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Edinburgh is a popular destination for serious shoppers, attracting people from all over Scotland and beyond. The city offers such a diversity of retail outlets that there is sure to be something for everyone, from department stores to designers boutiques, from traditional antiques to popular modern stores, while not forgeting the vibrant markets, Edinburgh really does offer the best of everything.
The city's retail heart beats in Princes Street, and if you are looking for chain stores it is the best choice and this is where you will find Jenners, the worlds oldest department store. However, the trick to finding the individual shops with a quirky charm all of their own is to get off the main drags, away from the crowds and onto the side streets and alleyways, to see everything from custom-made bagpipes to cashmere as soft as a cloud.
If you are looking for something typically Scottish, you will be spoiled for choice whatever your budget. Woollens, tartans, tweeds and cashmeres are everywhere and smaller stores sell tradition with such a twist that they bring Scottish style straight into the 21st century, while local craftsmen are celebrated for their silver, metalwork and jewellery, which you will find at the swanky stores as well as the tiny studio-workshops.
Food is always a popular souvenir, and shops sell the best of the country's produce, often vacuum packed for easy transportation. Choose from wild smoked salmon, orkney cheese, heather honey, shortbread and oatcakes or a bottle of finest malt whiskey from the huge range you'll find - some of which are 100 years old.
Read more on this destination in the AA Citypack Guide & Foldout Map For Edinburgh.
Top shops in Edinburgh
Ingliston Sunday sees thousands heading to this huge, vibrant and cheap outdoor market with more than 100 stands and a car boot sale thrown in. Undercover markets include rambling New Street Sunday Market in the Old Town. For the best in Scottish Produce, the Saturday Farmer's Market (9am-2pm), held on Castle Terrace, is worth a trawl for superb organic meat, vegetables and other foods.
Anta 91-93 West Bow EH1 2JP
Highland-made and designed fabrics, throws and cushions in wool and tweed in trendy and classic tartans.
Armstrongs83 Grassmarket EH1 2HJ
Established in 1840, museum-like, this is the largest vintage emporium featuring sassy, retro and traditional Scottish Clothing.
Cigar Box 361 High Street EH1 1PW
Every conceivable cigar can be found at this retailer that has achieved the Gold Standard in Habanas. From famous names like Montecristo and Romeo Y Julieta to cigars from as far afield as Honduras and Nicaragua.
DemiJohn 32 Victoria Street EH1 2JWA
Liquid deli where you can taste and personalize them with your choice of bottle; liquers, spirits, whiskey, oils, vinegars and spices.
Fabhatrix 13 Cowgatehead, Grassmarket EH1 1JY
This hat shop promotes Scottish designers and many hats are made on the premises. You'll find everything you need from tweed to trendy fascinators.
Old Town Bookshop 8 Victoria Street EH1 2HG
The place to come for second-hand books on poetry, music, travel, arts and of course, Scotland and Scvottish writers. Also a wide selection of prints and maps.
Royal Mile Whiskies379 High Street EH1 1PW
Enthusiasts are on hand to offer advice on the hundreds of single malt whiskies stocked here - some are 100 years old. You can even arrange to have your orders shipped home.
Bagpipesgalore 82 Canongate EH8 8BZ
. Listen before you buy at this atmospheric shop selling Scottish-made bagpipes for beginners or for the more proficient. Pipe books, Cd's and accessories are also available.
Fudge Kitchen30 High Street EH1 1TB
This food positively oozes with 20 different varieties of delectable fudge. All handmade using the finest ingredients from a recipe dating back to 1830.
Palenque 56 High Street EH1 1TB This small jewellery shop specializes in competitively priced contemporary and silver rings, necklaces and bracelets and hand-crafted accessories.
Ragamuffin 276 Canongate EH8 8AA Eye-catching displays in the windows show vivid hand-made chunky knitwear, clothes, scarves and toys.
The Tappit Hen 89 High Street EH1 1SG
This tiny shop specializes in traditional Celtic knotwork wedding rings, handmade in precious metals, plus a range of jewellery and gifts made from pewter.
Arkangel 4 William Street EH3 7NH
One of the popular fashion boutiques in this attractive street in the West End of the city. Arkangel is a delightful shop selling exclusive designer clothees, unusual chunky jewellery and accessories. You'll also find a selection of vintage evening wear, perfume and sensuous candles.
Belinda Robertson 13a Dundas Street EH3 6QG
Scotland's renowned cashmere designer has come to the heart of Edinburgh's New Town. Belinda's creations, which include sweaters, gloves and scarves as well as cashmere knickers and G-strings, have been donned by the likes of Nicole Kidman and Madonna.
Dickson & Macnaughton 21 Frederick Street EH2 2NE. For the archetypal country gentleman (or woman) this established store sell high-quality country clothing by all manufacturers. It also stocks a full range of fishing and shooting accessories.
Frasers 145 Princes Street EH2 4YZ
This popular department store offers a comprehensive selection of clothes (including designers like DKNY and ralph Lauren) accessories, perfumes and kitchenware.
Harvey Nichols 30-34 St. Andrew Square EH2 2ADScotland's first branch of this exclusive London department store, offers perfumes, designer handbags, accessories and clothes, including Gucci, Burberry, Prada, Fendi and Dior.
Hector Russell 95 Princes Street EH2 2ER
Part of a well-known chain of kilt shops, this branch allows you to rent as well as buy. It's all here from a sgian dubh (small knife worn inside the sock) to the complete outfit. The shop can arrange for your purchase to be mailed home for you.
Jenners 48 Princes Street EH2 2YJ
Edinburgh's grand old dame was founded in 1838 and occupies a magnificent building.The rabbit warren inside, with a central galleried arcade, houses of 100 departments from clothes and shoes to perfume, glassware, groceries and toys.
Princes Mall Princes Street EH1 1BQ
This revamped, light and spacious subterranean mall, next to Waverley train station, has more than 20 stores, many are the usual high street names in fashion and gifts but keep a lookout for the handmade chocolates at Maxwell & Kennedy and Orkney jewellery at Ortak.
Randolph Gallery 39 Dundas Street EH3 6QQ
Small space with changing exhibitions dealing mainly in realist art from local artists. Dundas Street is the city's main street for contemporary art.
Stewart Christie & Co. 63 Queen Street EH2 4NA
Bespoke tailors for more than 200 years. This store makes garments on the premises. This family business provides country and formal clothing including Scottish tweed jackets, moleskin trousers, Highland dress and tartan evening trousers.
Tiso 123-125 Rose Street EH2 3DT
Helpful staff offer knowledgeable advice on the quality outdoor clothing and equipment they sell here - all you need for walking, climbing or skiiing, and there is also a good mountaineering and travel book section.