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Courtesy of my parents and my sister I have been blessed with Starbucks e-gift cards which I can use here in Edinburgh. As I get a majority of my work done outside of my room, away from the distractions of the evil Facebook and the sidereel devil, they have equipped me with being able to go to Starbucks, get a tall skinny caramel latte and sip at it for five hours while I work. Each time the gift card runs out, I am thankful as I can now try a new, local place, and then I am sad as it limits my trips out of my flat to do work. With this Starbucks card comes certain knowledge though. While I can not vary my coffee houses I can vary the Starbucks locations. Over the past 5 months I have sipped my lattes in a number of Starbucks locations to find the one best suited for me according to my mood. I will now provide with a rundown of these Starbucks with…

My Guide to the Starbucks of Edinburgh

Starbucks in Morningside

–         A nice size Starbucks with various large windows. The music plays softly so as not to distract you from your work or conversation. A nice people-watching scenery. As it is in a predominantly residential area, it can be bombarded with baby carriers and small children, which can provide certain distractions. There are two elderly men who are regulars, whom I love. The one always sports a San Francisco hoodie , and they spend their time in quiet or ranting about this or that in politics. It tends to get overwhelmingly busy from about 10:30 to 11:30 then again at 1 and 3. There aren’t any study tables but a nice bar up against the front window you can work at while people watching.

Starbucks on Meadow Walk

Meadow Walk Starbucks


–         The Starbucks is basically all windows. Having all windows is awesome to see the sunshine and the people walking around, however the people-watching is limited to Meadow Walk or a brick wall. The music is also nice and soft in the main café area, but quite loud where the couches are (especially in the morning). I tend to bring my own headphones to try to zone it out but sometimes I can still hear the music of the café playing. The outlets for your computer are limited so recommend bringing mainly book/writing work when going to this location. It is also quite small, so you must get there early as well as being careful miss the afternoon rush of teeny-boppers from the school on Lauriston. If you come in the middle of it, leave and come back twenty minutes later. The annoyance and hassle are not worth it. The employees either don’t care or don’t notice if you bring in you own food which is a huge plus! They also do not have porridge to purchase or honey at this location. The sunshine makes up for most of the faults as well as it’s proximity to where I live.

Starbucks on Lauriston

–         Is really big but has few windows, which was awesome in the winter time when you just wanted to cozy up, but now with the sun shining not as much fun. It has comfy couches and chairs throughout instead of in just one area. There are a plethora of outlets and even study desks for students to utilize. Awesome! They provide a wider selection of food including porridge and honey. The music plays quite loud here ALL the time and has the down-fall of being bombarded by secondary school kids as well. Again best to just leave and come back during these swarms if you have not already purchased your stuff and found a seat. It’s proximity to where I live is also a huge benefit.

Starbucks on Lothian

–         This airs on the smaller side and is quite dark inside although has large windows throughout. It has a nice work cubby by the back window which is awesome. The view is nothing special and not the best location for people-watching. The music playing is never distracting and does not get attacked midday by the school kids. It also does not have porridge and some of the special cookies at the till the others provide although it does a have a wider variety of beverages in their cooler thing.

Starbucks on Princes Street

The view of the Castle through the great windows at Princes

–         My favorite Starbucks. It’s is a bit out of the way but definitely worth the hike. The door can be passed up as it is by construction and you must walk up the stairs but not hard to find. It has the best view ever! It overlooks Princes Street with a gorgeous view of the castle. The front has four massive bay windows to admire the beauty of Edinburgh by. The Starbucks is quite large and spacious. Various comfy chair and couch options set up throughout. Including study desks as ell and a small nook for those wanting a bit more seclusion. The music is played at the appropriate volume and there are outlets everywhere. It can get very busy but never out of hand as it does at Morningside and Meadow Walk. More tourists here than the other places (obviously) which can be annoying if you catch bits of their conversation but I find it quite amusing. You need the code to get into the bathroom but as long as you’ve bought something that shouldn’t be a problem. While I always buy something, I’ve found due to its size it would be quite easy to sneak without purchasing anything without them noticing.

Starbucks at George and Hanover

–         The downstairs is super small. Quiet music with various elderly visitors. The upstairs is more spacious but still on the smaller side. A nice place to sneak into during the day but not worth the extra walk/trip over. Again you need a code for the bathroom. I have yet to see a swarm of kids come in but the downstairs can get quite crowded with the queue which seems daunting but once you have your beverage if you go upstairs it is far less crowded. Most people are grabbing their drinks on the go.

Starbucks at Waterstones on Princes

–         I have only visited on one occasion. Offers the same benefit of the view of Princes Street and the castle at the windows although not as large as the ones at the actual Starbucks on princes. It is spread out but on the smaller side. It does offer two levels, giving it the appearance it is bigger than it actually is. No music which I find can be nice at times. Being surrounded by all the books is quite fun although its next to the Children’s section, not sure if this gets too noisy at times or not as I have only been there on one occasion. A completely different people watching area than all the other Starbucks provide and it’s fun to check out what people are reading and ordering to drink as almost everyone there has a book in hand. Would not recommend to go to for getting work done as there are no large tables available but reading I guess would be nice.

– I have visited both of the Starbucks on the Royal Mile but only for take-way so I didn’t feel I could write anything about these ones although I am sure they are quite touristy and will only get worse as the Festival approaches

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