If you already know or have an idea of the area you’d like to book for your stay in Edinburgh, here’s a quick rundown of your best parking options. Of course, Edinburgh-Flats.com’s staff are available and happy to advise via our Live Chat facility on the homepage, Ask A Local.

Three signs in one on the Royal Mile

Three signs in one on the Royal Mile

The Old Town – Metered parking (08:30-18:30 Mon – Sat) and Permit Holders Only (zones 3 and 4). As you would expect from an area that includes the majority of Edinburgh’s historic visitor attractions, as well as being the focal point of the International and Fringe Festivals, parking is not only strictly controlled but limited in availability. Your best option if coming to an Old Town property by car is to leave your vehicle in a free on-street zone around Abbeyhill/Holyrood (see below) and walk from there.Alternatively, leave your vehicle in a designated long stay car park such as the NCP on Castle Terrace, or at Waverley Station.

Abbeyhill & Holyrood – Free on-street parking is available on and around Abbeyhill and Spring Gardens (Milton Street is a good place to park and walk through the little gateway at the end of the road into the park behind Holyrood Palace). This area is walking distance to the Scottish Parliament, Our Dynamic Earth and the bottom of the Royal Mile thus handy for guests staying near these attractions.

One advantage of self-catering properties in the Holyrood area is that a number of them are located in modern developments with secure/allocated/underground parking attached. See individual property listings or contact us for details.

Princes Street & Rose Street – It is now impossible to drive the length of Princes Street (restricted for buses, trams and taxis) and Rose Street is a pedestrianised area. However. Rose St is also a ‘Loading Zone’, thus you are allowed to park until 10:30; useful for your day of departure. There is a long stay car park at Waverley Station (within a few minutes’ walk), currently £19.00 for 24hrs and open all year, including Bank Holidays.

If you are bringing a vehicle to Edinburgh but don’t want to compromise on absolute centrality of location, consider this as an option: rent a space on a private driveway. You arrange directly with the owner of the driveway (or garage, or private car park space) and the prices seem very reasonable to us at Edinburgh-Flats.com, starting at roundabout £5.00 a day. We’d be interested to hear your feedback on this option – please drop us a line and let us know if it worked for you.

Canonmills & Bellevue – Metered parking and Permit Holders Only; partially a peripheral zone, moving into a central zone where Albany Street meets Broughton Street. Some advertised properties in modern developments have private residents’ car parks attached, thus free parking is available for guests. This area is a gentle uphill walk of approx 15-20mins to the east ends of Queen Street and George Street.

Broughton & Hillside – Metered parking (08:30 – 17:30 Mon – Fri) and Permit Holders only (Zones N1 and 6). If you are prepared to walk ten or fifteen minutes down Leith Walk, you can reach the free on-street parking in the side roads, commencing around the junction with Pilrig Street (itself a long road usually with lots of free spaces available).

Comely Bank/Fettes – Metered parking (08:30 – 17:30 Mon – Fri) and Permit Holders Only (N3). North Fettes has free parking on-street although it will be a longer walk into Stockbridge and even further to get into the city centre.

Craigleith – Metered parking (08:30 – 17:30 Mon – Fri) and Permit Holders Only (N4).

Dalry & Fountainbridge – Metered parking (08:30 – 17:30 Mon – Fri) and Permit Holders Only (S4). The car park at Fountain Park charges £25 per 24hr stay. Expensive, but within walking distance to properties around Lothian Road and Tollcross.

Space is limited, so sometimes you'll have to share.  Note the maximum stay period, and the fact that signs can be displayed lower than you might expect, on walls & fences.

Space is limited, so sometimes you’ll have to share. Note the maximum stay period, and the fact that signs can be displayed lower than you might expect, on walls & fences.

Inverleith – Metered parking (08:30 – 17:30 Mon – Fri) and Permit Holders only (N2). There is currently free on-street parking close at hand, in a northerly direction (eg Arboretum Road) however the controlled zone is in the process of being extended.

Morningside – Metered parking (08:30 – 17:30 Mon – Fri) and Permit Holders Only (S2). From Morningside Drive southwards free on-street parking is available all day, and you can either take a bus into the city centre from Comiston Road, or walk – 20-30 mins to the West End, mostly uphill – through Bruntsfield. We particularly recommend this walk because walking is good for you.

Merchiston – Metered parking (08:30 – 17:30 Mon – Fri) and Permit Holders Only (S3).

Murrayfield – Free on-street parking is available westwards from Murrayfield Avenue; walking distance or a short bus ride back into town from Roseburn Terrace. Beware of trying to park in the Murrayfield area on rugby weekends (eg, Six Nations, the Edinburgh Sevens); not only is it busier than usual, but temporary restrictions are enforced (i.e, big yellow cones everywhere).

Orchard Brae & Wester Coates – Metered parking (08:30 – 17:30 Mon – Fri) and Permit Holders Only (N5) until the junction where Craigleith Road meets Orchard Drive. This is the most westerly area of Edinburgh’s controlled zones. The proximity of free on-street parking in this area is an exchange for the fact of having to get into the city centre by bus (from here it would take approx. 30-40 mins to get to Princes St on foot).

Sciennes, Marchmont & Grange – Metered parking (08:30 – 17:30 Mon – Fri) and Permit Holders Only (S1). This includes areas around the Royal Hospital for Sick Children.

Stockbridge – Metered parking (08:30 – 17:30 Mon – Fri) and Permit Holders Only (Zones 5 and 5A). Currently the closest free parking available is located on East Fettes Avenue north of the junction with Inverleith Place, although at the time of writing new restrictions are being put on roads running parallel (eg Arboretum Road) and it may be likely other areas will follow. The free spaces – while they last – are approx. 10mins on foot from Stockbridge.

Haymarket & West End – Metered parking (08:30 – 18:30 Mon – Sat) and Permit Holders Only (Zone 1). Prone to heavy traffic as drivers coming to and from the West reach the city centre. Also, Haymarket has a busy little railway station with all associated to-ings and fro-ings.

On the plus side, we have identified the NCP at Morrison Goods Yard as a convenient long stay option for guests (£12.50 for 24hrs). For free on-street parking, consider Murrayfield Avenue and vicinity, at the westerly end of Roseburn Terrace.