A city of spires and weathered streets, of pubs and marvelous Georgian homes, of great castles and rollicking theaters, it's hard to overstate the wonders that await in the Scottish capital. And then you spy out the alluring selection of bed and breakfasts in Edinburgh, which offer real immersion in the world heritage town, with a hearty welcome, and enchanting touches throughout.
Enticing benefits of B&Bs in Edinburgh
So, what is it that sets the humble B&B apart from the crowd in the legendary Scottish city of kings? The truth is, there's loads, especially for the traveler who prizes personal service, thoughtful design touches, and a taste of the local life…
Unique and unforgettable design features
Across its UNESCO-tagged heart, Edinburgh is a masterclass in eye-catching architecture. It's got all sorts, from handsome Georgian rowhouses to Edwardian terraces to Gothic church spires, with a range of B&Bs to match. And then you delve inside your chosen accommodation, only to be greeted with whittled mahogany staircases, Victorian antechambers, and regal living spaces where fires flicker in ancient hearths.
Help with transport, tips, and more
Whether you're looking for the very best of the whisky-tasting cellars, tips on the top gastropubs, or help finding tickets for Fringe shows, the welcoming owners of guest houses in Edinburgh are always happy to lend a hand. And it doesn't end there, either, because many a B&B in the capital comes with free bike rental or passes for urban transportation to get you from A to B.
A breakfast fit for a Highlander
Don't worry, you won't need to pull on a Braveheart kilt to get your filling Scottish breakfast each morning – it's part of the deal in B&Bs in Edinburgh. But don't come expecting your usual bacon and eggs. These are all about farm-to-table ingredients with a twist of culinary flair. There are oat-rolled fish cakes, griddled farm asparagus tips, and smoked North Sea kippers to indulge in.
Neighborhoods to look for that B&B in Edinburgh
Edinburgh is such a patchwork of areas both old and new that you're going to need to get a feel for its geography before booking your stay. Will it be the grandeur of the Georgian center? Will it be the cobbled old area? Or will it be the coast?
New Town – the grand
Don't be fooled by the name – this district was laid down in the 1760s, meaning its first buildings are contemporary with the American Revolution. It's a stunner, no questions. Soaring Neo-Classical columns loom overhead as handsome crescents laced with iron bannisters run by. Unsurprisingly, it's also where you'll find most of the luxurious and opulent B&Bs in Edinburgh.
Old Town – the ancient
Be sure to ask for a map from the reception of your bed and breakfast if you're going to be staying in the Old Town. It's a veritable maze of a neighborhood, with crisscrossing alleys that run across bustling thoroughfares like the Royal Mile. Gothic and neo-Gothic palaces ring the high terraces above, leading up to the great turrets of Edinburgh Castle – you can find intriguing B&Bs in the shadow of that citadel.
Portobello – the beach
Edinburgh's high bluffs and grey fortresses give way to the sloshing waters of the North Sea over in Portobello. Since the 1800s, this district has been an escape from the buzz of the center. It's still got elegant guest houses and pub-style lodgings lining its main promenade, most of which have on-site seafood eateries and open-air beer gardens just steps from the sand.
How to get cheap Edinburgh B&Bs
To save up for that prized Scotch whisky or Edinburgh International Festival ticket, you'll probably want to ensure you keep the cost of B&Bs in the Scottish capital as low as possible. Cue the tips below…
The suburbs are your friend
The area guide above offers just a taster of the amazing parts of Edinburgh that pack in bed and breakfasts. There are others, whether you opt for the rugby-mad reaches of Murrayfield or the romantic riversides of Dean Village. What's more, choosing somewhere a little further from the gaze of the great castle can often reduce the cost of rooms.
Be aware of Edinburgh's habit for massive festivals
The Edinburgh calendar hosts some of the UK's – nay, the world's – biggest culture festivals. The Fringe draws more than 55,000 performers to the city's playhouses and pubs in August, while the Edinburgh International Festival is for opera, theatre, dance, and more, also in late summer. Those seeking a bargain B&B should know that prices can crank skywards whenever there's something on.