Coates Gardens is 3 minutes from Haymarket (one of Edinburgh's mainline railway stations and tram stops) and a short walk to the West End. This area has an array of small independent shops, and Princes Street, the New Town and the Old Town are all just a short walk or bus ride away. You can walk to the Royal Mile and Edinburgh Castle via Shandwick Place, Lothian Road and Johnston Terrace. Haymarket station has excellent connections for day trips to Glasgow, Stirling Castle, and the coast for walks, etc. Haymarket tram stop gives direct access to Edinburgh Airport, and also to the East End and onwards by bus to Leith and other parts of the city.
The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art is a short walk or bus ride away and houses the outstanding national collection of modern and contemporary art. You can also walk to the Gallery of Modern Art via the Water of Leith walkway. The Water of Leith is Edinburgh’s hidden natural asset. Flowing for 24 miles from its source in the Pentland Hills, the river winds its way through the heart of the city to its outflow in Leith. The river can be explored on foot or bike along the Water of Leith Walkway and it is accessed from the end of Magdala Crescent (one street from Coates Gardens) or from Belford Bridge. For those who enjoy "the rural in the city", it's a very pleasant walk through to Dean Village and to Stockbridge and then up into the New Town.
Coates Gardens is only a few minutes' walk from the Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC). It's also a great location to enjoy the city's cultural life: along Lothian Road are Lyceum Theatre, Usher Hall, Traverse Theatre and Filmhouse (home of the Edinburgh International Film Festival). The King’s Theatre and Cameo Cinema are also nearby. Many of these venues serve the Edinburgh International Festival and Fringe.
In the other direction is the West End and the New Town. The New Town was laid out in the early eighteenth century and encompasses the geometric streets between Great King Street to the north and Princes Street to the south and Broughton Street to the east and Charlotte Square to the west; it is a complete contrast to the medieval irregularity of the Old Town. The New Town is mainly residential but there are lots of independent shops, galleries, bars and restaurants to discover, especially around Dundas Street, Thistle Street and Broughton Street. Charming William Street is well known for its specialist shops and popular pubs. You can walk to the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, which houses the outstanding national collection of modern and contemporary art, from the beginning of the twentieth century and post-war, including Matisse, Picasso, Francis Bacon, David Hockney, Andy Warhol, Lucian Freud, Antony Gormley, Gilbert & George, Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin. The other National Galleries are also in the city centre; these galleries are the Scottish National Gallery, which holds the national collection of fine art from the early Renaissance to the end of the nineteenth century, including masterpieces from Raphael, El Greco, Velázquez, Rubens, Van Gogh, Monet, Cézanne, Degas and Gauguin, and the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, which tells the story of Scotland and her people through a wealth of imagery including portraits of famous historical figures such as Mary, Queen of Scots, Prince Charles Edward Stuart and Robert Burns, through to more recent pioneers in science, sport and the arts.
Princes Street has mostly high-street brand names, whereas George Street and Multrees Walk (across St Andrew Square from George Street) offer a more upmarket retail experience. St John’s churchyard, at the junction of Lothian Road and Princes Street, is home to the annual Festival West End Craft, Art and Design Fair.