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Old Town EdinburghEdinburgh

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

DoubleTree by Hilton Edinburgh City Centre
DoubleTree by Hilton Edinburgh City Centre
4 out of 5
34 Bread Street, Edinburgh, Scotland
Free cancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is £83 per night from 26 Apr to 27 Apr
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! (997 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 25 Apr to 26 Apr
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
The Scotsman Hotel
The Scotsman Hotel
4 out of 5
20 North Bridge, Edinburgh, Scotland
The price is £129 per night from 2 May to 3 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! (999 reviews)
"Great location! Our room was spacious and comfortable"

Reviewed on 28 Feb 2021

The Scotsman Hotel
Novotel Edinburgh Centre
Novotel Edinburgh Centre
4 out of 5
80 Lauriston Place, Edinburgh, Scotland
The price is £59 per night from 5 May to 6 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! (995 reviews)
"Really liked the style of the room, the comfort of the bed and the shower was good too."

Reviewed on 17 Dec 2020

Novotel Edinburgh Centre
Apex Grassmarket Hotel
Apex Grassmarket Hotel
4 out of 5
31-35 Grassmarket, Edinburgh, Scotland
The price is £104 per night from 28 Apr to 29 Apr
Located in Old Town Edinburgh, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Grassmarket, Royal Mile and The Hub. Edinburgh Castle and Princes Street are also within ...
4.5/5Wonderful! (1,172 reviews)
"Lovely overnight stay very comfortable rooms staff very helful and friendly will definitely go back"

Reviewed on 27 Oct 2020

Apex Grassmarket Hotel
Radisson Blu Hotel, Edinburgh City Centre
Radisson Blu Hotel, Edinburgh City Centre
4 out of 5
80 High Street The Royal Mile, Edinburgh, Scotland
The price is £125 per night from 27 Apr to 28 Apr
Located in Old Town Edinburgh, this spa hotel is steps away from Museum of Childhood, Royal Mile and Princes Street. Real Mary King's Close and St. Giles' Cathedral ...
4.6/5Wonderful! (999 reviews)
"Having spent 2 nights here to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary we could not have asked for a better hotel. From the moment we arrived the staff were lovely and even offered us an upgrade due to our celebration which I thought was so nice. Bar staff in the evening were so helpful. Would definitely ..."

Reviewed on 2 Oct 2020

Radisson Blu Hotel, Edinburgh City Centre
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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