Central Edinburgh has two distinct parts, divided by Princes Street. Old Town and New Town.
The Old Town represents the total extent of the twin burghs of Edinburgh and Canongate for the first 650 years of their existence, and its general appearance and character remain indubitably medieval with its tortuous alleys and tightly packed closes.
The majority of the city’s most famous tourist sights and landmarks are found in the Old Town. Main sights include Edinburgh Castle, the Royal Mile, St. Giles Cathedral and the Law Courts, the Royal Museum of Scotland, Surgeons Hall and McEwan Hall.
To the north of Princes Street lies the New Town of Edinburgh. The New town itself is over 200 years old, and stands in total contrast to the Old Town. The layout is symmetrical, the streets are broad and straight, and most of the buildings are Neoclassical in design. Today the New Town is the bustling hub of the city’s professional, commercial and business life, dominated by shops, banks and offices.
Main squares located in Edinburgh City Centre, Scotland.
Charlotte Square — central Edinburgh square located in the New Town, at the west end of George Street. In the middle od the square stands a statue of Prince Albert.
George Square — found in the south of the city centre, adjacent to The Meadows, which is a large public park.
St Andrews Square — located at the east end of George Street in New Town city center of Edinburgh Scotland, and dominated by the Melville Monument and Dundas House. St Andrew Square is also home to the Stock Exchange.
Bristo Square — public square owned by the Edinburgh University. Commonly used by traceurs, skateboarders, rollerbladers and bmx riders. During Edinburgh Fringe Festival certain shows and stages take place at Bristo Sq..
Grassmarket — old historical market square close to Edinburgh Castle. The old market area is surrounded by pubs, clubs, local retail shops, and several hotels such as the Grassmarket Hotel and Apex City Hotel. Grassmarket is centrally located in Edinburgh’s Old Town, within walking distance of the Lothian Road and Princes Street.
Hunter Square — located on the corner of High Street or Royal mile, and South bridge. Surrounded with pubs, cafes and hotels like the Ibis Hotel. The 2 star Ibis Hotel is a cheaper hotel right on the square, just off The Royal Mile.
St Patrick Square — located just south of the city centre.