Shopping in Edinburgh provides something for everyone; from high-end boutiques and luxury brands to vintage treasure troves and unique speciality stores, it's easy to come away with a quality buy.
Princes Street, the main street of the New Town of Edinburgh, is by far the most well-known and popular strip to do a spot of shopping. Here most people manoeuvre their way through the bustling crowds to get to some of the major UK chain stores, as well as a few independent shops. The slightly calmer and more exclusive George Street runs parallel to Princes Street but is somewhat pricier. At the east end of the street, Princes Mall contains plenty of specialist shops and boutiques.
The Royal Mile, which forms the spine of the atmospheric Old Town, is a slightly more off-beat shopping destination with loads of quirky independent stores. Popular buys in Edinburgh include tartan scarves and kilts, whisky, Edinburgh Crystal and tweeds. The many shops along this stretch clearly cater primarily to tourists, with plenty of souvenirs on offer. The Stockbridge Sunday Market is also worth a visit to browse the stalls selling fresh local produce and handcrafted wares including jewellery, ceramics and soap.
Shops in Edinburgh are generally open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5.30pm, with late-night shopping on Thursday until roughly 8pm. Some larger stores open on Sundays. Many shops (especially those frequented by tourists) are part of the Tax-Free scheme and shoppers are advised to keep their receipts and fill out a claim form to have the 17.5 percent VAT refunded.
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