the formidable battlements of the city’s ancient fortress.

Many of the 169 rooms at the Apex Grassmarket Hotel feature balconies with views of the castle – perhaps the most scenic place to enjoy your morning coffee in the entire city. The hotel is also minutes from the Meadows, where leafy tree-lined pathways criss-cross the sprawling park. Soft-toned colours and tactile furnishings create a comforting place to relax after a busy day of exploring.

Apex Grassmarket Hotel

Top rated
8.7 Excellent (2507 reviews)

Discover the heart of the city at this Edinburgh hotel

At the Radisson Blu Hotel, cool-toned bedrooms are sleek, stylish and modern. Brew your own coffee from the espresso machine as you watch the city wake up. Here to wind down? Make sure you get the perfect night’s sleep by hand-selecting your pillow from an expansive menu. Your destination for dinner is the hotel’s Itchycoo Restaurant, where the menu puts a contemporary twist on Scottish favourites – think beetroot carpaccio with hung ricotta cheese.

For a spot of pampering, head down to the Melrose Spa and Health Club. Take a dip in the indoor pool, detoxify in the sauna and steam room or stretch in the gym. Treatments on offer in the three treatment rooms include Elemis facials and body treatments, massages, wraps and waxing. Top it off with a chic manicure to remember your stay by.

You’re in prime position to explore the secret corners of the Royal Mile, whether you choose to head underground and tour the haunted Mary King’s Close or explore the gothic architecture of St Giles Cathedral. Afterwards, take a short walk to the National Museum of Scotland and treat yourself to a slice of cake in the café.

Radisson Blu Hotel, Edinburgh City Centre

Top rated
9.0 Excellent (2328 reviews)

An Edinburgh hotel with a rooftop garden

Built 170 years ago as a church, The Autograph Collection Glasshouse still retains a historic charm with its Gothic façade. Striking modern touches ripple throughout the hotel. Take, for instance, its bright 2 acre rooftop garden. Rooms make the most of the dramatic city centre views with floor-to-ceiling windows and private terraces. Deep red pops against a backdrop of clean neutrals, and every detail has been designed for comfort: from heated bathroom floors to Nespresso coffee machines.

What’s more, the hotel is positioned next to the Omni Centre’s restaurants, bars and cinema at the top of Leith Walk. It’s also just a short stroll from Edinburgh’s main shopping areas: bustling Prince’s Street and sophisticated George Street with its boutiques and fine dining.

For a spot of lunch on a sunny day, have a picnic on the rooftop terrace. The fare is Scottish and hearty, including Scotch eggs, freshly baked bread and cheeses. When evening rolls around, head to the cosy and intimate Snug. Unwind beside an open fireplace and discover a range of over 100 whiskies – the expert team and Glasshouse Whisky Map are on hand if you can’t quite choose.

The Glasshouse, Autograph Collection

Top rated
9.0 Excellent (2098 reviews)

Serviced apartments in the heart of Edinburgh

If you’re looking for a home away from home feel on your trip to Edinburgh, it’s time to discover the award-winning Knight Residence – a complex of luxurious, self-catered and individually designed apartments. Choose between one, two or three bedroom spaces, all of which feature bathtubs, fluffy bathrobes, slippers and irresistibly soft bed linen to create a relaxing haven. Apartments also come complete with handy smartphones for your use during your stay.

Sleep in, partake in a leisurely breakfast in your sumptuous, king-sized bed, and catch up on the news on the plush sofas before heading out. You’re within walking distance of the National Museum of Scotland with its striking Romanesque Revival architecture and cylindrical tower, as well as the Elephant House café where JK Rowling wrote parts of the early Harry Potter novels.

Apartments feature fully equipped kitchens so you can be more flexible with your meals if you want to pop in and out. You’ll be well-placed for a day of shopping on Prince’s Street or a show and some cocktails at the city’s renowned Festival Theatre, before retiring home for tea and biscuits in bed.

The Knight Residence by Mansley

Top rated
9.6 Excellent (4006 reviews)

An elegant Georgian hotel in Edinburgh

Sitting at the east end of Prince’s Street, in easy reach of Calton Hill and the train station, locations don’t come much more central than this. Dating back to 1819, the Apex Waterloo Place was the first purpose-built hotel in Edinburgh and still retains many of its stately Georgian features with its symmetrical windows and light grey stone.

When you’re not out exploring Edinburgh, make a trip to the hotel’s spa. Here, you’ll find an indoor pool, a steam room, sauna and fitness centre. Spend an afternoon indulging in an Elemis treatment: choose from soothing massages, tailored facials, wraps and scrubs or give yourself a beauty boost with some shellac nails.

At night, head to Elliot’s Bar and Restaurant, which fuses Scottish and global fare. The large Georgian windows and roaring fire create a warm ambience, while contemporary touches like colourful upholstery give it a fresh feel. After a meal of Scotch beef burger with haggis topping, head back up to your light and bright room where you’ll find large bathrooms with Elemis toiletries and walk-in showers. Patterned linens and neutral tones make for comfortable elegance and some rooms also offer plush robes and slippers.

Apex Waterloo Place Hotel

Top rated
9.0 Excellent (2728 reviews)