As one of the oldest parts of Edinburgh, the Old Town is steeped in history and character. For a trip back in time, this is the place to stay. From cobbled streets to little alleyways, or closes as they are known, there is always something new to be discovered.
In the summer, when the Festivals are on, the area really comes alive. It’s brimming with locals and tourists keen to soak up the buzzing atmosphere.
What to Expect
The Grassmarket and the Cowgate are famous for a variety of pubs, clubs and music venues which are open until 3am.
There is a wide variety or restaurants from traditional Scottish, Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Italian, Korean, Indian, French, Greek and Australian, so there is something for everyone. Also, there are farmer markets every Saturday in Castle Terrace and the Grassmarket which are great for picking up delicious goodies to eat. The products are locally sourced too.
Being so close to the city centre, there is no need to use public transport as everywhere is within walking distance. But the bus, tram and train stations are within a five minute journey which are ideal for heading to other parts of the city or beyond.
What Not to Expect
There are very few chain store outlets, but lots of independent boutiques selling a variety of Scottish produce, from whisky to cashmere.
You'll Fall in Love With
Princes Street Gardens is amazing. With views of Edinburgh Castle it’s the perfect spot to have a picnic in the summer.
Great Place to Go
The Old Town is a very historical area – it is a world heritage site and planning permission is very strict and there are no satellite dishes! There are a number of interesting tourist attractions; Edinburgh Castle, the Royal Mile, the house of John Knox, Greyfriars Bobby, the Grassmarket (famous for public executions) the Westport where Burke and Hare lived, St Giles Cathedral and the Flodden Wall.
At the other end of the Royal Mile you have Holyrood and the Scottish Parliament. For those who fancy stepping back in time, the National Museum of Scotland, Museum of Edinburgh, the National War Museum (in the Castle) and the Museum of Childhood (many of them have free entry) are definitely worth a visit.