From its stunning architecture to its vibrant culture, Edinburgh offers a variety of typical products that capture the spirit and essence of Scotland. In this article, we’ll take you on a tour of the 10 most iconic products in Edinburgh souvenirs.
From the softness of tartan scarves to the unmistakable flavour of Scottish shortbread, you’ll discover why these souvenirs are authentic Scottish treasures you can’t afford to miss out. Immerse yourself in the richness of Scottish heritage and find the perfect gift or unforgettable souvenir that will transport you to the streets of Edinburgh time and time again. Let’s get started!
The best Edinburgh souvenirs
These scarves are comfortable, warm and come in a variety of plaid patterns called tartans, each associated with specific clans or regions of Scotland.
These scarves are perfect for keeping you warm in the Scottish cold, but they are also an iconic fashion accessory. You can wear them with coats, jackets or even just to add a Scottish touch to your outfit. Plus, they make a great gift for someone who appreciates Scottish culture.
On the Royal Mile, you’ll find many shops selling them. Some even offer scarves made from high quality wool, so don’t skimp on your purchase! If you’re looking for an authentic and useful souvenir to buy in Edinburgh that screams “Scotland!” from the rooftops, a tartan scarf is a perfect choice.
Scotch whisky is an iconic drink that represents the essence of Scotland in a bottle. With its blend of smoky, malty and fruity flavours, Scotch whisky is a true spirit lover’s delight. You can find a wide variety of types, from smooth and pleasant blends to robust and complex single malts.
Scotland is famous for its distilleries, some with centuries of history, guaranteeing quality and tradition in every sip. During your visit to Edinburgh, you can’t miss a bottle of Scotch whisky to take home as a souvenir – and if you’re an enthusiast, consider a visit to a distillery to learn about the brewing process and sample some of the best local creations!
Amethysts are gemstones with a beautiful deep violet colour, and Scotland is known for having some of the most beautiful ones. You can find rings, necklaces, earrings and bracelets with these stones, and they really add a special touch to any outfit. As well as being beautiful, amethysts are often associated with protective and calming properties, so they also have a special meaning for many people.
When in Edinburgh, look for local jewellery shops that offer unique amethyst pieces, eg Celtic Jewellery and Gemstones. Often these jewellery pieces are handcrafted and have a distinctive Scottish touch in their design. Whether for a gift or to treat yourself, amethyst jewellery is a lovely and meaningful choice to buy in Edinburgh.
If you’re looking for something special to buy in Edinburgh, this is a top choice. Scottish crystal is known for its elegance and quality – imagine drinking a Scotch whisky in an Edinburgh crystal glass? That’s the level! They also make beautiful glasses, tumblers, decanters and ornaments.
You can find them in antique shops or in shops specialising in glassware. A great place to visit is the Royal Mile, where there are several shops offering Edinburgh glass. And don’t worry about taking it with you, most shops will send it carefully packaged so that it arrives home safely.
So, if you want a souvenir of Edinburgh that is elegant and timeless, you should definitely consider Edinburgh crystal – it’s a piece that will remind you of your trip to this amazing city!
This is a great option for shopping in Edinburgh, especially if you are passionate about Scotland and its culture. This traditional Scottish vessel is shaped like a bowl and is often used for toasting on special occasions, such as weddings or celebrations. It is a symbol of hospitality and friendship.
The great thing about the Quaich is that it is usually made of wood or silver and sometimes has beautiful ornaments. Some are even engraved with traditional Scottish designs, such as tartan. You can find them in many shops in Edinburgh, from souvenir shops to places that specialise in Scottish crafts – feel free to take one home and share a Scottish toast with your friends!
Nothing screams “typical item” quite like the Sgian-Dubh! It is an essential and emblematic element of traditional Scottish dress, particularly the kilt. Its name translates as ‘black knife’ in Scottish Gaelic, and it is a small dagger usually carried in a sheath concealed in the top of the stocking, with only the handle visible.
The Sgian-Dubh has a rich history and played various roles over time. Originally, it was used as an everyday tool, but over time it became a part of traditional Scottish dress. Today, it is both a symbol of heritage and a way of emphasising the elegance of an outfit.
These daggers vary in size, style and materials, from the simplest and most functional to those elaborately decorated with silver and gemstone detailing. The Sgian-Dubh is commonly used at formal events such as weddings and special occasions, and is often presented as a gift to young men as a symbol of responsibility and honour. For all these reasons, it is a unique and authentic souvenir in Edinburgh to buy.
Kilts or kilt
Kilts are iconic Scottish kilts that are part of Scottish tradition and folklore. They are made of tartan cloth and worn for special occasions such as weddings, formal events and Scottish festivals. They are truly a symbol of Scottish culture.
Edinburgh is home to a number of specialist shops offering a variety of kilts and related accessories such as sashes, buckles and tartan socks. It’s an unforgettable gift that allows the recipient to connect with Scotland’s rich heritage. Even if you feel a little out of place back home wearing a kilt, it’s worth buying one as a souvenir (and even if it’s just to wear to a fancy dress party ????).
Continuing with traditional Scottish attire as typical items to buy in Edinburgh, it’s time to talk about the famous sporran. This is a kind of pouch that hangs on the front of the kilt, just above the groin region. The term ‘sporran’ comes from the Scottish Gaelic ‘sporran’, meaning ‘pouch’.
The sporran has both a practical and an aesthetic function. On the one hand, it serves as a kind of handbag for holding small personal items such as keys, money or a handkerchief. This is especially useful as the kilt has no pockets. On the other hand, the sporran is an important part of Scottish dress, and there is a wide variety of styles, from simple and functional to elaborate and decorative.
The Scottish shortbread is a shortbread biscuit that has won hearts all over the world. Its simplicity is part of its charm: made with just a few basic ingredients, such as butter, sugar and flour, this biscuit has a crunchy, crumbly texture that melts in your mouth.
It’s an iconic Scottish dessert and a popular treat to buy in Edinburgh to take home and share. It comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, from the classic round to more elaborate shapes, so you won’t find it a nuisance to pack in your suitcase or carry-on.
When thinking of gifts or souvenirs in Edinburgh to buy, you can’t overlook these iconic representations of Scottish culture.
The thistle, Scotland’s national flower, is a symbol of beauty and resilience. With its thorns and distinctive purple colour, it captures the essence of Scotland. Many products, from key rings to jewellery, feature the thistle as a decorative element.
Then there’s the unicorn, which may sound a bit fanciful, but it’s Scotland’s national animal. Why? Because the unicorn represents strength and purity. These mythical creatures appear on Scotland’s coat of arms and on countless souvenir products.
Finally, the Scottish coat of arms badge is another prominent symbol that you can find on a wide variety of products, from T-shirts and bracelets to decorative souvenirs. It’s a great way to carry a piece of Scottish heritage with you, and it’s also a reminder of Scotland’s long struggle for independence.
Souvenir shops in Edinburgh
I hope this list can help you choose souvenirs. There are few independent shops left with 100% Scottish made products, but I have tried to compile a few of them in this list so that you can buy 100% local:
1. The Nutcracker Christmas Shop
- Address: High Street, Edinburgh EH1 1TB
In Edinburgh it’s Christmas all year round, and the reason for this is that there are two shops dedicated exclusively to Christmas decorations: the one mentioned in the title and Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe. Both are a great mix of Christmas tree decorations and souvenirs and are located on the Royal Mile, so you’re bound to pass by them at some point. It’s worth just popping in for a look, you’ll be amazed.
2. Royal Mile Whiskies
- Address: 379 High Street, Edinburgh
My favourite souvenir: whisky, Scotland’s national drink. This is one of the best whisky shops in town, located on the Royal Mile opposite St. Giles Cathedral. It has an infinite number of varieties and types of whisky, from miniatures to bottles of 15,000 euros.
3. Tartan Weaving Mill and Exhibition
- Address: 555 Castlehill, Edinburgh
This is your typical souvenir shop where you’ll find everything from the cheapest fridge magnets, postcards, key rings, cuddly toys, scarves, hats, gloves, kilts and much more. The shop has four floors and is located at the end of the Royal Mile, just before you enter the forecourt of Edinburgh Castle. They also have a bagpipe workshop and you can watch the process of making the aforementioned tartan on their looms, as well as have a fun photo shoot in traditional Scottish costume.
4. The Red Door Gallery
- Address: 42 Victoria Street, Edinburgh
Behind the cheerful facades of Victoria Street hide unique shops and restaurants, such as The Red Door Gallery, one of the best shops in Edinburgh if you want to buy original illustrations of Scotland and its capital.
Behind the red doors of this art gallery you’ll find a tiny shop, but brimming with postcards, home decoration, design objects…
We almost always end up with a print or two, just frame them at home and the result is a beautiful souvenir of Scotland!
5. Museum Context
Address: 40 Victoria Street, Edinburgh
Next door to The Red Door Gallery you’ll find another curious shop, Museum Context, which specialises in Harry Potter and the Harry Potter universe.
After all, many of the references in the books came from Edinburgh, and it is said that J.K. Rowling was inspired by Victoria Street to create Diagon Alley!
The two floors of this shop are stacked with memorabilia from the films and books, as well as the odd souvenir and original Edinburgh artwork.
If you’re a die-hard Harry fan, you can also pop into the owners’ own shop on Cockburn St or the Galaxy shop on South Bridge.
6. Crest Of Edinburgh store
- Map: 217 High Street, Edinburgh
If you spot an abundant display of textiles on mannequins, including dogs, creating a colorful scene outside a store on the Royal Mile, rest assured that you’ve reached the Crest of Edinburgh. This small souvenir shop sells Scottish and tartan clothing in its variety, plus a wide range of clan-crested Scottish items, such as cufflinks, sporrans, sgian dubhs, badges and many other kilt accessories. Among them, particularly noteworthy are Scottish crest badges.
Even though clan crests are often bought and sold, the heraldic crest and slogan correspond only to the chief and never to the individual clan member. Prices vary from $20 to $150 apiece.
7. Celtic Jewellery and Gemstones
- Map: 24 High Street, Edinburgh
This is truly a gorgeous store when searching for a lovely souvenir or present in the form of authentic Celtic jewellery or crystals. Each piece in Celtic Jewellery and Gemstones store has been carefully designed and personally selected by in-house design team, assuring you of high quality, original and exciting jewellery.
8. Edinburgh Botanic Garden shop
The Edinburgh Botanic Garden is a great place to visit at any time of the year: it’s free, and a great place to wander through nature and sit and enjoy the views of the city in the distance.
In addition to its nooks and crannies, we also love the garden’s shop, located on the John Hope Gateway. Spacious, full of decorative items, stationery and souvenirs that change seasonally, it’s also a great place to pick up Scottish seeds or plants.
9. The Scotland Shop
- Map: 107-108 South Bridge , Edinburgh
Style with 100% Lambwool tartan scarves in The Scotland Shop! These scarves keep you warm, add a touch of elegance to any outfit and authentic souvenir from Edinburgh. Whether you’re exploring the Scottish Highlands or simply braving the chilly weather, scarves are a must-have accessory.
This store also sells Assorted Scottish Gel Magnets – a slice of Scotland on your fridge. These magnets are more than just decor; they’re a window to the beauty of Scotland and Edinburgh. It’s a daily reminder of the magic and beauty of Scotland. Can you resist the call of the Highlands and the allure of Edinburgh’s cobbled streets?
And that’s the end of our tour of Edinburgh’s treasures. Whether you’re looking for a special gift or an authentic souvenir, these Scottish products allow you to take a piece of the city with you. From soft wool to symbols steeped in history, each choice is a window into the city’s culture.