After exploring the Royal Mile, it’s time to head to New Town. This area was built between 1765 and 1850 for the wealthy people who were not quite happy to share the streets with the less fortunate in Old Town.
The neo-classical and Georgian style architecture is beautiful and impressive. In 1995 it was declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Start visiting the National Gallery of Scotland, home to one of the best collections of fine art from the early Renaissance to the end of the 19th century. Masterpieces from internationally renowned artists such as Monet, Van Gogh, El Greco and Velázquez are exposed there. Works from all major Scottish artists are also part of this impressive collection. The shop, restaurant and café are worth a visit. Admission to the Gallery is free.
Near the National Gallery you will find the Walter Scott Monument, a beautiful Victorian gothic monument to Sir Walter Scott, one of Scotland’s greatest writers. The monument is open for visits. If you have time and energy to climb up a series of narrow spiral staircases with a total of 287 steps you will be rewarded with stunning panoramic views of Edinburgh.
The Princes Gardens is the main public park in the centre of Edinburgh. A beautifully kept garden that attracts lots of people on sunny days. In the west end of the park you will find the famous Ross Fountain, the best place to take your souvenir photo of the castle.
From Ross Fountain spot, walk back to the Princes Street and take the first street north called South Charlotte Street where Alexander Graham Bell, pioneer of the telephone was born (check for a sign on your left to see the exact place).
South Charlotte Street will take you to the beautiful Charlotte Square, one of the most privileged addresses in town. Visit the Georgian House to see how was life in 18th century prestigious and wealthy New Town.
Rose Street and George Street in New Town, feel like two different worlds. Rose Street is a small unpretentious lane, a bit of Old Town in New Town. It has though a very lively atmosphere with shops, pubs and restaurants. On sunny days, restaurants and pubs set their tables out for a truly al-fresco dining. Rose Street is casual while George Street is more sophisticated.
George Street is home to luxury brands, elegant restaurants and prestigious night clubs. Stop at the Dome for a drink and admire its stunning architecture.
St Andrew Square located in the east end of George Street is the mirror of Charlotte Square but it’s open to the public and quite often has exhibitions on its grounds. Cross the square to reach the famous Harvey Nichols and Multrees Walk, a pedestrian shopping area address of luxury brands such as Calvin Klein, Pandora, Emporio Armani, and Louis Vuitton.
Why not end your tour with a dinner in one of the many excellent restaurants in New Town.
The following are some of the options that offer great views!
The Forth Floor Restaurant
30-34 St Andrew Square
Tel: 0131 524 8350
Stuart Muir, the restaurant Executive Chef, is recognised by the Scottish Chefs Association as one of the 12 best chefs in Scotland. He always uses local produce to create his dishes.
33 Castle Street
0131 226 7614
Oloroso is owned by chef Tony Singh who creates dishes from locally sourced and seasonal food. It features a bar and a restaurant – from the bar you get a special double aspect view of Edinburgh out to both the Castle and the Firth of Forth.
The Old Waverley Hotel
43 Princes Street
0131 556 4648
This restaurant is located on Princes Street on the first floor of a traditional building with beautiful views of the city. With a sophisticated menu and elegant atmosphere.