A student guide: the City of Edinburgh



Edinburgh is a lively city with lots going on, from festivals to an exciting nightlife. A mixture of old cobbled streets, Georgian houses and a medieval castle, the city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  With five universities, Edinburgh is a city perfect for students.

Good Areas to Live

Marchmont, Morningside and Bruntsfield are popular areas for students.

Transport

There are many transport options in Edinburgh, all of them relatively cheap and regular. However, because the city centre is pretty walkable from all the university campuses, most students don’t really use public transport all that often.

Buses service Edinburgh, Midlothian and East Lothian, and they have a night service too to make sure you get home safely. For regular bus journeys, if you live far away from campus, you can get student Ridacards that offer discounted travel for regular travellers.

Trams have recently been introduced to the city, but they are more expensive than buses and will often take longer.

There are two train stations in Edinburgh: Haymarket and Waverley.

Cycling is a popular way of travelling around in the summer, as cyclists are allowed to share bus lanes in the city centre, and the city has special junctions that allow cyclists to beat traffic.

Sport

Edinburgh is home to Murrayfield Stadium, which is a rugby stadium where you can watch the Six Nations; it also hosts music concerts. The city has its own netball association, as well as the International Climbing Arena that boasts an aerial assault course, the world’s largest indoor climbing arena, softplay and more.

If it’s a gym you’re after, then your university is likely to have the best deals when it comes to price compared to other gyms.

Arts/Culture

Edinburgh was the first city to become the UNESCO City of Literature, and it boasts many attractions, festivals and literary connections.


With a range of galleries, including the National Galleries of Scotland and the Fruitmarket Gallery, there are many famous works of art from artists such as Raphael, Monet and Picasso.

We can’t ignore the Edinburgh Festival Fringe too, which you have no doubt heard of. One of the largest arts festivals, it is just one of many that take place in August each year. There’s also the Edinburgh International Film Festival, the Edinburgh International Book Festival and the Edinburgh Art Festival too.   

Nightlife

The nightlife in Edinburgh is enough to rival any other vibrant city. Whether you’re into live music, drum and bass raves, or a funk disco there’s something to keep you happy. For indie rock, the Liquid Room, the Cabaret Voltaire and The Hive all play indie music, and some play host to live bands too.  For RnB, funky house and hip hop, for those who like to dance, head to Shanghai or Silk. The Caves, The Lane and The Bongo Club are all awesome techno drum and bass venues.

Cowgate is a stretch of bars and clubs in the Old Town of Edinburgh where you should head for cheap drinks and good music.

Places to Eat

George Street offers a range of excellent restaurants, but they maybe out of budget for a regular student. As with any city, the big chain restaurants are all accounted for, but there are many really affordable and high quality eateries too.

MUMS touts itself as great comfort food, gourmet even, for a great price. Breakfast rolls start from £1.20! If you fancy yourself as the next big thing in literature, head to The Elephant House for a cup of speciality tea. People such as J.K. Rowling, Ian Rankin and Alexander McCall-Smith have all frequented this place, so you’re in good company.

Places to Shop

Princes Street is the iconic shopping street that offers all the high street stores such as Zara, Primark and Marks & Spencer. Princes Street Gardens hosts seasonal markets such as the German Christmas Market.

Multrees Walk is the place to go for a luxury shopping experience, with Scotland’s only Harvey Nichols. Somewhere to go with the parents!

The West End offers fashion boutiques, food retailers, gift shops and interior shopping. 

 

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