In today's increasingly homogenised world, one city centre is much like another. And what is true of city centres goes in spades for shopping centres, shopping malls, shopping arcades - it doesn't matter what you call them, they're all the same. So what can Edinburgh offer that's different?
Well, for a start there's Princes Street. That stunning view still makes it worthwhile, even if today it's not what it once was as a retail centre.You'll still find all the usual suspects of the British High Street here and in the streets leading off it. Behind Princes Street is Rose Street, where you will find a number of very good jewellers, and behind it again is George Street which, together with Multrees Walk (reached from George Street via St. Andrew’s Square), is home to the majority of designer and upmarket shops in Edinburgh. If you're looking for something funkier try the shops around Victoria Street and the Grassmarket.
What really separates Edinburgh from the rest is its department stores. Although Princes Street is home to both Debenhams and Frazers, the real action is in the east end of town with Jenners on Princes Street, John Lewis in the St. James Centre and Harvey Nichols on St. Andrews Square, all within 5 minutes walk of each other.
If you want to take some whisky home with you, you can do worse than Royal Mile Whiskies (guess where they are!), The Whisky Shop in Princes Street, or the world's greatest Italian deli, Valvonna & Crolla in Elm Row at the top of Leith Walk.