Exploring Princes Street in Edinburgh

Our hotel near Princes Street, Edinburgh

Princes Street is one of the most famous streets in Scotland. It is the main thoroughfare in Edinburgh, stretching from the east to the west end of the city. Our hotel is just a short walk from this elegant shopping street and hub of activity. We are tucked around the corner on a quiet cobbled street, but in just 5 minutes you can be in the heart of the action. So, find out more about our hotel near Princes Street and book your stay in Edinburgh today!

5 interesting facts about Princes Street:

Exploring this fascinating street is a must during your stay with us at Parliament House Hotel. Here are 5 interesting facts to get you started:

1. Not to be confused with Princess Street

It’s a common mistake to say “Princess Street” instead of Princes Street. But this royally-named street is not named after a princess. Princes Street and the surrounding New Town dates from the late 18th century, when King George III was on the British throne. The street is named for his eldest son Prince George (later George IV) and some say his other son Prince Frederick too.

Princes Street sign on stone wall
Princes Street has only one s, and is named for King George’s son or sons.

2. It was originally a residential street

Built around 1770, Princes Street started out as a grand residential street for the wealthy. However, due to its fantastic central location, it was developed for retail and hotels in the 19th century. Two railway stations appeared at either end of the street, and Waverley Station at the east end remains to this day. It went on to become the main shopping street in Edinburgh.

Looking down Princes Street in Edinburgh
Princes Street is a busy thoroughfare with a train station, shops and many attractions.

3. Where the old town meets the new town

This is the dividing line between Edinburgh’s old and new. To the south lies the Old Town, which dates from medieval times. Princes Street and streets to the north is the New Town, with its wide roads and beautiful Georgian architecture. Based around here, you can easily explore in either direction, allowing you to discover and compare these two contrasting parts of the city.

Ross Fountain in front of Edinburgh Castle
Based near Princes Street, you can explore the Old Town and the New Town in Edinburgh.

4. The northern side is lined with shops, cafes and outlets

The northern side of Princes Street features a long line of tall buildings hosting retail outlets such as shops, cafes and a large whisky visitor centre in a converted department store. However, across the road, the architecture is very different. When you’re done shopping, you’ll find a wealth of other attractions to explore on the opposite side.

Row of shops on Princes Street in Edinburgh
The northern side of Princes Sreet is mainly filled with tall buildings and retail outlets.

5. The southern side features parks, landmarks and attractions

From Princes Street, you can enjoy the most spectacular view of Edinburgh Castle. Walking along the south side of the street, you have access to Princes Street Gardens, a stunning pair of public parks with magnificent fountains, statues and green spaces. Climb the imposing Scott Monument. Visit the National Gallery of Scotland and Royal Scottish Academy. There is so much to see and do on this side of the street!

Princes Street Gardens Edinburgh in the summer, with the Festival Wheel and Scott Monument
The beautiful Princes Street Gardens and all its attractions are just across the road.

So, as you can see, our position around the corner from this famous Edinburgh street is ideal. So many of the city’s wonderful attractions and landmarks are within a short walk. And we have easy transport links such as Waverley train station and Edinburgh bus station close by. Tucked away from the hustle and bustle, in a quiet yet convenient location, we have the best of both worlds. So if you’re looking for a hotel near Princes Street, you’ve found the perfect place!