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Edinburgh is a city that is an ideal city break for any age group, no matter what you are interested in. The fact that it is not a cheap city does not stop the tourist hordes, especially during the busy summer festival season. There are lots of Edinburgh hotels to choose from in pretty much every price range, but if you are planning to visit during the summer you will need to book months in advance. Trust us on this one.
Generally speaking, the biggest thing that will determine whether you pay high prices or low prices for the same hotel room will be when you choose to travel. Because most cities have a high season and a low season (with corresponding higher and lower prices), it can be easy to save money by traveling during the low season. You can save on everything from airfare to souvenirs to hotels. In Edinburgh, the busiest season is the summer, when the weather is nicer and the festivals are in full swing. The Fringe Festival and Tattoo take place mainly in August, and hotels in Edinburgh are not only charging their highest prices, they are also booked solid. The other popular time to visit Edinburgh is over New Years – called Hogmanay in Scotland. If you are hoping to save money, you can visit during the early Spring or late Autumn and take advantage of lower prices without being subjected to the worst of Scotland’s winter weather.
There are many types of Edinburgh hotels, from the most luxurious five-star hotels to the basic, no-frills one- and two-star places. In addition to traveling in the off season, another way to save money on your hotel is by checking out some of the smaller family-run hotels in the two- to three-star range. Often, these hotels are perfectly clean and comfortable, they are just lacking amenities like TVs in each room or free breakfasts. Some of these places are even in the historic center of the city but at a fraction of the price of the four- and five-star properties. Others will be a short bus ride away from the main tourist attractions, but the Edinburgh bus system is excellent and it is easy to get around, almost no matter where you stay.
As the summer season approaches it’s almost impossible to book any rooms during Edinburgh Festival (in August) even if you try in January or February, especially if you are after a cheaper room. If, however, you choose to visit at the end of spring (May), you may still have a chance to book something at around £40/night/single room (breakfast not included) in a non-rated refurbished hotel in the city center. On the other hand, if you are looking for a 3 or 4 star hotel, you might still be able to book something in August for £195/night/double room (3 star hotel in the city center).