central area of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

The New Town (so-called) of Edinburgh represents the historical extension of the Scottish capital to the north of the Old Town that occurred during the Georgian Period of the late 18th century. Built on a regular grid pattern, the New Town is Edinburgh's main shopping and commercial district, north of Princes Street Gardens.

Along with the Old Town, the New Town was listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1995.

Understand Edit

James Craig's plan for the New Town
Princes Street with the Commencement of the Building of the Royal Institution - Alexander Nasmyth's 1825 view
Moray Place

By the 1700s Edinburgh was becoming increasingly crowded within the walls of the Old Town. The Act of Union with England in 1707 meant that there was no longer a need for the protection of city walls. In 1752, following the collapse of a six-storey building, a pamphlet was published proposing an extension to the city. In 1766 a design contest was held to select a design for the extension, the New Town. The contest was won by a young architect, James Craig.

After review by a committee, James Craig's modified plans were accepted by the town council in 1767. This covered the area of Princes St, George St and Queen St, and is essentially the layout that you can see today. It took until 1820 for the building of this area to be completed, with the area initially being mainly expensive homes, with a few public buildings. Homes were built by different builders with the designs having different details. Initially the residents returned to the Old Town for work and to shop in the markets. Charlotte Square at the western end of George Street is the finest of the streets from this phase. The building elevations in Charlotte Square were all designed by the famous architect Robert Adam, and the design of the square is largely unchanged from this era (except for the addition of some dormer windows and one recent building in the original style on a vacant plot).

The northern New Town (north of Queen Street Gardens) was built between 1802 and 1823. This area remains largely unchanged apart for the addition of a few modern shop fronts. Great King Street is the best street to walk along to get the original atmosphere.

Later extensions of the New Town were the Moray Estate, which was designed by James Gillespie Graham in 1822. In this area, Moray Place is a particularly fine complete circle of houses, almost unchanged from the 1800s.

The West End (locally considered separate from the New Town) was built slightly later, with much of the building being in the 1860s and 1870s. A key landmark in this area is St Mary's Episcopal Cathedral, which was built between 1874 and 1917.

Shared private gardens were a major part of the plans. Some of these (Princes Street Gardens and St Andrew Square) are now run as public parks. However many remain in private hands, with nearby residents paying a subscription for the gardens maintenance. Queen Street Gardens, the Dean Gardens, and the centre of many squares and crescents are examples of this. In addition many townhouses have private gardens hidden at the rear.

The original area between Princes Street and Queen Street is now mainly used for shops and offices and many of the original buildings have been replaced. The area to the east of St Andrew Square was redeveloped for the building of the St James shopping centre, and is the only part of the New Town where the original street pattern has disappeared. The rest of the New Town is still mainly residential, although in many cases the original townhouses have been divided into flats.

Get in Edit

Princes Street, National Gallery of Scotland and Calton Hill as seen from the castle

All forms of public transport will lead you into New Town - Waverley railway station and St Andrew bus station are here.

Most Lothian bus routes either pass along Princes St, or intersect it at George Street or the Mound. Lots of buses also along Howe St., Dundas St., Leith Walk, Queensferry St., Regent Rd. and Shandwick Place. Trams run along Princes Street towards the west and the airport but are less frequent than buses.

Walking is usually the best way to get around New Town, and a car's more trouble than it's worth. But end-to-end this area is about 2 miles (3.2 km) across, and then there's the hills up to the Old Town or down towards Stockbridge to be negotiated.

See Edit

Map of Edinburgh/New Town
The Scott Monument
  • 1 The Scott Monument, East Princes Street Gardens, +44 131 529-4068. 2022: temporarily closed. Apr-Sep: daily 10AM-7PM; Oct-Mar: daily 10AM-4PM. Built in 1846 to commemorate the life of Sir Walter Scott after his death in 1832, the Gothic spire monument allows you to climb 200 ft (61 m) above the city centre to enjoy fantastic views and get a closer look at sculpted statuettes of characters from Scott's works (there are 287 steps and no lift). £8 (cash only).    
  • 2 Old Calton Burial Ground (just east of Princes Street and Southwest of Calton Hill). Contains a range of graves, memorials, and funerary ornaments. Notable memorials include those dedicated to the philosopher David Hume and the Scots who died in the American Civil War.    
  • 3 National Gallery of Scotland, The Mound (Midway along Princes Street, the only building on the Castle side.), +44 131 624-6200. 2022: advance booking required for special exhibitions. Daily 10AM-5PM (6PM in Aug). Holds much of Scotland's fine artwork and carries exhibitions that change seasonally. The new Western Link was opened in 2004 with an entrance from Princes Street Gardens. It joins the National Gallery with the neighbouring Scottish Academy gallery and gives Scotland its first world class art space. Free.    
  • 4 The Scottish National Portrait Gallery, 1 Queen Street (just to the north of St Andrew Square), +44 131 624-6200, . 2022: advance booking required for special exhibitions. Daily 10AM-5PM (longer opening hours in Aug). The world's first purpose-built portrait gallery really stands out on Queen Street due to being built from red sandstone, rather than the yellow sandstone used for almost every other building in the New Town. Holds portraits of Scots from down the ages, with new faces being added all the time. Free.    
Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (Building One)
  • 5 Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, 74 Belford Rd (on the western fringe of the New Town; if you want to walk from the city centre it is a good opportunity to combine it with Dean Village; by bus: Take Edinburgh Coach Lines service 13; alternatively, there is a special Gallery Bus from the Scottish National Gallery at Princes Street every hour from 11AM-4PM (inclusive). If you are coming from outside Edinburgh, it is best to take the train to Haymarket and walk from there), +44 131 624-6200, . Daily 10AM-5PM Modern two closed in winter.. The gallery contains a fine selection of modern art from Scotland and other countries. Don't forget to visit Modern Art Two (formerly the Dean), across the road. Modern Art One is in a neoclassical form,er school, which was designed by William Burn in 1825, and there is a fine landform by Charles Jencks dug into the front lawn. Modern Art Two was the Dean Orphan Hospital designed by Thomas Hamilton, built in 1833 (as of Oct 2022, it is closed). Both galleries have spacious gardens. Free. Some special temporary exhibitions may be charged.    
Dean Village
  • 6 The Dean Village (from the west end of Princes Street, follow Queensferry Street to the north-west; at a right hand bend, turn left down the steep Bells Brae; alternatively follow the Water of Leith Walkway upstream from Stockbridge). Dating to the 12th century, the Dean Village was home to the flour mills that fed Edinburgh for centuries, powered by the Water of Leith which flows right through the village. "Dean" or "Dene" means a steep valley, and this situation means that the village is protected from the noise of the City, despite being so close to the city centre. Walk down Miller Row to see the full splendour of Thomas Telford's Dean Bridge, which seems relatively mundane when crossing it on Queensferry Street. There are information boards dotted around the village giving information about the different buildings, and the history of the village and the milling industry that once thrived here.    
  • 7 The Georgian House, 7 Charlotte Square, +44 131 226-3318, . advance booking recommended; daily Mar 1-27 and Nov: 11AM-4PM; Mar 28-Jun 30 and Sep-Oct: 10AM-5PM; Jul-Aug: 10AM-6PM. The house was designed by Robert Adam and is furnished as it would have been around 1796. See how life was in the New Town in the 18th century, from the dining rooms to kitchen in the basement. Due to the lighting simulating 18th century conditions, it is better to visit earlier in the day in winter. The house is set in a particularly fine Georgian square with most of the building built to designs by Robert Adam. £10, free to National Trust Members.    
  • 8 St Andrew's & St George's West Church, 13 George Street (east end of George Street), +44 131 225-3847, . Daily 10AM-2PM. Completed in 1784, the parish church of the New Town. Protected as a category A listed building, the Church has an unusual elliptical design - the first in Britain - with an ornate ceiling blending Roman, Pompeian and Scottish elements. The steeple holds Scotland's oldest complete peal of bells, cast in 1788. Early 20th-century stained glass. Undercroft café. Extensive programme during Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and major booksale for Christian Aid each May. Free.    
  • 9 Edinburgh Gin Distillery, 1a Rutland Place. Explore the location where one of Edinburgh's gins is produced. Different tours are offered, the basic one lasts 45 min and includes a sample or miniature bottle of Edinburgh Gin. Basic tour £10.
  • 10 Dundas Street Independent Art Galleries. M-Sa 10AM-5PM. There are seven commercial art galleries in the top block of Dundas Street (next Queen Street Gardens). Whilst these are in business to sell art, just looking around is fine (and free). The Scottish Gallery and The Fine Art Society have works by recognised artists (at prices comparable to cars). The Torrance Gallery and some others have works by less well known artists from £100.
  • 11 St Mary's Episcopal Cathedral, Palmerston Place. M-Sa 7:30AM Morning Prayer, M-F 5:30PM Choral Eucharist Su services at 8AM, 10:30AM, 3:30PM, visits weekday daytime. Scotland's largest cathedral in the Anglican tradition. Building started in 1874 to a design by Sir George Gilbert Scott. The song school (open occasionally) has stunning murals by Phoebe Anna Traquair.    
  • 12 St Mary's Metropolitan Cathedral. Services daily, also open for viewing. The Roman Catholic Cathedral, established as a chapel in 1814, and became a cathedral in 1886. The original chapel was designed by James Gillespie Graham and the undergone several alterations and extensions. There are services in English and Polish.    
  • 13 James Clerk Maxwell's Birthplace and Museum, 14 India Street, EH3 6EZ, UK. The house in which James Clerk Maxwell was born is open to visitors by appointment. Visits for up to twelve people are conducted by volunteers and take approximately 1 hour. There are four steps up to the main door. Tour appointments are normally available M-F 10AM-12:30PM, and 2:30-5PM. Edinburgh's answer to Newton and Einstein. His equations unified the forces of Electricity and Magnetism and paved the way for Einstein's theory of special relativity. From the website "Modern technology, in large part, stems from his grasp of the basic principles of the universe. Wide ranging developments in the field of electricity and electronics, including radio, television, radar and communications, derive from Maxwell's discovery of the laws of the electromagnetic field - which was not a synthesis of what was known before, but rather a fundamental change in concept that departed from Newton's view and was to influence greatly the modern scientific and industrial revolution." Free, donations welcome.
  • 14 St Bernard's Well (On the Water of Leith Walkway, roughly opposite Ann Street). A well in a fine building from 1789. Open noon-3PM Sundays in August and first Sunday of month April - July.  
  • 15 Gilbert the phonebox, 63 Queen St. key available Tu-Sa 10AM-4PM. An old red phonebox has been kitted out with Edwardian memorabilia. You can look in the windows anytime, or collect the key for £3 (for Save the Children) from Stewart Christie and Co who run a long established gentleman's outfitter in the shop next it.

Do Edit

The home of the British Prime Minister? No, just the door of a typical Georgian townhouse in the New Town
  • 1 Calton Hill. Climb this central hill in the morning or early evening hours to experience a great sunrise/sunset over Edinburgh. However, try to avoid hours of complete darkness. The hill is home to various monuments including the National Monument of Scotland (also known as Edinburgh's Folly), an unfinished replica of Athens' Parthenon, built as a memorial to the Napoleonic Wars, and Nelson's Tower, built in the shape of an upturned telescope in honour of the naval hero. The latter features a Time Ball at the top, which drops at 1PM every day to enable ships at Leith docks to set their clocks. The time ball was operated by the City Observatory, which was here until it was replaced by the larger Royal Observatory of Edinburgh in the south of the City, in the late 19th century when light pollution in the city centre became too much of an obstacle to celestial viewing. The City Observatory was refurbished by the Collective Gallery, reopening in 2018 as a modern art exhibition space, with a three exhibition spaces and a cafe.    
  • 2 Princes Street Gardens. Walk through this small, beautiful park that lies in the small valley between Castle Hill and Princes Street and forms the boundary between the Old and New Towns.    
  • 3 Edinburgh Playhouse, 18-22 Greenside Place. A former cinema that now hosts musicals and concerts.
  • 4 Vue, Leith Walk, +44 870 240 6020. Large multiplex cinema.

Buy Edit

The New Town is home to most of the shopping in Edinburgh, split across a number of distinct areas:

Princes Street Edit

Princes Street marks the southern edge of the New Town, and is the main shopping street in Edinburgh. It runs through the middle of the city from Waverley train station to Lothian Road. It contains large chain stores such as Primark, Marks & Spencer and H&M for clothes and tourist oriented shops.

  • 1 St James Quarter. Shopping centre which opened in 2021, replacing the tired St James Centre, includes the John Lewis department store, and 3 floors of mid- and up-market stores. The shops are national and international chains rather than local businesses. Includes the W Hotel, Roomzzz aparthotel and several restaurants.    
  • 2 Waverley Market. Upmarket mainstream shops in an undercover centre next to the Waverley train station.    

George Street Edit

George Street houses generally more upmarket shops and boutiques, as well as a number of bars and restaurants. It runs parallel to Princes Street, about 200m to the north.

Multrees Walk Edit

Multrees Walk is at the north-east corner of St Andrew Square, at the east end of George Street. Melt your credit card here.

  • Home to the Harvey Nichols department store.
  • International clothing brands including Louis Vuitton, Calvin Klein, Daks, Kurt Geiger.
  • Modern silver jewellers Azendi and Links of London.

West End Village Edit

West End Village is centred on William Street and Stafford Street, at the west end of the New Town and only a couple of minute's walk from Princes Street. The area is home to a mix of smaller shops, good for unusual designer (women's) clothes and accessories, and interior design. There's some nice places to eat as well.

  • 5 Paper Tiger, 10 Stafford St, +44 131 226-5812. Classy selection of cards, home accessories, toys and gifts. Also at 53 Lothian Rd.

Broughton Street Edit

Broughton Street, Boho area, at the north east of the New Town, with a great variety of shops, delis, bars and restaurants. Locals know all about it, visitors often miss it.

  • 6 The Dragonfly Gifts (formerly: Bliss), 111a Broughton Street (Right at the bottom of Broughton Street, on the right-hand side walking downhill), +44 131 556-3311. Funky little shop with a lovely range of cards and gifts.
  • 7 Crombies (Renowned Butchers), 97-101 Broughton Street, +44 131 557-0111. Award-winning family-run butchers shop, now in it's 3rd generation. Great quality local meat, best known for their amazing range of sausages.
  • 8 Joey D (Designer Fashion), 54 Broughton Street, +44 131 557-6672. Edinburgh fashion designer creating unique items from vintage fabrics. Men and women's ranges.
  • 9 Real Foods, 37 Broughton Street. M-F 8AM-9PM; Sa 9AM-6:30PM; Su 10AM-6PM. The original Edinburgh "health food" shop which opened in 1975. Sells a wide range of loose and packet dried goods, some vegetarian ready meals and snacks and a small selection of organic fruit and vegetables.

Leith Walk Edit

Leith Walk joins Edinburgh to Leith, so the top half is in the New Town, and the bottom half is in Leith. Leith Walk has an amazing variety of independent shops. There is also an array of Polish grocers (Polski Sklep). Locals claim there is nothing you can't buy somewhere on Leith Walk (even if it's illegal!). Have fun trying to prove this wrong!

  • 10 Valvona & Crolla (World-famous Deli), 19 Elm Row, Leith Walk (Near the top of Leith Walk, on the eastern side), +44 131 556-6066. Its grey frontage looks unassuming, but step through the door into a wonderland of food, much of it sourced direct from Italy by the family that have owned and run this business since 1934. Appears in the Sunday papers more often than Sudoku. If you like the look (and smell!) of all the goodies but wouldn't know what to do with any of it, just continue to the back of the shop and hope to get a seat in the bright cafe.
  • 11 Harburn Hobbies, 67 Elm Row, Leith Walk, +44 131 556-3233. Family-run business established in the 1930s. Specialises in model railways, including some items exclusive to this shop. Also die-cast model vehicles, Scalextric slot car racing systems and plastic and wooden model construction kits.
  • 12 Vinyl Villains (2nd-hand records), 5 Elm Row, Leith Walk, +44 131 558-1170. Second-hand record shop of the type that used to be found in every town in the country. Vinyl Villains has survived due to maintaining high standards of service and always having plenty of interesting items in stock. Specialises in vinyl (duh!) but also CDs, T-shirts, posters, fanzines (including some football titles)

Eat Edit

Budget Edit

  • 1 Snax, West Register Street. A small independent fast food joint. The food is cheap and edible, perfect for tourists on a budget. Also has a decent selection of vegetarian options.
  • 2 Rapido (Fish'n'Chips and a whole lot more), 77–79 Broughton Street, +44 131 556-2041. All the usual fish and chip shop favourites at the right hand end of the counter, plus plenty of vegetarian options. Head to the left-hand end of the counter for pastries, wraps, pasta dishes and some tantalising desserts. Also a good range of pizzas. There's a couple of tables and also some stools at a window shelf if you want to eat in.
  • 3 Piccante (The Disco Chippy!), 19 Broughton St, +44 131 478-7884. If you want an atmosphere with your greasy food fix then this is the place. Very friendly staff and a DJ at weekends. The menu includes everything you'd expect from a Scottish chippy. The home-made burgers are a real stand-out and deep-fried mars bars are available for tourists.

Mid-range Edit

  • 4 Cafe St Honore, 34 North West Thistle Street Lane. Pairing Scottish food with fresh seafood, this chic cafe is warm and inviting. Gluten free and dairy free menus available. 1 course lubch £10.50, 2 course dinner £18.00.
  • 5 The Mussel Inn, 61-65 Rose Street. Seafood restaurant owned by shellfish producers, ingredients direct from the west coast.
  • Dulse, 17 Queensferry St EH2 4QW, +44 131 573 7575. M Tu 17:00-00:00, W-Su 12:00-00:00. Opened in 2022, this serves excellent Scottish seafood.
  • 6 A Room in the West End, 26 William Street. A local favourite serving modern Scottish cuisine at reasonable prices.
  • 7 Café Marlayne French Restaurant, 76 Thistle Street. Chic and intimate French bistro serving up exquisite French cuisine. The second branch is at the top of Leith Walk in 13 Antigua Street.
  • 8 Dishoom, 3a St Andrew Square, EH2 2BD, +44 131 2026 406. M-Th 8AM-11PM, F 8AM-midnight, Sa 9AM-midnight, Su 9AM-11PM. Scottish outpost of a small national chain, whose characterful interior is based on colonial Bombay's Irani cafes. The food is made to share, mostly consisting of small plates, with the house chaat, black daal and Edinburgh exclusive salli botti particularly memorable. Usually very busy, so booking is advised. £3-£18 per dish, with most around the £10-£12 mark.
  • 9 Contini, 103 George St EH2 3ES. Restaurant in a former grand George St bank. This is the place to eat wonderful Italian food.
  • Aizle, opened in 2021, is modern Scottish cuisine. It's at 38 Charlotte Square and open W-Su 17:00-21:00.
  • Noto at 47a Thistle St is sister to Aizle. They serve excellent Japanese-themed dishes for sharing; open Su-Th 12:00-23:00, F Sa 12:00-00:00.
  • The Lookout is a cafe / restaurant perched atop Calton Hill, with cuisine to match the panoramic views. It's open Th-Su 10:00-21:00.
  • 10 Little Chartroom, 30 Albert Place EH7 5HN, +44 131 556 6600. Th F 5-9PM, Sa Su noon-2PM, 6-9PM. At the east edge of New Town before you cross into Leith, this is a smart nautically-themed bistro.
  • Fhior, 36 Broughton St EH1 3SB, +44 131 477 5000. Th 6-10PM, F-Su noon-4:30PM, 6-10:30PM. Beautiful Scandi cuisine, locally sourced and artfully presented.
  • Chaskaa Indian Restaurant, 30-32 Leven St, +44 1312283838, . Indian restaurant with modern decor. £.

Splurge Edit

  • 11 Palm Court at The Balmoral, 1 Princes Street, +44 131 556-2414. Afternoon Tea served from noon-5:30PM. Have your Afternoon Tea in the Palm Court with unlimited tea and coffee and a range of sweet and savoury dishes. With live harp music. Reserving a table in advance is strongly advised. Afternoon Tea: M-F £29; Sa Su £35.
  • The Printing Press Bar & Kitchen, 21-25 George Street (in The George Hotel, see below), +44 131 240-7177, . Daily; restaurant: noon–10:30PM; bar: 11:30AM-1AM. Vibrant restaurant serving locally sourced Scottish produce in a newly restored Georgian townhouse. mains £12-28.
  • Pompadour by Galvin, Princes Street, EH1 2AB (within the Waldorf Astoria Caledonian Hotel, at jcn of Lothian Rd with Princes St), +44 131 222 8975. W-Sa dinner only, 6-10PM. Outstanding French-style cuisine, much locally sourced £35-75.
  • 12 The Palmerston, 1 Palmerston Place. Restaurant and bakery in a former bank. The wine list ranges from £24 to £245 for bottle. Open during the day for upmarket coffees and baking. Mains around £25, set lunch W-F 2 courses £16.
  • Number 11 is a restaurant with rooms at 11 Brunswick St, earning great reviews.

Drink Edit

George Street Edit

George Street hosts many of Edinburgh's trendier bars. These tend to be popular with the besuited after work crowd on a Friday. Not traditional Edinburgh bars but probably more typical of modern Edinburgh.

  • 1 Opal Lounge, 51 George Street. One of Edinburgh's trendiest nightspots and frequented by British Celebs. DJs play regularly most nights. If it was chocolate it would eat itself.
  • 2 Tonic, 34a North Castle St. A great cocktail bar: their Silver Mercedes is a particularly popular choice. One of the more interesting bars in this vicinity.
  • 3 Fingers, 61a Frederick Street, +44 131 225-3026. Piano bar with a late licence so is a popular place to end the night with folk who don't fancy hitting a night club. Can attract an "eclectic" crowd so a good place for late night people watching. If you made a comparison with the famous bar scene in Star Wars you wouldn't be the first to think that way.
  • 4 All Bar One, 29-31 George Street. If you've ever been out drinking in any UK city centre you will know what to expect of these chain pubs.
  • 5 The Dome, 14 George Street, +44 131 624-8624, fax: +44 131 624-8649, . Former bank headquarters. Very impressive to look at inside - just to into the main bar and look up. The Why Not nightclub (downstairs, separate entrance) is frequented by a young crowd who would love to go to Opal Lounge but know the bouncers won't let them in.
  • 6 The Standing Order, 62-66 George St, +44 131 225-4460. A cavernous converted bank building. It is part of the J.D. Wetherspoon chain and always has a wide range of drinks at quite cheap prices - a pint of locally brewed Caledonian IPA is about £2, pint of beer and burger £7. They also serve typical pub food and again some of the special offers make the food very reasonable. Like most Wetherspoons it's good value but a bit soulless. They also run The Alexander Graham Bell, 128 George Street, near Charlotte Square.

Rose Street Edit

Traditionally this narrower pedestrianised street between Princes St and George St was the street to drink in the centre of town, but it has become less popular as new places have opened elsewhere (mainly on George St). It still has several pubs with long histories, and gets visited by stag and hen parties.

  • 7 The Kenilworth, 152-154 Rose Street, EH2 3JD. A pub which opened in 1904, in a building built in 1789. The interior is all tiled, which is magnificent although it may remind you of a bathroom. Good real ales.

Thistle Street and Young Street Edit

Thistle Street and Young Street, which run parallel to George Street 1 block to the north, have an interesting selection of more traditional pubs.

  • 8 The Oxford Bar, 8 Young St, +44 131 539-7119. Very basic Scottish pub, made famous by "Harry the rudest barman in Scotland" (no longer there) and as a backdrop for some of the action in the Ian Rankin "Inspector Rebus" novels. If you need to see the definition of "not enough room to swing a cat", see the front bar. Call in and ask for a pint of IPA with an Ardberg chaser (Rebus' favourite)    

Broughton Street Edit

Broughton Street on the north east side of the New Town has a wide range of bars. Gay, gay-friendly, traditional, trendy, there's at least one bar on Broughton Street to suit all tastes, and many of them also do good food (it's a popular venue for breakfast at the weekend).

  • 9 The Basement, 10-12a Broughton Street, +44 131 557-0097. Probably the catalyst for the development of the Broughton Street "scene". The first Style Bar to move in, this is trendy but not pretentiously so. In a basement (you guessed?) near the top of the street. Worries that a recent refurb would spoil the ambience proved unfounded. Super range of beers including German, Czech, Mexican, and known for good quality and good value food too.
  • 10 Mathers, 25 Broughton street, +44 131 556-6754. M-Th 11AM-midnight; F-Sa 11AM-12:30AM; Su 12:30PM-11PM. Traditional bar. Good range of real ales and whiskys, reasonable pub food. Big screen for football and rugby.
  • 11 The Cask & Barrel, 115 Broughton Street, +44 131 556-3132. Readers of Christopher Brookmyre's novels will recognise this place as the regular haunt of investigative journalist Jack Parlabane, the venue for "off-the-record" meetings with his Police contacts. Parlabane clearly has good taste for a journalist, as the "Cask" is a proper traditional boozer with a touch of class. Nine Real Ale taps plus a number of draft lagers and many more in bottle. Good range of whisky too. Great place to watch the football or rugby as they have 6 or 7 screens dotted around. It's not uncommon to find 3 different matches being shown at the same time. Refreshingly, the screens are only switched on for specific events, and not left showing random cable channels the rest of the day, like so many pubs seem to do.

Cumberland Street Edit

Cumberland Street runs west-east from Dundas Street to Dundonald Street

  • 12 The Cumberland Bar, 1-3 Cumberland Street, +44 131 558-3134. Another pub with literary connections - this is the regular hangout of the fictional denizens of Alexander McCall Smith's 44 Scotland Street (the real-life street is just around the corner but finding No.44 is a challenge!). Traditional pub popular with New Town locals, students, the suits from local offices, pretty much everyone in fact. Gets very busy in summer due to its lovely beer garden - one of the few pubs close to the city centre to have one. Plenty of drink options and they also do decent food. Perhaps slightly more expensive than most places on Broughton Street but cheaper than George Street.

West Register Street Edit

Tiny West Register Street is hidden away behind Burger King at the east end of Princes Street. It's well worth seeking out as it is home to several interesting bars.

  • 13 The Voodoo Rooms, 19a West Register Street, +44 131 556-7060, . Very interesting venue that should make some of the old pretenders on George Street step up their game a bit. Just go there for a drink or two, or book a table in the restaurant area to try the ecelectic cajun-inspired menu, or check out the events listings - they have already hosted a range of gigs from folk to country to dance to rock, as well as comedy and theatre. It is 'the' place to be seen, and for a change, lives up to the tag.
  • 14 Cafe Royal Circle Bar, 17a and 19 West Register Street, +44 131 556-4124. Beautifully tiled Victorian palace of a pub, designed in 1862 as a showroom for the latest fixtures and fittings. The adjacent Cafe Royal Oyster Bar restaurant continues the theme. Unmissable.

Queensferry Street Edit

Main road at the west end of Princes Street.

Sleep Edit

The Balmoral Hotel - the clock is a couple of minutes fast to help travellers catch their trains
Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - The Caledonian
InterContinental The George
Old Waverley

Budget Edit

  • 1 easyHotel.com Edinburgh, 125a Princes Street, +44 131 226-5303. The hotel is in the heart of the city with direct views of Edinburgh Castle and Princes St. Gardens. Double rooms from £35 per/night, but some rooms have no window and TV is £5 extra.
  • 2 Edinburgh Central Youth Hostel, 9 Haddington Place, +44 131 524-2090. Large hostel near the top of Leith Walk, about 10 minutes walk from Waverley Station. Unusually for the SYHA, it serves meals and the cafe is open to the public. There is also a self-catering kitchen, and plasma screens abound. In addition to dormitories, some rooms (including singles) are available. From £22 for a dormitory bed, ensuite double from £64.
  • 3 ibis Styles Edinburgh Centre St Andrew Square, 19 St Andrew Square, +44 131 292-0200. The fairly modest chain's standards are enhanced in this "green pillow" ibis by the addition of "style" consisting of more colourful and artsy furniture and fixtures, as well as artwork inspired by local motifs (which basically means a lot of thistle and deer). A further benefit is the inclusion of WiFi and breakfast in all rates. There is a tea/coffee tray with a kettle in each room, and some rooms, costing extra, even feature an extra sofa or even a balcony overlooking the square. From £49, breakfast included.
  • 4 Premier Inn Edinburgh City Centre (York Place), 44 York Pl, EH1 3HU (Next the York Place tram terminus), +44 871 527 9618 (high cost). Check-in: 2PM, check-out: noon. Rooms are air-conditioned, spacious for a non-luxury hotel, and in very good condition. King-sized bed (some rooms with additional sofa bed), full bathtub, and tea/coffee facilities. Price includes wireless Internet, though speeds are limited unless you pay £5/day extra. Some rooms have views over the New Town down to the Forth.
  • Cityroomz is a bright modern budget choice on Shandwick Place.

Mid-range Edit

Splurge Edit

Connect Edit

  • Many bars and cafes offer free wifi, look out for signs in the windows (see Drink above).

Go next Edit

Routes through New Town
ENDS AT PRINCES STREET  W   E  East EdinburghMusselburgh

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