George Street was built as part of the late 18th century expansion of Edinburgh northwards of what is now the railway line. It was named after King George III. Much of the design celebrates the Union of 1706 between England and Scotland. For example, the design had public spaces at the two ends of George Street: St Andrew Square at the east to represent Scotland and St George Square to the west to represent England. In the end the western square was named Charlotte Square after the King's wife, possibly to avoid confusion between two Georges.
There is also a statue of George IV at the junction with Hanover Street, celebrating that king's visit to Edinburgh in 1822.
Shops, Hotels and Restaurants
The original buildings in George Street would have been mainly large residential houses. During the late 19th and early 20th century a number of then respectable businesses such as banks moved into the area. Later still the shops arrived and for much of the twentieth century George Street was known as Edinburgh's luxury shopping destination.
Today the retail sector has in George Street consists mainly of clothing shops. It's known more for its hotels such as The George as well as social and nightlife with a variety of restaurants, trendy bars and clubs frequented by tourists and locals alike.