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Edinburgh is Scotland's capital city and a hugely popular destination for visitors from elsewhere in the UK and overseas. By international standards, Edinburgh is not a big city, but offers a wealth of attractions and getting around is quick and easy. The city's main train station, Edinburgh Waverley, is unusually central, and only a few minutes walk from what is, without doubt, the city's most famous landmark, Edinburgh Castle.
The only other train station in the center is at Haymarket, around two miles (three kilometers) to the west. Nearly all train services terminating at Edinburgh Waverley from the west (including those from Glasgow Queen Street, Stirling and Perth) stop at Haymarket a few minutes beforehand. Public transport links to Edinburgh Waverley are among the best of any UK city, with the station being served by bus, tram and the shuttle bus to Edinburgh Airport.
If time permits and you don't have much to carry, the best way to the train station Edinburgh Waverley is simply to walk! The station really couldn't be any more central: from the east end of Princes Street, the city's main shopping thoroughfare, you can walk to Waverley in around five minutes. From Edinburgh Castle and the Royal Mile, you can walk the journey in no more than ten minutes. From further afield, the best option is to catch the bus.
Edinburgh's buses serve all parts of the city throughout the day, and are operated by Lothian Buses. The vast majority of buses run through the city center along Princes Street and stop near Waverley Bridge, from where it's a short walk to Waverley station. If you're in the west of the city, for example at Murrayfield Centre or the Gyle Centre, another option is to catch the tram, which begins its journey into the city from Edinburgh Airport. In the center, the tram stops on Princes Street and in St Andrew Square, with the walk from each stop to Waverley taking no more than ten minutes. There is also a shuttle bus between the airport and the train station Edinburgh Waverley, the Airlink 100 service. This service runs every ten minutes and departs from Waverley Bridge above Waverley station.
From Edinburgh Castle to the train station Edinburgh Waverley is less than one mile (1.5 kilometers) and it's downhill all the way! The best way to get there is to go down the Royal Mile then turn left into Cockburn Street, which will bring you out on Waverley Bridge. Allow around ten minutes - if you're short of time and don't have bags, there's a small alley off Cockburn Street called Fleshmarket Close which will bring you out directly opposite the southern entrance to Waverley station. From the West End the distance is a bit further: two miles (three kilometers). The easy option is to catch the bus or tram, but a nice alternative is to walk through Princes Street Gardens, in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle, which takes 15-20 minutes.
If you've been shopping in George Street or Rose Street, it's easy to walk the mile or so to Waverley station via Castle Street, Frederick Street or Hanover Street, or to catch a bus along Princes Street. Haymarket station is a more convenient option if you're in the West End - you can walk to Haymarket from the Caledonian Hotel (at the west end of Princes Street) in around ten minutes. Haymarket is also well served by buses from Lothian Road, Tollcross and the Southside, with the journey taking 10-15 minutes.
Having recently undergone a multi-million-pound upgrade, Edinburgh Waverley is now one of the most easily accessed stations in the UK. All entrances are step-free and elevators are available. The nearest taxi ranks can be found on Market Street and Waverley Bridge, very near the station. Those with limited mobility are advised to access the station via Waverley Bridge, which is the quickest and most convenient option. The station's car park has 16 Blue Badge spaces and for the first two hours, parking is free.
If you're traveling with luggage, the best entrance to use is the one on Waverley Bridge - a sloped walkway runs from the street into the heart of the station. The other entrances - one to the north and one to the south - both have steps and elevators. If you have time and the weather is fine, a walk-in Princes Street Gardens is a nice way to spend some time away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The Scott Monument on Princes Street, a notable Edinburgh landmark, is a five-minute walk from Waverley station. To the east, the Balmoral Hotel, Calton Hill and the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood are all within walking distance.