Edinburgh isn’t most famous for its shopping, but it still has all the usual high street and designer shops. It’s also home to a thriving independent retail scene – Edinburgh’s local designers and makers sell their wares in independent boutiques and pop-up venues across the city, from the Grassmarket to the Leith.
The high street shopper will find everything they need on Princes St, with the parallel George St offering slightly more upmarket brands. Princes St has your H&Ms and your Topshops, while George St has Whistles and LK Bennett. On St Andrews Square you’ll find Edinburgh’s Harvey Nichols, home to designer luxury and a top floor cocktail bar offering views all the way to Fife.
Running alongside Harvey Nicks, Multrees Walk is the city’s designer street, home to Mulberry and Louis Vuitton. City centre malls include the St James Centre (home to branches of Tiger and John Lewis) and Princes Mall, which runs into Waverley Station and is home to shops aimed at the young female market like New Look and Oasis.
In the Grassmarket, Godiva is an independent clothes shop specialising in vintage and unique ranges from local fashion designers. Armstrong’s is Edinburgh’s vintage hub, while next door Fabhatrix specialises in unusual hats and fascinators. Contemporary jewellery and accessories can be found in Red Door Gallery on Victoria St, or Hanna Zakari on Candlemaker Row.
On the other side of George St, Thistle St is home to a range boutiques and local designers. Hill St Design House is a studio system in an old townhouse which frequently hosts pop-up shops, craft workshops and exhibitions. 21st Century Kilts is also nearby, the place to go if you’re looking for to have your traditional Scottish outfit made in some sort of outlandish material.
Down in Stockbridge, St Stephen St has a village shopping street feel to it, and offers an eclectic range of independent shops selling everything from vinyl records to contemporary fashion. Bargain hunters also prowl this area and its many charity shops, dumping grounds of the wealthy locals and reputedly filled with incredible designer bargains. The same is true of Morningside, on the other side of the town centre.