The New Town in Edinburgh is truly a breathtaking district. This urban masterpiece is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The New Town is widely regarded as the stoic embodiment of the Scottish Enlightenment, and it is easy to understand why as you stroll through the wide boulevards and symmetrical streets dotted with wonderfully maintained Georgian residences and green open spaces. The magnificent neighbourhood was planned and constructed in the middle to late 18th century as an answer to the congested, deplorable conditions of the neighbouring Old Town.
Edinburgh’s New Town, which was constructed in the middle to late 18th century to alleviate crowding in the area now known as the Old Town, is a thriving example of urban planning and magnificent Neo-Classical architecture.
In the New Town, where class and refinement reign, Georgian homes dot the wide boulevards and open plazas. Tourists and locals alike frequent the trendy hotel bars and posh cocktail lounges for a drink after a day at work or strolling the shops on Princes Street and the area around George Street. The Scottish National Portrait Gallery is a neo-Gothic building, constructed of red sandstone, housing paintings of notable Scots both past and present.
The Scottish National Gallery on the Mound and the Scottish Gallery of Modern Art to the north-west, near Stockbridge, are both located in Edinburgh’s New Town, making it the cultural epicentre of the city. The National Portrait Gallery stands out as the most fascinating attraction to many guests.
The impressive architecture, well-kept grounds, and unobstructed views of Edinburgh Castle are merely a few of the attractions. The New Town is the heart of Edinburgh’s retail scene, featuring a wide variety of stores from mall staples to high-end boutiques. There are also many trendy restaurants, bars, and cafes to choose from. The New Town of Edinburgh is a must-see because it has so many attractions.
The New Town’s grid layout is a welcome change from the surrounding Old Town’s confusing streets. Charlotte Square can be found on the western border of the area. Incredible examples of 18th-century architecture surround the vast plaza, which features a private garden at its heart. See for yourself how the wealthy lived two centuries ago by touring the magnificent Georgian House.
The Scottish National Portrait Gallery may be reached on foot in about 15 minutes. It houses paintings and photos of Scotland’s most notable historical personalities. Walk past Charlotte Square’s mirror image, St. Andrew Square, and up 287 steps to reach the Scott Monument in the south. One of Edinburgh’s most recognizable structures, it was built as a memorial to author Sir Walter Scott. The views from the lookout point are spectacular.
To get some more exercise, head to Calton Hill in eastern New Town. The hilltop features several well-known structures, the most notable of which is the National Monument. Take shots of the sun setting (or rising) over the beautiful metropolis for memories that will last a lifetime.
The New Town is plenty of wonderful places to indulge in some retail therapy and enjoy fine eating. Located at the southern end of the New Town, Princes Street is Edinburgh’s primary commercial thoroughfare. The vast boulevard is lined with scores of flagship stores from major brands like Topshop, H&M, and Jenners, an Edinburgh institution it opened in 1838.
George Street is a parallel street to Princes Street. The area is home to several of Edinburgh’s most chic shops and department stores. Luxury goods from Burberry, Louis Vuitton, and Scotland’s lone Harvey Nichols may be found in Multrees Walk on St. Andrew Square.
Even if you don’t plan on spending the night here, you’ll eventually find yourself on George Street once the sun goes down. The street is the place to be at night, with cocktail lounges, welcoming pubs, and upscale dance clubs offering entertainment well into the morning.