Edinburgh Old Town

Break Up The Commute With Our Edinburgh Guide

If you follow the same daily commute it is easy to get stuck in a routine and forget to explore your city, which means you are almost certainly missing out on some cool stuff!

If you regularly have stops in Edinburgh then this article is for you, we’ve asked Catherine from Edinburgh’s The Luxury Editor magazine to pick her selection of what is hip’n’happening in and around Edinburgh Waverley Station, so you don’t need to go far to experience something new in the city.

  1. Walk along to the newly renovated Arches and grab some tea, get a quick manicure or stuff your face with home-made doughnuts.

The Victorian arches on East Market Street may have attracted your attention before because of the vibrant street art brightening up the space. Recently, the vaulted spaces beneath each arch have been renovated into amazing new boutiques and have successfully attracted some creative cafés worth checking out. Pop in to Tempo Tea to sample some fruit infused bubble tea (a tea-based beverage craze from Taiwan), or if a more traditional morning pick-me-up is your thing, head to Baba Budan for great artisan coffee and delicious, home-made doughnuts. On your way back to the station treat yourself to a quick beauty refresh from Buff Concept Nail Salon or renowned makeup artist Lauren Gollan.

The Arches looking mighty fine on this sunny Sunday morning.

A photo posted by The Arches Edinburgh (@archesnw) on


  1. Take your usual morning caffeine fix somewhere new.

Rather than squashing yourself into the corner of a packed chain coffee shop or taking your double shot espresso to-go straight to the office, why not enjoy your cup of joe in a more unique setting and explore the Edinburgh old town just to the south side of the Edinburgh Waverley. Our favourite place to sit on a summers day is on a bench outside the Cannongate Kirk and take part in a spot of people watching and our favourite coffee shop right now is Brew Lab which have a café on South College Street and they do great bottled coffee to take away too.

#cannongatekirk #cannongate #royalmile #edinburgh #mondaymeander

A photo posted by Rich Pearson (@rpearson112) on

Sun streaming through the window – weekend relaxing with cold brew #coffee #coldbrew #coldbrewcoffee #edinburghcoffee

A photo posted by Brew Lab | Coffee (@brewlabcoffee) on


  1. Take a breather and enjoy the tranquillity of an art gallery. 

Edinburgh has galleries in abundance, but our picks are as close to Edinburgh Waverley station as possible. The Fruitmarket Gallery is the perfect lunchtime excursion – it’s free entry and the gallery offers beautifully curated exhibitions from the most exciting Scottish and international artists. Hop across the road and the City Art Centre always has engaging exhibits to lose yourself in. Our pick for the summer is the ‘Paper Trail’ exhibition starting 2nd July, featuring work from renowned figures including Anne Redpath and Eduardo Paolozzi.


A photo posted by ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀Charlotte André (@charlie_andr) on

  1. Soak in the immense atmosphere of St Giles Cathedral under the impressive vaulted ceiling.

A short walk from Edinburgh Waverley Station you’ll find another place perfect for a quiet moment of contemplation, St Giles Cathedral is an amazing feat of architecture that will have you staring in awe and wonderment. But don’t end your visit without heading down to the basement for some quick refreshment in the sweet but bustling café below. Cakes and coffee are the order of the day here and both won’t disappoint. Although the café is busy, it’s not a regular tourist haunt so don’t be swayed by its Royal Mile location.

#stgilescathedral #architecture #Edinburgh #Scotland #architecture #sisteradventures #wanderlust

A photo posted by Holly Mathews (@hollymathewsart) on

  1. Enjoy a dram or a creative cocktail in an old Victorian pump house hidden away, up Advocate’s close.

Boasting award-winning bartenders and a choice of over 200 Scottish and International whiskies, you might assume the Devil’s Advocate is a serious drinking den. Although they don’t pull any punches with the selection of tipples they offer, the contemporary-meets-traditional décor and relaxed atmosphere make this tucked away bar a cosy find. It’s difficult to stand out in a city full of cocktail bars, but the Devil’s Advocate is sophisticated in ways other bars are OTT, making it the perfect place for an after work drink.

  1. Finish your day with pizza by the slice in true NYC style, just off the Royal Mile.

Italian street food at its best, Civerino’s is fast becoming the most popular place in the city for Pizza. Serving pizza by the pie or by the slice, Civerino’s is relaxed, fun and forward-thinking. A great alternative to the numerous cardboard cut-out fast food joints, Civerino’s offers (relatively) quick food that’s as delicious as it is well-priced. Although the restaurant isn’t large, what it doesn’t have in size it makes up for in character. Situated in a classic old town building, the exposed brick-work is illuminated by funky neon lighting, tables and benches are shared, and the staff are chatty, friendly and above all genuine. This place is great for a quick bite to eat with colleagues or friends and is literally a stumble away from the station. If you’re travelling for business, don’t forget you can use the expenses tool in Trainline’s app to email your receipt direct.

Whether you’re an Edinburgh season ticket holder, or you’re stopping off mid-journey you can reduce the travel stress by using Trainline’s app for up to date ticket, train and platform info in your pocket. Get the app here.

More information about Edinburgh Stations.

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