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Princes Street

Running parallel to the Royal Mile but to the South of the railway line, Princes Street marks the southern edge of the Edinburgh New Town.

A surefire way to identify yourself as a tourist is to pronounce the name Princess Street. It's not. Initially it was to be called Giles Street - after St Giles, the city's patron saint - it was instead names Princes Street in honour of King George III's sons.

Princes Street and the area behind it through to George Street form the main shopping district of central Edinburgh. There are numerous stores from large chains (mainly in Princes Street itself) through to smaller specialist shops. The roads between Princes and George Streets are also home to numerous pubs and bars - Rose Street is especially popular with visitors.

The street is a hub for local travel throughout Edinburgh. Many buses go along Princes Street and Waverley railway station is just off the east end. The new trams also run down the centre of Princes Street, linking the city centre with the airport to the west.

To the South of Princes Street are the Princes Street Gardens, a great place for a walk or just to sit and relax in the summer sunshine (when the Edinburgh weather cooperates!).

For some special occasions - for example Hogmanay, the New Year celebrations here in Scotland - Princes Street is closed off to traffic and used as the basis for a massive street party. These events often include live music playing in the gardens and firework displays over the Castle.