Edinburgh New Town

Advice for New Town visitors

When you look at a map of Edinburgh you notice the perfect grid pattern of the New Town. Princes Street is Edinburgh's main street and runs along the gardens. Then there's Rose Street, George Street and Queen Street running parallel with Princes Street. Perfect geometry and symmetry.

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At either end of George Street there are 2 squares -- Charlotte Square -- one of the finest squares not only in Edinburgh but in the world -- and St. Andrew Square. The buildings in the Edinburgh New Town are generally 3-4 stories high, with flowers by the window which make them quite picturesque.

Where to find seats in the Edinburgh New Town

The only seats I came across in the New Town area are along Queen Street which is, unfortunately, a heavy traffic street. Edinburgh New Town may be ideal for walks and photography but a poor location to have a sandwich in or a rest from sightseeing. You can, however, sit on the sidewalk in Charlotte Square.

Edinburgh New Town is built in such a manner that virtually every building has gardens in their near vicinity. The most notable green space in the New Town are Queen Street Gardens which are private and only accessible to residents. They are responsible for their upkeep and not the Edinburgh City Council.

I did come across some seats in the Circus Place area -- near Moray Place, in Stockbridge. It only takes about 10 minutes to reach on foot from Edinburgh City Centre. There are cafes, bakeries and a supermarket in the area. It's, as far as I know, the best place for a break from sightseeing while you're in Edinburgh's New Town.

The pavements and streets are wider than in the Old Town which makes them easier to walk on. This part of Edinburgh is also far less busy than Princes Street so it's ideal for tourists who are looking for a leisurely walk to take in the sights.

The architecture of the buildings and squares of the New Town also reduces the noise level from nearby streets to a minimum. You wouldn't believe you are only a 5 minutes walk from Edinburgh's City Centre.

Tips if you want to explore the Edinburgh New Town

  • Edinburgh is quite hilly and the New Town can be quite steep in parts. What I suggest is to walk down its slopes on foot, do your own tour of the New Town and take the bus back to Princes Street. Bus stops are in Circus Place or Howe Street near Queen Street.
  • If you're keen on photography, use the afternoon light to take pictures of the buildings in the New Town as this will enhance their the texture and colours.
  • It would be wise to get a map if you plan to walk around the New Town. While getting lost in Edinburgh is close to impossible, the map could come in handy when trying to find individual places of interest.

» Back to New Town of Edinburgh guide index

More Edinburgh New Town information:

» Back to Princes Street guide index

All Princes Street articles:

  • Edinburgh New Town introduction Overview of the New Town including best places to visit plus tips and advice.
  • Princes Street highlights Visitor information about the shops and attractions on Princes Street.
  • Princes Street Gardens Overview of the most popular green space in Edinburgh.
  • Scott Monument Information about the unmistakable neogothic monument dedicated to Sir Walter Scott.
  • National Gallery of Scotland Information about the top free attraction in Edinburgh and one of the finest art galleries in Britain.
  • Calton Hill While not at the end of Princes Street itself, Calton Hill plays a very big part in the distinctive Edinburgh panorama but also as an excellent viewpoint.
  • Ramsay Gardens Although at the top of the Royal Mile, Ramsay Garden is a distinctive part of Edinburgh's skyline that can be seen from Princes Street.
  • Photos of Edinburgh City Centre Picture gallery of Princes Street, the gardens, Scott Monument, the Balmoral Hotel, Calton Hill and the New Town.
  • Attraction Details - Princes Street Princes Street tourist information including opening times and contact details of the Tourist Centre and attractions on Princes Street and Edinburgh City Centre.
  • Princes Street on the web Links to other web pages related to Princes Street, the Gardens and the heart of Edinburgh.

Also see:

Accommodation near City Centre in Edinburgh

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