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Edinburgh is packed full of things to see and do - from a zoo to an ancient castle, museums galore and of course its many arts festivals. All this culture makes it a popular choice for couples and highbrow hen weekends, but it also makes for a truly special holiday with children.
City breaks aren’t known for being child-friendly, so it makes a real difference to have accommodation where you can relax and get ready for your next activity. Well-travelled Mumsnetters are on hand to recommend the best hotels for visiting Edinburgh with family, with hotel picks for all ages.
What are the best family hotels in Edinburgh?
Best for views: Grassmarket Hotel
Best for luxury: Balmoral Hotel
Best with a swimming pool: Radisson Blu Edinburgh
Best for families with older children: Motel One Royal
Best family-friendly apartment: Princes Street Suites
1. Best overall family-friendly hotel: Holyrood Aparthotel
Holyrood Aparthotel | Check availability
"Holyrood Aparthotel - it is BRILLIANT. You get a really nice kitchen so you can cook it you want or order in a takeaway" - recommended by Mumsnet user, mumoftwoboys
Having a kitchen at your disposal makes a huge difference when travelling with kids. It means you can bring and store their favourite snacks, grab them a glass of milk in the middle of the night and it gives you the option to eat in if everybody’s a bit too exhausted to go to a restaurant. The Holyrood Aparthotel is made up of studio and two-bed apartments, each equipped with a fully-functioning kitchen including a washer dryer and free tea, coffee and milk. It’s got all the perks of a hotel too - maid service, breakfast available on request and even a gym.
Distance from Edinburgh Waverley train station: 0.4 miles
2. Best budget family-friendly hotel: Premier Inn Edinburgh Park
Premier Inn Edinburgh Park | Check availability
"It's on the outskirts of town but has a direct rail and/or tram link to the city centre. The train takes about 10 minutes, the tram about 30 minutes. Kids go free off peak on the train. There's also parking at the hotel. It's a great budget solution and saves the stress of driving into the city and trying to park which really is a nightmare" - recommended by Mumsnet uer, 3nationsfamily
If you don’t mind a small commute into the city, you can save by booking a hotel a little further out. Edinburgh’s transport links are great, and kids will love a ride on the tram, which operated from 1871 to 1956 and was revived in 2014. The Premier Inn at Edinburgh Park is right by the airport, so it’s a perfect choice if you’re flying in. The rooms are clean and well presented, as you’d expect from a Premier inn anywhere in the UK. Opt for a family room and you’ll get a comfy double or kingsize bed, a sofa bed and a pull-out bed. Plus travel cots are free on request.
Distance from Edinburgh Park tram station: 0.1 mile
Distance from Edinburgh Airport: 3 miles
3. Best family-friendly hotel for Edinburgh views: Grassmarket hotel
Grassmarket Hotel | Check availability
"I can recommend the Grassmarket Hotel. Really central. One wall of the room has a large map of Edinburgh, opposite wall is made up of Beano covers. Free coffee in reception" - tried and tested by Mumsnet user, cdtaylornats
Right in the heart of the action, the Grassmarket Hotel is a quirky and upmarket but very family-friendly choice. The rooms are papered with a giant map of Edinburgh, which makes planning your itinerary extra fun and exploring the city a bit less daunting for smaller kids. The Grassmarket is famous for its views, and if you’re lucky you’ll get front row seats to at Edinburgh Castle, perched atop Castlerock.
Distance from Edinburgh Waverley train station: 0.9 miles
4. Best family-friendly luxury Edinburgh hotel: The Balmoral
The Balmoral Hotel | Check availability
"Balmoral is excellent and right in the thick of things" - tried and tested by Mumsnet user, AgeingDurannie
Stay in the lap of luxury with a warm welcome for your kids at the Balmoral. Set in gorgeous grounds while being right in the centre of Edinburgh, the hotel boasts a pool, Turkish baths and five treatment rooms so you can enjoy some serious pampering. There’s fine dining at the Number One restaurant, with Brasserie Prince offering a more relaxed atmosphere. The 120-year-old hotel offers amazing services to make children feel really welcome - and put parents at ease - including milk, cookies and magazines for kids, cots and playmats for babies and specialised spa treatments for teens.
Distance from Edinburgh Waverley train station: 0.1 miles
5. Best family-friendly boutique hotel in Edinburgh: The Rutland
The Rutland Hotel & Apartments | Check availability
Who says you can’t have stylish, boutique interiors and be child-friendly? The Rutland does both really well, with luxurious and unique rooms and apartments kitted out with everything you need to make your stay memorable and stress free. The two-bedroom apartments will sleep a family of four but make sure your kids are OK with sharing as the two double beds rather than singles.
Distance from Haymarket train station: 0.6 miles
6. Best family-friendly hotel with a swimming pool in Edinburgh: Radisson Blu Hotel
Radisson Blu Hotel Edinburgh | Check availability
"The Radisson Blu on the Royal Mile is lovely and the staff are great. There's a swimming pool, sauna and fitness centre which you can use. There were lots of families staying while we were there so I think they must have family suites or interlocking rooms. It is very central too, just 6 minutes walk from Princes Street or the National Museum in the opposite direction" - recommended by Mumsnet user, MintCassis
If you like to exercise as part of your trip away, the Radisson Blu offers an indoor heated swimming pool, sauna and gym. Their Junior Suite is recommended for families, with plenty of sleeping space and separate bedrooms and living areas. It’s perfectly placed for sightseeing, with Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood Palace and the Royal Mile on the doorstep.
Distance from Edinburgh Waverley train station: 0.2 miles
7. Best family-friendly Edinburgh apartment: Princes Street Suites
Princes Street Suites | Check availability
"If you fancy an apartment I recommend the Princes Street apartments" - blueskyinmarch
Right next to Edinburgh Castle, the beautifully decorated apartments at Princes Street Suites have truly stunning views - and most of the suites have floor-to-ceiling windows to appreciate them through. A two-bedroom apartment has free WiFi and double beds in all the bedrooms, with cots available on request. Each one comes with a kitchen including a fridge, a microwave and an oven; and a comfy living area to enjoy a glass of wine in after the children are tucked up in bed.
Distance from Edinburgh Waverley train station: 0.1 miles
8. Best family-friendly hotel with interconnecting rooms: Holiday Inn Edinburgh Zoo
Holiday Inn Edinburgh Zoo | Check availability
"I often recommend the Holiday Inn next to the zoo to friends. It has some family rooms available, or interconnecting ones, so that’s good if you’re going with kids. It has a pool, and is pretty reasonable. You get discount tickets for the zoo if you’re staying there, and although it’s a little bit away from Princes St, there’s a bus stop right outside and it’s about a 5-minute journey" - recommended by Mumsnet user, Fabellini
With a choice between interconnecting and family rooms, the Holiday Inn has plenty of options if you're staying with kids. Located right next to Edinburgh Zoo, reviewers say you’re often woken up by the sound of lions roaring. There’s a pool, a gym, free parking and free WiFi and it’s only four miles from the airport, with easy transport into the city by bus or tram.
Distance from Edinburgh Waverley train station: 3 miles
9. Best Edinburgh hotel for babies and toddlers: Hapimag Resort Edinburgh
Hapimag Resort Edinburgh | Check availability
"For me and my family, we could not fault The Edinburgh Residence (now Hapimag Resort). All of the rooms are suites and breakfast is served in the seating/lounge area within the room so no concerns about children disturbing other diners. Hotel is in a gorgeous part of Edinburgh about 5-10 min walk to Princes Street. Valet parking offered free if you are taking your car" - recommended by Mumsnet user, MrsPworkingmummy
For luxury with the kind of attention to detail that makes travelling with young children so much easier, The Hapimag Resort is a brilliant choice for your city break. There are 29 suites, each cosily decorated, giving a home-from-home feel to the hotel. It’s centrally located, with museums, galleries and fine dining a stone’s throw away.
Distance from Edinburgh Haymarket train station: 0.6 miles
10. Best Edinburgh hotel for teenagers: Motel One
Motel One Edinburgh-Royal | Check availability
"Motel one. Cheap, clean, great location, smiley faces on the boiled eggs at breakfast; what more could you want!" - recommended by Mumsnet user, ItWillAllBeOkayInTheEnd
"I second Motel One, it sounds budget but it is actually quite luxe and very reasonably priced. If you are travelling by train it's easy walking distance from Waverley station too" - tried and tested by Mumsnet user, CremeBrulee
Motel One is a cosy and cool place to stay near bustling Grassmarket Square. Only a few minutes’ walk from all the sights and attractions of the city centre, there’s lots to do. The hotel doesn’t have family rooms, so this is a great choice for teens who’d be fine in a separate room and would enjoy that extra bit of independence. Each room has free WiFi, satellite TV and an ensuite bathroom - plus you can even bring the dog.
Distance from Edinburgh Waverley train station: 0.1 miles
Is Edinburgh good for families?
There's loads for families to see and do in Edinburgh, making it a great choice for a city break with kids. Most of the history and attractions are clustered in the centre of the city, so it’s possible to see most sights in one visit.
Which area is best for families to stay in Edinburgh?
Edinburgh’s Old Town is the place to be if you want to be in the thick of things. Many hotels boats views of Edinburgh Castle, which looms above the historic district. If you don’t mind taking the bus or tram to see the city centre, the Edinburgh Park area has more budget-friendly hotels - and a zoo.
How can you get a good deal on a family-friendly hotel in Edinburgh?
Good deals can often be had if you book well in advance, or leave it to the last minute. Edinburgh gets busy and extra expensive in August and September due to the Festival, so it’s wise to stay away during these months. Look further afield to find bargains just a short journey from the main cultural centre.
What’s the best family-friendly hotel in Edinburgh?
The Holyrood Aparthotel is the best family-friendly hotel in Edinburgh. Mumsnetters love its location, value for money and fully equipped kitchens that make traveling with small children so much easier. For a touch of luxury, we also love the Balmoral with its high-end child-friendly touches.
How we chose our recommendations
Because we know that there's nothing like a real recommendation, we first headed to the Mumsnet forums to find out what family hotels in Edinburgh were being recommended.
We then did some research across the wider web, looking at what family hotels in Edinburgh had won accolades or been featured in 'best choice' lists across websites, and what customer reviews said about them. Having collated all that information, we then narrowed our list down to the best family hotels in Edinburgh at the moment.
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