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Old TownEdinburgh

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.

Top hotels in Old Town

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Apex Waterloo Place Hotel
Apex Waterloo Place Hotel
4 out of 5
23-27 Waterloo Place, Edinburgh, Scotland

Located in Old Town, this spa hotel is steps away from Waterloo Place and Princes Street. George Street and Edinburgh Playhouse Theatre are also within 10 minutes. ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (2,185 reviews)

"Fantastic location for railway station and shops and pups. Only a short uphill walk to the Royal Mile and Castle."…"

Reviewed on 14 Mar. 2020

Apex Waterloo Place Hotel
Novotel Edinburgh Centre
Novotel Edinburgh Centre
4 out of 5
80 Lauriston Place, Edinburgh, Scotland

Located in Old Town, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of The Meadows, Grassmarket and Royal Mile. University of Edinburgh and Usher Hall are also within ...

4.3/5Excellent! (1,955 reviews)

"Good location, great breakfast, room was nice and from the 6th floor the view was great."…"

Reviewed on 23 Mar. 2020

Novotel Edinburgh Centre
Apex City of Edinburgh Hotel
Apex City of Edinburgh Hotel
4 out of 5
61 Grassmarket, Edinburgh, Scotland

Located in Old Town, this hotel is steps away from Grassmarket, The Hub and Scotch Whisky Experience. Royal Mile and National Museum of Scotland are also within ...

4.4/5Wonderful! (2,190 reviews)

"Lovely breakfast, also got a free drink as it was my birthday"…"

Reviewed on 21 Mar. 2020

Apex City of Edinburgh Hotel
Apex Grassmarket Hotel
Apex Grassmarket Hotel
4 out of 5
31-35 Grassmarket, Edinburgh, Scotland

Located in Old Town, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Grassmarket, Royal Mile and The Hub. Edinburgh Castle and Princes Street are also within 10 minutes. ...

4.3/5Excellent! (2,199 reviews)

"The view was incredible, staff was amazing, very helpful and accomodating."…"

Reviewed on 15 Mar. 2020

Apex Grassmarket Hotel
Fraser Suites Edinburgh
Fraser Suites Edinburgh
4 out of 5
Fraser Suites Edinburgh, 12 - 26 St Giles Street, Edinburgh, Scotland
AU$168
per night
26 Apr. - 27 Apr.

Located in Old Town, this eco-friendly aparthotel is within a 5-minute walk of St. Giles' Cathedral and Princes Street Gardens. Greyfriars Kirk and Edinburgh ...

4.4/5Excellent! (2,114 reviews)

"This was our second stay at this hotel. Our room was a great suite that had plenty of room. The hotel is in a great location near the upper part of “the Royal Mile.” We look forward to staying there again in the future."…"

Reviewed on 25 Mar. 2020

Fraser Suites Edinburgh
The Scotsman Hotel
The Scotsman Hotel
4 out of 5
20 North Bridge, Edinburgh, Scotland

Located in Old Town, this boutique hotel is steps away from City Art Centre, Princes Street and Royal Mile. Edinburgh Dungeon and Real Mary King's Close are ...

4.4/5Wonderful! (2,019 reviews)

"Friendly staff and hotel rooms are as beautiful as they are in the pictures."…"

Reviewed on 13 Mar. 2020

The Scotsman Hotel

Popular activities in Old Town

Edinburgh Castle
Image for Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle

4.5/5(189 reviews)

A focal point of Scottish history that dominates Edinburgh’s skyline and which has served as a fortress, a palace and home to the crown jewels.

Royal Mile
Image for Royal Mile

Royal Mile

4.5/5(64 reviews)

With its historic buildings, museums, shops and restaurants, this stretch of Edinburgh's Old Town is a much-loved haunt.

National Museum of Scotland
Image for National Museum of Scotland

National Museum of Scotland

4.5/5(76 reviews)

Science, nature, history and culture come together in this spectacular museum, which celebrates learning about the world and all its wonders.

Top activities in Old Town

Glen Coe, Loch Ness & the Scottish Highlands Full-Day Tour
Image for Glen Coe, Loch Ness & the Scottish Highlands Full-Day Tour

Glen Coe, Loch Ness & the Scottish Highlands Full-Day Tour

92% of travellers recommend
AU$91
Per adult
Skip-the-Line Edinburgh Castle Tour
Image for Skip-the-Line Edinburgh Castle Tour

Skip-the-Line Edinburgh Castle Tour

88% of travellers recommend
AU$65
Per adult
Edinburgh Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Bus Tour
Image for Edinburgh Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Bus Tour

Edinburgh Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Bus Tour

92% of travellers recommend
AU$32
Per adult
Royal Edinburgh Ticket- Hop-on,Hop-Off with Edinburgh Castle
Image for Royal Edinburgh Ticket- Hop-on,Hop-Off with Edinburgh Castle

Royal Edinburgh Ticket- Hop-on,Hop-Off with Edinburgh Castle

94% of travellers recommend
AU$115
Per adult
Secrets of the Royal Mile Walking Tour with Edinburgh Castle Admission
Image for Secrets of the Royal Mile Walking Tour with Edinburgh Castle Admission

Secrets of the Royal Mile Walking Tour with Edinburgh Castle Admission

96% of travellers recommend
AU$66
Per adult
INSTAX Instant Photography Edinburgh Tour
Image for INSTAX Instant Photography Edinburgh Tour

INSTAX Instant Photography Edinburgh Tour

AU$95
Per adult

Other areas in Edinburgh

Edinburgh showing heritage architecture and night scenes

New Town

4.5/5Wonderful!(120 area reviews)

New Town