7 Edinburgh Neighborhoods: A Breakdown MADE For Travelers

With heavy clouds and non-stop rain, you’ll need to know where to go pronto!

Exploring Edinburgh might seem like a confusing or intimidating idea. Let’s be honest, with heavy clouds and non-stop rain, it’s hard to see where anything is. But visiting the city’s best landmarks or hide from the rain with shopping sprees followed by a pint of beer at a Scottish pub are genius ideas. Where do you go to do that? Here’s a breakdown of where things are!

Reputation: Where the tourists are.

411: This historic part of Edinburgh is where you’ll be seeing all the famous landmarks and have a drink at a cocktail bar or a Scottish pub. The entire area is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Don’t miss: Edinburgh Castle, Abbey and Palace of Holyroodhouse, St Giles’ Cathedral, Mary King’s Close, North Bridge, Greyfriars Kirkyard, the Scottish Parliament, Camera Obscura, The National Museum of Scotland, The Edinburgh Dungeon. Eat at Wedgwood, then grab a drink at Devil’s Advocate.

Reputation: For lots of shopping!

411: Also listed as UNESCO’S World Heritage Site, New Town is where you’ll see Edinburgh’s major shops and commercial area.

Don’t miss: Calton Hill, Princes Street Gardens, The Scott Monument, Old Calton Burial Ground, National Gallery of Scotland, The Scottish National Portrait Gallery, The Dean Village, and The Georgian House.

Reputation: Botanic garden & cricket matches.

411: You’ll most likely encounter this area by visiting the royal Botanic Garden. But there are tons of adorable shop of local brands and designers that you couldn’t find in New Town. If you’re in town to see cricket matches, this is also where you’ll end up.

Don’t miss: Royal Botanic Garden, 6 Times (statues by world-renowned artist Antony Gormley,) Patriothall Gallery WASPS, St Bernard’s Well, Water of Leith Walkway, watch a Cricket Match.

Patriothall Gallery
FACEBOOK Patriothall Gallery

Reputation: Port district.

411: Situated in the north part of Edinburgh, Leith used to be known for higher crime than other parts of Edinburgh. But in recent decades, the district has become a lively area for pubs, boutiques, restaurants and parks. It’s cheaper to rent a home here and you’ll encounter many immigrants.

Don’t miss: Royal Yacht Britannia, 6 Times (statues by world-renowned artist Antony Gormley,) watch a football game at Hibernian F.C.’s Easter Road Stadium, and Water of Leith Walkway.

The Royal Yacht BRITANNIA

Reputation: Residential and east of Leith and Holyrood Park.

411: You wouldn’t come here unless you’re spending more than a few days in the city and REALLY want to explore all of Edinburgh.

Don’t miss: Duddingston Village, Duddingston Loch, Dr Neil’s (Secret) Garden, check out Portobello (a British beach resort on the shores of Firth of Forth.)

Dr Neil's Garden
FACEBOOK Dr Neil’s Garden

Reputation: Very residential but filled with guest houses.

411: Take the Lothian Buses and you’ll arrive in the Southside, where locals or “Southies” live and take pride in their district.

Don’t miss: The Royal Observatory, Rosslyn Chapel, Swanston Village, Pentland Hills Regional Park. Then grab a drink and have a meal at Old Bell Inn.

Rosslyn Chapel, Edinburgh.
PHOTO Rosslyn Chapel, Edinburgh.

Reputation: Home of Scottish rugby.

411: Edinburgh’s West Side includes west of Haymarket Railway Station and Granton Harbour, and north of Lanark Road. You’ll most likely come here to watch a rugby game.

Don’t miss: Murrayfield Stadium, Lauriston Castle, Suntrap Garden, Murrayfield Ice Rink, and jog along Corstorphine Hill.

Lauriston Castle
FACEBOOK Lauriston Castle
Wendy Hung


As the founder of Jetset Times, Wendy is an avid traveler and fluent in five languages. When she's not traveling, Wendy calls Paris and Taipei home. Her favorite countries so far from her travels have been: Bhutan, Iran, and St. Bart's because they were all so different!

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