The best independent shops in Edinburgh

Edinburgh is Scotland’s historic capital and is not just a city of castles and bagpipes. It’s also a treasure trove of independent shops that have become part of local culture. Beyond the bustling main shopping areas of Princes and George Streets, the true gems lie hidden in the charming corners of both the Old and New Towns. Venture onto cobblestone lanes and you’ll discover a world of unique, high-quality goods waiting to be explored.

Vintage Fashion

Edinburgh’s vintage clothing scene is a fashionista’s dream. Tucked away in the Old Town, you’ll find quaint boutiques with racks filled with garments from past eras. Whether you’re in search of a timeless piece or a funky accessory, these shops offer a chance to step back in time while embracing sustainable and stylish fashion. Discovering a hidden treasure in a vintage store is an absolute thrill, especially when it’s a bargain. Some of our favourite independent shops in Edinburgh are…

Vintage second hand hat and clothes rail showing colourful vintage clothes on coat hangers.
Find a vintage steal in the second hand clothes shops.

Independent Bookstores

For those who love the smell of well-worn pages and the joy of discovering a literary gem, Edinburgh’s independent bookstores are the place to be. In the heart of the New Town, you’ll stumble upon cosy nooks filled with an eclectic array of titles. Here are a few of our favourite independent shops in Edinburgh.

  • McNaughtan’s Bookshop is ideal for stocking your bookshelves with unique discoveries. It’s also Scotland’s oldest secondhand bookshop and has been around since 1957.
  • Armchair Books resembles a maze of towering bookcases that reach to the ceilings, housing thousands of second-hand books. Be cautious, there’s a high chance you might find yourself lost in these shelves for hours!
  • Golden Hare Books takes pride in its assortment of fiction and non-fiction titles. With a wide range of genres, from cookery to travel, children’s picture books to science fiction and everything in between. The goal is to captivate and bring joy to readers of all ages.
Many old books in a book shop
Get lost in the pages of an old book.

Vinyl Stores

Edinburgh’s music scene is not only alive in its festivals but also resonates through its independent shops in Edinburgh. The knowledgeable staff can guide you through the stacks, making it a haven for vinyl enthusiasts. Check out some of our top record stores in Edinburgh.

  • Underground Solu’shn is Edinburgh’s sole surviving independent record store, focusing on dance and electronic music. Every week, the shop introduces hundreds of new electronic releases. You’ll also find rock, pop, indie, jazz, funk, soul, hip-hop, disco and much more. It’s worth taking a brief look regardless of your musical taste.
  • VoxBox specialises in pre-owned indie, rock and jazz. There are plenty of vinyl by Scottish artists on independent local labels so you can support your local scene.
  • FOPP sells newly released and modern indie, hip-hop, pop and dance records, they even sometimes have in-store performances.
choosing vinyl record in music record shop
The joy of choosing a new vinyl record.

Independent shops in Edinburgh are more than just retail spaces, they are local attractions with a loyal following. Each store tells a story, reflecting the city’s rich history and creative spirit. So next time you’re visiting Edinburgh take a detour from the main streets and head down the cobblestone lanes to find these hidden gems.

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