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New Town of Edinburgh is 250 years old, in contrast to the Old Town settled for over a thousand years. It was laid out on a grid pattern in the late 18th century with elegant Georgian townhouses, and the intervening loch was drained to become Princes Street Gardens. It's nowadays Edinburgh's main shopping and commercial district.

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


Waterloo Place and Balmoral Hotel

By the 1600s Edinburgh was crowded and filthy within the walls of the Old Town. The Duke of Albany and York held his nose at it in Holyrood Palace and backed a plan to extend north. But he left town to become the unpopular King James VII / II, was ousted from his throne and launched a series of "Jacobite" counter-coups to regain it, so his support was toxic. The city continued to fester on its crag and to dump its sewage into the Nor Loch. A fresh start was made in the 18th century: the 1707 Union with England made a defensive position unnecessary, and was drawing away the most prosperous and influential people to live in London. Edinburgh needed to re-invent itself as a place to live and work.

In 1767 the council adopted the plans of a young architect James Craig (1739-1795). These covered the area that became Princes St, George St and Queen St, and created the grid pattern you see today. By 1820 this tract was populated by expensive private homes, by different builders with individual designs. Charlotte Square at the west end of George Street is the finest example of this first phase, designed by Robert Adam. Streets were added to the north (Great King Street being the best) and northwest (where Moray Place is a superb circle of mansions). Connections were made across the valley to Old Town by a bridge (replaced by the present North Bridge in 1897) and a midway embankment, The Mound. The West End was built in the 1860s and 1870s.

Shared private gardens were a major part of the plans - Princes Street Gardens began this way, and its owners prevented any construction south of the street that might spoil their view. They likewise tried to prevent the railway from linking the east and west terminuses but were defeated by 1846. These gardens and St Andrew Square are now public parks, but many remain private, such as Queen Street Gardens, Dean Gardens, and the centres of many squares and crescents.

The original tract between Princes Street and Queen Street is now mainly shops and offices and has lost many original buildings. Princes Street itself is a sorry contrast: its view south, central Mound and bookending railway hotels are grand, but the retail strip along its north side is utterly mediocre. East of St Andrew Square was redeveloped for the drab St James shopping centre, and the street pattern was obliterated. The rest of New Town is still mainly residential, though its original townhouses have mostly been divided into flats.

Get in[edit]

Map of Edinburgh/New Town

1 Waverley Station is at the east end of Princes St, with trains from all parts: see Edinburgh#Get in for routes.

Buses and trams from the airport stop outside Waverley station. The tram continues northwest to Leith and local buses fan out to all parts of the city.

2 Edinburgh Bus Station Edinburgh bus station on Wikipedia is 200 yards north of Waverley, terminus of all inter-city buses.

3 Haymarket Station is more convenient for the west end of New Town. All trains from the west (for instance Glasgow) stop here.

Never bring a car into New Town unless you've planned ahead for where you might park.

Walking is usually the best way to get around New Town, but it extends 2 miles east-west, and then there's the slopes up to the Old Town or down towards Stockbridge to be negotiated.


  • 1 Calton Hill. This is the stubby crag just east of Princes Street: a short stroll up it commands great views. The "National Monument", a memorial to Scots killed in the Napoleonic Wars, was an attempt to out-do the Parthenon in Athens but the money ran out with only the west facade built. Nelson's Tower was built 1807-16 in the shape of an upturned telescope in honour of the naval hero. A Time Ball on the mast drops at 1PM every day just as the One O'Clock Gun is fired from the castle - this gives a time signal to ships in the Firth before the sound rolls out to them, or it would if not obscured by drizzle and the ships in possession of reliable watches. It was operated by the adjacent City Observatory, superseded in 1896 by the Royal Observatory in the south of the city. City Observatory remained active until 2009 then was refurbished as the Collective Gallery exhibition space for modern art. Calton Hill (Q1199959) on Wikidata Calton Hill on Wikipedia
  • 2 Old Calton Cemetery, Waterloo Place EH1 3BQ. Daily 9AM-5PM. Atmospheric Georgian graves, memorials, and funerary ornaments. Memorials include those to the philosopher David Hume (1711-1776), to the Scots who died in the American Civil War, and to the Martyrs of Reform imprisoned or transported for sedition in the 1790s for calling for the right to vote. Old Calton Cemetery (Q7083575) on Wikidata Old Calton Burial Ground on Wikipedia
  • 3 St Andrew's & St George's West Church, 13 George Street EH2 2PA (next to Intercontinental Hotel), +44 131 225 3847, . Daily 10AM-2PM. Completed in 1784, this is the parish church of the New Town. It's Italianate with an unusual elliptical interior, with an ornate ceiling blending Roman, Pompeian and Scottish elements. The steeple holds Scotland's oldest complete peal of bells, cast in 1788. In 1843 this church was the scene of The Great Disruption, when a third of ministers broke with the Presbyterian Church of Scotland to found their own Free Kirk. St George's Church was part of the breakaway, but there was a reconciliation in the the 20th century, and in 2013 that congregation merged here. Free. St Andrew's and St George's West Church (Q7592411) on Wikidata St Andrew's and St George's West Church on Wikipedia
Scott Monument
  • 4 Scott Monument, East Princes Street Gardens EH2 2EJ, +44 131 529 4068. Daily 10-12:30AM, 2-4PM. Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832) re-invented Scotland. In the late Georgian era, he popularised tales of its medieval and Jacobean tumults, and created the clan tartans you buy on Princes St. This grand Gothic memorial, part cathedral part moon rocket, was completed in 1846 to dominate the east end of Princes St. It's 200 ft 6 in / 61.1 m tall, and guided tours take you up 287 steps (no lift) to the top platform, for a closer look at many of the statuettes of characters from Scott's works. The man himself and his dog sit in state at the base. In the 1990s the curators considered cleaning the monument but realised that the Victorian grime was holding it together, so replacement stonework is prominently white. Adult £8, child £6. Scott Monument (Q2502213) on Wikidata Scott Monument on Wikipedia
  • 5 Royal Scottish Academy. is an august neo-classical building on The Mound, fronting onto Princes St, and its main function is to be confused with the National Gallery behind. The RSA is a separate organisation promoting contemporary Scottish art. The building hosts temporary exhibitions but doesn't have a permanent display - the Academy's extensive collection is dispersed across many galleries. That might include your own home, as they run an art rental scheme. Royal Scottish Academy (Q2070445) on Wikidata Royal Scottish Academy on Wikipedia
  • 6 National Galleries of Scotland: National, The Mound EH2 2EL, +44 131 624 6200. Daily 10AM-5PM. This holds much of Scotland's fine artwork from Renaissance to 20th century, with changing exhibitions. These rotate seasonally, so an exhibition put on for the Festival typically stays to the end of the year, allowing quieter times to view. Enter from the plaza between gallery and Royal Scottish Academy, and a basement passage connects the two exhibition spaces. Free. Scottish National Gallery (Q942713) on Wikidata Scottish National Gallery on Wikipedia
  • 7 National Galleries of Scotland: Portrait, 1 Queen Street EH2 1JD, +44 131 624 6200, . Daily 10AM-5PM. Completed in 1890, this is a striking red sandstone neo-Gothic building. It holds portraits of Scots from down the ages, with new faces being added all the time: Billy Connolly and Tilda Swinton mingle with Mary Queen of Scots. The entrance hall has a grand frieze of notable Scots in procession. Free. Scottish National Portrait Gallery (Q2441562) on Wikidata Scottish National Portrait Gallery on Wikipedia
  • 8 Princes Street Gardens. The west portion fills the valley beyond the Mound, spanning the railway tracks to the foot of castle crag. The east portion is the terrace around the Scott Monument. They were laid out in the 1820s as private gardens for residents of the street: occupants of bath chairs required a medical certificate that their condition was not contagious. Their initial opening to the public was solely at Christmas and New Year, in the belief that this would distract people from the pubs and reduce drunkenness. In 1876 they became a public park and were re-landscaped and dotted with statues. By this time the gardens were already bisected by railway tracks, the price that had to be paid to finally link the east and west railway terminuses. The gardens are open 24 hours. Princes Street Gardens (Q980646) on Wikidata Princes Street Gardens on Wikipedia
  • 9 The Georgian House, 7 Charlotte Square EH2 4DR, +44 131 225 2160. March F-Su 10AM-4PM, April-Oct daily 10AM-5PM. This townhouse was designed by Robert Adam, completed in 1796 and has been furnished in the style of its first owner John Lamont. Its last private owner the Marquess of Bute also acquired adjacent townhouses and along with the other owners got the entire north facade of the square restored to Adams' imposing original design. Visit by self-guided tour, and in mid-summer you need to book as it sells out. Adult £12, conc £7, NTS / NT free. The Georgian House (Q7736202) on Wikidata The Georgian House, Edinburgh on Wikipedia
  • 10 Charlotte Square. In front of the house is the mirror-image of St Andrew's Square at the east end of George St. Bute House at Number 6, next door to The Georgian House, is the official residence of the First Minister of Scotland, so you might see a motorcade, TV cameras and armed security outside. The gardens in the square are private. Prince Albert stands in the middle, with his view down the street somewhat impeded by mature trees. Charlotte Square (Q5086152) on Wikidata Charlotte Square on Wikipedia
The Water of Leith powered mills in Dean Village
  • 11 Gilbert the Phone Box, 63 Queen St EH2 4NA. Key available Tu-Sa 10AM-4PM. An old red phone box has been kitted out with Edwardian memorabilia, and nicknamed for Sir Giles Gilbert Scott (1880-1960) designer of the box. 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 to it. Donation £3.
  • 12 James Clerk Maxwell's Birthplace, 14 India Street EH3 6EZ. By appointment M-F. Isaac Newton realised that what caused the apple to fall was the very same force moving the moon, planets and stars. James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879) was born in this house, before the family moved to Kirkcudbright. He was intensely curious about how nature worked and made a "great unification" of equal importance to Newton's: that magnetism, electricity, light and heat are all manifestations of the same electromagnetic spectrum. And this spectrum must contain other frequencies beyond human sensing: hence X-rays and radio waves, and the entire science of telecommunications. He made possible Einstein's 20th century unification of gravity, mass and energy, and contributed to many other fields of enquiry. The Foundation has preserved this townhouse with his memorabilia. His statue stands at the east end of George St and a laboratory block is named for him on the Edinburgh University science campus. Donation.
  • 13 Dean Village. It is an attractive hamlet down in the dene - the steep valley - of the Water of Leith. It was the medieval crossing point on the route from Edinburgh to South Queensferry, and is the main access point for this section of the Water of Leith Walkway (described below). The fast-descending stream drove 11 grain mills here, so it was the powerbase for the Baxters, the bakers' merchant guild. The present bridge across the stream was built in the 18th century, only just wide enough for a horse and cart. The village declined in the 19th century when bigger flour mills were built at Leith, and bypassed in 1833 when Telford's Dean Bridge spanned the valley; the Belford Bridge was added upstream in 1887. Dean village therefore never developed modern roads or industry, so its charming core was preserved. Dean Village (Q5246524) on Wikidata Dean Village on Wikipedia
  • 14 Dean Bridge. is best seen from below in Dean Village as you follow the walkway along the stream - from the top it's just a busy thoroughfare. Crossing in four arches 107 ft / 32 m above the stream, it was Telford's last major project. As well as improving the route to Fife, it made the north bank into prime real estate, so elegant terraces were built there. Dean Bridge (Q5246025) on Wikidata Dean Bridge on Wikipedia
  • 15 National Galleries of Scotland: Modern One, 74 Belford Rd EH4 3DR (Bus 13), +44 131 624 6200, . Daily 10AM-5PM. The original modern art gallery, established in 1960, was in the Botanic Gardens. In 1895 it moved into this neoclassical building, originally a refuge for fatherless children, and in 1999 it expanded across the road into the neoclassical orphanage now known as Modern Two. The gardens of Modern One have been sculpted. Both buildings have extensive contemporary collections and most visitors find that seeing one of them is plenty for an afternoon. Free. Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (Q1889944) on Wikidata Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art on Wikipedia
Modern One
  • 16 Modern Two. Opposite side of Belford Rd has a slightly smaller collection, but enough to infuriate about one-in-five reviewers, who rage that their kids' drawings stuck on the fridge door are better. A neon sign in the garden reassures all and sundry that "There will be no miracles". The gallery was closed over winter 22/23 to reduce heating costs, a situation that the shivering orphans would appreciate, but remained open in winter 23/24. Modern Two (Q2679817) on Wikidata Modern Two on Wikipedia
  • 17 St Mary's Episcopal Cathedral, Palmerston Place EH12 5AW, +44 131 225 6293. M-Sa 8-8:30AM, Su 8AM-4PM. This stonking great neo-Gothic church was completed in 1879, designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott, with the towers added in 1917. It's the senior Episcopal church in Scotland, within the Anglican tradition of bishops (and much else) that the Presbyterians rejected. It has daily choral services: the song school (open occasionally) has stunning murals by Phoebe Anna Traquair. St Mary's Cathedral (Q2324015) on Wikidata St Mary's Cathedral, Edinburgh (Episcopal) on Wikipedia
  • 18 St Mary's Metropolitan Cathedral, 61 York Place EH1 3JD, +44 131 556 1798. M-F 8:30AM-6:30PM, Sa Su 8:30AM-7:30PM. The Roman Catholic Cathedral was established as a chapel in 1814 and became a cathedral in 1886 for the archdiocese of Edinburgh and St Andrews. It was designed by James Gillespie Graham in neo-perpendicular style and has undergone several alterations and extensions - in the 1970s the tenements that hemmed it in were demolished. There are services twice daily in English and daily in Polish. St Mary's Cathedral (Q519072) on Wikidata St Mary's Cathedral, Edinburgh (Roman Catholic) on Wikipedia
  • 19 Sherlock Holmes (stands in the plaza outside the cathedral). His creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) was born nearby at 11 Picardy Place, to a genteel but impoverished Irish Catholic family. His first Sherlock story was published in 1886. The statue was in storage while the plaza was remodelled around the tramlines but restored in June 2023.


Townhouse door in New Town
  • 1 Assembly Rooms are a large events venue at 54 George St. This grand neoclassical building was completed in 1787, with the inaugural event a Hunt Ball. Its principal spaces are the Music Room (capacity 788) and the Ball Room (capacity 400), with nine other classily decorated rooms. It's in constant use for private and public functions and a major site during the Festival. The building is owned by the council but run by a separate company.
  • 2 Edinburgh Playhouse, 18-22 Greenside Place EH1 3AA. Built as a cinema in 1929 and refurbished in 1980, this is now Scotland's largest performance space, with a capacity of 3059. That's about 1000 more than can comfortably be seated and 2000 more than they have toilet provision for. It's run by ATG, Ambassador Theatre Group. Edinburgh Playhouse on Wikipedia
  • 3 Vue, 61 Greenside Place, Leith Walk EH1 3AU (within Omni Centre next to Playhouse), +44 345 308 4620. Large multiplex cinema showing mainstream releases.
  • 4 Stand Comedy Club (is in a basement at 5 York Place, east end of Queen St where the trams make a sharp turn).
  • Water of Leith Walkway follows the stream from Balerno at the southwest edge of the city down through Colinton, Saughton and Murrayfield, to flow under the Glasgow road and form the boundary of New Town. Follow the east / south bank under Coltbridge Viaduct and Belford Bridge, crossing banks and continuing into Dean Village. The following section is described as part of Stockbridge and the final stretch as part of Leith. The New Town and Stockbridge sections are too narrow for cycling, cut onto adjacent streets. Use the layers button ( below the full screen button) and activate "Hiking" to see the walkway on the map.


Princes Street[edit]

This is the main shopping street in Edinburgh, running from Waverley railway station to Lothian Road. Lots of chain stores here. George Street 200 yards north has more upmarket shops, plus bars and restaurants.
  • 1 St James Quarter. Shopping centre which opened in 2021, replacing the tired St James Centre, includes John Lewis department store, and 3 floors of mid- and up-market chain stores. Also here are the W Hotel, Roomzzz aparthotel and several restaurants. Too bad about the curling tapered roof sculpture, which looks like a . . . well, enough to spoil the view. St. James Centre (Q7588445) on Wikidata St. James Centre on Wikipedia
  • Multrees Walk is a mall just south of the bus station, connecting St James Quarter with St Andrew Square. Stores here include Harvey Nichols, Louis Vuitton, Burberry and Canada Goose.
  • Waverley Market, 3/48 Waverley Bridge EH1 1BQ (above station). Daily 9AM-8PM. Upmarket mainstream shops in a covered mall above Waverley station. Waverley Mall (Q7244460) on Wikidata Waverley Market on Wikipedia
  • Dundas St is the north continuation of Hanover St, descending to Canonmills. Its upper section is lined with art galleries: these are commercial selling galleries (hours vary) but they're happy for you just to browse around. They include Open Eye, Arusha, Scottish Gallery, Greyfriars Art, Birch Tree, Torrance Gallery and Fettes Fine Art. Lower down are several antique shops.
  • 2 Slater Menswear, 100 George Street EH2 3DF, +44 131 220 3223. M-W F Sa 8:30AM-5:30PM, Th 8:30AM-8:30PM. Eastern outpost of the famous Glasgow institution. Broad range at keen prices with helpful service.
  • West End of Princes St has a retail strip in the block bounded by Queensferry St, Shandwick Place, William Street and Stafford Street.
  • 3 Paper Tiger, 6a Stafford St EH3 7AU, +44 131 226 2390. M-Sa 10AM-6PM, Su 11AM-5PM. Classy selection of cards, home accessories, toys and gifts. Their other branches are at 53 Lothian Rd and 194 Morningside Rd.

Broughton Street[edit]

Ross Fountain in Princes Street Gardens
This is a boho street at the northeast end of New Town, with a variety of independent shops, bars and restaurants.
  • The Dragonfly, 111a Broughton Street EH1 3RZ (Next to Cask & Barrel pub), +44 131 629 4246. M-F noon-6PM, Sa Su 11AM-5PM. Funky little shop with a lovely range of cards and gifts.
  • Crombies, 97 Broughton Street H1 3RZ (100 yards up from Cask & Barrel), +44 131 557 0111. M-Sa 7AM-7PM. Award-winning butchers shop, established 1955. Great quality local meat, especially their range of sausages.
  • Real Foods, 37 Broughton Street EH1 3JU (20 yards down from Mathers Bar), +44 131 557 1911. M-Sa 9AM-7PM, Su 10AM-6PM. The original Edinburgh "health food" shop, 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 veg.

Leith Walk[edit]

This descends from the east end of Princes St and runs all the way down to Leith, with the trams rumbling along it.
  • 4 Valvona & Crolla, 19 Elm Row, Leith Walk EH7 4AA, +44 131 556 6066. M-Sa 9AM-6PM. Legendary Italian deli founded in 1934. Its grey frontage is unassuming, but it stretches back through a wonderland of food. There's a small bright cafe in the back, where you'll be lucky to get seated.
  • Vinyl Villains, 5 Elm Row, Leith Walk EH7 4AA (50 yards up from Valvona & Crolla), +44 131 558 1170. M-Sa 10:30AM-6PM, Su 1-5PM. Second-hand vinyl record shop with a great selection, quality stock and reasonable prices. They also have CDs, T-shirts, posters and fanzines.
  • 5 Harburn Hobbies, 67 Elm Row, Leith Walk EH7 4AQ, +44 131 556 3233. M-Sa 10AM-5PM. 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.


Moray Place


  • Snax, 15 West Register Street EH2 2AA (behind Cafe Royal), +44 131 557 8688. M-Sa 7AM-3PM, Su 7:30-2PM. A small fast-food joint, limited seating. The food is cheap and edible, with a decent vegetarian selection.
  • Cafe Piccante, 19 Broughton St EH1 3JU (next to Mathers Bar), +44 131 478 7884. M-F noon-2AM, Sa Su 3PM-2AM. Unashamed specialists in late-night greasy food, friendly staff and a DJ at weekends. The burgers are a stand-out and deep-fried mars bars are available for tourists.


  • 1 Cafe Royal, 19 West Register Street EH2 2AA, +44 131 556 1884. Su-Th 11AM-11PM, F Sa 11AM-1AM. Beautifully tiled Victorian palace of a pub, designed in 1862 as a showroom for the latest fixtures and fittings, no dogs. The stylish restaurant serves seafood and other classics.
  • Dishoom, 3a St Andrew Square EH2 2BD (50 yards west of Edinburgh Grand), +44 131 202 6406. Su-W 8AM-11PM, Th-Sa 8AM-midnight. Scottish outpost of a small national chain, modelling their interiors on colonial Bombay cafes. The food is made to share, mostly consisting of small plates, with the house chaat, black daal and salli botti particularly memorable. Often busy, but they can usually squeeze you in, remember those Bombay buses and commuter trains.
  • The Dome, 14 George Street EH2 2PF (opposite Intercontinental The George), +44 131 624 8624. Daily 10AM-midnight. Bar and grill in a former bank headquarters with grand exterior and impressive interior.
  • Mussel Inn, 61-65 Rose Street EH2 2NH (behind Assembly Rooms), +44 131 225 5979. M-F noon-2:30PM, 5-10PM, Sa Su noon-10PM. Seafood restaurant owned by shellfish producers, ingredients direct from the west coast.
  • Dulse, 17 Queensferry St EH2 4QW, +44 1738 718387. M Tu 5PM-midnight, W-Su noon-midnight. This serves excellent Scottish seafood.
  • 2 Teuchters, 26 William Street EH3 7NH, +44 131 225 2973. Daily noon-1AM. Lively pub serving modern Scottish cuisine at reasonable prices.
  • 3 Café Marlayne, 76 Thistle Street EH2 1EN, +44 131 226 2230. Tu 6-10PM, W-Sa noon-3PM, 6-10PM. Chic cosy French bistro serving up excellent French cuisine.
  • Cafe St Honoré, Thistle Street North West Lane EH2 1EA (alley opposite Cafe Marlayne), +44 131 226 2211. Th-Sa noon-2PM, 5-9:30PM, Su 6-8PM. Great continental food and wine. Gluten free and dairy free menus available.
  • Contini, 103 George St EH2 3ES (opposite Slaters), +44 131 225 1550. M-F 9AM-11PM, Sa 10AM-11PM, Su 10AM-10PM. Restaurant in a former grand banking hall serving wonderful Italian food.
  • Aizle, opened in 2021, is modern Scottish cuisine. It's at 38 Charlotte Square and open W-Su 5-9PM.
  • Noto at 47a Thistle St is sister to Aizle. They serve excellent Japanese-themed dishes for sharing; open Su-Th noon-11PM, F Sa noon-midnight.
  • The Lookout is a cafe and restaurant perched atop Calton Hill, with cuisine to match the panoramic views. It's open Th-Su noon-11PM.
  • Fhior, 36 Broughton St EH1 3SB (opposite Barony Bar), +44 131 477 5000. Th 6:30-10PM, F-Su noon-2:30PM, 6:30-10PM. Beautiful Scandi cuisine, locally sourced and artfully presented.
  • Number 11 is a hotel brasserie (see Sleep) at 11 Brunswick St, serving non-residents W-F 5-9PM, Sa Su noon-3PM, 5-9PM.
  • Holy Cow, 34 Elder St (Close to rear of bus station), +44 131 629 7057. M-Th 12:00-22:00;F-Su 10:00-22:00. Excellent basement vegan cafe. Home-made food.


Balmoral Hotel
  • The Balmoral above Waverley Station (see Sleep) has three dining areas:
    • Palm Court serves afternoon tea daily 9AM-5PM, with live harp music.
    • Brasserie Prince is a slick French-style bistro, daily 7AM-10PM.
    • Number One is fine dining, modern Scots, Th-M 6-9:30PM.
  • George Hotel main restaurant The Printing Press has closed for rebuilding until 2025. Le Petit Beefbar is their steakhouse open daily 12:30-3:30PM, 5:30-9:30PM. Burr & Co coffee shop only serves dinner to residents.
  • Waldorf Astoria west end of Princes St (see Sleep) has two restaurants:
    • Grazing is modern Scottish fare (chef Mark Greenaway), Tu-Sa 6-9PM.
    • The Pompadour is continental cuisine (chef Dean Banks), Th 5PM-midnight, F-Su noon-3PM, 5-PM-midnight.
  • 4 The Palmerston, 1 Palmerston Place EH12 5AF, +44 131 220 1794. Tu-Sa 9AM-2:30PM, 6-10PM, Su 9AM-3:30PM. Chicly decorated restaurant and bakery in a former bank, the menu changes daily.


George Street is the main drinking strip, along with the St Andrews Square area, the cross streets, and the two parallel pedestrian alleys Rose St south and Thistle / Hill / Young St north. Those alleys in turn have sub-alley loops, where dazed stag and hen parties mill and meander.
  • Voodoo Rooms, 19a West Register Street H2 2AA (behind Cafe Royal), +44 131 556 7060, . W Th 5PM-1AM, F Su 3PM-1AM, Sa 1PM-1AM. Over-the-top decor in this quirky pub, sometimes has live entertainment, mixed reviews for the food.
  • All Bar One, 29-31 George Street EH2 2PA (next to Intercontinental The George), +44 131 226 9971. Su-Th 9AM-11PM, F Sa 9AM-1AM. Chain pub with slick service and good ale and meals.
  • Eastside (formerly Opal Lounge), 51 George Street EH2 2HT (opposite Assembly Rooms), +44 131 226 2275. Su-F 9PM-3AM, Sa 5PM-3AM. Busy cocktail bar and night entertainment spot.
  • The Standing Order, 62-66 George St EH2 2LR (next to Assembly Rooms), +44 131 225 4460. Daily 8AM-1PM. A cavernous converted bank building. It's part of the JD Wetherspoon chain and always has a wide range of inexpensive drinks and pub food.
Sherlock Holmes' statue is in Picardy Place, surveying the Broughton St pubs
  • 1 Tonic, 34a North Castle St EH2 3BN, +44 131 225 6431. M-Th 5PM-1AM, F-Su noon-1AM. A great cocktail bar with friendly helpful staff.
  • 2 The Oxford Bar, 8 Young St EH2 4JB, +44 131 539 7119. Daily noon-midnight. Trad drouthy Scottish pub, often a setting in the Ian Rankin "Inspector Rebus" novels. The Oxford Bar (Q7755783) on Wikidata The Oxford Bar on Wikipedia
  • 3 The Kenilworth, 152-154 Rose Street EH2 3JD, +44 131 226 1773. Su-W noon-11PM, Th-Sa noon-1AM. Splendidly tiled and wood-panelled pub.
  • The Alexander Graham Bell is another JD Wetherspoon, at 128 George Street near Charlotte Square.
Broughton Street northeast side of New Town has a wide range of bars.
  • 4 Mathers, 25 Broughton Street EH1 3JU, +44 131 557 4377. Daily noon-11PM. Traditional bar with a good range of real ales and whisky, reasonable pub food. Big screen for football and rugby.
  • The Basement, 10-12a Broughton Street EH1 3RH (opposite Mathers), +44 131 557 0097. M-Th 4PM-1AM, F-Su noon-2AM. Nowadays specialising in Mexico, so this is the place for tequila or tacos.
  • Barony Bar, 81 Broughton Street EH1 3RJ (100 yards down from Mathers), +44 131 629 9204. Su-Th noon-11PM, F-Sa noon-1AM. Trad pub, dog-friendly, sometimes has live music. It calls itself a gastropub but customers don't much rate the food.
  • 5 The Cask & Barrel, 115 Broughton Street EH1 3RZ, +44 131 556 3132. Su-Th 11AM-11PM, F Sa 11AM-midnight. This often features in the novels of Christopher Brookmyre as the pub where journalist "Jack Parlabane" gets tip-offs from the police. The Cask is a proper boozer with a wide selection of' Real Ale plus draft and bottled lagers and whisky. Great place to watch football or rugby as they have half a dozen TV screens.
  • 6 The Cumberland Bar, 1-3 Cumberland Street EH3 6RT, +44 131 558 3134. M-Th 4:30-11PM, F Sa noon-midnight, Su noon-11PM. Readers of Alexander McCall Smith's 44 Scotland Street will recognise this literary haunt. It's a traditional pub popular with New Town locals, students, the suits from local offices, pretty much everyone in fact. Gets very busy in summer thanks to its lovely beer garden - one of the few central pubs to have one. Plenty of drink options and decent food.
  • Edinburgh Gin Distillery, 1a Rutland Place EH1 2AD (next to Waldorf Astoria), +44 131 202 4555. Daily 10AM-4:30PM. Micro-distillery producing gin in various styles. In summer 2024 they plan to move to larger premises on Market St near the station. Basic tour £25.
  • Johnnie Walker is the traditional budget blended whisky of the working man. See Kilmarnock for its history, but that plant has closed down, and it's nowadays made in Glasgow and Leven, and owned by Diageo. The tour centre at 145 Princes St (opposite Waldorf Astoria) reinvents it as a jazzy upmarket experience. Basic tour £30, which would almost buy you two bottles of Red Label to stotious effect.


Calton Hill looks down on New Town


  • 1 Edinburgh, 125a Princes Street EH2 4AD, +44 131 226 5303. Tiny rooms, but right in the heart of the city facing the castle and Princes Street Gardens. Some rooms have no window. Double (room only) £50.
  • 2 Edinburgh Central Youth Hostel, 9 Haddington Place, Leith Walk EH7 4AL, +44 131 524 2090. Large hostel near the top of Leith Walk, about 10 minutes walk from Waverley Station. 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. Dorm £23, double room £90.
  • 3 ibis Styles St Andrew Square, 19 St Andrew Square EH2 1AU, +44 131 292 0200. Good value Accor chain hotel 100 yards from the bus station. B&B double £120.
  • Premier Inn Edinburgh City Centre (York Place), 44 York Place EH1 3HU (opposite Waverley Station), +44 333 234 6473. Reliable chain hotel with spacious rooms for the price, and a/c. Some rooms have views over the New Town and Forth. B&B double £80.
  • Premier Inn Waverley is another branch at 24 Rose St.
  • Cityroomz, 25 Shandwick Place EH2 4RG (just west of Waldorf Astoria), +44 131 229 6871. Bright modern place at the west end of Princes St. Double (room only) £60.


  • Malmaison is at 22 St Andrew Square opposite Ibis Styles. Poor reviews for its ill-lit cramped rooms with nowhere to put your stuff.
  • 4 21212, 3 Rothesay Terrace EH3 7RY, +44 131 523 1030. Restaurant in a Georgian town house with four rooms. No dogs. B&B double £150.
  • 5 B+B Edinburgh, 3 Rothesay Terrace EH3 7RY, +44 131 225 5084. Traditional hotel with lovely views, but the lift is chronically out of action. B&B double £110.
  • Tigerlily, 125 George Street EH2 4JN, +44 131 225 5005. Jazzy hotel near Charlotte Square, spacious rooms. No dogs. Double (room only) £90.
  • Mercure Edinburgh City Princes Street, 53 Princes Street EH2 2DG (opposite Scott Monument), +44 131 342 1013. Accor chain hotel with views over Princess Street gardens to the castle. B&B double £110.
  • 6 Parliament House Hotel, 15 Calton Hill EH1 3BJ, +44 131 478 4000. Quiet backwater off busy streets at the foot of Calton Hill. Comfy and great value, tiny bathrooms. B&B double £100.
  • 7 Number 11, 11 Brunswick St EH7 5JB, +44 131 557 6910. Slick welcoming hotel with great dining. B&B double £110.


Waldorf Astoria - The Caledonian
  • 8 Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh (The Caledonian), Princes Street EH1 2AB, +44 131 222 8888. Grand hotel presiding over the west end of Princes St, facing the castle. It was built as the terminus station and hotel for the Caledonian Railway, vying with the rival North British terminus at the east end, now Waverley. The latter became the definitive city terminus, the west end station was demolished in 1970 and "The Caley" was able to expand. Citizens also discovered that it was rose pink, when 70 years of grime was scrubbed off. It earns good but not great reviews for comfort, service and dining in its three restaurants. The property is now owned by an Abu Dhabi holding company but continues to be operated by Hilton. B&B double £220. The Caledonian (Q16256099) on Wikidata Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh - The Caledonian on Wikipedia
  • 9 InterContinental The George Hotel, 19-21 George Street EH2 2PB, +44 131 225 1251. 249-room hotel on busy George Street. The hotel was built as townhouses in the 1780s and knocked through into a hotel in 1881. Great scores for comfort, service and location. B&B double £210. The George Hotel (Q7736172) on Wikidata The George Hotel (Edinburgh) on Wikipedia
  • Old Waverley Hotel, 43 Princes Street EH2 2BY (opposite station), +44 131 556 4648, . Very central location, but poky old rooms and no lift. B&B double £110.
  • Balmoral Hotel, 1 Princes Street EH2 2EQ (above Waverley Station, lift from concourse), +44 131 556 2414, . This baronial pile opened in 1902 as the terminus and hotel of the North British Railway, just pipping the rival Caledonian at the other end of Princes St. Its landmark clock tower is always three minutes fast to speed dawdlers towards their train. The NB Hotel was rebuilt to become the Balmoral in 1990. Great service and trad ambience, some visitors found it dated. B&B double £260. Balmoral Hotel (Q3700280) on Wikidata Balmoral Hotel on Wikipedia
  • 10 Nira Caledonia, 10 Gloucester Place EH3 6EF, +44 131 225 2720. Hotel (more like a B&B) at the edge of Stockbridge. Tiny rooms and beds, tall guests will suffer. B&B double £180.
  • 11 Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel, 38 Charlotte Square EH2 4HQ, +44 131 240 5500, toll-free: +44 800 4444 5566. On a charming garden squares, this 199-room was seven inter-connecting Georgian townhouses, built in 1791 to a design by Robert Adam, and converted to a hotel in 1881. B&B double £240.
  • 12 Cheval Edinburgh Grand (formerly Lateral City), 42 St Andrews Square EH2 2AD, +44 131 230 0570. Plush studios and apartments between railway and bus stations. B&B double £200.
  • Gleneagles Townhouse is at 39 St Andrews Square next to The Edinburgh Grand. Fine decor but poor service.
  • The Glasshouse, 2 Greenside Place EH1 3AA (Omni Centre next to Playhouse), +44 131 525 8200. Comfy central hotel, service spasmodic. B&B double £210.


New Town like the rest of Edinburgh has 5G from all UK carriers, and Wifi is widely available.

All public libraries have internet and printing facilities, see Edinburgh#Connect for how to access these. There are no branches within New Town, those close by are Central Library on George IV Bridge in Old Town, Stockbridge, and Macdonald Road going down Leith Walk.

Go next[edit]

  • Old Town is the unmissable medieval core of Edinburgh, with the Royal Mile stretching from castle to palace.
  • Stockbridge has the extensive Botanic Gardens.
  • Murrayfield rugby stadiums and Hearts football ground are within walking distance to the west.
  • Day trips out of town are easily made from the railway and bus stations, see Edinburgh#Go next for suggestions.

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

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