Where can you find affordable accommodation in Edinburgh during the festival season?

Edinburgh is a city of many faces. This vibrant and cosmopolitan locale is a hub of culture, history, and entertainment. It is an ancient town with a modern twist. Famous for its stunning architecture, including the iconic Edinburgh Castle, and its rich cultural heritage, the capital city of Scotland attracts millions of visitors every year. During the festival season, Edinburgh comes alive with an array of events, from the world-renowned Fringe Festival to the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. Hence, finding good and affordable accommodation during this time can be quite challenging. In this article, we'll share several options for affordable hotels in the city during the festival season.

Exploring the Heart of the City: Royal Mile Accommodation Options

The Royal Mile is the historical spine of old town Edinburgh, stretching from the Edinburgh Castle at one end to the Palace of Holyroodhouse at the other. This is a great place to stay if you'd like to be in the thick of the action, as the streets are alive with performers and vendors during the festival season.

One popular and affordable option is the Ibis Edinburgh Centre Royal Mile. This hotel is renowned for its clean rooms, friendly staff, and convenient location. It also offers a complimentary breakfast - a rarity in city centre hotels.

Apart from hotels, there are several hostels that offer affordable rooms. The Royal Mile Backpackers is a cosy and friendly hostel that offers a free breakfast and has a communal kitchen, making it ideal for those on a budget.

Affordable Accommodation near the Festival Venues

If you're coming to Edinburgh specifically for the festivals, then it might make sense to stay near the venues. During August, the city's parks, theatres, and even streets become stages for the world-famous Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Stay Central Hotel on Cowgate is just a short walk away from many Fringe venues. This budget-friendly hotel offers small but comfortable rooms, and has a lively bar downstairs.

Another budget-friendly hotel near festival venues is the Grassmarket Hotel. Located in the historic and picturesque Grassmarket area, this hotel is within walking distance of many Fringe venues.

Experience the Luxury at a Fraction of the Cost

If you don't mind staying a bit away from the city centre, then there are several affordable luxury hotels in Edinburgh's suburban areas.

The Ferry Bridge Hotel is located in the leafy suburb of Cramond. It offers luxurious rooms at a fraction of the cost of city centre hotels. With its in-house restaurant serving local delicacies, this hotel is a good choice for those who want to experience luxury on a budget.

Another option is the Dalmahoy Hotel & Country Club, located on the outskirts of Edinburgh. This historic hotel offers luxury rooms and a range of amenities, including a golf course and a spa, at affordable rates.

Free Accommodation Options in Edinburgh

Yes, you read it right! Edinburgh does offer free accommodation options, if you're willing to think outside the box.

One such option is Couchsurfing. This platform connects travellers with locals who are willing to offer their couch or spare room for free. This not only saves you money but also offers a unique opportunity to experience the city from a local's perspective.

Another option is house-sitting. Websites like TrustedHouseSitters connect travellers with homeowners who need someone to look after their home (and possibly pets) while they're away. In return, you get to stay in their house for free.

Budget-friendly B&Bs and Guesthouses in Edinburgh

Bed and Breakfasts (B&Bs) and guesthouses are another great option for affordable accommodation in Edinburgh. These establishments often offer a more personal and homely experience compared to hotels.

The Glenora Guest House, located in the Haymarket area, offers comfortable rooms and a delicious Scottish breakfast. Another good option is the Ardleigh Guest House in the Leith area. This friendly guest house offers a warm welcome, comfortable rooms, and a hearty breakfast.

Finding affordable accommodation in Edinburgh during the festival season might require some planning and research, but it is certainly possible. Whether you choose to stay in a city centre hotel, a suburban luxury hotel, a budget-friendly B&B, or even opt for free accommodation, you're sure to have a great stay in this vibrant and culture-rich city.

Pet-Friendly Affordable Hotels in Edinburgh

For travelling pet owners, finding affordable, pet-friendly accommodations can often be a challenge, especially during the festive season in Edinburgh. However, numerous hotels in the city welcome pets and offer reasonable rates.

The Staycity Aparthotels West End is one such option. Located in Haymarket, this hotel offers spacious accommodation with a full kitchen—ideal for longer stays. On top of this, it’s pet friendly, making it easy for you to enjoy Edinburgh with your furry friend.

Another option is the Ibis Budget Edinburgh Park, situated near the airport. It offers clean, modern rooms at a reasonable price, and it welcomes pets. There's also a large park nearby perfect for dog walking.

Lastly, the Haymarket Hub Hotel is a tech-focused, pet-friendly hotel located close to Princes Street and the Royal Mile. It offers compact, budget-friendly rooms equipped with smart TVs and free Wi-Fi.

Festival-Friendly Stays: Arthur's Seat and the Edinburgh Fringe

For adventurous festival-goers, staying near Arthur's Seat can be a great choice. This ancient volcano and hill located in the heart of the city offers stunning views of Edinburgh. It also puts you within easy reach of many Fringe Festival venues.

The Pollock Halls – Edinburgh First is a budget-friendly option located near Arthur's Seat. The halls offer basic yet comfortable accommodations with a breakfast included in the price.

The Salisbury Green Hotel is another good option located near Arthur's Seat. It offers affordable, comfortable rooms in a picturesque setting.

For those who want to stay directly in the heart of the action, the Royal Mile Residence offers affordable rooms right off the Royal Mile, the hub of the Fringe Festival.


Finding affordable accommodation in Edinburgh during the festival season can be a bit of a challenge, but by planning early and researching different options, it’s certainly possible. Whether you’re looking for pet-friendly hotels or accommodations close to festival venues, the city has a lot to offer. With options ranging from city centre hotels to luxury suburban stays, B&Bs, and even free accommodation options, you’re sure to find something that suits your needs.

Remember, Edinburgh is a city that buzzes with activity, especially during the festival season. Staying in the heart of the city will keep you close to the action. But even if you choose to stay a little bit out of the centre, the city's efficient public transport system makes it easy to get around. From ancient castles and picturesque parks to world-famous festivals, there’s always something happening in Edinburgh. Book your stay and experience the magic of this vibrant city for yourself!