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Scotland is not a completely independent nation for 300 years, however the country constantly upkeeps its very own capital: Edinburgh. And all sorts of characteristics that certain would expect from the capital are available here, including a fascinating local character and cosmopolitan appeal. Probably the most visible may be the Edinburgh Castle, seen from just about anywhere from this second biggest Scottish city. Edinburgh is as ancient and fairy-tale like in persona, as it is modern and progressive. An eclectic mixed bag of surprises, the city wins over tourists with its famous castles and storybook appeal.
 
Historic Edinburgh, capital of Scotland, has a lot to provide that you simply can't possibly get it done per day. The town is based on an attractive setting, sprawling over an extinct volcano, Arthur's Chair, centered through the gray, brooding hulk from the medieval Edinburgh Castle -- the tourist hub from the Royal Mile, a street exactly one Scots mile lengthy.
 
 Old Town, because this area is famous, includes a wonderful labyrinth of alleyways and cobbled roads full of historic forts, museums and cathedrals. Following the 1707 Act of Union became a member of Scotland and England politically, a lot of Edinburgh's wealthy citizens abandoned Edinburgh for London. The Georgian Balconies of recent Town were built-in an attempt to draw in it well. Both Old Town and New Town are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
 
Tourism staples there include whisky (with possibilities to discover, taste and purchase this Scottish beverage) and golf at St. Andrew's Links, much less far. The town is, possibly, renowned because of its annual Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the biggest arts festival on the planet, overtaking the town for 3 days every summer time. Additionally to several performances, the city's legendary Military Tattoo happens simultaneously, using the castle since its backdrop.
 
Alongside all of this tradition, Edinburgh comes with an edgy, modern vibe, too. Art galleries display cutting-edge art while chic restaurants, spas and hotels peddle sophistication. A stylish pub culture along with an awesome night life scene complete the image. Meanwhile, around the doorstep may be the Scottish countryside -- miles of moving, louise-covered hillsides, rough mountain tops but still-as-glass lochs.
 
Where You are Docked
Cruise ships pier in Leith, some 1.2 miles/2 kilometers in the city center. Taxis, shuttle services and tourist information can be found quayside. Leith, a historic port, is really a 10-minute bus or taxi ride or 30-minute walk from central Edinburgh. Cruise terminal offers tourist information, as the adjacent Sea Terminal Shopping Center includes a taxi rank and ATM additionally to a number of merchants, a sizable cinema, coffee shops, bookstores and restaurants -- some with stunning sights out over the Firth of Forth. The Royal Yacht Britannia, top upon the market floating structure, is moored on Leith's waterfront.
 
Making Your Way Around
By Walking: You are able to walk anywhere. The New and old cities are separated through the easily traversed Princes Street Gardens.
 
By Taxi: Taxis are all around. Central Taxis offers 24/7 service, but cabs is also reserved ahead of time (0131 229 2468). An alternative choice is City Cabs (0131 228 1211). Edinburgh Taxi also accepts reservations for minibuses and chauffeur-driven cars (0131 610 1234).
 
By Bus: Buses are really simple to determine, and they are trackable on mobile phones. The main harbour terminal is another terminal point for many bus routes. For maps and schedules, begin to see the Lothian Buses Site.
 
By Vehicle: Enterprise offers quite a bit near the port terminal (0131 557 0000). Other rental agencies include Thrifty (0131 337 1319) and Hertz (0843 309 3026). Should you rent a vehicle, keep in mind that people drive around the left in Scotland.
 
Watch Out For
Rain. It rains a great deal, which provides the town a number of its allure -- the misty, cobbled alleyways, the attractive eco-friendly gardens -- but you will also get wet. In This summer and August, Scotland is affected by small biting bugs known as midges, so take lots of insect repellent.
 
Attractions
A place of interest that's nearly impossible to overlook - and something that you simply most likely don't want to overlook - is Edinburgh Castle. Using more than a million site visitors each year, the castle is really a primary attraction in Edinburgh. The crown jewels are stored here, out of the box the Stone of Scone - the famous coronation stone which was came back to Scotland in 1996 after being stored in London’s Westminster Abbey for 700 years. The castle also houses the nation's War Museum. Despite the fact that the historic need for the castle is possibly the primary draw, the astounding look at Edinburgh in the castle must certainly be described as a large plus.
 
Nearly as famous because the castle is the so-known as Royal Mile, Edinburgh’s most significant promenade. It begins in the Castle Esplanade, slices that old Town, and finishes in the Structure of Holyroodhouse. Once the house of Mary, Full of Scots, the structure has become the state Scottish residence from the British Royal Family. That Old Town, along with the Georgian New Town, are incorporated around the UNESCO World Heritage Site list.
 
For an introduction to yesteryear and offer of Scotland (along with other nations and cultures), go to the National Museum of Scotland. Situated over the Museum of Scotland, The Tower is one among Edinburgh’s finest restaurants.
 
The town can also be the place to find many other quality restaurants, showing that there’s more towards the Scottish kitchen than Haggis, the standard dish. The key behind Camera Obscura is known for 900 years, but nonetheless fascinates people of any age. From the Victorian roof chamber of Edinburgh’s Camera Obscura, site visitors see live moving pictures of the town forecasted onto a viewing table via a giant periscope.
 
Whisky is exactly what many connect with Scotland - and quite appropriately so. The nation features an array of different whiskys, coming initially from from parts of Scotland. In The Scotch Whisky Experience, site visitors can follow the entire process of making whisky inside a replica distillery. Whisky tastings can also be found.
 
You will find numerous coordinators of both ghost- and history tours in Edinburgh, offering site visitors a look in to the city’s past - and also the misconceptions surrounding it. Good examples of tour coordinators include Mercat Tours, The Cadies & Witchery Tours, and Auld Reekie Tours. Be prepared to get spooked, this is definitely not for the faint-hearted!
 
Rosslyn Chapel may well be a familiar reputation for visitors of Serta Brown’s best-selling novel The Da Vinci Code. Situated just outdoors Edinburgh, construction from the chapel began in 1446. Its remarkable architecture and designs and carvings happen to be respected for hundreds of years.
 
If you are lucky enough to go to the Scottish capital around the right date, you may experience one of the numerous festivals that occur here. Probably the most well-known may be the Edinburgh Military Tattoo in August. Other good examples include subjects varying from science to film and books.
 
Tracing Your Ancestral Roots
If you have a name beginning with Mac (which simply means "son of") or one of the other lowland Scottish names, from Burns to Armstrong, you are probably a descendant of Scotland and may have ties to a clan - a group of kinsmen of common ancestry. Clans and clan societies have their own museums throughout Scotland, and local tourist offices will have details about where to locate them. Bookstores throughout Scotland sell clan histories and maps.
 
Genealogical records are kept at the General Register Office, New Register House, 3 W. Register St. (tel. 0131/334-0380; www.gro-scotland.gov.uk). It contains hundreds of thousands of microfiche and microfilm documents: Details of every birth, marriage, and death in Scotland since 1855. The system is strictly self-service, and it gets crowded in summer. A fee of £10/£17 for part/full day access is charged. Open Monday to Friday from 9am to 4:30pm.
 
The official government source for genealogical data online is at www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk. Simply register to make searches of census records dating to 1841, births between 1855 and 1905, as well as wills and testaments filed as far back as 1513. A basic £6 fee is charged to look at details.
 
Old Town
Dating back Medieval occasions (twelfth century), Edinburgh's Old Town is how the majority of the major historic monuments and points of interest are collected, with many moored on or simply from the Royal Mile, the primary roadway. The Royal Mile may be the historic thoroughfare that's marked at the very top by Edinburgh Castle (the main attraction in Scotland) and at the end through the Structure of Holyroodhouse, the state residence in Scotland of Her Majesty the Full. Your best choice would be to start your vacation lower the Royal Mile in the top (our entries run head to feet) on the way, The Royal Mile has four different street names: Castlehill, Lawnmarket, Traditional and Canongate. Here is a sprinkling of points of interest and sights worth seeing:
 
At Edinburgh Castle, key points of interest include St. Margaret's Chapel, the Stone of Future (where Scottish monarchs were crowned) along with a display from the Scottish Crown Jewels. Listen for that 1 p.m. gun firing, a virtually daily event since 1861. Led tours can be found.
In the Scotch Whisky Experience, tastings can be found following a fun tour, including a ride with the shows inside a whisky barrel.
 
St. Giles Cathedral may be the high "kirk" (chapel) of Scotland and goes back towards the Dark Ages. Inside are plenty of memorials, stained-glass home windows and art works of art. The Structure of Holyroodhouse may be the official Scottish residence of Her Majesty The Queen. There is a fabulous tour from the chambers of Mary Queen of Scots, historic flats and condition rooms. The structure gardens are gorgeous.
 
New Town
Its moniker is misleading, but things are relative the brand new Town really goes back towards the 1700s. Its wide roads and delightful Georgian houses in Charlotte now Square count a stroll. Full Street hosts The Scottish National Portrait Gallery, while George Street offers boutiques, bars and restaurants. Other points of interest range from the National Gallery of Scotland, the nation's Gallery of contemporary Art and also the Royal Scottish Academy.
 
The Scottish National Portrait Gallery is really a five-minute walk from Princes Street. Begin to see the past and offer Scotland in person -- from Mary Full of Scots to Sean Connery. Admission is free of charge. (Full Street, open daily from 10 a.m. to five p.m. and until 7 p.m. on Thursday)
The Nation's Gallery of Scotland holds Scotland's finest assortment of Old Masters. It's certainly one of Europe's finest art collections with works in the Renaissance period towards the 1800s, including pieces by Raphael, Titian, El Greco, Velazquez, Rembrandt, Rubens, Van Gogh, Monet, Cezanne, Degas and Gauguin. Admission is free of charge. (Princes Street and also the Mound, Open daily from 10 a.m. to five p.m. or until 7 p.m. on Thursday)
 
The Scottish National Gallery of contemporary Art is occur parkland, in regards to a 15-minute walk from Princes Street, and hosts the nation's assortment of modern and contemporary art in 2 structures, Modern One and Modern Two. Admission is free of charge. (75 Belford Road, open daily from 10 a.m. to five p.m. or until 6 p.m. in August). The Royal Scottish Academy plays location of Scotland's contemporary art scene via turning displays in William Henry Playfair's landmark building.
 
The Royal Mile
The Royal Mile refers to the road linking Edinburgh Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Lined with charming townhouses and historic landmarks, this splendid thoroughfare is a great first stop in Edinburgh with its fine shops (including kilt makers), numerous inns, museums, cafés and restaurants. Many of the buildings are tall, averaging six to 15-stories and referred to locally as "lands". Narrow little alleys, called "winds" with the hidden backyards "closes", weave in and around them.
 
Some of the most popular attractions are to be found at the upper end of the Royal Mile - commonly called Castle Hill - and include Outlook Tower and the Camera Obscura with its outstanding views; the Tolbooth (St John's Highland Church) with the city's tallest church tower; Gladstone's Land, a six-story merchant's house with pretty ceiling paintings and original furniture; and Lady Stair's Close, home to the Writer's Museum displaying manuscripts, portraits, etchings and memorabilia of the poet Robert Burns and writers Sir Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson.
 
Edinburgh Castle
Scotland's most famous landmark, Edinburgh Castle is one of Britain's most visited tourist attractions. Highlights include the One O'clock Salute from Half Moon Battery (cannon fire commemorates the tradition of helping ships synchronize their clocks); the impressive Scottish National War Memorial; and the stunning collection of Crown Jewels housed in the Royal Palace. Another notable feature is the Stone of Destiny (aka, the Stone of Scone), famously stolen by Edward I and placed under the English throne in London - only returned to Scotland 700 years later in 1996. Address: Castle hill, Edinburgh

Palace of Holyroodhouse and Holyrood Abbey
The Palace of Holyroodhouse is the Queen's official Edinburgh residence and has frequently been at the center of Scottish history: it was where James II and James IV were each married, where James V and Charles I were crowned, and where "Bonnie Prince Charlie" held court in 1745. When the Queen's away, public access is permitted to the stunning Historic Apartments (former home of Mary Queen of Scots) and the State Apartments, famous for their fine furnishings, tapestries and plasterwork.
The Great Gallery is also worthy of a mention with its portraits of Scottish kings, both legendary and real. Tours are also available of neighboring 12th century Holyrood Abbey, founded by King David I. Afterwards, be sure to snap a shot of the lovely Holyroodhouse Fountain outside the palace.
Hours: 9:30am-6pm (Apr-Oct); 9:30am-4:30pm (Nov-Mar) -- Admission: Adults £16; Children (under 17), £9 (under 5, free); Families, £41
Location: Royal Mile, Edinburgh Official site: www.royalcollection.org.uk/visit/palace-of-holyroodhouse

Holyrood Park: Arthur's Seat and the Salisbury Crags
At 820 ft, Arthur's Seat is the highest point in the 640-acre Holyrood Park. The spectacular sightseeing views from the top encompass the whole city all the way to the mouth of the Forth. (The easiest way up is from the park's Dunsapie Loch.) Also an easy climb are the dramatic Salisbury Crags, a series of 151 ft cliffs adjacent to Arthur's Seat. Other features in this huge park are the ancient cultivation terraces - some of the earliest and best-preserved examples of ancient farming practices in Scotland, and the picturesque ruins of the medieval St Anthony's Chapel.
 
St Giles Cathedral
 Consecrated in 1243, St Giles Cathedral is Edinburgh's principal church. The 161 ft central tower with its eight arched buttresses forms a huge crown (the Crown Steeple) and is a favorite backdrop for photos. Interior highlights include memorials to the dead of WWI, lovely stained glass windows, and a statue of John Knox, leader of the Protestant Reformation (his former home, 45 High St, is close by and contains a museum and related artifacts). The Thistle Chapel is known for its marvelous oak carvings, heraldic emblems and seals of the "Knights of the Thistle" (Scotland's oldest order of knights). Sir Robert Lorimer designed the chapel in 1911, and it is a superb example of modern Gothic style.
 
The Royal Botanic Garden
Edinburgh's Royal Botanic Garden is the second oldest such garden in Britain. Within its magnificent 70-acres are a herbarium and Britain's biggest palm house, a tropical house with exotic orchids, an alpine house, a terraced moorland garden, a heather garden, and an extensive arboretum with rare giant trees from the Himalayas, North America and China. Other highlights are the woodland garden with its colorful azaleas, hydrangeas, camellias and rhododendrons; an aquatic house with tropical water plants such as the pink water lily from India; and touring displays in the Exhibition Hall. Hours: Daily, 10am-5pm
Admission: Garden - Free; Glasshoues - Adults, £5; Children (15 and under), Free -- Address: 20A Inverleith Row, Edinburgh Official site: www.rbge.org.uk
National Museum of Scotland
Since opening in 2011, the National Museum has become one of Scotland's most popular attractions with close to two million visitors each year. It incorporates collections from a number of Edinburgh's older museums. Highlights include national archaeological collections, medieval artifacts, plus displays focusing on natural history, geology, art, science and technology. Among the 16 galleries, the most interesting of more than 8,000 artifacts on display include Dolly the sheep, the world's first cloned mammal, as well as some of Elton John's more elaborate stage costumes. Traditional museum displays include material from Ancient Egypt, and the infamous Maiden, an early form of guillotine. Hours: Daily, 10am-5pm -- Admission: Free Address: Chambers St, Edinburgh - Official site: www.nms.ac.uk
Princes Street
Busy Princes Street is Edinburgh New Town's main thoroughfare. It extends for almost a mile and is lined with colorful gardens and elegant shops, including the tradition-conscious Jenners of Edinburgh, the world's oldest independent department store. House of Frasers at the western end is also quite grand, while Princes Mall with its small shops set among fountains and cafés offers goods of varying quality. As well as these temples to consumerism, Princes Street boasts several reputable hotels and restaurants, from fast food to gourmet bistros.
 
Of interest to those keen on genealogy is New Register House, home to the Scottish National Archives, some of which date from the 13th century. Princes Street's historic landmarks include the 200 ft tall Sir Walter Scott Monument, and the David Livingstone Memorial, a memorial to the missionary and African explorer. When you're done with all that shopping and history, head for Princes Street Gardens - home to the world's oldest floral clock (1903).
 
Art City: The National Galleries of Scotland 
Paintings of Scotland's leading historic figures from the 16th century to the present day can be seen in the National Portrait Gallery, one of Edinburgh's three major art galleries. The highlight of the gallery's 65,000-plus pieces is the huge processional frieze showing Scotland's most famous personalities, including Robbie Burns, Sir Walter Scott, Sean Connery, Robert Louis Stevenson, Mary Stuart and Bonnie Prince Charlie, among others. The second major art collection is housed in the Scottish National Gallery, which boasts Scotland's biggest collection of European paintings and sculptures, beginning with the Renaissance and including some Post-Impressionists.
 
Finally, the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art displays paintings by Henry Matisse and Pablo Picasso, surrealistic works by Rene Magritte, Joan Miró and Max Ernst, contemporary paintings by Bruce McLean, Callum Innes and Gwen Hardie, and sculptures by Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth and David Hockney. It's a lot of art (and walking), so you may want to spread your visits over a couple of days. Hours: Daily, 10am-5pm Admission: Free -- Address: The Mound, Edinburgh -- Official site: www.nationalgalleries.org/
The Royal Yacht Britannia
One of Edinburgh's newest attractions is the Royal Yacht Britannia. Over the years, this luxurious vessel has hosted numerous famous people from around the world, although none perhaps as famous as the Queen. After more than 40 years serving the Royal Family, the 60-year-old vessel was sent to Leith, Edinburgh's port area, as the centerpiece of the Britannia Visitor Centre. Once aboard, you'll learn about the history of this and other Royal Yachts as you explore the ship's five main decks. Highlights include the Royal Apartments and bedrooms, the lovely sun lounge, and the onboard Royal Deck Tea Room.
Hours: Daily, 9:30am-4:30pm -- Admission: Adults, £12.75; Children (5-17), £7.7.75 Address: Ocean Dr, Leith, Edinburgh Official site: www.royalyachtbritannia.co.uk
Calton Hill and the Scottish National Monument
Calton Hill provides a panoramic view of the city that should not be missed. To the west lie Princes Street and the castle, to the south the old town is silhouetted against Arthur's Seat. And in the east and north, the Firth of Forth and the docks at Leith are clearly visible. At the foot of the hill stands the 13th century Royal High School, where Sir Walter Scott was once a pupil.
 
Opposite Calton Hill stands a memorial to Scottish poet Robert Burns, a favorite of Edinburgh's highest social circles. Perhaps the most important of Edinburgh's many memorials is the impressive National Monument on Calton Hill, erected to remember the dead from the Napoleonic Wars. Henry Playfair designed the memorial using the Parthenon in Athens as his inspiration and work began in 1822, but the project had to be abandoned due to lack of money. Also of note here is Nelson's Monument, unveiled in 1816 after Horatio Nelson's victory at the Battle of Trafalgar.
 
National Library of Scotland
On George IV Bridge stands the National Library of Scotland, one of the largest libraries in Britain. Established around the collection of the former Advocate's Library in 1689, the library receives a copy of every book published in the UK. Notable features - apart from its huge book collection - are the seven figures in the entrance symbolizing different teaching methods. As well as its permanent exhibition on Scottish history, the library also houses touring exhibitions on historical themes. A popular stop for those with an interest in genealogy, the National Library is also a major European research library, and visitors are welcome to obtain a library card in order to review material in the facility's private reading rooms.
Address: George IV Bridge, Edinburgh -- Official site: www.nls.uk
Greyfriars Church and Greyfriars Bobby
Located at the south end of picturesque Candlemakers Row, Greyfriars Church boasts the city's oldest graveyard that serves as the final resting place for a number of celebrated Scots, including poet Allan Ramsay (1686-1758). The first "National Covenant", directed against Charles I's attempt to impose the constitution of the Anglican church on Scotland, was signed here in 1638, under which framework, the Church would be subjected to the power of the state. Buried within the Covenanters Prison is James Hutton, considered by many as the father of modern geology. Perhaps the most famous name associated with the church, however, is Greyfriars Bobby. In 1858 this Skye terrier loyally followed the coffin of his master, John Gray, to the graveyard and until his death 14 years later refused to leave. A kennel was built for him to shelter in, and a famous landmark outside the church is a statue of Bobby erected in 1873.
Hours: 10:30am-4:30pm -- Admission: Free -- Address: 1 Greyfriars, Edinburgh Official site: www.greyfriarskirk.com
Not Just for Kids: The Museum of Childhood
Fun for kids of all ages, the Museum of Childhood includes excellent collections of old toys including model railroads, dolls and games from around the world. But it's more than just a place full of old toys (as much fun as they are): the museum explores other aspects of growing up, including a fun look at schooldays, trends and fashions. Adding to the authenticity is a re-creation of a Victorian streetscape complete with outdoor toys, as well as an opportunity to dress up in period costumes and play the kinds of games our ancestors would have enjoyed. Hours: Mon-Sat, 10am-5pm; Sun, 12pm-5pm -- Admission: Free (Donations are welcome) -- Address: 42 High St, Edinburg
 
Local Experiences
Bring a have a picnic, and climb the 800-feet-high Arthur's Chair (near Holyrood Structure), a 1-time volcano with breathtaking sights of Edinburgh and also the ocean. Footpaths towards the summit begin with Dunsapie Loch or even the Structure of Holyrood, near St. Anthony's Chapel. Place a fun spin on the city tour having a literary pub tour that follows within the actions of Burns, Scott and Stevenson or visits the city's 18th-century subterranean vaults. For additional of the workout, tour Edinburgh, from distilleries to forts, by bicycle via 2 Wheel Tours.
 
Explore the main harbor of Leith. That one-time seedy port neighborhood has become spruced up and has a retail center (Sea Terminal), stylish restaurants and old pubs. The greatest attraction may be the Royal Yacht Britannia, an old private vessel towards the royal family. You are able to walk to Britannia in the pier in 5 minutes tours begin in the Sea Terminal Shopping Center.
 
Go ahead and take train to Glasgow, a 45-minute ride for train agendas, consult ScotRail. Glasgow presents a far more modern and cosmopolitan face of Scotland than historic Edinburgh. There, you will find trendy bars, a lot of shopping -- from high-finish shops to chic boutiques -- great art and Victorian architecture.
 
An excellent trip-by-train may be the seaside resort of North Berwick (24 miles east of Edinburgh contributing to an hour's ride), home from the Scottish Seabird Center using its Your Government- cameras centered on the bird existence activity around the Bass Rock within the Firth of Forth.
 
Shoreline Activities
A variety of shoreline activities could be available in Edinburgh. Good examples include: Around the town, by coach or private vehicle, will require in most of the landmarks pointed out above, like the Structure of Holyroodhouse and Edinburgh Castle. Stirling Castle could be featured on some shoreline activities. Situated some 40 miles/65 kilometers west of Edinburgh, the castle was the childhood home of Mary Full of Scots as well as featured within the movie Braveheart. At Falkirk, west of Edinburgh, go through the Falkirk Wheel - the world’s first rotating boatlift that joins the Forth & Clyde Canal (running from Glasgow) to Edinburgh’s Union Canal. If you are into golf, an excursion to St. Andrews might rank highly in your list. Among the world’s best-known courses, some argue this really is “the Home of Golf.” Tours to St. Andrews may also include a vacation to Scotland- St. Andrews and also the Cathedral.
 
Perfect for First-Timers: The half-day "Town of Edinburgh and Castle" tour is really a terrific first visit. After scenic drives through Edinburgh's Old and new Cities, you are able to tour the medieval castle set upon its rocky perch towards the top of the Royal Mile. Begin to see the Scottish Crown Jewels and also the flats of Mary Full of Scots.
 
Perfect for History Buffs: Around the half-day "Stirling Castle & Bannockburn Heritage Center" tour, you'll begin by going to the Bannockburn Heritage Center, situated on the website where Robert the Bruce likely commanded his troops. After you eat the museum of Scottish background and the battlefields, you'll travel onto Stirling Castle, where Scottish nobleman and queens resided throughout the 15th and 16th centuries.
 
Perfect for Sports Aficionados: Go ahead and take half-day "St. Andrews" tour, and mind on vacation to where golf was invented. The tour includes time look around St. Andrews, where Prince William visited college, and an opportunity to walk part of the legendary course. The classic movie, Chariots of fireside, was shot around the huge expanse of West Sands beach at St Andrews along with a plaque remember the filming.
 
Eating Out 
Across the Royal Mile, fun pubs (which serve bar food) include: The Bow Bar (80 West Bow, Victoria Street), Deacon Brodies (435 Lawnmarket), Clever Dicks (119 Traditional) and also the Jinglin' Geordie (22 Fleshmarket). For any sampling of restaurants and coffee shops, bookstores, good options range from the Fruitmarket Coffee shop (45 Market Street, 11 a.m. to five:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, noon to 4:30 p.m. Sunday) for casual fare within an art coffee shop connected to the Contemporary Scottish Memorial. Polo Fusion (503 Lawnmarket, noon to two p.m. Monday through Saturday) offers worldwide-style cuisine. As well as for fabulous medieval atmosphere and-class, periodic Scottish produce, try The Witchery in the Castle (352 Castlehill, noon to 4 p.m. daily). In Leith, browse the Central Bar (7 Leith Walk), Leith Oyster Bar (10 Burgess Street) and Port O'Leith Bar (58 Metabolic rate Street). In New Town, coffee shops, bookstores and bistros dot Rose Street and beyond that; a popular local hangout is Keepers. 
 
Luxury brands, high street stores and beautiful boutiques, we have it covered. Shopping in Edinburgh is a fantastic experience catering to all tastes, styles and budgets.
 
Shopping
Princes Street home to flagship stores such as Debenhams, Frasers, Zara, Primark, M&S and the historic Jenners, this is a great location to keep up with High Street fashion.  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.
 
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 mean 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.
 
George Street a chic fashion hub, with stylish and en trend brands including Hollister, Jack Wills, Karen Millen, DKNY and LK Bennett rubbing shoulders with fashionable bars and restaurants including All Bar One, TigerLily, The Living Room, Le Monde, Tempus and The Dome.
 
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. Sprinkled with coffee shops and restaurants, this is a hidden gem in Edinburgh worth exploring.
The Grassmarket, Victoria Street and the Cowgate 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. Treat yourself and go shopping for a designer hat at Fabhatrix, enjoy a quick break at Mussell and Steak Restaurant, or get a fresh juice made to order from Hula Juice Bar.
 
Stockbridge, Bruntsfield and Morningside clusters of niche independents including homeware shops, delicatessens, chocolatiers, antique dealers, bookstores, vintage clothing specialists and interior designers share these popular speciality shopping areas with a lively pub and restaurant scene.
 
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.
 
St James Shopping Centre 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.
 
Ocean Terminal
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.The Gyle 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.
 
Edinburgh may not have the shopping status of Glasgow, a city with a large appetite for the latest styles, but the Scottish capital does have a well-rounded selection of newfangled boutiques, souvenir shops, and traditional department stores, such as the classic Jenners. With the addition a few years ago of the fashionista's favorite, Harvey Nichols, Edinburgh is certainly starting to challenge its more trend-conscious counterpart to the west.
 
New Town's Princes Street is a primary shopping artery, with leading department stores, such as Marks & Spencer, major bookshops, and plenty of tourist tat. For the posher shops, such as Cruise or Laura Ashley, George Street tops the lot. For tourists, Old Town's Royal Mile is the place to find Scottish souvenirs, whether you're looking for tartan or whisky. If you're from a country outside the EU, take along your passport when you go shopping in case you make a purchase that entitles you to a VAT (value-added tax) refund. Shopping hours in central Edinburgh are generally from 9 or 10am to 6pm Monday through Wednesday and on Friday and Saturday. On Sunday, shops open at 11am or noon and close around 5pm. On Thursdays, many shops remain open until 7 or 8pm.
 
Edinburgh used to be the poorer relation to Glasgow when it came to shopping, particularly in the realm of fashion and boutique clothing. Less distance separates them now, though, as Edinburgh's style credentials are on the up. For visitors from abroad, prices in the U.K. may seem high. But after a few years when the pound was strong relative to the U.S. dollar and the euro, the currency has fallen in strength.
 
Best Buys -- Although you may find a bargain at the tourist-oriented shops along the Royal Mile, the more unique gifts are to be found at the shops in the city's various national galleries or in the Museum of Scotland.




 
 
 
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