Edinburgh Old Town: Your Gateway to History, Culture, and Adventure
As one of the top areas to stay to fully explore Edinburgh, the city’s atmospheric Old Town neighbourhood rewards visitors with winding mediaeval lanes, charming cobblestone streets, and historic landmarks perfect for experiencing history, culture and adventure. Beyond the royal castle and kilt shops, this historic quarter hides many subtle treasures waiting to be uncovered.
About Edinburgh’s Old Town: More Than Just Tourist Shops
Established in the mediaeval era, Edinburgh’s Old Town was once home to squalid tenements with narrow closes between where citizens lived, worked, and drank. Today, the Old Town’s labyrinth of snickets and wynds (small alleys) retain the original layout and centuries-old buildings packed with relics of the past.
As you explore the shadowy cobbled lanes, you can almost hear the stomp of boots on cobblestones, the echo of bagpipes busking on the High Street, and the chatter of past residents that walked these lands for generations.
According to one of the Old Town local walking tour guides, “If you wander deep beyond the Royal Mile’s gift shops, you can still feel the spirits of past residents that walked these lands for generations.”
While the Royal Mile serves as a tourist hub, venturing into the tucked-away squares reveals a more authentic side to this historic quarter. Locals still frequent the cafes, pubs, restaurants, and shops that have occupied these lands for generations.
Top Attractions and Things To Do in Edinburgh Old Town
Beyond the well-known Edinburgh Castle, Palace of Holyroodhouse, and St Giles’ Cathedral, Old Town hides many subtle treasures for visitors to uncover:
- Canongate Kirkyard – This cemetery houses the relics of philosopher David Hume and poet Robert Fergusson along with other Scotsmen. It’s also reputedly one of the city’s most haunted spots.
- Dunbar’s Close Garden – An oasis of flowers and greenery hidden within the dense urban landscape.
- The Witches Well – Located near the castle, this tiny memorial fountain pays respect to the over 300 women executed for witchcraft in the 16th and 17th centuries.
Those seeking a deeper dive can book guided tours that follow fun history and culture themes like:
- Literary – Follow in the footsteps of J.K Rowling, Robert Burns, and other famed writers.
- Ghosts & Graveyards – Learn the dark tales behind the Old Town’s atmospheric closes and cemeteries.
- Harry Potter – Spot the real-world inspirations behind the wizarding world.
- Architecture – Admire the Old Town’s striking blend of mediaeval, neoclassical, and neo-gothic buildings.
To skip the crowds, visit marquee attractions in the morning or late afternoon and be sure to purchase tickets ahead when possible.
Your Comfortable Accommodation: Experience the History, Culture, and Adventure in Edinburgh Old Town
With winding mediaeval lanes, landmark castles and cathedrals, and enough ghosts to populate a Harry Potter book, the Old Town submerges visitors in Edinburgh’s turbulent past and literary magic. Beyond the tourist brochures lies a living neighbourhood where people still make their lives much like they did centuries ago.
Staying in the heart of the Old Town promises an experience no luxury can replicate. So if you are looking for a conveniently located accommodation while exploring Edinburgh Old Town, Mansley Serviced Apartments will provide you with the comfort and hospitality you need.
Explore Mansley’s selection of contemporary serviced apartments, ranging from intimate studios to expansive and luxurious three-bedroom residences. Situated in proximity to iconic landmarks such as Edinburgh Castle, Palace of Holyrood House, Grassmarket, museums, galleries, and the Edinburgh International Conference Centre. With secure on-site parking, your travel experience is made even more convenient, allowing you the freedom to explore the city at your own pace.
What are you waiting for? Come write your own story in this historic quarter and gateway to Edinburgh’s history, culture and adventure. Book your stay at Mansley Serviced Apartments.