Edinburgh, capital city of Scotland, proves that there is much more to Scottish culture than kilts, clans and haggis. In fact, Edinburgh hosts a trendsetting modern culture while still embracing its Caledonian roots. From swanky shops to medieval cobblestone streets, Edinburgh celebrates the best of both new and old worlds.
Edinburgh has shopping to fit every fashion niche. George Street offers a variety of upscale apparel and cosmetic shops – snag luxe shaving supplies and woodsy colognes at Penhaligon’s, the perfect dress shirt at Thomas Pink or some beauty loot at Jo Malone. Hop on over to Multrees Walk to get your designer fix. Among these top-notch stores you’ll find Harvey Nichols, which boasts floor upon floor of couture threads, bags and kicks. Those hunting for high-street fashion should take a stroll down Princes Street, where retailers such as H&M, Gap and Topshop can be found.
Edinburgh may have extensive shopping, but its not-to-be-missed historic sites are just as impressive. Enjoy 5,280 feet of Scottish culture and take a walk down the Royal Mile. This cobblestone stretch runs from the Edinburgh Castle at the top of Castle Rock down to Holyrood Abbey. The rocky, historic mile is packed with kilted Braveheart impersonators, whisky shops and other favorite tourist attractions.
Eats in Edinburgh come in all flavors and prices. For the no-hassle eater, washing down some haggis (with a side of neeps and tatties) with a Tennent's beer should suffice. Those seeking finer dining might try Oloroso, a rooftop terrace restaurant on George Street with Edinburgh Castle views. There are also many small eateries and cafes along Rose Street (chain coffee shop Caffe Nero has great frappes). Valvona & Crolla's VinCaffé on Multrees Walk is a great place to grab a midday Italian dish.
Scots are known for their rowdy, rambunctious pub etiquette. If low-key atmosphere and high-volume beer pints are your thing, make yourself at home on Rose Street. This pub crawler’s paradise is a pedestrian-only alleyway between George and Princes Street that’s lined with rustic Scottish pubs and bars.
Lounge lovers may prefer to visit one of the many chic cocktail hangouts George Street has to offer. Just off George Street you’ll find Hanover 99, a dashing drinkery with comfy couches, good reads and excellent mojitos. The bar at Tigerlily is a favorite of the ladies thanks to its pink-accented decor and champagne-laced cocktails. The bar’s darker, after-hours twin is downstairs at Lulu. At bustling Opal Lounge, pull up a barstool at their long wooden bar or duck into one of the booths and enjoy the best French martini in the city. History buffs and avid clubbers alike will enjoy The Dome on Georges Street. This historic building was converted from a financial institution into a socialite hub back in the 90s.
Edinburgh has a range of lodging to fit any budget. The wallet-friendly Smart City Hostels start at about £13.50 a night. Luxury hotel connoisseurs will feel comfortable at The George Hotel and boutique hotel fans will love the trendy Tigerlily. Fashion-conscious hipsters ought to check in to the new Hotel Missoni, which recently opened in June.