Things to do | Posted 18 Mar 2019

Edinburgh’s coveted Old Town is a cobbled maze of rickety houses, passageways and historical landmarks. An unmissable destination on your weekend in the Scottish capital, the area is littered with 16th and 17th century structures which have been restored to their former glory. Journey back through time to the Auld Reekie of yesteryear, where eerie myths and heroic legends are whispered from the walls, and there’s something new to see around every corner.

But it’s not all about the old architecture and tall tales, the Old Town is home to a plethora of shops and boutiques that you can, and should, peruse during your visit – return from your trip with unique souvenirs and tempting treats from your Scottish adventure. Here are some of our favourite ways to indulge in a spot of retail therapy during a visit to the Old Town.

A chocoholic’s heaven

Wander through the Old Town and you’ll discover a range of specialist chocolatiers and fudge makers, including The Fudge Kitchen Ltd and The Fudge House of Edinburgh. Treat yourself to something from the eclectic offering of tempting treats and sugary goodness, or relax with a mug of rich hot cocoa from one of the master chocolatiers.

If you have a sweet tooth, be sure to visit Miss Katie Cupcake too!

Traditional Scottish wares

Take a stroll along the cobbled streets of the Old Town and you’ll be treated to a selection of shops filled with unique treasures and traditional Scottish wares. It’s easy to imagine the city’s past residents walking along the same streets and perusing the shops – although the things they purchased were probably very different to the items you’ll see in the windows today!

Discover a wide range of Scottish jewellery, vintage clothes and classic books from stores that have been standing since the 16th century.

A whisky-lover’s paradise

No one does whisky quite like the Scots. In the Old Town, you’ll discover several whisky specialists who have been working with the stuff for decades. So, whether you like yours elegant and floral, fruity and spicy or maritime and smoky – you’ll find the amber liquid of your dreams here.

Sample the unusual at Grassmarket

A bustling array of independent merchants, the Grassmarket is known throughout Scotland for being home to some of the most unusual shops in the city – one of them sells real fossils! There’s also a milk bar, vegan food specialist, traditional Scottish clothing maker and a ghostly gift shop that sells skulls, dragons and magical faeries!

For more exclusive travel tips and news, be sure to stay up to date with the Leonardo Hotels blog. Looking for the perfect place to lay your head after a long day of exploring the city? Our Simpson Townhouse, Murrayfield and Edinburgh Royal hotels all feature stylish, modern guestrooms – so you’re guaranteed a good night’s rest.

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