Nestled between hills, enchanting Edinburgh inspired the first Harry Potter book. While small, wandering its old and new quarters never gets old.

The Fringe

Every summer the Fringe takes over, with comedians and performers flocking to perform in venues across the city.

Third year student, University of Edinburgh

From its historic architecture, to the blossoming trees in the Meadows in spring, Edinburgh is the most beautiful place to live! My favourite times are August (for the world class Fringe festival), and Christmas/Hogmanay (for the markets and the Street Party).

Edinburgh Castle

Be warned, legend dictates that you'll fail your exams if you enter before you actually graduate.

Third year student, University of Edinburgh

There’s a club to suit everyone’s music taste and budget in Edinburgh – most of them along Cowgate. The clubs in New Town are a bit more expensive, but tend to be cheaper on Wednesdays. Everything’s within reasonable walking distance of Newington and Marchmont, [which] saves money on taxis.

Trainspotting

Recreate this classic Brit flick's iconic opening chase (minus the theft part) along Princes Street.

Student life in Edinburgh

Local gems, tips, and things to do, as recommended by students.
Low on cash
Besides all of Edinburgh's main museums and galleries being free, one of my favourite things to do is climb up Arthur's Seat. (Third year student, University of Edinburgh)
Friday feeling
Broke Fridays at Atik are a staple of the student club scene. Hive is cheap all week round. (Second year student, University of Edinburgh)
Sunday chilling
Nothing beats a sunny day in the Meadows, whether you're just lounging around, or kicking a ball about. (Third year student, Heriot Watt University)
When family visit
The Old Town is lovely to visit – the Castle, Mary King’s Close etc. And there’s usually a play on at the Playhouse, if you can get tickets. (Second year student, Edinburgh Napier University)
Feeling cultural
So many museums and art galleries everywhere. Summerhall in Newington hosts a lot of smaller independent shows and art exhibitions, including life drawing classes. (Third year student, University of Edinburgh)
Treat yourself
You have to book it months in advance, but champagne afternoon tea at the Dome in December, with all the Christmas lights, is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. (Third year student, University of Edinburgh)
Catch up with mates
The Southsider in Newington has the cheapest drinks going, and is great for watching the football or catching up. (Second year student, University of Edinburgh)
Grab a bite
Edinburgh has an amazing pizza scene. Civerinos, Dough or the High Dive have huge pizzas, and veggie/vegan options too. Most places offer [haggis on pizza]. (Third year student, University of Edinburgh)

The Royal Mile

Walk alongside culture and history here in one of the best-known and most frequently visited streets in Edinburgh.

Third year student, University of Edinburgh

In terms of pubs, there's one on every corner; Three Sisters and Pear Tree are popular with students for their prices and proximity to university buildings. Most locals don't mind sharing their usual haunts with students, as long as no one's too raucous.

The Meadows

In the summer, this sunny spot is the scene of festivals and sports events – plus, it's a great place to relax.

Third year student, University of Edinburgh

Marchmont is great because it's full of other students, and is just across The Meadows from uni, which makes it super convenient. All my friends live here, so I don't have to travel to see them. We often go for drinks here rather than in Old Town.

Holyrood Palace

Explore the Queen's Scottish residence and immerse yourself in its remarkable history.

Third year student, Edinburgh Napier University

I really like living in this area. It’s not too expensive, despite being really close to town. There’s a Tesco nearby, and an Asda superstore about a 20 minutes walk away. The gym is also close by, as well as Harmonium [vegan bar and kitchen] and Mimi's Bakehouse.

Walter Scott Monument

A tribute to one of Scotland's greatest writers, this monument provides spectacular views of the city.

Living in Edinburgh

Housing, travel, and budgeting tips:

Average weekly rents*
  • Private landlord
  • £72 - £172
  • Pricey
Housing value for money*
  • Good deal
Local transport*
  • £16.00
  • Ridacard 1-week Advance Purchase
  • (Bus)
Where you'll find students*
  • Newington
  • Marchmont
  • Leith
*Average mean rents via Spareroom.co.uk (Feb 2017). Value for money via Which? University Survey 2016. Local transport via local operators' website.

Student money tips

In terms of flat-hunting, don’t break the bank to stay in the centre of town, you don’t need to. (Second year student at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh)

The cost of living as a student soon adds up, us our budget calculator to find out roughly how much you'll need each month.

Discover more savings on student life in Edinburgh with UCAS student discounts. Find the latest deals, from fashion brands and eating fresh, to big discounts on tech and travel.