in the middle
Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland, located on the Firth of Forth it also boasts stunning views from atop the high points such as Edinburgh Castle and Arthur's Seat. It's a city with plenty to offer, from a UNESCO World Heritage Site centre and a huge range of festivals, not least the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the Edinburgh Military Tattoo and the world-famous Hogmanay every New Year's Eve. If you want to visit for either of these in 2013 or 2014 you need to get organised and book your hotel in Edinburgh well in advance.
Edinburgh has been voted the best place to live in the UK, it's the second-most visited city in the UK after London and it was the 2012 World Destination of the Year - clearly there has never been a better time to visit!
The UNESCO World Heritage Sites of the Medieval Old Town and the Georgian New Town are of course popular places to stay. The streets are pretty, the attractions are close by, and of course, you'll pay over the odds for your Edinburgh hotel! The Old Town is where you will find the Royal Mile and most of the old attractions, including the Castle, whilst the New Town is the commercial centre, with shops, bars, restaurants and more.
Don't despair though, Edinburgh is much more than just these two popular districts, and here is a quick rundown of what to expect from the other areas of the city.
Stockbridge and Canonmills - Just to the north of the New Town, this could be even more expensive than the centre, but if you find a great deal on a cheap hotel in Edinburgh then snap it up. Known for its boutique and independent shops and for being home to the gorgeous Royal Botanic Garden.
Leith - Strictly a separate area altogether, this is the waterfront and port region out to the north of the city. It's well-known for its independent shops, as well as its lively waterfront dining and bar scene. You can easily walk from one to the other using the Leith Walk.
East and Portobello - The east of Edinburgh is a great place to find cheap hotel deals in the city. Portobello is the beach resort whilst Duddingston is a historical village swallowed up by the city, so both of these areas well be a little more pricey.
South Edinburgh - Popular with students, this area is a great bet for deals on cheap hotels in Edinburgh. It's also got plenty of cheap places to eat and drink and has a pretty good nightlife too.
West Edinburgh - A bit further out, you can expect to be travelling a little to the main sights, but you'll get a good range of accommodation here. Also home to the Edinburgh Zoo, where you can see the daily penguin parade!
There are always great deals on flights to Edinburgh, although as you can imagine the city is most popular during the summer as well as for the annual festivals. If you're hoping to join in one of the most popular events such as the Fringe or the Hogmanay then you'll really have to get your act together and book early.
If you don't mind a little rain then Edinburgh is great to visit all year round, as it's got fairly mild weather despite its northerly location. There are plenty of indoor sights to see and you can always dash into a café or pub (or whisky shop) to ride out the worst of the weather.