Hello! My friend and I will be going to Edinburgh for 2 days in March, I'm hoping for some recommendations on where to stay or best area to stay in. Looking for soemthing close to everything- not too far from the things to see. Thanks!
Last month (August, during Festival Time) we rented an apartment right on the southern portion of the Royal Mile, just north of Holyrood Palace, the Scottish Parliament Building, and the second location of Oink (a great roasted pork place that's not yet listed in Rick Steves' guidebook - although he recommends the original location closer to the Castle). The apartment rented a week at a time, so that wouldn't work for you, but with Edinburgh being a great city for walking, being in the "heart of the action" was ideal for us, close to major sights, pubs, and restaurants. The city's bus system and taxis are also great, though, so you can get to those places from elsewhere in town, but we liked being in the center of things. If we hadn't had the apartment, we might have looked at either of the nearby Travel Lodge hotels.
Take a look at Fraser Suites, 12-26 St. Giles Street, on the Royal Mile directly across the street from St. Giles Cathedral. We have enjoyed staying there many times, and will stay there again in a week or so ourselves. It's within walking distance from the Waverley Train Station, plenty of good restaurants nearby, and you can't get much more central in the Old Town part of Edinburgh. You can also easily walk to the New Town area for the shops and attractions there.
We actually had lunch last month at the Fraser Suites restaurant - really good food, so-so service that day, and it took some effort to get them to let us pay when we were done, but an overall good experience.
Actually the only time we ate in the Fraser Suites Restaurant was when breakfast was included in our room rate, and it was delicious.
We really like the World's End Pub, Tass Pub, Whiski Rooms, and looking forward to trying Wildest Drams on this next visit.
There are lots of places to stay in Edinburgh that are close to the sights. You have to understand that Edinburgh is not really a very big place! I've stayed in the Dalkeith area, behind Calton Hill, in New Town, in Morningside, in Murrayfield and near the Royal Botanic Gardens. You'll note that I have never stayed on The Royal Mile. :) It's a very walkable city and the buses are easy and come frequently.
As for specific places, I stayed at The Walton. One of my favorite spots is the Inverleith Hotel. I would take the bus up the hill and then walk back down in the afternoon and evening. Rick Steves recommend places on Dalkeith. I thought it was convenient.
If you prefer to walk, I would avoid the Dalkeith Road area. There are lots of pleasant B and B;s there, but it is steep uphill schlep to the castle!
Jury's Inn, off the Royal Mile down a short close. Easy access to Waverly Station &the airport shuttle, too.
I'm not sure how you avoid a steep schlep up to the Castle unless you stay at The Witchery....It's at the top end of a crag and tail landform. :) If you don't like walking get a day pass for the bus.
The buses are cheap and frequent enough that you can easily shuttle from Dalkeith Rd area to about midway point on Royal Mile. That's what we did. So, don't be afraid of Dalkeith area. Only downside is if you want to take breaks in middle of day. There are very few if any places to eat and drink in Dalkeith area. We ran around all day and stayed for dinner around the Royal Mile. Then after dinner, we went back to Dalkeith area until the next day. The Bell Pub is a good place to eat in walking distance from Dalkeith area.
We rented an apt for two nights last week on north bridge, just off royal mile. Great location, very new, spacious. It's called North Bridge apartments. Booked through booking , com. PM me if you'd like more info.
I've been happy staying at the Edinburgh Central Travelodge, I've staye4d there each of the last two summers. It's well-worn and totally devoid of atmosphere, but it's comfortable and met my main criteria - I could drive to it without negotiating narrow busy streets, it had on-site parking, was inexpensive, and is well-located. The location was great, it's right off the Royal Mile halfway between Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace.