What are the safest areas to stay in Edinburgh? Are there areas to avoid in Edinburgh? In this post, I will help you to find the Safest areas to stay in Edinburgh for tourists and the best places to stay in Edinburgh for all budgets.
Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland, which is part of the United Kingdom. It is one of the most historic and picturesque cities in Europe, known for its stunning architecture, rich cultural heritage, and beautiful natural surroundings.
Located in the southeastern part of Scotland, Edinburgh has a long and storied history, dating back to at least the Roman era. It has been the capital of Scotland since at least the 15th century and played a central role in the country’s history.
The city is home to the Edinburgh Castle, which sits atop Castle Rock and offers panoramic views of the city. The Royal Mile, a historic street that stretches from the castle to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, is lined with historic buildings, shops, and restaurants.
Edinburgh is known for its universities, including the University of Edinburgh, one of the world’s leading research institutions. It has a strong academic tradition and has produced many notable scholars and thinkers.
Edinburgh is a cultural hub, with numerous museums, galleries, theaters, and music venues. It is home to the Scottish National Gallery, National Museum of Scotland, and Royal Lyceum Theatre, among others.
Despite being a bustling city, Edinburgh is surrounded by natural beauty. Arthur’s Seat, an extinct volcano, is a popular spot for hiking and offers stunning views of the city and its countryside.
Edinburgh has a well-developed transportation network, including buses, trams, and a railway system. Edinburgh Airport provides international and domestic air travel access to the city.
Is Edinburgh safe for tourists?
Edinburgh is generally considered a safe destination, and most tourists have a trouble-free experience. However, it’s always a good idea to be cautious and use common sense when exploring any new place.
Here are some tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable visit to Edinburgh:
Stay in well-traveled areas:
Stick to well-lit and populated areas, especially at night. The city center, Old Town, and New Town areas are generally safe for tourists.
Keep an eye on your belongings:
Like in any other city, be cautious of pickpocketing, especially in crowded places and tourist attractions. Use a money belt or hidden pouch for your valuables.
Stay aware of your surroundings:
Pay attention to your surroundings, and avoid distractions like staring at your phone while walking.
Use reputable transportation:
If you need a taxi or ride-sharing service, use licensed and well-known providers. Edinburgh has an efficient public transportation system as well.
Be cautious with alcohol:
Scotland is known for its whisky, but excessive drinking can make you vulnerable. Drink responsibly and be aware of your limits.
Familiarize yourself with emergency numbers in the UK, which are 999 for police, fire, and ambulance services.
It’s worth noting that no place is entirely risk-free, so it’s essential to take common-sense precautions wherever you travel.
What are the safest areas to stay in Edinburgh?
The safest areas to stay in Edinburgh for tourists are Old Town, New Town, Dean Village, Stockbridge, Bruntsfield, Morningside, and Leith. While these areas are generally safe, it’s important to remain vigilant, protect your belongings, avoid poorly lit areas at night, and not engage with intoxicated individuals.
In general, Old Town and New Town are the best areas to stay in Edinburgh for first-time travelers. They are the heart of the city, offering easiest access to major attractions and the widest range of accommodations, restaurants, bars, and shops.
Edinburgh, like many cities, has its share of petty crimes like pickpocketing, so it’s always wise to be cautious. Additionally, it’s a good idea to check for any recent updates on safety in the city before your visit, as conditions can change over time.
Map of areas and neighborhoods in Edinburgh for tourists:
What areas to avoid staying in Edinburgh?
Here are some areas that some travelers might want to avoid or be cautious in:
Niddrie is a neighborhood in the southeast of the city that has had some issues with crime and deprivation in the past. It may not be the best choice for tourists.
This area in the north of Edinburgh has also faced some challenges with crime and social issues. It’s not a popular tourist destination.
Granton is another neighborhood in the north of the city that has had a reputation for being less desirable due to its industrial past. However, there have been efforts to revitalize the area.
Sighthill has had its share of social and economic challenges, and it may not be the best choice for tourists looking for a central location.
While Cowgate is in the heart of the Old Town and has many bars and clubs, it can get quite noisy and rowdy, especially at night. If you’re looking for a quiet stay, this area might not be ideal.
The safest areas to stay in Edinburgh for tourists are:
1. Old Town
Old Town is one of the most popular and iconic areas to stay in Edinburgh for tourists, especially first-timers. It is known for its historic charm, cobblestone streets, and its proximity to major attractions, including the Royal Mile, Edinburgh Castle, and the Palace of Holyroodhouse.
Old Town is steeped in history and offers a unique atmosphere with its narrow alleys, medieval buildings, and historic landmarks. It’s a fantastic place to immerse yourself in the city’s rich heritage.
Old Town is a tourist hotspot, so you’ll find plenty of shops, restaurants, and attractions in the area. It’s usually bustling with tourists during the day.
Like other central areas of Edinburgh, Old Town is generally considered safe for tourists. The presence of tourists and the proximity to key landmarks often means increased police visibility.
Old Town has a lively nightlife scene, particularly along the Cowgate and Grassmarket areas. This can be a fun place to experience Edinburgh’s nightlife, but it’s also important to be mindful of your surroundings, especially late at night.
There are various accommodation options in Old Town, ranging from budget hostels to boutique hotels and serviced apartments. But, because of its popularity, prices can be higher compared to other areas.
Old Town is compact and easily walkable, making it convenient for exploring the city on foot. It’s also well-connected by public transportation, including buses.
Old Town is a hub for many of Edinburgh’s festivals and events, such as the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. If you plan to visit during a major festival, be prepared for increased crowds and higher accommodation prices.
While the Old Town is generally safe, it’s essential to safeguard your belongings, stay in well-lit areas at night, and be cautious of crowded streets, where pickpocketing can occur. Additionally, the uneven cobblestone streets can be challenging to navigate, so wear comfortable footwear.
Overall, Old Town offers a fantastic experience for visitors seeking to immerse themselves in Edinburgh’s history and culture. It’s an excellent choice for those who want to be in the heart of the city’s attractions and don’t mind the lively atmosphere of a tourist hotspot.
Best places to stay in Edinburgh in Old Town:
- Luxury ($$$): Cheval Old Town Chambers
- Mid-range ($$): Destiny Scotland – Royal Mile Residence
- Budget ($): ibis Edinburgh Centre Royal Mile – Hunter Square
- Hostel ($): CoDE Pod – The CoURT – Edinburgh
2. New Town
New Town is a popular and safe area to stay in Edinburgh for tourists and first-time travelers. It offers a contrast to the historic charm of Old Town with its Georgian and neoclassical architecture.
Like Old Town, New Town is considered safe for tourists. It tends to be quieter at night compared to the bustling Old Town, which can be appealing for those seeking a more tranquil stay.
New Town is known for its elegant and symmetrical streets, spacious squares, and well-preserved Georgian buildings. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site and provides a unique urban landscape to explore.
This area is home to a wide range of boutiques, shops, restaurants, cafes, and bars. The main shopping street, George Street, is lined with upscale stores, making it a popular destination for shoppers.
New Town is also home to some of Edinburgh’s cultural attractions, including the Scottish National Gallery and the Georgian House. Many museums and galleries are within walking distance.
You’ll find a variety of accommodation options in New Town, from luxury hotels to charming guesthouses and serviced apartments. It’s a good choice if you’re looking for a more upscale or quiet atmosphere.
New Town is centrally located and easily accessible on foot. It’s also well-served by public transportation, including buses.
In addition to its architectural beauty, New Town offers access to green spaces such as Princes Street Gardens, which separates it from the Old Town and provides a pleasant place to relax.
Overall, New Town is a refined and safe area that provides an ideal base for exploring Edinburgh. It’s especially suitable for travelers who appreciate architectural beauty, upscale shopping, and a quieter atmosphere compared to the busier Old Town.
Best places to stay in Edinburgh in New Town:
- Luxury ($$$): InterContinental Hotels – Edinburgh The George, an IHG Hotel
- Mid-range ($$): Edinburgh Castle Apartments
- Budget ($): ibis Styles Edinburgh St Andrew Square
3. Dean Village
Dean Village is a charming and picturesque neighborhood located just a short walk from the city center of Edinburgh. It offers a unique and tranquil atmosphere that’s quite distinct from the bustling city streets.
Dean Village is renowned for its well-preserved 19th-century architecture and its tranquil setting along the Water of Leith. The area is often described as a hidden gem in Edinburgh.
Nestled along the Water of Leith, Dean Village is surrounded by greenery and offers scenic views. It’s a peaceful oasis within the city, making it an attractive place to stay for those seeking a quieter environment.
The Water of Leith Walkway runs through Dean Village, providing an excellent opportunity for leisurely walks and bike rides along the riverside path. It’s a great way to explore the natural beauty of the area.
Despite its peaceful ambiance, Dean Village is conveniently close to the city center. It’s within walking distance of many of Edinburgh’s attractions, including Princes Street and the Royal Mile.
Dean Village is generally considered a safe area, but as with any urban neighborhood, it’s wise to exercise standard safety precautions such as securing your belongings.
While there may be some holiday apartments and accommodations available in Dean Village, it’s not as densely packed with hotels and guesthouses as other parts of the city. If you plan to stay here, booking in advance is advisable.
While Dean Village itself is predominantly residential, you’ll find nearby neighborhoods like Stockbridge and the West End that offer a range of dining, shopping, and entertainment options. You can also easily access the Scottish National Gallery and the Dean Gallery.
Dean Village is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a peaceful and scenic place to stay in Edinburgh. It’s ideal for travelers who want to escape the city’s hustle and bustle while still being close enough to enjoy its attractions.
Best places to stay in Edinburgh in Dean Village:
Located north of the city center, Stockbridge is a trendy and residential area with a village-like atmosphere. It’s considered safe and is a favorite among locals and visitors alike.
Stockbridge is known for its local atmosphere. It has a high concentration of independent shops, boutiques, and cafes, giving it a distinct character. The weekly Stockbridge Market is a popular spot for local produce and artisan goods.
The neighborhood is close to the beautiful Inverleith Park and the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, providing plenty of opportunities for leisurely strolls and picnics.
Stockbridge boasts a wide range of dining options, from cozy cafes and traditional pubs to upscale restaurants. It’s a great place to enjoy a leisurely meal or a drink in a more relaxed setting.
The area is known for its boutique shopping, where you can find unique gifts, clothing, and antiques. Raeburn Place is the main shopping street in Stockbridge.
Stockbridge is considered a safe neighborhood in Edinburgh, with low crime rates. It’s a peaceful area where you can feel comfortable walking around during the day or night.
While Stockbridge is primarily a residential neighborhood, there are some guesthouses, bed and breakfasts, and self-catering apartments available for visitors. It’s a good option if you prefer a quieter and more local experience.
Stockbridge is within walking distance of the city center, making it convenient for exploring Edinburgh’s main attractions. Alternatively, you can use public transportation to get to other parts of the city.
Stockbridge is known for its participation in local festivals, such as the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and the Stockbridge Summer Solstice Festival, which offer a taste of local culture and entertainment.
Overall, Stockbridge is an excellent choice for travelers seeking a more laid-back and local experience in Edinburgh. It’s a lovely neighborhood with a strong sense of community, making it a great place to relax, shop, dine, and explore at your own pace.
Best places to stay in Edinburgh in Stockbridge:
- Mid-range ($$): The Raeburn
- Mid-range ($$): Nira Caledonia
- Budget ($): New Town Guest House (Adults Only)
Bruntsfield is a residential neighborhood just a short walk from the city center and is known for its quiet, safe streets. It’s a great choice for those looking for a more peaceful stay.
The neighborhood has a friendly and local charm with a variety of independent shops, cafes, and restaurants. You can explore the unique boutiques and enjoy leisurely meals at local eateries.
Bruntsfield Links and the Meadows, both nearby, provide ample green spaces for outdoor activities, picnics, or leisurely walks. The Meadows, in particular, is a popular spot for locals and visitors alike.
Like most residential areas in Edinburgh, Bruntsfield is considered safe. It’s a peaceful neighborhood where you can walk around without much concern for safety.
Bruntsfield offers a range of dining options, from traditional Scottish fare to international cuisines. It’s a great place to try out local restaurants and cafes.
You’ll find a variety of shops in the area, including clothing boutiques, bookstores, and specialty stores. It’s a good place to browse for unique items.
There are some guesthouses, bed and breakfasts, and serviced apartments in Bruntsfield, providing options for visitors who prefer a residential setting. But, accommodations may be limited compared to more touristy areas.
While Bruntsfield is not in the city center, it’s within walking distance or a short bus ride from many of Edinburgh’s main attractions. The city center is easily accessible, making it convenient for sightseeing.
Bruntsfield is a great choice if you’re looking for a more tranquil and local experience while still having easy access to the city center. It’s particularly appealing to travelers who enjoy outdoor activities, leisurely strolls, and exploring independent shops and restaurants.
Best places to stay in Edinburgh in Bruntsfield:BEST HOTELS IN BRUNTSFIELD
Morningside is a peaceful neighborhood with a village feel and is well-regarded for its safety. It’s a bit farther from the city center but offers a relaxing atmosphere.
Morningside, like many residential areas in Edinburgh, is considered safe. It’s a quiet neighborhood where you can walk around without much concern for safety.
The neighborhood is known for its local character, with a variety of independent shops, boutiques, and cafes. You can explore the unique stores and enjoy leisurely meals at local restaurants.
Best places to stay in Edinburgh in Morningside:
- Mid-range ($$): The Lane Apartment
- Mid-range ($$): The Lane Hotel
- Budget ($): Violet Bank Apartment Morningside
Once a separate town, Leith has become part of Edinburgh and is known for its vibrant food and arts scene. It’s generally safe, but like any urban area, it’s essential to exercise caution in less busy areas at night.
Leith has a rich maritime history, and you can explore its heritage at attractions like the Royal Yacht Britannia, which is permanently docked there. The historic docks and waterfront area provide a unique backdrop.
You’ll find a wide range of restaurants, cafes, bars, and street food vendors, offering everything from traditional Scottish dishes to international cuisines.
There is a range of accommodations in Leith, including hotels, serviced apartments, and hostels. It’s a good option if you’re looking for a different atmosphere compared to the city center.
While Leith is not in the immediate city center, it’s well-connected by public transportation, including buses. It’s a short ride to the city’s main attractions and the city center.
Leith offers a unique and lively experience for visitors to Edinburgh. It’s especially appealing to those who are interested in exploring a more contemporary and cultural side of the city.
Best places to stay in Edinburgh in Leith:
- Luxury ($$$): Ocean Mist Leith
- Mid-range ($$): Holiday Inn Express Edinburgh – Leith Waterfront, an IHG Hotel
- Budget ($): JUST SLEEP Hostel
In conclusion, Old Town, New Town, Dean Village, Stockbridge, Bruntsfield, Morningside, and Leith are the best and safest places to stay in Edinburgh for tourists. It’s always important to exercise caution and be aware of your surroundings no matter where you stay.