Edinburgh is a city steeped in history, but hidden down some of the quaint cobbled streets are another compelling reason to visit the area – the shops! From hat collections to vintage books, Edinburgh is home to a wealth of unique shops. These are our picks for places to splurge in Scotland’s capital:
1. Princes Street
A good place to start your shopping spree is centrally-located Princes Street. Here, you will find all the ‘High Street Heroes’ such as Topshop and Primark, as well as the Travelodge Edinburgh Central Princes Street Hotel so you can conveniently pop back to your room when your bags get too heavy!
On the roads running parallel to Princes Street, you’ll find many of Edinburgh’s top restaurants and bars as well as some more upscale high street stores. For a mid-shopping spree caffeine boost, head to Wellington, an artisanal Antipodean coffee shop on George Street.
If you prefer to escape the hustle and bustle of vibrant Princes Street, stay along the quieter, cobbled Rose Street at another of Travelodge’s centrally-located Edinburgh hotels.
Grassmarket is one of Edinburgh’s oldest areas, dating back in parts to the 1500s, and home to W. Armstrong and Son, Britain’s largest vintage clothing emporium. From antique uniforms to Victorian costume, Armstrong’s is overflowing with retro treasures.
Further along you’ll find an impressive collection of fancy hats and headwear from the fabulously-named Fabhatrix.
While you’re in the area, stop by The White Hart for a pint and follow in the footsteps of the celebrated poets Robert Burns and William Wordsworth, and the infamous 19th century murderers, Burke and Hare.
3. West Port
Following on from the Grassmarket, you’ll find the West Port – home to a host of retro goodies all in a row.
At Herman Brown, you’ll find a well-selected range of vintage clothes and accessories at reasonable prices while, further along, you’ll come across one of Edinburgh’s famed independent bookstores. Formerly known as West Port Books, Edinburgh Books was saved by the skin of its teeth from becoming yet another café in 2006. Adjoining rooms are piled high with second hand and antique books. Fans of local literature could get lost in the Scottish section for hours!
Completing the trio of West Port treats is Lovecrumbs. The freshly-made cakes at Lovecrumbs are beautifully displayed in a vintage wardrobe and served alongside locally-sourced artisan roast coffee, Anteaques tea and Coco hot chocolate.
4. Royal Mile
On Edinburgh’s famous Royal Mile you will find any Scottish souvenir you could possibly imagine. However, one of the best souvenirs you can possibly get is at the Scotch Whisky Experience, where you can take choose from over 300 malts to take home after learning about the Scotch production process and exploring the world’s largest collection.
For those in your life who are simply impossible to shop for, you can’t go wrong in Old Town Context on Cockburn Street. Old Town Context is a specialty shop selling exclusive Scottish design products, retro toys and perfect gifts for the hard-to-shop-for. Vintage aviation and transport models sit alongside tea towels, maps and pocket watches. You can while away many hours here just browsing.
Whether looking for gifts, vintage goods or some really good cake, Edinburgh has a shop for you!