12 Beautiful Edinburgh Bookstores

Named the first UNESCO City of Literature in the world, Edinburgh boasts a strong commitment to books and with that comes a wide assortment of beautiful bookstores. Whether you’re just looking for a new read, wanting to spend an afternoon browsing winding stacks in a secondhand bookshop or love fantasizing over gorgeous antiquarian books, these 12 beautiful Edinburgh bookstores are a must-see for any book lover in Edinburgh.

Armchair Books

Armchair Books - Best Edinburgh Bookstores
Armchair Books - Best Bookshops in Edinburgh

Armchair Books deserves every bit of its spot on this list of best Edinburgh bookstores. This secondhand bookshop carries every type of book you could possibly think of including a standard and hefty stock of used fiction and nonfiction books, as well as a beautiful assortment of leather and cloth-bound rare and antiquarian books.

Books fill up every nook, cranny and crevice in this beautiful Edinburgh bookshop. Not only do stacks run from floor to ceiling, but books spill onto window sills, tables and chairs throughout the shop. Armchair Books is truly a book lover’s dream.

Address: 72-74 West Port, Edinburgh EH1 2LE, UK

Hours: Monday to Sunday: 10:00am-6:30pm

Website: https://www.armchairbooks.co.uk/

Edinburgh Books

Edinburgh Books - Best Edinburgh Bookstores
Edinburgh Books - Best Edinburgh Bookshops

Edinburgh Books brings maze of books to a whole new level. With bookshelves winding in all directions of this Edinburgh secondhand bookshop, it’s easy to get lost browsing through the myriad of used and antiquarian books that cover every inch of this Edinburgh bookstore.

One of the standout features of Edinburgh Books is the Scotland room dedicated to books on the history, culture and stories of Scotland. You’ll find some well known names like Sir Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson, as well as some lesser known Scottish authors that will open your eyes to new aspects of the Scottish storytelling tradition.

Address: 145-147, West Port, Edinburgh EH3 9DP, UK

Hours: Monday to Saturday: 10:00am-6:00pm

Website: http://edinburghbooks.net/

Golden Hare Books

Golden Hare Books - Best Edinburgh Bookstores

Golden Hare Books is a whimsical little bookshop in the Edinburgh neighborhood of Stockbridge. From the cursive gold letters on the front of the shop announcing its presence to its tailored way of showing the books, Golden Hares is a magical fantasy land of books.

This Edinburgh Bookstore goes for the details at every level, including for each and every book on its shelves. Each of the more than 3,000 titles are hand-selected and carefully chosen by the books literary-minded staff. The store and its workers pride themselves on their love of books and will give you one-on-one attention to make sure you walk out for the perfect book for you. Think You’ve Got Mail’s Little Shop Around the Corner.

Address: 68 St Stephen St, Edinburgh EH3 5AQ, UK

Hours: Monday to Sunday: 10:00am-6:00pm

Website: https://goldenharebooks.com/

Lighthouse Bookshop

Lighthouse Bookshop - Best Edinburgh Bookstores

Nicknamed Edinburgh’s radical bookshop, Lighthouse Bookshop’s uniqueness stands out in many ways. First, it’s not just a bookstore. It’s also home to the independent Scottish publisher Word Power Books. Second, its shelves of books focus on books that tell the stories of those outside the mainstream status quo or the voices often unheard in socially popular books. These include works that focus on revolutionary history, LGBTQ, feminism and left wing politics.

Address: 43-45 W Nicolson St, Edinburgh EH8 9DB, UK

Hours: Monday to Saturday: 10:00am-8:00pm; Sunday: 11:30am-5:00pm

Website: https://www.lighthousebookshop.com/

The Edinburgh Bookshop

The Edinburgh Bookshop - Best Edinburgh Bookstores

The Edinburgh Bookshop lives, breathes and operates to bring out the love of reading in any soul that walks through its doors. This Edinburgh bookstore strives to bring the magic of books out into every aspect of the shop, with scenes of popular children’s books painted across and experiences that bring popular books to life (including a Platform 9 ¾ for Harry Potter fans.  If that wasn’t enough, the staff of dedicated book lovers wait ready to find the perfect book for anyone who walks through the doors of the shop.

Address: 219 Bruntsfield Pl, Edinburgh EH10 4DH, UK

Hours: Monday to Friday: 10:00am-6:00pm; Saturday: 9:00am-6:00pm; Sunday: 11:00am-4:00pm

Website: https://www.edinburghbookshop.com/

McNaughton’s Bookshop & Gallery

McNaughton's - Best Edinburgh Bookstores
McNaughton's - Best Edinburgh Bookshops

McNaughton’s Bookshop is like a museum of beautiful rare books. Stocked with an elite and world-renowned selection of antiquarian books that cover the gamut of subjects, book lovers will have to be careful not to drool staring at the gorgeous spines and covers that cover the walls of this Edinburgh bookstore. It also boasts the bragging rights of being the oldest secondhand bookshop in Edinburgh.

Address: 3a-4a Haddington Pl, Edinburgh EH7 4AE, UK

Hours: Tuesday to Saturday: 11:00am-5:00pm

Website: https://mcnaughtans.co.uk/

Typewronger Books

Typewronger Books - Best Edinburgh Bookstores

Located in the gallery section of antiquarian bookseller McNaughton’s Bookshop, Typewronger Books works to maximize the book browsing experience. Depending on the time of day, you might be greeted with a cup of coffee or glass of wine to warm you as look through the varied collection of books.

This Edinburgh bookstore covers new drops of fiction and nonfiction, as well as lesser known indie reads from local publishers. Keep your eye out for vintage typewriters scattered throughout the store and get cozy with your new read in one of the shop’s many chairs. 

that sit on this Edinburgh bookstore’s shelves, which include new drops of fiction and nonfiction.

Address: 4a Haddington Pl, Edinburgh EH7 4AE, UK

Hours: Monday to Sunday: 11:00am-9:00pm

Website: http://www.typewronger.com/

Till’s Bookshop

Till's Bookshop - Best Edinburgh Bookstores
Till's Bookshop - Best Bookshops in Edinburgh

Lovely Till’s Bookshop will give you a new experience each time you walk through this beautiful Edinburgh bookshop’s doors. The shelves of this secondhand bookshop in Edinburgh overflow with a wide range of fiction and classic novel that change regularly with the ebbing and flowing stock of this Edinburgh bookstore.

If you’re overwhelmed by the sheer selection of this beautiful bookstore in Edinburgh, don’t fret. The staff at Till’s Bookshop are more than happy to help you find a particular book or guide you in the direction of a new gem you may have never even considered. You can even curl up next to a fireplace in the bookstore once you’ve found your new book.

Address: 1 Hope Park Cres, Edinburgh EH8 9NA, UK

Hours: Monday to Friday: 11:30am-6:30pm; Saturday: 11:00am-5:30pm; Sunday: 12pm-5:30pm

Website: https://www.facebook.com/tillsbookshop/

Transreal Bookshop

Transreal - Best Edinburgh Bookstores
Transreal - Best Edinburgh Bookshops

Located on the colorful Candlemaker Row, Transreal Bookshop stands as a bookstore dedicated to transporting readers to other worlds or realities. This Edinburgh bookshop carries titles only in the genres of science fiction or fantasy. Given its niche offering, it’s the perfect place to visit to find pretty much any title you could be looking for in those genres.

The store is no frills with its white interior decor and ability to easily browse the selection of books in this Edinburgh bookstore. The shop owner is super friendly and will guide you in the direction of new worlds and realities that may suit your book reading preferences.

Address: 46 Candlemaker Row, Edinburgh EH1 2QE, UK

Hours: Tuesday to Saturday: 11:00am-6:00pm

Website: https://transreal.wordpress.com/

Main Point Books

Main Point Books - Best Edinburgh Bookstores

You never know what you might find when you walk into Main Point Books. Just a couple doors down from Edinburgh Books, this cozy secondhand bookshop in Edinburgh offers a great selection of used fiction and nonfiction titles to browse. Marked with a giant sign in the window that says “Books Wanted,” this Edinburgh bookstore has a constantly changing stock of books that include commonly known classics, as well as titles you may have never heard of that may become one of your new favorites.

Address: 77 Bread St, Edinburgh EH3 9AH, UK

Hours: Monday to Saturday: 12:30pm-5:30pm

Website: https://www.mainpointbooks.co.uk/

Waterstones

Waterstones Edinburgh - Best Edinburgh Bookstores
Waterstones - Best Bookshops in Edinburgh

It might be a UK chain with outposts all over the country, but there’s something genuinely special about the Edinburgh Waterstones location. Boasting four floors of books, it’s easy to spend an entire day here just taking in all the sections of this Edinburgh bookshop. Make sure to pop up to the top of the bookstore to get a stunning view of Edinburgh Castle from the cafe windows.

Beyond the stunning view of Edinburgh Castle from the cafe windows, one of my favorite parts about this Edinburgh bookstore is the tailoring of each of the sections of the store. Staff recommendations abound throughout and the bottom floor even features a book dedicated specifically to Scotland. Here you’ll find books on Edinburgh history, Scottish history, books set in Scotland and novels by Scottish authors. If you’re passing through Edinburgh as a tourist, it’s the perfect section to visit to read more about the beautiful country and its culture.

Address: 128 Princes St, Edinburgh EH2 4AD, UK

Hours: Monday to Friday: 9:00am-8:00pm; Saturday: 9:00am-7:00pm; Sunday 10:30am-6pm

Website: https://www.mainpointbooks.co.uk/

Cornerstone Books

Cornerstone Books - Best Edinburgh Bookstores

Located in the bottom corner of the historic St. Johns Church, this hidden gem of a bookstore doesn’t just cover Christian books or theology. There’s a wide range of books that cover the shelves of Cornerstone Books, including a hefty stock of Scottish and natural history books, children’s books and a carefully selected stock of poetry books. You may find more than just a great book when roaming these shelves. St. John’s Church is also rumored to also be host to a ghost or two.

Address: St John’s Church Terrace, Princes St, Edinburgh EH2 4BJ, UK

Hours: Monday to Saturday: 10:00am-5:30pm

Website: http://cornerstonebooks.org.uk/

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