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Edinburgh - Where to Stay and What to See
Edinburgh is an essential place to visit for anyone on a trip to Scotland, it offers a mix of top class accommodation, range of attractions and rich history. From the historic Edinburgh Castle to iconic building such as the Balmoral hotel, there is something for everyone in Edinburgh.

Top Attractions

Edinburgh Castle is the most visited attraction in Edinburgh, it has an elevated location looking over the city at the top of the Royal Mile. A tour around the castle gives you the chance to see first hand some wonderful architecture and also learn a great deal about the history and culture of Scotland.

It is also home to the extremely popular Military tattoo in the summer months with a temporary stand being build in the courtyard area of the castle and an excellent show of lights, music and entertainment taking place throughout the event.

The Scottish Parliament building is another popular attraction and it also happened to be free for a tour round the building. It was built to accommodate Scotland's devolved government as voted for by the Scottish people in 1999. Its creation was a symbolic one as it was the first time that Scotland has had its own parliament since 1707 when the creation of the Union Act was passed.

The building itself caused much controversy on its creation for two reasons, firstly due to its spiralling costs which went well over the original budget. Secondly due to its modern design which is not in keeping with the other more historic building which are available throughout Edinburgh.

Arthurs Seat is ideal for visiting during the warmer and more mild summer months, it over looks the city and offers fantastic views from the top. It is over 800ft high but is a relatively easy walk to the summit and it was formed by an extinct volcano system. It offers an ideal photo taking opportunity.

Shopping

The main shopping region in Edinburgh is Princes Street where many of the top high street brands can be found. There is also the main indoor shopping centres here with the St James Centre and Princes Mall close by. There are also iconic stores such as the elegant Harvey Nicholls and niche stores selling hundreds of Malts or types of Tartan.

Outside of the city centre Leith has been developing into a popular shopping destination and it is easily reachable by bus from the city centre. The Gyle shopping centre is to the west of the city near Corstorphine and it has hundred of stores indoor.

Accommodation

There is a wide range of different accommodation in Edinburgh with anything from a top class luxury hotel to a budget basic backpackers. It depend on your needs and budget when it comes to choosing the right type of accommodation for you.

If you have the money and you want a truly unique experience in Edinburgh then go for one of the five star hotels that are available. The two most central options are the Caledonian Hilton at the end of Princes Street and the Balmoral at the beginning of Princes Street.

Both hotels offer a combination of luxury rooms with top class facilities, at the Balmoral you can enjoy meals in a Michelin Star restaurant and also a day at the relaxing spa there. You are also only a short walk from both the railway and the bus station and have many of the top shops and attractions of Edinburgh on your doorstep.

Both these hotels have standard rooms that start at over £100 per night (deepening on the time of year) and this increases if you choose one of the luxury rooms or suites that are available.

For those on a more modest budget there is a choice between Guest House/B&B accommodation and a mid range hotel. Again this depends on your preferences; at a hotel you are more likely to have a wider range of facilities and often a more central location. But at a Guest House or B&B you get more personal service and little extras such as an included breakfast in the morning.

A good mid range hotel is Ellersly House Hotel which offers comfortable accommodation near the city centre. A good mid range Guest House is Averon Guest House which again is within walking distance of the city centre and has accommodation and has rooms for under £70 a night.

At the low end of the budget accommodation range is hostels, these are usually the most basic forms of accommodation and are ideal for people just looking for a bed for the night. Accommodation is usually in bunk beds which are layout in dorms, many of the hostel do tend to have good central locations thought and offer an ideal base to explore the city.

Hostels are also good for meeting fellow travellers and exchanging tips or stories, many even have pre arranged activity nights such as a pub crawl or a city tour. Although the accommodation is basic many hostel have a pretty good range of facilities with internet access, lounge area with TV and even breakfast available at some.

One of the best value hostels in Edinburgh is SmartCity which combines an excellent location with a wide range of facilities and a bed for under £15 a night.
About the Author
The author runs a small group of travel websites in the UK and one of these includes Rooms in Edinburgh, which offers a range of accommodation in Edinburgh.
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