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Student City Guide: Edinburgh 2024

7 min
Uploaded on
May 12, 2021
Last updated on
Feb 15, 2024
Uploaded on
May 12, 2021
Last updated on
Feb 15, 2024
Edinburgh city view from bus
A Cultured City to Live In

One of the most exciting cities in the United Kingdom, Edinburgh is famous, and the oldest student city rises from the Wide Firth of Forth to a high. Our Edinburgh city guide covers transport options you can opt for! Being a centre of arts and culture, it offers a plethora of cultural attractions to students and tourists. Every year, millions of tourists travel to the town to discover the best sites and places. Our Edinburgh student city guide mentions some activities you should try! Go through our Edinburgh student city guide to explore life in city! Our Edinburgh guide has listed some places you cannot miss out on! 

Top Universities in Edinburgh

With top-ranked universities in the city, there are a plethora of doors waiting to welcome you in! Take a look at some top-notch universities which are mentioned in our Edinburgh City Guide for you to choose from:

1. Heriot-Watt University

Heriot-Watt is one of the premium and famous universities that fall under a truly global University, providing excellent education opportunities to students coming globally. The main campus of the university is in the city, and the other is in Orkney while others are in Dubai, Malaysia, etc. 

2. The University of Edinburgh

Likely the most popular of all Edinburgh colleges, the University of Edinburgh is viewed as one of the world's top colleges. Accordingly, it gets more than 65,000 applications every year and is one of the top universities mentioned in our Edinburgh guide.

3. Sovereign Margaret University

Sovereign Margaret University is probably the tiniest university, which means more modest class sizes and a more associated environment among understudies and staff. Nevertheless, it was positioned interestingly by QS World University Rankings in the top 68% of colleges on the planet (2021).

4. Royal College of Surgeons

The Royal College of Surgeons is situated in the true heart of Edinburgh's downtown area. Set up during the 1500s, it is the world's most seasoned - and generally regarded - clinical foundation. With a 500+ year history, it has taught students about the world's most influential clinical specialists. 

5. Edinburgh Napier University

Edinburgh Napier University has fantastic associations with the universe of innovation and is broadly viewed as a massively creative university. It flaunts cutting-edge grounds with reasonably constructed offices brimming with the most recent creations; it serves just about 20,000 understudies from 140 distinct nations and the overall organisation of companions and business contacts.

Cost of Living In Edinburgh

Living in Edinburgh is an exciting thing as you get to explore different famous things and make your experience unforgettable. On the other hand, the cost of living as a student in Edinburgh is expensive as well, majorly for someone who is an international student, not a local. However, you can spend smartly on different amenities if you get a smart credit card. Moreover, you can find convenient and affordable options for student accommodation in Edinburgh. It becomes a bit challenging for an international student to find affordable student accommodation options, whether you're choosing London or Cardiff as your ideal destination. This part of our Edinburgh city guide will help give you a brief overview of where you can save your money. Whether it is hunting for cheap accommodation or inexpensive places that can fulfil your hunger, our Edinburgh student city guide has it all for you.

Different Kinds of Accommodation in Edinburgh

Without discussing different options for student accommodation, the Edinburgh student city guide would remain incomplete.

1. Studio

If a student wants a cheap and small apartment just for himself, he can choose a studio apartment, which would be the best choice for a person with such needs. A student can find a number of safe options for studio apartments in our Edinburgh student city guide, which includes 200 Cowgate, Edinburgh, 8 Roxburgh, etc.

2. En-Suite

For people who do not like to be disturbed by others and for whom it is important to have a private toilet to do daily tasks, the en-suite is an excellent option. It will help them to secure time. In this Edinburgh City Guide, we have mentioned some of the famous en-suites like Lady Nicolson Court, Edinburgh, Canal Point and iQ Fountainbridge, Edinburgh.

3. Sharing Accommodation

Renting an apartment in Edinburgh could be costly, particularly in the inner-city region and travelling from an outer city could increase the burden. So, renting an apartment with fellow students or flatmates could be a good idea; also, it will reduce the student's burden.


Our Edinburgh student city guide also includes PBSA! It became an ideal alternative for the students in Edinburgh as it provides convenience to the students as per their needs. You can read how PBSA can be the right choice for you

Famous Food Markets of Edinburgh

What is an Edinburgh student city guide if we haven't listed the major gastronomical places? Whether you wish to have an adventure fusion or an indulgent grilled cheese, there is everything to enjoy. Here are some famous food markets in our Edinburgh guide so that you can have a look at each worldly cuisine.

1. The Pitt Market

The Pitt market is one of the famous markets, known as street food trucks and tops the list in our Edinburgh city guide. Peppered with punchy flavours and infused with addictive aromatics, this foodie dreamland is seasoned with both sweet and savoury options courtesy of the cream of Scotland's street food crop. The garnish offers live local bands and local brews like Barney's Beer, Solid Liquids and Smith & Gertrude. Open until 10 pm, this trendy street food market showcases a rotation of over 40 vendors.

2. Waverley Market @ Platform 2

The second market in our Edinburgh student city guide is one of the most unexpected places that bring the greatest of joy. The Waverley Market @ Platform 2 is a wondrous showcase of independent Scottish vendors. Over 40 stalls transform Waverley train station every Friday with an ever-so tempting array of eats from delectable cakes and artisanal breads to cold-pressed juice, more-ish pastries and hot food galore. The array of gift ideas from independent local business owners is the cherry on top of an already delectable ordeal.

3. Street Food Fridays

Yet another reason to celebrate 'Friyay', Street Food Fridays is the one to watch out for. Hosted every Friday at Fountainbridge at Union Canal just behind Akva, this gastronomic adventure entails the best food gurus Scotland has to offer — think Babu Bombay Street Kitchen, Steampunk Coffee, French Connection Creperie and Barnacles & Bones, to name a few. With each week comes a new tribe of street food stalls, so make sure to mark this one from our Edinburgh guide to your foodie calendar.

Explore Edinburgh on a Budget

Exploring Edinburgh is so fun; you already know that there are endless attractions to discover after going through our Edinburgh City guide. But, as a student, you must be thinking about how to save and travel as well, so here is what we have prepared for you in this Edinburgh student city guide to travel hassle-free as a local in the city:

1. Take a Hike

If you're looking for the best place to tease your friends through your Instagram photos, then make sure you spend your afternoon in Arthur's seat. Friendly and Picturesque on the wallet, it's the best opportunity to take views of the city's beautiful sights. You'll recognise the Dugald Stewart Monument from every lecturer's desktop background.

2. Join a Society

To know the culture, you must join a society. It's the best way to get involved with people who share the same interests. The famous names of the society, including the Dirty Weekenders Society at the famous University of Edinburgh, will take you to many places across the city, such as Roslin Glen and Dalkeith, at no cost.

3. Go On a Coffee Crawl

A coffee crawl beats a bar crawl for a few reasons: it's cheaper, The drinks are better, and you get to skip the hangover. In addition, Edinburgh is full of independent coffee shops just waiting to be discovered, so pack a book – or even your textbooks if you're feeling productive – and wander the city in search of the cosiest cafes. 

4. Check Out The National Museum of Scotland

If you're looking for something completely free, the National Museum of Scotland is one of the  Top 12 Free Things To Do in Edinburgh. Although donations are welcome, there is no charge for admission, so you can spend all the time you like exploring the exhibits. 

5. Relax on Portobello Beach

We have mentioned The most famous spot to enjoy the waves in our Edinburgh student city guide. Portobello Beach is one of the loveliest beaches in Edinburgh city. It is just 30 minutes away from the City Centre if you take a bus, and by car, it becomes a perfect spot to enjoy. The University of Edinburgh (Holyrood Campus) is a University that is near this beach.

Student Travel in Edinburgh

When you travel to Edinburgh, some Scottish Government rules should be in your mind to travel safely. It includes wearing masks when using taxis and public transport services, maintaining good hygiene, and maintaining social distance. Our Edinburgh student city guide has listed some of the ways students can utilise for daily commuting. Our Edinburgh guide has also mentioned where you can purchase tickets from!

1. Cycling

Cycling is an easy way to get around Edinburgh City. If you don't want to buy one, you can ask for the rent. Many service providers provide services for a cycle on rent majorly. Moreover, Eat Cycles is giving Students a "Back to Study" Pass. You get access to unlimited one hour- for the price of just £10.

2. Buses

You must avoid using cash while paying the fares for the Buses. Usually, locals and tourists follow the oyster card. With the help of this service, you can find out what amount a person is required to pay for the whole month. The central bus operators for Edinburgh city include First Edinburgh and Lothian Buses. Lothian Buses provides different kinds of fare tickets to the people:

  • Day Ticket (Unlimited Travel for one day): £5
  • Single fare: £2
  • Ridacard (Unlimited Travel for one year): £22 (one week), £650 (Annual) 

3. Airlink Bus

Airlink Bus is known as a 24-hour Express service between the city centre and Edinburgh Airport. It takes approximately 35 minutes, and students can find lower fares on this service.

4. Skylink Bus

How can we not include the fastest way to travel to the airport in our Edinburgh city guide? This service of Buses is three extra buses which are linked directly to the airport.

5. Trams

Trams are also a transport service which is linked directly to the Edinburgh Airport with the city centre. Your journey through Trams will take approximately 35 minutes.

6. Trains

The famous train station of Edinburgh is Waverley Station. You can easily purchase tickets, go for reservations and get access to travel data for Edinburgh Rail Travel centre authority for Waverley Station. 

7. Taxis

Make sure you wear a mask while travelling in taxis. Make sure you avoid paying through cash and follow card payments. Edinburgh taxi's colour is Black, which can be hailed in the street, booked by phone, and found at one of the main taxi ranks. You can also check out our blog for the best clubs in Edinburgh.

Best Places To Live In Edinburgh

Edinburgh is not just known as Scotland's capital city, but it is also recognised as one of the most famous cities in the United Kingdom. The city has a very distinctive look because of the offerings it gives to the students. You must know that Edinburgh city is a beautiful mix of Victorian, Medieval and Georgian Architecture. If you are a history lover, you'll get amazing opportunities to explore various monuments, buildings and sites which describe the rich history of Edinburgh city. This Edinburgh student city guide has listed some places to live in Edinburgh:

1. Silk Mill

Silk Mill is a famous place for student accommodation, which is named after the Old Castle located alongside the canal. Edinburgh has plenty to offer its residents. There is an on-site gym to help you stay fit and healthy. You can also find a lot of attractions near Silk Mill. You can grab a taxi as well if you want to explore nearby attractions. Located west of the main city centre, alongside the Union Canal, Silk Mill is only a few minutes away from the famous Edinburgh Waverley, which is a great place to eat.

2. Brewer's Court

It is a beautiful student accommodation designed with the great aim of providing a worthwhile experience to students. Located less than a 5-minute walk to Edinburgh University Holyrood Campus and the iconic Royal Mile, Brewers Court offers the very best in student living. Sitting on a quiet street in the city centre, you can enjoy the best of both worlds, taking in all that Edinburgh has to offer, including the famous Edinburgh Fringe Festival for those who want to stay with us all year.

3. Potterrow

Situated directly opposite the University of Edinburgh and surrounded by restaurants, bars, shops and scenic views, Potterrow is the perfect student accommodation in the city. It is one of the famous student accommodations. It is also just a short walk from Edinburgh College of Art and a bus ride from Edinburgh Napier University and Heriot-Watt University. Some of the most popular properties in these areas are Portsburgh Court, Lady Nicolson Court, iQ Elliott House and The Bridge House.

Earning Opportunities for International Students

The Edinburgh city guide has mentioned the top 5 ways you earn some money. There are a number of part-time jobs in Edinburgh available, which is a great way to get money. Ensure your resume and portfolio of work are ready to use in some of the great companies in Edinburgh city.

1. Part-time Online Tutoring

Tutoring has been a famous form of income for a long time because it usually depends on your skills. However, your degree won't make this an eligible source for almost everybody out there. You can go for online classes for the younger grades in your leisure time to increase the chances of getting high pay and thus, give you a fantastic experience. You can also explore other part-time jobs for international students in the UK.

2. Part-time Market Research

Part-time jobs are a fun way of learning about the culture and earning some extra money for your pocket. It can be an ideal job for you, as a student or young professional. Different places offer up to £5 for every survey that you complete, and you need no prior experience.

3. University Application Mentor

The easy job can be to become a University Application mentor. You can help applicants with their process. Get the opportunity from your University so that you can earn some money through the internship. The role of this job is to answer questions related to admission tests, university selection, extracurriculars, academics/courses, university life, etc. 

4. Student Ambassador

Become a student ambassador of your University. It can be huge to get a role associated with your University. You can help the candidates with the queries they have for the University. You don't require knowledge or leadership skills but the ability to work under pressure. 

5. Paid Online Survey

This kind of job doesn't ask you for any qualifications. You require a good connection to the internet and your laptop to work harder on this. You can fill out a number of surveys, and you can have a great weekend every once a week. 

This Edinburgh guide lays light upon major aspects a person considers before moving to the city. May it be places to stay in Edinburgh or student life in Edinburgh, right from the cost of living to student travel, this Edinburgh City guide has covered it all for you!

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Student City Guide: Edinburgh 2024
7 min
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