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Old Town Edinburgh
Edinburgh

Old Town showing heritage elements and street scenes

Wander the narrow alleys of Edinburgh's historic center to discover the hidden delights of an area that also encompasses some of the city's top attractions.

Edinburgh's Old Town features the greatest sites of the country’s capital, among them the mighty Edinburgh Castle, the National Museum of Scotland and The Scotch Whisky Experience. However, the maze of narrow closes and streets that sit on top of each other are also home to several smaller, quirkier attractions. Explore this part of the city on foot. Follow routes that lead you past medieval tenements, down hidden “wynds” (alleys) and into pedestrianized squares.

Climb to Edinburgh Castle on a hill overlooking the rest of the city, with the Old Town spreading down the slope below it. The historic core is separated from the Georgian houses of New Town by Edinburgh Waverley Station.

Walk up and down the Royal Mile, one of the most important thoroughfares in the Old Town. The cobbled street leads from Holyrood Abbey and Palace in the east to the top of Edinburgh Castle’s hill. Spend a long time exploring the vast castle, which houses an extensive museum.

The Royal Mile is also home to St. Giles' Cathedral, the ecclesiastical center of the Church of Scotland, and the Camera Obscura. Trick your mind in the museum of optical illusions, which is built beneath a 150-year-old lens that uses natural light.

Step into one of the smaller museums occupying some of Old Town's most picturesque historic buildings. The John Knox House is dedicated to the Presbyterian reformer and the Writers’ Museum focuses on Scotland's famous authors. Get in touch with your younger self at the Museum of Childhood and discover the city's past at the Museum of Edinburgh.

Wander along George IV Bridge, which leads to the National Library of Scotland; Greyfriars Kirkyard, where a loyal Skye terrier guarded his master's grave for 14 years; and the National Museum of Scotland. End your day on the Grassmarket, an open square set beneath the shadow of the castle and lined with traditional pubs and modern eateries.

To get to the Old Town, ride the train to Edinburgh Waverley station. Trains serving this station run regularly and serve destinations all around the United Kingdom.


Popular places to visit in Old Town Edinburgh

Top things to do in Old Town Edinburgh


Top hotels in Old Town Edinburgh

The Scotsman Hotel
The Scotsman Hotel
4 out of 5
20 North Bridge, Edinburgh, Scotland
The price is £132 per night from 10 May to 10 May
Located in Old Town Edinburgh, this boutique hotel is steps away from City Art Centre, Princes Street and Royal Mile. Edinburgh Dungeon and Real Mary King's ...
4.5/5Wonderful! (996 reviews)
"Great location! Our room was spacious and comfortable"

Reviewed on 28 Feb 2021

The Scotsman Hotel
DoubleTree by Hilton Edinburgh City Centre
DoubleTree by Hilton Edinburgh City Centre
4 out of 5
34 Bread Street, Edinburgh, Scotland
The price is £83 per night from 10 May to 10 May
Located in Old Town Edinburgh, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Usher Hall, Grassmarket and Princes Street. Royal Mile and Edinburgh Castle are also ...
4.3/5Excellent! (998 reviews)
"All staff friendly and service good."

Reviewed on 17 Oct 2020

DoubleTree by Hilton Edinburgh City Centre
Aparthotel Adagio Edinburgh Royal Mile
Aparthotel Adagio Edinburgh Royal Mile
3.5 out of 5
231 Canongate, Edinburgh, Scotland
The price is £57 per night from 12 May to 12 May
Located in Old Town Edinburgh, this eco-friendly aparthotel is within a 10-minute walk of Royal Mile, St. Giles' Cathedral and Palace of Holyroodhouse. Edinburgh ...
4.5/5Wonderful! (1,060 reviews)
"I really like staying here. Great value, centrally located and though not a dog owner, I like the fact that it is dog friendly!"

Reviewed on 22 Dec 2020

Aparthotel Adagio Edinburgh Royal Mile
Hilton Edinburgh Carlton
Hilton Edinburgh Carlton
4 out of 5
19 North Bridge, Edinburgh, Scotland
The price is £71 per night from 13 May to 13 May
Located in Old Town Edinburgh, this eco-friendly hotel is steps away from City Art Centre, Princes Street and Royal Mile. Edinburgh Dungeon and Real Mary King's ...
4.3/5Excellent! (1,000 reviews)
Good
"It was amazing but some things is what makes the impression bad.To start of with the desks and the phone were full of dust,we don’t know if it was because of the virus and you had to isolate it for 14-days but other things were great.For example ,the fact that you need to have the card to use to ..."

Reviewed on 31 Oct 2020

Hilton Edinburgh Carlton
Novotel Edinburgh Centre
Novotel Edinburgh Centre
4 out of 5
80 Lauriston Place, Edinburgh, Scotland
The price is £68 per night from 16 May to 16 May
Located in Old Town Edinburgh, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 10-minute walk of The Meadows, Grassmarket, and Royal Mile. University of Edinburgh and Usher ...
4.2/5Excellent! (996 reviews)
"Great central location, staff could not be more helpful and were able to cater well for gluten free diet at breakfast"

Reviewed on 3 May 2021

Novotel Edinburgh Centre
ibis Edinburgh Centre Royal Mile – Hunter Square
ibis Edinburgh Centre Royal Mile – Hunter Square
3 out of 5
6 Hunter Square, Edinburgh, Scotland
The price is £35 per night from 16 May to 16 May
Located in Old Town Edinburgh, this eco-friendly hotel is steps away from City Chambers, Royal Mile and Princes Street. Real Mary King's Close and St. Giles' ...
4.3/5Excellent! (996 reviews)
"Nice, clean and tidy hotel to stay in the heart of old city centre Edinburgh. Easily accessible from railway station and other popular tourist attractions."

Reviewed on 9 May 2021

ibis Edinburgh Centre Royal Mile – Hunter Square
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Old Town Edinburgh

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