The Old Town of Edinburgh represents the historic core of the Scottish capital, built eastwards of the Castle Crag, along the Royal Mile to Holyrood. This article also covers the areas to the immediate south and west of the Old Town - Southside and Tollcross.
Walk, bus or taxi from other parts of the city; train or tram doesn't help you.
Most travellers are happy to explore the Old Town on foot, as there are lots of things to see on the way. Several streets in the Old Town are bridges, and so you may find the streets are not connected as you might expect from a glance at the map, and there are some steep slope and staircases between streets. The main layout of the Old Town is designed like a fish skeleton, so there are plenty of sidestreets and alleys (closes). Most streets are very small and steep, so be prepared for tough terrain.
North Bridge and South Bridge are very well served by buses, and you are unlikely to have to wait more than 5 minutes during a weekday daytime. The Mound and George IV Bridge has a reasonable service.
East-West bus services are less frequent, except along Lauriston Place. The Lothian Buses service 6 runs twice per hour from Hanover Street to Holyrood. The 2 runs four times per hour (weekday daytime) via the Grassmarket and Chambers Street. The Lothian Buses Skylink 300 runs 5 times per hour from the airport via Chambers Street and Canongate.
- 1 Edinburgh Castle, Castlehill, ☏ . daily Apr-Sept 9:30AM–6PM, Oct-Mar 9:30AM–5PM, last entry 1 hour before closing time Summer 2021 - advance booking required. Edinburgh Castle is a magnificently situated royal fortress located on one of the highest points in the city. The castle has been continuously in use for 1000 years and is in excellent condition. Highlights include the Honours of Scotland (the Scottish Crown Jewels) and the ancient St Margaret's Chapel. The audio tour, which costs £3.50 per headset, is extremely detailed and worth hiring, providing both location based and chronologically based commentary on the castle. The Esplanade is the parade square in front of the castle, normally free to access in daylight hours, with good views of the city. The Edinburgh Tattoo and concerts are staged here, so access is restricted then, and views are cramped by the temporary banks of seating. Adult £17.00, child up to including 15yrs £10.20, concession (60 yrs+ and UK unemployed, proof required) £13.60, Young Scot and Euro 26 cardholders 10% discounts. Edinburgh Castle is part of Historic Scotland - consider a yearly membership for free entrance.
- 2 Abbey and Palace of Holyroodhouse, ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. The Palace opens at 9:30AM and closes at 6PM April to October and 4:30PM during the rest of the year. The Palace is a royal residence, and hosts the Queen's Gallery containing a collection of art from the Royal Collection. The Palace is best known as the home of Mary Queen of Scots and as the site of the murder of Mary's secretary Rizzio, allegedly by her husband, Lord Darnley. Palace admission is £10 adults, £6.50 concessions, and £4.00 children. Separate admission to the gallery is £5 adults, £4 concession and £3 children. Joint admission to the gallery and the palace is £11 adults, £9 concessions and £5.50 children.
- 3 St Giles' Cathedral, The Royal Mile (between Edinburgh Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse). Open daily. The historic City Church of Edinburgh is also known as the High Kirk of Edinburgh and takes its name from the city's patron saint. St Giles' is Presbyterianism's Mother Church and contains the Chapel of the Order of the Thistle (Scotland's chivalric company of knights headed by the Queen). The building bears a distinctive crowned spire and was first officially dedicated in 1243, although a church probably existed on the site since before the 9th century. Free.
- 4 Old Parliament Hall (Behind St. Giles' Cathedral). This 1639 Old Parliament Hall is within the Parliament House which is home of the Scottish Supreme Courts. The hall is the location where the earlier meetings of the Scots Estates, or Parliament, took place, prior to the enactment of the 1707 Act of Union (of the Parliaments of Scotland and England).
- 5 North Bridge. Offers spectacular views of the city skyline. It connects Old Town and New Town with Waverley Station just below.
- 6 Gladstone's Land, Lawnmarket (In the Lawnmarket at the top of the Royal Mile). '21 May–31 Oct, daily, 10.00–15.00. It is a 17th-century Old Town tenement (known as a 'Land') decorated with period furniture. It has an impressive painted ceiling. £7.50 Adult, £6 Concessions.
- 7 Greyfriars Kirkyard (Off the Southwest corner of George IV Bridge, close to the National Museum). A very old graveyard that contains some impressive, ancient grave markers and fantastic views of the surrounding Old Town. Many folk, of course, will be drawn here by its links to 8 Greyfriars Bobby, that loyal little dog brought to worldwide fame by Walt Disney. The grave of Thomas Riddell is said to be the inspiration of "Tom Riddle" from J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter.
- 9 The Scottish Parliament (eastern end of the Royal Mile, opposite the Palace of Holyrood House), ☏ , toll-free: 0800 092 7600. M F Sa and public holidays 10AM-5PM; Tu-Th 9AM-6:30PM (last admission 30 min before closing time); opening times may vary. A unique building, designed by the Spanish (Catalan) architect Enric Miralles, with a £431 million price tag which is much higher than the original back-of-an-envelope estimate. Highly controversial among Scots, who consider it either a daring showpiece of postmodern architecture or a national embarrassment. The Parliament generally meets Tue-Thu and you can watch debates from the Public Gallery. Ask for tickets at the reception. The First Minister's Question Time is normally on Thursdays 12:00-12:30. You need to reserve tickets in advance (up to 7 days). If you did not get a ticket, you are put on a waiting list if you arrive in person from 10AM on the day and might get access if other people did not show up. You can follow the question time from the Overspill Room while waiting. On non-business days (M F Sa) you can view the debating chamber from the Public Gallery without tickets. In the lobby area there are often exhibitions. Entrance to the building and all tickets are free.
- 10 Camera Obscura, Castle Hill. daily Jul-Aug 9AM-10PM; Sep–Oct 9:30AM-19:00; Nov–Mar 10AM-6PM (closed 25 Dec); Apr–Jun 9:30AM-7PM. Over 150 years old, the Camera Obscura focuses light from the top of the tower onto a large dish in a dark room below, allowing a 360-degree view of all of Edinburgh! The tower is also host to a fun and quirky gallery of optical illusions. Great views of the city from the top of the tower. Adult £15, student (with ID) or senior £13, Child (5-15 years) £11, under 5 free, carer for a person with disabilities free of charge.
- 11 Dynamic Earth, Holyrood Road, EH8 8AS, ☏ . A visitor experience with interactive exhibits about the natural aspect (volcanoes, polar ice, rainforest) of our planet. £13.50 adults, £9 chilrden (4-15), £11.50 concessions.
- 12 Grassmarket. This is the area beneath and just south of the castle, a pleasant cobbled stretch of shops, pubs and eating places. Some are tourist-trappy - see "Buy" & "Drink" for specific reviews, but overall the place is a tribute to gentrification of what had been a depressing quarter of town. In the 1820s Burke & Hare lived here, preying on its denizens to supply fresh corpses to the anatomists. Until the 1970s it was the abode of derelicts and rough sleepers - then property values soared. Grassmarket is close to Usher Hall & Lyceum to the west; the 3 streets leaving it to the east lead up the Royal Mile, down into Cowgate and up to Greyfriars Bobby.
- 13 Dunbar's Close Garden (Cannongate, near the Christmas Shop). Small historic 17th century physic garden. A quiet place to stop and have a seat away from the crowds.
- 14 Canongate Kirk. 2021 interior closed, normally open May - Sep. Services Sun 10:00 & 11:15. Church of Scotland church built between 1688 and 1691.
Museum and galleries
- 15 National Museum of Scotland, ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Daily 10AM-5PM. The museum mixes innovative modern architecture with the best of Scotland's heritage. The Royal Museum has a magnificent airy Victorian atrium now with the Millennium Clock at one end - arrange to be there when it is chiming. Exhibits in the Museum of Scotland include Scottish pottery and weapons from the Roman era and the Renaissance. The museum had a major rebuilding in the early 2010s. The roof terrace on the seventh floor (free access) offers nice views over Edinburgh. Summer 2021: advance booking required. Free, charges for some temporary exhibitions.
- 16 Anatomical Museum, University of Edinburgh, Doorway 3, Medical School, Teviot Place. Open on the last Saturday of each month 10AM–4PM (last admission 3:30PM). Closed June/July and December. The Skeleton of William Burke is on display. Together with William Hare he killed at least 16 people in 1828 and provided them for dissection. The museum also shows life and death masks from famous scientists, politicians and murderers. Free entrance.
- 17 St Cecilia's Hall - Concert Room and Music Museum, Niddry Street, Cowgate, EH1 1NQ, ☏ . Tu-F 10AM-5PM, Sa noon-5PM (opens at 10AM on Saturdays in August), Su M closed; last admission 30 min before closing time. St Cecilia's Hall is Scotland's oldest purpose-built concert hall and opened in 1763. After restoration work that started in 2015 it re-opened in May 2017 and now contains the University of Edinburgh collection of historic musical instruments (16th to 20th century) that focuses mostly on instruments no longer in use today. Concerts and other events take place in the concert room. Free entry.
- 18 Talbot Rice Gallery, University of Edinburgh, Old College, South Bridge, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Tu-F 10AM-5PM, Sa noon-5PM. A gallery with changing exhibitions of cutting edge modern art. Even if the art is not to your taste, it is worth visiting due to its location in the Old College of Edinburgh University, a fine building built between 1789 and 1827 by Robert Adam and Henry Playfair. The Georgian Gallery has a Playfair interior and a mixture of Old Masters and modern installations. Free entry to all exhibitions.
- 19 Fruitmarket Gallery, 45 Market Street (behind Edinburgh Waverley Rail Station), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Closed until summer 2020 for rebuilding (M-Sa 11AM-6PM; Su noon-5PM). The Fruitmarket Gallery aims to find the most appropriate way to bring artists and audiences together. It is a not-for-profit organization and a registered charity. Whilst the gallery is closed for rebuilding there is a temporary bookshop and event space in the top floor of Waverley Mall. Always free.
- 20 Surgeons' Hall Museums, Nicolson Street (opp. Festival Theatre), ☏ , , ✉ email@example.com. Daily 10AM-5PM. The permanent exhibitions comprise of the Pathology Museum, the History of Surgery Museum and the Dental Museum. Not suitable for young children (under 10) as the exhibits include human remains. £6 adults, £3.50 concessions.
- 21 City Art Centre, 2 Market St (across the road from Fruitmarket Gallery), ☏ . Summer 2021: advance booking required. Tu-Su 10AM-5PM, last entry 4:20PM. Four-floor gallery run by the city council with changing exhibitions. Charges for some exhibitions, but usually one floor is free.
- 22 The Peoples' Story Museum, 163 Canongate, ☏ . Summer 2021: closed daily 10am - 5pm. A museum giving the local's view of life in Edinburgh over the last 200 years. Free.
- 23 Museum of Childhood, 42 High Street, ☏ . Summer 2021: closed daily 10AM-5PM. See if you can find your old toys in the collection, or maybe the ones that your grandparents had. Free.
- 24 Museum of Edinburgh, 142 Cannongate, ☏ . Summer 2021: closed M-Sa 10:00-5PM; Su closed (except in Aug: noon-5PM). Museum of Edinburgh's history. Free.
- 25 The Writers' Museum, Lady Stair's Close (near the top of The Mound), ☏ . Summer 2021: closed daily 10AM-5PM. Museum about famous Scottish authors, focussing on Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson. The museum is in a house built in 1622. Free.
- 26 National Library of Scotland, George IV Bridge, ☏ . Exhibitions: M-Th 10AM-7PM; F Sa 9:30AM-5PM. A permanent exhibition of works from the John Murray archive and changing temporary exhibitions, usually about historic literature. The main library is a copyright library and you need to apply in advance to access the reading rooms. Free.
- 27 Stills Gallery, 23 Cockburn Street, EH1 1BP, ☏ . Daily 11AM-6PM. Photography gallery with changing temporary exhibitions. Darkrooms and digital lab available to hire by the hour. Gallery free.
- 28 Museum on the Mound, The Mound, EH1 1YZ, ☏ . Tu-F 10AM-5PM; Sa Su 1-5PM. Museum about money, in the former Bank of Scotland headquarters. Free.
- 29 Dovecot Gallery, 10 Infirmary Street. M-Sa 10:30AM - 5:30PM. Tapestry studio and gallery housed in an old swimming pool (Infirmary Street Baths). There is a cafe, shop, and viewing gallery where you can look down on the tapestry weavers at work. free.
- Walk down the Royal Mile from Edinburgh Castle to the Palace of Holyroodhouse. The Royal Mile is the backbone of the sixteenth century Old Town] and most of the buildings date from this period. Take the time to divert from the main route down some of the many small "closes" that run off the Royal Mile to each side. There are plenty of bars along the length of the Royal Mile, where you can relax over a pint of Edinburgh Ale and/or a classic single malt.
- 1 Holyrood Park. Walk around in the park which is just east of the Old Town. Created by King James the VI in the 16th century, it is like a Scottish landscape in miniature, containing Arthur's Seat, three lochs: St Margaret's Loch with nearby remains of an old chapel, Dunsapie Loch along Queen's Drive with great views of the sea in the background, and Duddingston Loch (see East), and the stunning Salisbury Crags.
- 2 Arthur's Seat. The extinct volcano to the east of the city centre offers fantastic views from its summit - and at only 251 m high the ascent isn't too strenuous.
- 3 Salisbury Crags. If a lighter stroll - compared to Arthur's Seat - is in order, a traverse along the Salisbury Crags on the Radical Road offers similar panoramas of the city.
Shows and tours
- 4 Mary King's Close. Warriston's Close (opposite St Giles' Cathedral), open daily except Christmas Day. A slice of Edinburgh's medieval history, preserved since being closed over in the 18th century - watch out for the haunting.
- 5 The Edinburgh Dungeon, 31 Market Street. The scariest attraction in Edinburgh featuring 11 shows and 2 rides about Scotland's horrible history: William Wallace, Mary King's Ghost, the cave of Sawney Bean, Burke and Hare and more.
- 6 The Scotch Whisky Experience, 354 Castlehill. Offers an interactive "tour" of the history and practise of Whisky distilling, complete with a rather sedate barrel ride. This is a good place to go if you want to sample whisky, as they have a very large selection (200+?) at a fairly reasonable price. Older whiskys tend to cost more and the rarest on offer can cost up to £50.00 per measure! The atmosphere is less pub-like than some might like as it tends to be fairly quiet. For basic tour £13.50 adult, £10.50 reduced.
- Follow a ghost walk around the back streets surrounding The Royal Mile and learn about the sinister goings on of Edinburgh's past. These tours are generally excellent and are highly recommended.
- Take a tour through the South Bridge Vaults which date back to 1788.
- Free Tour of Edinburgh. Daily 10AM, 11AM and 2PM. There are free walking tours that set off periodically from the High Street Starbucks. They are in a variety of languages and take about 2-2½ hours, with a stop for lunch. Tickets are free, but the tour guides appreciate tips. Even with a generous tip for the guide, these are still a far cheaper way to see the city than most bus tours, and they give you a much more personal experience.
Music and theatre
The Usher Hall, the Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh and the Traverse Theatre are all located next to each other.
- 7 Usher Hall, Lothian Road, ☏ (Box office). Box Office: Mon-Sat 10:00-17:30, open on Sundays and evenings if events take place. The main concert hall in Edinburgh which regularly features The Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO). It was completed in 1914 and funded by a donation from Andrew Usher, a Scottish whisky distiller and blender. The concert hall can seat up to about 2,200 people.
- 8 Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh, 30b Grindlay St, ☏ (Box office). One of Scotland's largest producing theatre company. The theatre building dates back to 1883.
- 9 Traverse Theatre, 10 Cambridge St, ☏ (Box office). The Traverse theatre company is dedicated to new works.
- 10 King's Theatre, 2 Leven Street, ☏ (Box office). Mostly hosts major touring drama.
- 11 Festival Theatre, 13/29 Nicolson Street, ☏ (Box office). Home of the Scottish Ballet and Scottish Opera. It also hosts contemporary dance and ballet events and musicals.
- 12 Reid Concert Hall, Bristo Square, ☏ . The Reid School of Music (University of Edinburgh) offers free lunchtime concerts (usually starting at 1:10PM and lasting for about one hour and taking place at the Reid Concert Hall) at irregular intervals. Check the calendar for details on these events and additional concerts. Free.
- 13 Cameo Cinema, 38 Home St (Tollcross), ☏ . Mainstream & alternative films, in remarkable surroundings. A much-loved venue that's well worth a visit.
- 14 Filmhouse, 88 Lothian Rd, ☏ . Edinburgh's (and Scotland's) largest venue for arthouse and foreign language films. Great café and bar, and hub of the annual International Film Festival.
- 15 Odeon Cinema, 118 Lothian Road, ☏ . Mostly mainstream movies.
You don't need to go to the faceless chain stores and multinationals that line the main shopping streets in the New Town. Support local Edinburgh businesses and take home a fantastic and unique memento of your trip.
Victoria Street and the east end of the Grassmarket is where the Old Town's best shopping experience can be found. A clutch of independent business can be found here, and it is highly recommended that you avoid overpriced tourist traps on the Royal Mile and make a beeline for here.
- 1 Red Door Gallery, 42 Victoria Street. Some of the quirkiest (and best) gifts in Edinburgh can be purchased here.
- 2 Armstrongs, 83 The Grassmarket. A local institution, has all the vintage clothing you could ever want.
Cockburn Street (pronounced "co-burn") has many small alternative shops.
- 3 Underground Solushn, 9 Cockburn Street. A great little record store dealing mainly in dance/electro music.
- 4 Time & Tide, 53 Cockburn Street, EH1 1BS, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. M-Sa 10AM-7PM; Su 11AM-5PM. Relaxed homeware and interior accessories.
The Royal Mile especially the higher end near the castle, has many tourist-oriented shops selling Scottish souvenirs from postcards to whisky and kilts. These shops help reinforce stereotypes that a modern Scotland is trying to shake off. However there are also good exceptions:
- 5 Cadenhead's Whisky Shop, 172 Cannongate. An independent bottler of whisky.
- 6 Focus, 270 Canongate. A skatewear and skateboard store situated at the lower end of Royal Mile.
Other great shopping opportunities are the following ones:
- 7 Edinburgh Farmers' Market, Castle Terrace. Sa 9AM-2PM. A variety of delicious food like freshly made burgers, hog roasts and local bakery products is offered, as well as Scottish produce such as cheese, beer, fish, meat and fruits/vegetables.
- 8 Avalanche Records, 21 St Mary's Street. One of the city's best independent music stores. Support your local record shop!
The Pubic Triangle is usually best avoided, due to its proliferation of lap-dancing establishments, but during the day you can find a number of great shops here. It can be found at the intersection of Lady Lawson Street and West Port, near the western end of the Grassmarket. A gaggle of second-hand bookstores adorn this area.
You can find plenty of nice and affordable food options along and around the one long street called South Bridge, Nicolson Street and (further south) (South) Clerk Street.
- 1 Kebab Mahal, 7 Nicolson Street. Smarter than your average kebab shop - and an Edinburgh institution. "Diner" type establishment which serves kebabs as well as curries. Take-away or (limited) eat-in. Run by Muslims so there are lots of vegetarian options but no alcohol licence. Popular with students as it's close to George Square.
- 2 Tempting Tattie, 18 Jeffrey Street. Baked potatoes (tatties) are also a Scottish staple. Some say the best in town can be found here. A tattie stuffed with enough fillings for a family of 4 can be had for under £5.
- 3 The Baked Potato Shop, 56 Cockburn Street. Baked potatoes with a range of vegetarian and vegan fillings, as well as vegan cakes. £4.40.
- 4 Oink, 34 Victoria Street (and also 82 Cannongate). This small eatery does one thing, the pulled pork sandwich, and it does it extremely well. No chips, no crisps, no sides, just pork, sauces and a roll. It's quite cheap, with £5 getting you a sandwich and a drink.
- 5 The Original Mosque Kitchen, 50 Potterrow (just off George Square; entrance also from West Nicolson Street). In the building directly adjacent to the Edinburgh Central Mosque. A classic student hangout, with meat and vegetable curry available for around £5.
- 6 Kampong Ah Lee - Malaysian Delight, 28 Clerk Street. Tasty Malaysian dishes such as Roti Canai, Satay, Nasi Lemak, Laksa, Rendang, etc. Most main dishes £6-8.
- 7 The Piemaker, 38 South Bridge, ☏ . Has a wide range of delicious pies and pastries (mostly savoury). Well below £3.
- 8 Taza in Town, 69 Bread St, Edinburgh EH3 9AH. Not the most attractive of spots in the Auld Toun but a place to get really tasty and good value Syrian food. The Mana'eesh are wonderful all freshly baked to order. The egg & cheese is a favourite. Similar to the flat breads of the Republic of Georgia. Cafe and takeaway. £5 Mana'eesh ( stone baked pizza/ flat bread) egg & cheese.
- 9 The Everest, 52 Home Street (Tollcross). This restaurant offers very good Nepalese and Indian food at moderate prices around £7 mains (excluding rice or bread).
- 10 Petit Paris, 38-40 Grassmarket. Traditional French restaurant complete with chequered tablecloths and whitewashed walls.
- 11 David Bann's Vegetarian Restaurant, 56-58 St Mary's Street, toll-free: . Imaginative and tasty vegetarian food. Some courses are suitable for vegans. Main courses cost about £11-13.
- 12 Mezbaan, 14 Brougham Street (Tollcross). A South Indian restaurant and a rare treat because it serves Indian "street food" dishes such as dosas. There also can't be very many restaurants in the world serving (vegetarian) haggis pakoras. And they are as tasty as they are rare!
- 13 Thai Orchid, 5a Johnston Terrace. Thai food, with vegetarian options.
- Ondine, 2 George IV Bridge EH1 1AD, ☏ . Tu-Sa 12:00-22:00. Simple but excellent seafood.
- Kanpai, 8-10 Grindlay St EH3 9AS (by Usher Hall), ☏ . Tu-Sa 12:00-14:00, 17:00-22:00. They juggle up great Japanese food before your wondering eyes. Small portions and pricey, but memorable.
- Timberyard, 10 Lady Lawson St EH3 9DS, ☏ . Th-Su 12:00-22:00. Modern Scottish cuisine in a 19th century warehouse, with extensive wine list.
- 14 The Bombay Bicycle Club, 6 Brougham Street. Average Indian restaurant offering the usual array of Indian and curry dishes. Attentive staff.
- 15 The Elephant House, 21 George IV Bridge EH1 1EN. M-F 8AM-10PM, Sa 9AM-11PM, Su 9AM-10PM. Consistently good coffee and light bites, cafe is full of university and creative types - JK Rowling wrote much of the first Harry Potter book here. And that alas is the problem: it's become part of the Potter circus, every half hour sees another coachload of tourists all craning for selfies and trying to nick the cutlery and scrawling graffiti in the loo. Prices, service and ambience have suffered accordingly, and Rowling has fled to a castle in the Highlands.
- 16 Tanjore South Indian Restaurant, 6-8 Clerk Street EH8 9HX, ☏ . noon-2:30PM, 5-10PM. One of the few Indian restaurants in Edinburgh serving South Indian food such as Dosas, Uttapams, Sambar, and other Tamil specialities. £15.
- 17 The Witchery Restaurant. Just beside Edinburgh Castle, The Witchery is a small, beautiful candle-lit restaurant with fantastic food, excellent service and a wonderful wine list. Even their bread basket is a standout.
There are many famous "traditional" pubs on the Grassmarket. Beware, however, many of these pubs are tourist traps and tend to be very popular with visiting stag and hen parties. Real Edinburghers tend to keep clear most of the time. The Royal Mile is another tourist trap, with many pubs here just not worth the bother. However, make time to visit The Jolly Judge on James Court, just off the Lawnmarket, and Albanach, which is on the corner of Cockburn Street and the High Street.
- 1 The Jolly Judge, 7 James Court (Close to Lawnmarket, Royal Mile, near the Castle), ☏ . Open daily, mid-afternoon until 11:30PM (later on weekends). Very small pub with a good selection of beer and whisky. One of the few pubs on Royal Mile worth visiting. Has free Wi-Fi.
- 2 Doctors, 32 Forest Road. Offers good ales and pub food in a relaxed atmosphere.
- 3 Sandy Bells, 25 Forest Road. Has live folk music every night.
- 4 The Pear Tree. Offers a great beer garden for summer months, and a mix of university students and residents all year round. Or check out The Blind Poet next door.
- 5 Bennets Bar, 8 Leven St (Right next to King's Theatre), ☏ . A good old-fashioned pub that satisfies with cold beer on tap and tasty cheap food. Bennets also has a good range of real ale and the selection changes weekly.
- 6 The Kilderkin, 67 Canongate, EH8 8BT, ☏ . On Mondays they offer very good £1 pizza if ordered with a drink (one pizza per person only) from 5PM until stock lasts. They have a changing selection of four cask ales and a good range of whiskies (including some from the independent bottler Cadenhead's).
- 7 The Bow Bar, 80 West Bow, ☏ . An unpretentious traditional pub with a large selection of whiskies, and a good choice of changing guest ales.
General debauchery can be found on the Cowgate which runs under the South and George IV bridges. Numerous clubs and bars line this street, which gets very, very crowded at weekends.
- The Bongo Club, 66 Cowgate. Also well worth a mention for travellers. A short hike down Holyrood Road towards the new Scottish Parliament, this is a great cafe style bar cum live music venue, with excellent club nights, especially the popular "Fast Punk Club".
- 8 Cabaret Voltaire, 36-38 Blair Street. One of the city's most respected clubs, and also hosts regular gigs. Club nights are eclectic and cater to all tastes.
- 9 Dragonfly, 52 West Port. A trendy and well-hidden cocktail lounge just up the street on West Port, which is arguably the city's best bar. This does mean, of course, that it can often get very crowded.
- 10 The Forest, 141 Lauriston Place (Tollcross), ☏ . daily 10AM-11PM. Volunteer run arts cafe. Has Wi-Fi.
- 11 The Jazz Bar, 1a Chambers Street (just off South Bridge), ☏ . Open daily until 3AM. Edinburgh's famous, quadruple award-winning live music venue has a lovely warm internal ambience and wide-ranging audience demographic. Featuring a lot more than 'jazz', there's multiple back-to-back gigs a day, seven nights a week, with acoustic, jazz, funk/soul and other good music, to 3AM every night. A popular weekly feature is their Monday night 17-piece Big Band. Generally free entry before 8PM.
- 12 The Liquid Room, 9c Victoria Street. One of Edinburgh's most established nightclubs. It plays host to both regular gigs and popular club nights. "Evol", which takes place on a Friday night, is a well respected indie night. For a cheaper, more student orientated indie night, try their Wednesday night club "Indigo".
- 13 Slighhouse, 54 George IV Bridge. Cocktail bar and restaurant.
- 14 Wash Bar, 11-13 North Bank Street (On the cusp between the Old and New Towns, situated near the top of the Mound). Popular with a slightly older crowd than you'll find in such a student-orientated city, it is quite a lively nightspot.
- 1 Motel One Edinburgh Royal, 18 Market St, EH1 1BL, ☏ .
- 2 Budget Backpackers Edinburgh, 37-39 Cowgate. Regularly voted top 5 in the world due to its cheerful and friendly staff and modern amenities. It's a bit crowded and don't expect the internet to work. Dorms from £16, twin rooms from £27 per person.
- 3 Euro Hostel Edinburgh, Darroch Court, St John’s Hill, ☏ . In Cowgate, open every summer from the beginning of June until the beginning of September. Budget accommodation in 43 apartments used as student residences during term time. £19-50 per person per night.
- 4 Edinburgh Metro (SYHA Hostel), 15 Robertson's Close (Near Cowgate), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Open in July and August only taking over Edinburgh University’s halls of residence during the semester break. Not open in 2020. From £22.
- 5 Riego Street, 1-15 Riego Street (Tollcross), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Offered by Edinburgh Napier University during summer only (semester break). Used as student accommodation throughout the rest of the year. Send an email or call for booking requests. Between 4 and 5 single rooms in one shared apartment. Linen, towels and WiFi included.
- 6 Castle Rock Hostel, 15 Johnston Terrace, ☏ . Large hostel, on the hill just below the castle. Dorms from £11.
- 7 Ibis Edinburgh Centre South Bridge, 77 South Bridge EH1 1HN. Reliable chain hotel, a welcome mid-range addition to the Old Town's accommodation. B&B double from £70.
- 8 Ten Hill Place Hotel (Best Western), 10 Hill Place, ☏ . Award winning hotel created from a fusion of a traditional Edinburgh Georgian terrace with a modern and fairly stylish new development, 78 bedrooms no less, and 4 stars too. From £68 per night.
- 9 Jurys Inn Edinburgh, 43 Jeffrey St, EH1 1DH, ☏ .
- 10 DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Edinburgh City Centre, 34 Bread St, EH3 9AF, ☏ .
- 11 Macdonald Holyrood, 81 Holyrood Rd, EH8 8AU, ☏ .
- 12 ibis Edinburgh Centre Royal Mile - Hunter Square, 6 Hunter Square EH1 1QW, ☏ .
- 13 Apex City of Edinburgh, 61 Grassmarket, EH1 2HJ, ☏ .
- 14 Apex Grassmarket, 31-35 Grassmarket, EH1 2HS, ☏ .
- Holiday Inn Express (IHG), 300 Cowgate, EH1 1NA, ☏ .
- 15 The Sheraton Grand Hotel, 21 Festival Square, ☏ . Against the backdrop of majestic Edinburgh Castle, the Sheraton Grand Hotel and Spa combines city centre convenience with warm Scottish hospitality.
- 16 Radisson Blu Hotel, 80 High Street (The Royal Mile), ☏ . The hotel was built in 1990, but the outside is designed to look like the much older neighbouring buildings.
- 17 Radisson Collection Hotel, 1 George IV Bridge, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Designed by Rosita Missoni.
- 18 Hilton Edinburgh Carlton, 19 North Bridge, EH1 1SD, ☏ .
- 19 The Scotsman, 20 North Bridge, EH1 1TR, ☏ . Luxury hotel in an imposing building that was the home to the Scotsman newspaper from when it was built in 1905 until 2001.
- 20 Old Town Chambers (Lateral City), Roxburgh's Court, 323 High St, EH1 1LW. Self catering apartments and studios. from £127 per night.
- 1 Central Library, George IV Bridge (opposite the National Library of Scotland), ☏ . M-W 10AM-8PM; Th-Sa 10AM-5PM. The Learning Centre at the Central Library has 16 computers with free internet access, also MS Office applications. If there is no PC free when you visit it's possible to reserve a slot later that day. Free (Charge for printing), free WiFi.
|Routes through Old Town|
|New Town ←||NW SE||→ South Edinburgh → Dalkeith|