The Ultimate Independent Edinburgh Souvenir Guide!
If you’re visiting Edinburgh for the first time, we’re sure you’ll be on the lookout for gifts and souvenirs to bring home. However, it can be tricky to avoid the tourist trap gift shops. We admit they do stock some fun items and these stores will do in a pinch, but, there are plenty of other fabulous independent stores around the city where you can pick up really interesting keepsakes to commemorate your trip to Edinburgh. We’ve tried to include something for everyone, from edible souvenirs to stylish additions to your wardrobe, here’s our Ultimate Independent Edinburgh Souvenir Guide!
1. Edible Souvenirs & Gifts
We’re so thankful for Edinburgh’s vibrant foodie scene! With such a range of artisan produce to choose from, you’re sure to find the perfect present. However, if you’re travelling outside of the UK, be sure to check your country’s customs regulations!
Firstly, Pinnies & Poppy Seeds is a small, artisan bakery who specialises in delicious, handmade shortbread using the best local, Scottish ingredients. We would also highly recommend trying their Ballantyne Toffee. Likewise, The Fudge House is also well worth a visit. You’ll discover an array of delicious, flavoured fudge plus traditional Scottish tablet. Next, Coco Chocolatier is a must-visit for any chocoholic! Their premium chocolate bars are made using the finest South American cocoa plus the packaging is utterly stunning. Their ‘Haggis Spice‘ chocolate might make a fun gift!
If you’re looking for something a little more savoury, we’d recommend popping into I.J Mellis the cheesemongers, as well as Cranachan & Crowdie – who famously stock thirteen different types of oatcakes! Additionally, if you’re in search of a little tipple, Bruntsfield-based Drinkmonger has an impressive range of wines, craft beers, and specialist spirits as well as an extensive array of whiskies! Lastly, is there anything more quintessentially British than a cup of tea? We’d recommend popping into Rosevear Tea, who has the largest selection of tea in Edinburgh.
2. Something stylish for your wardrobe
Instead of a traditional souvenir, why not purchase a gorgeous new addition to your wardrobe! Therefore, whenever you wear it you’ll remember your fantastic trip to Edinburgh. There are so many lovely independent shops to choose from, but here are a couple of our favourites.
Firstly, located on one of Edinburgh’s most picturesque streets, Walker Slater specialises in quality tweed and their collection ranges from a made-to-measure suit to a Harris Tweed hip flask. If you love a rummage through a vintage store, Armstrongs is one of the UK’s oldest and most loved vintage clothing stores! Next, Biscuit Clothing and Epitome are delightful women’s clothing stores with a beautifully curated range of clothes and accessories! Additionally, we’d highly recommend stopping by Hannah Zakari to browse through their covetable jewellery pieces and affordable art prints. Lastly, Kestin Hare and Frontiers Man are fabulous men’s clothing shops with wonderful ethos!
3. Add a little piece of Scotland to your home
If you’re like us, you’ll be on the lookout for something lovely for your home as a reminder of your wonderful trip. Here are a few fabulous stores to check out.
Firstly, Homer is based inside a beautiful Georgian townhouse with decorated themed rooms which are sure to inspire you. If you’re a fan of Scandinavian design then there is one store in Edinburgh you need to pay a visit to, Life Story. Life Story stocks Scandinavian design-led products from Danish design houses as well as local designers. Life Story also stocks a few gorgeous pieces from Studio Emma. Across the road from Life Story is Curiouser & Curiouser, an utterly charming gift shop who also has a range of quirky homeware. Keep an eye out for Emily Mackenzie’s 50 Shades of Scotland print. Next, Elk & Wolf is the place to visit for stylish bohemian homewares. Lastly, the Red Door Gallery stocks a large selection of art prints from over 100 local illustrators. It’s also a wonderful place to pick up cards or small gifts.
Quirky gifts and unique mementos
Looking for a fun present for a loved one or something unique for yourself? Edinburgh has a wonderful selection of quirky shops!
First, Mr Wood’s Fossils is a well-loved Edinburgh institution. Don’t be fooled by its name, the shop will not only appeal to specialists but also a surprising amount of shoppers. Another well-loved store is Paper Tiger. The shop has a large selection of creative cards and stylish stationery designed by local artists. Next, situated at heart of Stockbridge, Caoba stocks a beautiful selection of Mexican crafts, jewellery, and decorations. Furthermore, Dovecot Studios is well-worth a visit on its own but it also has a fabulous gift shop with the latest contemporary craft, design and visual art. If you’re a comic book fanatic or know one, Deadhead Comics is the place to visit for a host of weird and wonderful comics. Lastly, if you’re feeling guilty about leaving your four-legged friend at home, pop into House of Hound and pick up a treat for your canine companion.
Something to read on your journey home
Independent bookshops are alive and well in Edinburgh and due to Edinburgh’s status as a UNESCO City of Literature, why not treat yourself to a new read. Armchair Books is charming second-hand bookshop just off the Grassmarket, you’re guaranteed to feel slightly giddy by the volume of books they have managed to squeeze into the space. Similarly, Till’s Bookshop is a cosy secondhand bookshop with a fireplace tucked away at the back of the store. Next, you’ll find the Edinburgh Bookshop nestled away on Bruntsfield’s bustling High Street, it caters for adults and children alike. Lastly, Golden Hare Books is a must-visit for any book lover. The store has a beautifully-curated selection of books and a cosy nook in the back full of children’s books.
Check out our “Independent Bookshops You Have to Visit in Edinburgh” blog post for more ideas!
Featured Home: 18 Brunswick Street
Modern and stylish, this popular smart one bedroom Edinburgh apartment has the benefit of secure parking for one car. Situated on a pretty street, which is a short stroll to Calton Hill, Princes Street, Playhouse Theatre and much, much more.