Princes Street is a 1.6 KM long street connecting Lothian road and Leith Street in New Town. The street is the main shopping street in Edinburgh and is designed in a way to enhance a panoramic view of Old Town. This is achieved by the fact that the street has no buildings on the south side.
Public transport isn’t allowed on the street to make it a tourist-friendly and easy to navigate. Building of Princes Street began in 1770 after the design was made architect James Craig. During construction of the street a polluted water body in the area was drained and turned into Princes Street Gardens.
Initially all the buildings on the street had the same format. They were to be constructed with two storeys and an attic. They also had to have stairs going down to the basement and up to the ground floor of the building. Only one building on the street still maintains the format.
Later the street was redeveloped to adopt other formats and turn it into a retail center other than being a residential center. Three of the buildings on the street are listed buildings meaning they are considered to have architectural heritage and should not be altered, demolished or extended without permission.
Things to do
Shopping – one of the major activities you can engage in on Princes Street is shopping. The street is lined with many shops for the big and small brands alike. There are many high end shopping stores for fragrances, clothing, shoes and department stores for a good time.
Some of the major brands you can find along Princes Street are; Marks and Spencer, House of Fraser, Boots, Topman and Topshop amongst many others.
Sightseeing – Princes Street is great for sightseeing if you are not into shopping. The street gives a really good view of Old Town and the Edinburgh Castle. You should also keep your head up for the breathtaking architecture on the street that has lasted for hundreds of years.
Most of the old buildings on the street are adorned with angles and other figures of heritage and culture. All this as you learn about the history of Edinburgh.
Visit the Princes Street Gardens – another attraction for those that need to have a tranquil moment is the Princes Street Gardens. The gardens have an open air theatre where you can enjoy live music and concerts. The gardens also have a war memorial to Scottish soldiers.
Here you can honor the soldiers that have lost their lives in battle as they defend Scotland. This presents a great opportunity to learn about the history of Scotland. The gardens also hold a few monuments and other attractions. There is the Scott Monument dedicated to Sir Walter Scott a great author and writer.
The floral gardens is another attraction that begs your attention on the garden. It was first planted back in 1930 John McHattie who was superintendent of the park. Currently the floral gardens have a different theme every summer.
There are also many hotels and restaurants on Princes Street where you can enjoy some fine dining of different cuisines.