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Shopping in Edinburgh
Although Edinburgh is not known for its shops, the city has a lot to offer and visitors will be pleasantly surprised by its number and variety of interesting shops.
The city offers numerous fashion stores, antique shops, art galleries and, of course, souvenir shops.
Probably the only downside to shopping in Edinburgh is that some of the city’s shops close quite early (at 6 pm). Although in recent years, shops tend to have longer opening hours and close between 7 pm and 8 pm. Souvenir shops on the Royal Mile are normally open every day until 8 pm.
- Cashmere, tweed and tartan: The most popular fabrics from Scotland are cashmere, tweed and tartan. Jumpers, scarfs or kilts (what the Scottish men wear instead of trousers) make very good gifts.
- Whisky: If you are looking for different varieties of whisky, then Scotland is the place to go. However, do note that Scotch whisky is relatively expensive, especially compared to other European countries such as Spain: although a whisky connoisseur would surely say price here comes proportional to quality.
- Biscuits: Although oatcakes and shortbread are the most popular types of Scottish biscuits, the country offers a wide variety of cookies and sweets. In our opinion, these make for a great present and are quite cheap.
- Haggis: If you’ve grown a taste for haggis on your trip to Scotland you can buy it in tins and take it back with you so that your family and friends can also taste it.
- Music: A trip to Scotland would not be the same without its traditional bagpipe music being played in pubs and shops. If you've enjoyed the music, why not buy a CD to remember Scotland by?
The best shopping in Edinburgh
- Royal Mile: The Royal Mile is packed with souvenir shops and traditional fashion stores.
- Princes Street: Located in the New Town, Princes Street is Edinburgh’s most important street. You’ll find several department stores, Jenners and smaller international brands.
- George Street: Parallel to Princes Street and a lot less crowded, George Street offers a great selection of boutiques and high-end stores. You’ll find the most exclusive shops in this street.
- Multrees Walk: Very close to Harvey Nichols in St Andrew Square, this small street houses brands such as Louis Vuitton.
- Rose Street: Situated between Princes Street and George Street, this pedestrian street is one of the most charming in all of Edinburgh. It is home to numerous restaurants, pubs and shops.
- Grassmarket: If you are looking for something a little more alternative and original then this is the street to discover. It has numerous stands owned by independent artists and artisans.
- Duncan Street: Famous for its art galleries and its antiques.
- Jenners: Located on Princes Street, Jenners is Edinburgh’s most popular department store. We could compare it to Harrods in London. Even if you don’t plan on buying anything, we recommend going inside to check out its decoration.
- Harvey Nichols: Although its architecture is not very pretty, this department store sells all the exclusive brands and articles you can think of.
- Ocean Terminal: A very modern shopping centre. You will have to go through it if you visit the Royal Yacht Britannia.
- St James Shopping: One of the largest shopping centres in Edinburgh. It is very easy to get to, located on Princes Street.
Princes Mall is also situated on Princes Street, but if you don’t have to time to explore both department stores, then we recommend you go directly to Jenners which is five minutes away.
- Tartan Weaving Mill and Exhibition: Situated very close to Edinburgh Castle on the Royal Mile, this enormous shop has a large variety of cloths, fabrics and clothing items. You can also see the machines that make the tartan.
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