Discover Edinburgh’s local neighbourhoods

Move beyond the regular tourist trail and discover the hidden secrets of Edinburgh outside of the city centre. The people of Edinburgh come from all over the world to live and study in this most romantic and breathtaking of cities, and each neighbourhood has its own charm and personality. From Marchmont with its youthful vibe to Portobello with it’s glorious beach, there’s plenty to immerse yourself in during your stay. Here are some Edinburgh neighbourhoods that make for an interesting visit.

Leith: A redeveloped port

Leith Docks in Edinburgh.

Leith is a vibrant, eclectic neighbourhood with a rich maritime history. Once a bustling independent port, it has transformed into a cultural hub. It hosts some of the finest restaurants in Edinburgh. These include The Kitchin and Restaurant Martin Wishart, both of which hold Michelin stars. 

The historic docks are also home to the Royal Yacht Britannia. This is the former royal yacht of Queen Elizabeth II and one of the most popular attractions in the UK. You’ll find plenty of character in Leith, and some lovely shops selling local produce and crafts.

Stockbridge: Village atmosphere

Dean Village with the Water of Leith running underneath.

Stockbridge is known for its village-like atmosphere, picturesque streets, and vibrant community spirit. It is full of wonderful independent shops like I.J. Mellis which stocks every type of cheese you can imagine, and Just Dogs to find the perfect gift for your four legged friend back home.

If you are planning a weekend stay at Parliament House Hotel, then be sure to check out the Stockbridge Market, held every Sunday. You’ll find many local delicacies and handmade goods, and often be able to chat to the friendly people who make them. 

Finally, Stockbridge holds an even more beautiful secret – Dean Village. This is a hidden gem of an area which runs along the Water of Leith, taking in old bridges and architectural delights. 

Portobello: A city beach

The beach at Portobello in Edinburgh.

Did you know Edinburgh has a bustling beach? Portobello is Edinburgh’s beachside suburb, with extensive sandy beaches, rock pools and ice cream shops. It’s a popular retreat from city life. Visitors can regularly find cyclists, dog walkers, sun bathers and kids all happily sharing the area. In summer, there are regular festivals and celebrations. January 1st also sees a loony dook, with hundreds of people braving the waters for a cold wild swim. However, if that’s a bit too extreme for you, try the lovely indoor Victorian swimming pool and Turkish baths instead.

Morningside: Elegance and Literary Charm

Morningside is known for its elegant Victorian and Edwardian architecture and refined atmosphere. It is an upscale neighbourhood with many quality cafes, antique shops and clothing boutiques. 

The area stocks plenty of local and in season ingredients, great if you want to have a picnic on the nearby Bruntsfield Links. This is somewhere you can play a short round of golf! It also means the restaurants offer plenty of delicious meals throughout the day for you to try.

Marchmont: A student area with energy

Buildings in the Marchmont neighbourhood of Edinburgh.

Marchmont is a popular area for students and academics to inhabit, as it is close to the University of Edinburgh. This means there is always something to do. The large tenement flats line the streets towards the Meadows, one of Edinburgh’s most popular outdoor spaces. Whether you enjoy a picnic here in the summer, or take in the cherry blossoms in the spring, it’s a lovely large space to visit. Highlights of the area include events space Summerhall and quaint coffee shop Victor Hugo Deli

South Queensferry: Gateway to the Forth Bridges

The Forth Rail Bridge.

South Queensferry is a picturesque town north of Edinburgh located on the Firth of Forth, known for its stunning views of the Forth Bridges high above it. Here you will get a view of the Forth Road Bridge, the world-famous red Forth Rail Bridge and the newest addition, the Queensferry Crossing. 

Queensferry also offers beach access for the kids, and an exciting boat trip to Incholm Island which sits in the middle of the Firth of Forth. 

There’s more to Edinburgh than meets the eye

Taking a step outside the centre of Edinburgh opens up a whole new world of experiences and people. The city has a vibrant atmosphere in neighbourhoods north and south, and an efficient bus system will help get you there and back. The main Edinburgh Bus Station is nearby Parliament House Hotel, and there are plenty of local bus stops to help you get out and about. Ask at reception for advice on the best routes to see the best that Edinburgh neighbourhoods have to offer. Book your stay with us today and discover Edinburgh and the amazing things you can do here.