The United Kingdom may have travel restrictions in place, including self-quarantine, due to COVID-19.

Find out moreOpens in new tab or window

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.


Popular places to visit in Old Town

Edinburgh Castle
Image for Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle

4.5/5(388 reviews)

Fortress, palace and repository of the crown jewels, this landmark overlooking the city has played a crucial role in Scottish history.

Royal Mile
Image for Royal Mile

Royal Mile

4.5/5(108 reviews)

Explore this area in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town to find ancient buildings, historic relics, shops, museums and range of dining options.

National Museum of Scotland
Image for National Museum of Scotland

National Museum of Scotland

4.5/5(124 reviews)

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

Top things to do in Old Town

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

CA $27
Per adult
92% of travellers recommend
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

CA $85
Per adult
92% of travellers recommend
Skip-the-Line Edinburgh Castle Tour
Image for Skip-the-Line Edinburgh Castle Tour

Skip-the-Line Edinburgh Castle Tour

CA $55
Per adult
88% of travellers recommend
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

CA $56
Per adult
96% of travellers recommend
1-Day Loch Ness, Glencoe, Highlands & Whisky Tour
Image for 1-Day Loch Ness, Glencoe, Highlands & Whisky Tour

1-Day Loch Ness, Glencoe, Highlands & Whisky Tour

CA $84
Per adult
90% of travellers recommend
The Chocolatarium Chocolate Tour Experience
Image for The Chocolatarium Chocolate Tour Experience

The Chocolatarium Chocolate Tour Experience

CA $34
Per adult
100% of travellers recommend

Top Hotels in Old Town

Aparthotel Adagio Edinburgh Royal Mile
Aparthotel Adagio Edinburgh Royal Mile
3.5 out of 5
231 Canongate, Edinburgh, Scotland
Free cancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is CA $85 per night from Nov 10 to Nov 11

Located in Old Town, this aparthotel is within a 10-minute walk of Royal Mile, St. Giles' Cathedral and Palace of Holyroodhouse. Edinburgh Playhouse Theatre ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (1,031 reviews)

"Great location, very clean and neat, reception staff friendly."…"

Reviewed on Oct. 1, 2020

Aparthotel Adagio Edinburgh Royal Mile
The Scotsman Hotel
The Scotsman Hotel
4 out of 5
20 North Bridge, Edinburgh, Scotland
Free cancellation
The price is CA $192 per night from Nov 10 to Nov 11

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 ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (971 reviews)

"Enjoyed everything from the check in to the beautiful room with the added complimentary malt whisky, Breakfast was of a high standard ,service was excellent,definitely my favourite hotel and can’t wait to return."…"

Reviewed on Oct. 11, 2020

The Scotsman Hotel
Grassmarket hotel
Grassmarket hotel
3 out of 5
94-96 Grassmarket, Edinburgh, Scotland
The price is CA $95 per night from Nov 2 to Nov 3

Located in Old Town, this hotel is steps away from Witchery Tours, Grassmarket and The Hub. Royal Mile and Princes Street are also within 5 minutes. Edinburgh ...

4.2/5Excellent! (990 reviews)

"Couldn't get a better location in Edinburgh if you want to be close to where everything is happening. Hotel itself is modestly nice with a personal touch. A few freebies which is always appreciated when traveling. Beds and bedding were great."…"

Reviewed on Oct. 2, 2020

Grassmarket hotel
Stay Central
Stay Central
3 out of 5
139 Cowgate, Edinburgh, Scotland
The price is CA $88 per night from Nov 2 to Nov 3

Located in Old Town, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Royal Mile, Princes Street and National Museum of Scotland. University of Edinburgh and National ...

3.9/5Very Good! (801 reviews)

"The hotel was closed so they put us up in the sister hotel. Staff were great and the hotel was very nice. Location is excellent."…"

Reviewed on Sep. 2, 2020

Stay Central
Apex Grassmarket Hotel
Apex Grassmarket Hotel
4 out of 5
31-35 Grassmarket, Edinburgh, Scotland
The price is CA $129 per night from Nov 1 to Nov 2

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. ...

4.4/5Wonderful! (1,277 reviews)

"Swimming pool was lovely, nice, big room albeit at the back of the hotel."…"

Reviewed on Oct. 25, 2020

Apex Grassmarket Hotel
Hilton Edinburgh Carlton
Hilton Edinburgh Carlton
4 out of 5
19 North Bridge, Edinburgh, Scotland
The price is CA $131 per night from Oct 27 to Oct 28

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

4.3/5Excellent! (959 reviews)

"It's been almost a year since I visited Edinburgh with my family. I was looking for a hotel in the city center and Hilton Edinburgh met all my requirements. Edinburgh Castle, Holyroodhouse palace, Calton Hill, the Summit etc. were all in 15-20 mins walking distance. Also, there were lots of dining ..."…"

Reviewed on Oct. 4, 2020

Hilton Edinburgh Carlton
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Other areas in Edinburgh

Edinburgh which includes night scenes and heritage architecture

New Town

4.5/5Wonderful!(233 area reviews)

New Town is known for its popular shops, and you can see some sights in the area like Princes Street and George Street.

New Town

More to Explore

Image for Canadian Millennials Recommend Their Favourite Places to Visit in 2018

Canadian Millennials Recommend Their Favourite Places to Visit in 2018

Canadian Millennials Recommend Their Favourite Places to Visit in 2018
Image for 48 Hours in Edinburgh

48 Hours in Edinburgh

48 Hours in Edinburgh
Image for Hogmanay: A guide to ringing in the New Year in Edinburgh

Hogmanay: A guide to ringing in the New Year in Edinburgh

Hogmanay: A guide to ringing in the New Year in Edinburgh
Image for Exploring the Royal Mile in Edinburgh

Exploring the Royal Mile in Edinburgh

Exploring the Royal Mile in Edinburgh
Image for 5 most haunted places in Europe

5 most haunted places in Europe

5 most haunted places in Europe

Old Town

Choose two or more items and save on your trip: