The Safest Areas in Edinburgh: Where to Stay
We've done all the hard work for you, here are the safest areas in Edinburgh. (You're welcome.)
Deciding where to stay in Edinburgh can be something of an overwhelming decision. The city’s different neighbourhoods can feel like mini cities, with different communities, vibes and atmospheres bubbling within each one. From the grungy, urban industrial port chic of Leith to the more upmarket, bougie and refined likes of Stockbridge and New Town, we’ve done a roundup of all the need-to-knows so you can find the perfect (and safest) areas in Edinburgh for your trip.
The good news is that Edinburgh is a famously walkable city, so you won’t be getting any fomo. (Although you can always take a taxi, we won’t judge). But first thing’s first, whichever neighbourhood you decide is the right match for you and your trip, make sure that you peruse our very own Plum Guide-approved list of homes in the city. We’ve already checked them out, thanks to our very own expert reviewers, so everything will be perfect as soon as you touch down. No stress.
Often billed as the trendiest ‘village’ in the whole of Edinburgh, you don’t get more hipster-chic than Stockbridge. Think artisan delis, cheesemongers and coffee shops dotted along cobbled streets featuring a weekly (and delicious) Sunday farmer’s market, as well as plenty of artsy boutiques and charity shops featuring designer gems - if you’re into that sort of thing. As well as being one of the safest areas in Edinburgh, it is also one of the most sought-after. The area is also close enough to walk into the city centre, with the added benefit of a bit of peace and quiet.
New Town (city centre)
If you want to be right in the thick of it, amid the hustle and bustle in the heart of Edinburgh, New Town is the place to be. If shops are your thing, as well as bars, restaurants and city sights, then you’ll love it in New Town. Despite being built in the 1820s, it is still known as ‘new town’. (Well, it is next to the Old Town, but we’ll come to that later). Check out the swish bars and designer shops on George Street, and Princes Street for the more mainstream shops. If you can, we’d recommend you stay at least one road behind Princes Street and its famous gardens to avoid the crowds. Transport links (trains, buses, trams or even taxis) are very easy to navigate so you won’t have any trouble staying in the New Town.
Old Town and the Royal Mile
They’re also among the safest areas in Edinburgh, primarily because you’ll most likely be staying high up in a charmingly wonky ancient apartment. Old Town is Edinburgh’s historic (and allegedly its most haunted) area. Wandering through its narrow, twisted and cobbled alleyways, you’ll feel as if you’ve somehow managed to travel back in time. If architecture is your thing, then it’s worth visiting this area just to get your fix in. The Royal Mile stretches from one royal palace to another: from the iconic Edinburgh Castle, down the hill towards Holyrood Palace. This part of town is perfect for being close to the action, browsing the tweed and cashmere shops, cosy pubs, museums and fabulous restaurants. Staying in the Old Town means all you need to do is roll out of bed, and you’re right in the thick of it.
Planning a trip with the kids too? Follow our ultimate guide to discover where to stay in Edinburgh with the whole family.
Bruntsfield and Morningside
They may be slightly smaller, quieter and further away from the hubbub of Old Town, but these two sister neighbourhoods are certainly still walkable from all the action. These elegant neighbourhoods are quite possibly thought of as among the most well-to-do and are filled with independent boutiques, tea rooms, excellent brunch spots and leafy parks. Oh, and of course stunning Victorian and Georgian mansions. One more thing. Remember the fictitious character, Miss Jean Brodie of Muriel Sparks fame? Well, she also resided here helping to make Morningside one of the fanciest postcodes in all of Edinburgh. Bruntsfield, meanwhile, is Morningside’s slightly more boho-chic counterpart. But we think it’s equally lovely.
Leith has something of a ‘badboy’ reputation amongst the city’s neighbourhoods, so you're probably wondering how it's made its way onto our list of the safest areas in Edinburgh. Well, the port area has undergone massive regeneration and gentrification changes in recent years and is now best known as being a foodie hotspot. Walking down Leith Walk from New Town, you’ll find yourself at the Leith Docks. This was traditionally the roughest part of the city. (Think Trainspotting). But now it’s home to the Royal Yacht Brittania, mews dwellings and beautiful balconied apartments. Make sure you try out as many gastronomical delights on offer as possible, particularly Leith’s litany of seafood restaurants. The area also features a weird and wonderful Saturday market to pick up some extra delicious treats.
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