There's not many cities in the world where the foremost shopping thoroughfare has an interrupted view of a medieval castle, but Edinburgh's Princes Street does just that! It's unique in the sense that all the shops only line one side of the street, with the other side giving shoppers breathtaking views of the Old Town cityscape.
Home to huge flagship stores such as Debenhams, Frasers, Zara, Primark, M&S and the historic Jenners, Princes Street is the place to be to keep up with High Street fashion.
Tech enthusiasts will also be in their element, with the Apple Store at the east end of the street. There's also lots of health and beauty brands, including Boots, Superdrug and The Body Shop.
Princes Street Gardens is the venue for seasonal markets including the Traditional German Christmas Market while the Edinburgh Farmers' Market selling fresh, home grown produce is held every Saturday from 9am - 2pm in nearby Castle Terrace.
Running parallel to Princes Street is its stylish sibling - George Street home to many upmarket retail stores and several hotels. George Street is linked to Princes Street via Hanover St, Frederick St and Castle St. The street is one of the grandest in Edinburgh, with a wide thoroughfare, lovely Georgian architecture and bookended by the beautiful St Andrew and Charlotte Squares. There are also several notable buildings along the length of George Street, including the George Hotel, The Dome, and the famous Assembly Rooms.
George Street is chic fashion hub, with stylish and en trend brands including Anthropologie, Hollister, Jack Wills, Karen Millen, Jigsaw, Rox Jewellers and LK Bennett rubbing shoulders with fashionable bars and restaurants including All Bar One, TigerLily, Le Monde, Jamie's Italian and The Dome.
Multrees Walk: The definition of luxury shopping in Edinburgh. Home of Scotland’s only Harvey Nichols, Louis Vuitton and Nespresso along with many other exclusive fashion brands, the Multrees Walk shopping experience is second to none.
With countless designer labels on offer, a trip to Harvey Nichols is a must for any visit to the cemtre of Edinburgh. You’ll find the likes of Celine, Victoria Beckham, Balenciaga, Gucci, Christopher Kane, Marc Jacobs, Stella McCartney and a profusion of other luxury fashion brands all under one roof.
Multrees Walk is also home to directional fashion brands like Michael Kors and Reiss, as well as established luxury labels like Mulberry and Links of London catering for even the most demanding fashionistas.
The West End
A stroll down the quaint cobbled streets of Edinburgh's West End 'Village' is an absolute must. Situated only a minute’s walk from Princes Street, a delightful mix of designer fashion boutiques, organic food retailers, gift shops, flower and interior shopping awaits you.
Along at the West End, William Street is a chic enclave of upmarket boutiques, gift shops and delis. Here you'll find a variety of indie fashion boutiques, including Just G, Sam Brown and Frontiers. If you're looking for jewellery then head over to Lily Luna, also on William Street. A true treasure trove lying in the centre of the prestigious West End area, full of stunning unusual jewellery pieces sourced from both local and international designers. In need of a quirky card? Then Paper Tiger is also conveniently located in the West End on Stafford Street.
Sprinkled with coffee shops and restaurants, such as Brass & Copper and Edinburgh Larder Bistro this is a hidden gem in Edinburgh worth exploring.
The Grassmarket and Victoria Street
Edinburgh's Grassmarket and Victoria Street is the perfect place to spend the day discovering independent shops and from designer to vintage fashion. A buzzing restaurant, pub and shopping area beneath Edinburgh Castle, the area is full to brimming with Scottish designers, artisans and independents selling world crafts, vintage clothing and antiques to gourmet food in a vibrant al fresco setting.
It has been said that Harry Potter author J.K Rowling has based Diagon Alley on Victoria St in Edinburgh, which is located a few blocks from the Elephant House café. Victoria St is a narrow, winding road with high shops on either side, including a book shop, clothing shop, and Aha ha ha joke shop at one end.
There's a wide range of gifts and oddities in the Grassmarket. Treat yourself and go shopping for a designer hat at Fabhatrix, grab a piece of prehistory at Mr Wood's Fossils, or uncover a fab vintage find at Armstrongs.
Once you're all shopped out, enjoy a quick stop at the Cat Cafe - Maison de Moggy or a sweet treat at Marys Milk Bar.
Stockbridge has a great mix of jewellers, galleries, second hand and gourmet food shops complemented by cosy cafes and restaurants. The weekly Sunday Stockbridge Market is a focal point for residents and visitors with a feast of fresh produce and artisan bakers and for high quality cheese pop into I.J Mellis.
For beautiful jewellery inspired by Scotland’s landscapes try the Sheila Fleet Gallery. Bastion of old-school vinyl record shopping Voxbox is a relatively recent addition to the area, as too is Dick’s, a bonanza of specialist clothing, accessories and homewares. Need some tranquillity? The Floatarium Spa offers sanctuary sealed through reflexology, head massage and microdermabrasion.
Bruntsfield and Morningside
This attractive leafy neighborhood is one of the most affluent in Edinburgh. Heading south from the west end of Princes Street up Lothian Road and through Tollcross you’ll come to Bruntsfield with Morningside just beyond. It is a friendly place with plenty of cafes, pubs, restaurants and quirky shops. If you want to find an unusual gift or something special to take home for dinner - make a beeline for this area! On Bruntsfield you will find the shoe boutique Ooh Ruby Shoes or card shop The Bay Tree Company. While Morningside boast some of the best charity shops in Edinburgh including, you never know you might just find your next designer vintage piece!
The Royal Mile, High Street and Canongate
An old favourite for gifts including Scottish crafts, cashmere and whisky, alongside some of Edinburgh's oldest taverns and eateries. This historic setting includes Edinburgh Castle, St Giles Cathedral, the Palace of Holyrood House and The Scottish Parliament.
While on the Royal Mile, why not pop into Cadenhead Whisky Shop, Cranachan & Crowdie and the Scotch Whisky Heritage which all stock Scottish produce that would be perfect for gifts. For a more modern take on knitwear and accessories, try the quirky Ness Clothing Co which offers fabulous range of ladies handbags designed in Edinburgh and inspired by Scotland.
There are lots of shopping centres in Edinburgh, each providing a wide range of High Street brands both in centre and in the outskirts of the city:
St James Shopping Centre
St James Shopping located in the heart of Edinburgh's cosmopolitan city centre and offering a distinctive mix of stores and high street labels. St James Shopping Centre offers the ultimate shopping experience.
Surrounded by classic and modern architecture, historical monuments and designer boutiques, SJS forms a natural extension to Princes Street, and is easily accessed by car, bus, train or foot.
With more than 600 brands under one roof, the St James Centre offers a shopping experience for everyone.
At the heart of Edinburgh's flagship waterfront regeneration, Ocean Terminal is a state-of-the-art leisure and retail complex designed by Sir Terence Conran. It boasts 45,000 sq m of shopping and leisure accommodation on three floors and 1600 car parking spaces. The mix includes more than 75 stores, bars and restaurants and a 12-screen cinema not to mention stunning views over the Firth of Forth.
Spanning 20 hectares with 27,870sq m of retail space, The Gyle is a flagship shopping centre to the west of Edinburgh city centre close to the airport and city bypass. It has 2,500 car parking spaces and more than 600,000 people living within a 20 minute drive. This increases to 1m within a half-hour drive.
And last but not least, why not check out our Edinburgh shopping "Hidden Gems" and discover those treasure troves loved by the locals and slightly off the beaten track.
This is Edinburgh: Enjoy a fabulous day shopping in Edinburgh.