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edinburgh student guide

So you’ve chosen the Scottish capital; the heart of a deeply patriotic nation with much to shout about. A beautiful city steeped in history, Edinburgh is equally Scottish and European in its safe and diverse, cultured and cobbled streets, with plenty to pack into your social calendar. However, the cosmopolitan atmosphere and buzzy student culture in Edinburgh will undoubtedly put a strain on your was finances – a recent study from the Royal Bank of Scotland identified Edinburgh as the most expensive city in the UK for students to live and work!

Now, this is no cause for panic. With the average cost of rent in Edinburgh sitting at £2.05 more than the UK average, Edinburgh steals the top spot by a whisker. But yes, we are sympathetic that the £8 extra a month means you’re missing out roughly 16 cans of baked beans – so we’ve included a whole host of money-saving tips and tricks here - in our Ultimate Edinburgh Student Guide. You’ll find everything you need to guide you through the time of your life in the Scottish capital, where you’ll revel in a colourful and vibrant lifestyle to accompany your university studies. 

student accommodation in edinburgh

Student Accommodation in Edinburgh

Get a roof over your head, and everything else will fall into place. As long as you keep up with your rent, and don’t blow all your student loan in one go, you’ve succeeded in the first test of responsible adult life. Getting student accommodation in Edinburgh is relatively straightforward if you’re an undergraduate, as each individual university will offer information to new freshers to help them secure a place in student halls or residences with ease. Returning students will be expected to find their own accommodation through private-rented accommodation or student lodging, although there are often university-leased flats off campus available to rent.

University of Edinburgh

For the full package as an undergraduate at the University of Edinburgh, we suggest securing catered accommodation at Pollock Halls. Here, your meal plan is included in the rent you pay; 14 meals per week, including breakfast, brunch and dinner. Each year, Pollock Halls accommodates up to 1,900 students, so you'll find it easy to throw yourself into your new student lifestyle and make friends without having to worry about what to cook for dinner each night here.  Facilities include an award-winning restaurant with multiple self-service counters, a convenience shop, computer lab and library, cash point and even a bar!

Not fussed about catering? The University of Edinburgh offers a wide selection of university owned, self-catered flats and residences, the ideal places for independent students looking for a place to live comfortably and make new friends. You can apply for Student Accommodation at the University of Edinburgh anytime from February 2017. Find all the information on accommodation options online at the University of Edinburgh website.

Heriot-Watt University

Heriot Watt’s Edinburgh campus can offer residences for an estimated 2’450 people, ranging from self-catered rooms to studio flats. All new undergraduates and postgraduates are guaranteed a place in University-managed residencies, but it’s best to check their Accommodation Guarantee for the nitty-gritty details. 

Edinburgh Napier University

With 5 accommodation sites across the city, Edinburgh Napier has residencies for over 1’500 new students. You’ll be able to indicate a preference for the residency you'd like as part of your application, but it isn’t a guaranteed choice. There are self-catered options for everyone close to the city centre, so you don't have to worry about being left living out of the student bubble.

Edinburgh’s Telford College 

Edinburgh's Telford College owns 4 campuses - each in its own corner of the city - opening the doors to new students settling into their new life at College. For the convenience of on-campus accommodation, you're invited to apply to live at the purpose-built residences at Milton Road and Granton.

Edinburgh College of Art

Creative individuals pursuing a degree in the arts will be inspired by the historic setting of Edinburgh's Old Town, where the Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) provides a range of workspaces and studios, the original rooms intermixed with contemporary facilities to give students the time to procreate and foster their artistic ideas. As part of the UoE, ECA shares the student accommodation options and application process, so check out our University of Edinburgh section above.

Private Lets for Students

For returning students in their second, third or fourth year, Edinburgh has a vast selection of student accommodation, from private lets to independent student accommodation providers such as Unite Students, Accommodation for Students and Edinburgh Student Pad. Morningside and Marchmont are the areas to live if you’re seeking the haven of a student community for the length of your studying years.

Local Student Letting Agents

My Student Pad

Like many of your fellow students you’ll find flying the nest of home unsettling initially, but take a trip to Ikea and decorate your student pad, and you’ll soon feel right at home. The Ikea is south of the city outside the Edinburgh bypass in Bilston, so this may be the one occasion it would be useful to have a car in Edinburgh. 

No wheels? Time to get thrifty! Go to charity shops and buy cups, plates and bowls for next to nothing, and your collection of crockery won’t be lacking in character. The Edinburgh Furniture Initiative raise money for the homeless in the city by selling second-hand furnishing at budget prices – a fantastic opportunity for the good student Samaritans out there to save and support the less fortunate too. Alternatively, Gumtree is guaranteed to have some surprisingly good budget options too. 

student transport in edinburgh

Getting around Edinburgh

As the capital of Scotland, Edinburgh is a well-connected city with good intercity transport links and regular buses, trains and trams in and out the city. Truth be told, many students needn’t worry about budgeting for transport, because conveniently for your new student lifestyle, most universities in Edinburgh are within walking distance of student campuses and central city accommodation. Yes, rolling out of bed within 10 minutes of your lecture starting isn’t out the question. However, there are likely to be occasions when you’d like to venture further away from your usual haunts, in which case information on local buses, trains and trams may be a useful addition to the knowledge of your new home town.


Lothian Buses is the primary provider of bus services in Edinburgh running convenient routes around the city and out into Midlothian and East Lothian. They provide a special Student fare version of their popular Ridacard, which offers you unlimited travel across Lothian Buses, NightBus, Airlink and Edinburgh Tram Services. The Direct Debit payment is the best deal available, protecting your precious pennies from being caught up in travel fares each week. Otherwise single fares are £1.60, a DAYticket will cost you £4.00, and a thoughtful DAY&NIGHT ticket costs £3.50 – the cheap way to charge to and from the pubs, bars and clubs. Check out the Lothian bus website to plan your route.


Part of the Lothian transport network, the Edinburgh trams glide through the city centre, providing seamless inner city transport, and a connection to Edinburgh Airport. Purchase a Student Ridacard, and you can relish in the freedom to ride the tram and the bus on the cheapest and most flexible fare available. Plain and simple city travel, at student prices. It just makes sense!


cycling in edinburghKeep fit, save money and seize your share of fresh air by cycling to and from your university campus, following mapped street level cycle routes to navigate your way safely across the city on two wheels. Although, the real savvy cyclist secret is hidden underground. A maze of cool, smoothly-paved rabbit warrens – old underground railway lines given new purpose – provide cycle path connections to points of interest and residential areas throughout the city. 

Plan your route using the Innertube Map, and keep up-to-date with new art installations along selected routes, if you like keeping tabs on creative movements in city. Your new found city knowledge is guaranteed to impress and influence your peers to join the bike train. 

Bicycle Shops


The last resort when it comes to student transport – we predict your budget will prevent you from clambering into taxis too often. However, when you’re several drinks down and exhausted from your electrifying moves on the dancefloor, hailing a cab is the saving grace ready to chauffeur you home to flop into bed. 

Give one of these local firms a ring:

Central Taxis
Phone: 0131 229 2468

City Cabs Ltd
Phone: 0131 2281211


Uber taxis landed in Edinburgh in November 2015, granting capital city dwellers the chance to book private hire cars from their smartphones like their fellow Glaswegians. To travel the Uber way, download the app, add your details and request your ride. Beware – booking an Uber is dangerously convenient. Rides can be summoned in the touch of a button, and seamless card payments make the exchange of money obsolete. Our advice? Uber wisely.


Got the luxury of your own motor? You may want to leave it at home – Edinburgh student living is slap bang in the middle of the bubbling city centre. At best it’ll be available for excursions out the city, but traffic and one way diversions around tram routes are likely to discourage you from climbing in behind the wheel often, if not at all.


When you’re scraping the barrel, the Megabus will be there for you; ready to take back to the comforts of home or away for the weekend with friends. With routes to all major towns and cities in Scotland and England, as well as selected routes to European destinations too, the Megabus will always have an affordable route that's kind on your wavering bank balance. Seats start at a bargain ticket price of £3.00 plus the 50p booking fee. All Megabus Services depart from Edinburgh Bus Station on St Andrews Square.

National Express

For a comfortable coach journey, National Express provide a means of travel for a smidge more money than you’ll pay for the Megabus. Travel to hundreds of destinations in the UK from a minimum of £5. Edinburgh Bus Station serves as the departure point for all National Express service from Edinburgh.


A transport hub of Scotland, Edinburgh Waverly on Princes St serves as the main rail station, where you can hop on a train to meander your way up or down the country. Edinburgh Haymarket is more convenient for residential areas to the west of the city centre. Train prices these days are a nasty shock to the system when your weekly budget costs the same amount as a train to Glasgow, but if you’re of average student age, you should be soothed by the discounts offered by a Young Person’s Railcard.

Young persons aged 16-25 , or individuals over 25 in full-time study can save a 1/3 off train fares, for a one off payment of £30 a year. Great value for money if you’re a regular train traveler!

eating out in edinburgh

Eating Out

The influx of tourists has given the Edinburgh foodie scene the business to flourish, but the gastropubs, cafes and street-food style destinations make it easy for students in Edinburgh to steer clear of the overpriced tourist restaurants in the centre. Follow your hunger cravings to discover pies, pizzas, burritos, burgers, noodles and more, and tuck into the gourmet delights .

£ - Cheap Eats

Red Box - A stir fry noodle bar which doesn't hold back on the portion sizes - the Red Box has a great value for money menu which remains popular among the student crowd every year. Noodles are cooked and tossed with fresh vegetables to order, and there are a whole host of oriental snacks and sides if you're feeling extra peckish. Order online to build your stir fry takeaway, or visit them on Nicolson Street to grab your noodle box on the go!

Illegal Jacks - A no-nonsense Tex Mex joint serving up a fresh and healthy Mexican menu 7 days a week. Large burritos stuffed with your choice of chicken, steak, beef chilli, BBQ pork, haggis (they are Scottish, after all!) or veggies, with the classic accompaniments of beans, rice, sour cream, salsa and cheese. Quesadillas, tacos, fajitas and nachos are there for when the burrito doesn't tickle your sombrero, and you can wash it all down with a bottle of craft beer.

Ting Thai Caravan - This authentic Thai street food restaurant is an Edinburgh foodie must-eat! Steaming hot pad thai noodles with your choice of fresh meat, fish or vegetables is served in a compact restaurant where you're likely to knock elbows with fellow diners. An enigmatic dining experience where the food speaks for itself.

The Nile Valley Cafe - Sharing a pavement with a small cluster of restaurants on Chapel Street in the heart of Edinburgh's student community, the Nile Valley Cafe is a stone's throw away from the student halls and buildings of UoE. Here, you'll discover a Sudanese and Middle Eastern menu of falafel, tagines and fish curry - the wraps are unquestionably one of the best lunch offerings in the city!

Snax - For the mornings when your head is throbbing in protest to last night's drinking; Snax is the ultimate greasy spoon to cure your hangover woes. Full Scottish breakfasts that are yours for the munching at an average exchange of £4. 

££ - Reasonably-priced Eats

Milk at The Fruitmarket Gallery - Exquisite bakes, sarnies with seasonal fillings, and frothy coffee - all served under the same roof as world-class contemporary art. With a delightful gift shop to peruse for books, gifts, posters and arty knick-knacks - Milk is a real gem waiting to be discovered.

£££ - Posh Nosh

Under the Stairs - Bound by nothing but their own creativity, the chefs and mixologists craft contemporary cuisine and cocktails in this effortlessly cool bar and restaurant. In the historic setting of the old town - Under the Stairs is the perfect place for casual celebrations, and a restaurant-to-impress to suggest to your parents when they decide to visit!

The Outsider - The unfussy, matt black facade of The Outsider is a subtle clue to the modern, artisanal menu served inside, which changes (naturally) to swirl fresh seasonal ingredients into new dishes. The attention-to-detail is only accentuated further by the excellent wine list. A sophisticated choice for a sophisticated occasion.

Three Birds & Apiary - The homely setting and heart-warming food of the Three Birds has given the founders the business to open up it's "bigger, little sister" Apiary. Scrumptious brunch and a dinner menu to tantalise the taste buds make both the Three Birds and Apiary a popular place to indulge in some comforting fine dining.

The Sunday Roast

So the novelty of being free to run around and do as you please away from the watchful eye of your parents is beginning to wear off. The final nail in the coffin will be when you wake up on a Sunday and realise that no, your Mum is not cooking you a Sunday Roast. If you’re pining for your fair share of gravy, meat and veg on a Sunday – here are the 3 top roast dinners in Edinburgh.

The Antiquary - This traditional pub serves a hot plate of roast venison, beef or nut roast from 1pm every Sunday for £10.95. An ideal place to stop for lunch on a lazy Sunday wandering around Stockbridge.

72-78 St Stephen St, Stockbridge, Edinburgh

The Queens Arms - Grab a chum and stroll down into this basement pub for a Sunday roast deal of epic proportions. Two courses for two people for less than £30 - bargain! For when there's nothing else to do but roll home into bed with Netflix, The Queens Arms comes up trumps every time.

49 Frederick Street, EH2 1EP

The Cumberland Bar - This place is a popular one, so you won't have much success should you venture out on a spontaneous Sunday Roast hunt. However, as one of the best in the city, we suggest planning ahead to sample the one, two or three courses of Sunday Roast at the Cumberland Bar at least once during your students years here!

1-3 Cumberland Street, EH3 6RT 


If the idea of studying the library causes you to recoil into the comfort and safety of your duvet, you might just benefit from an impromptu study session in a charming or trendy café environment. A recipe for study success; a good cup of coffee can clear the brain fog and sharpen your mind, while the chink of cups and saucers and hushed conversation provide calming background sounds for improved productivity. Indulge in coffee shop study days sparingly, because a flat white a day could quickly leave you out of pocket!

Burr & Co – Brewing with beans roasted by the highly commended Caravan Coffee, Burr & Co are the latest café on the scene. Wander down to George Street, and savour a sticky slice of Scottish heather honey cake with your caffeine fix.

20 George St, Edinburgh EH2 2PB

Lovecrumbs - Bakery-come-coffee shop – Lovecrumbs serves up speciality coffee from Steampunk coffee roasters, who’s yellow van Mavis can be found serving up a hot brew every Sunday at Stockbridge Market. For superior bakes and irresistible tarts – Lovecrumbs is the destination for a sweet treat to soothe the study stress.

155 West Port, Edinburgh EH3 

Black Medicine -  An unapologetically bohemian offering, Black Medicine is a coffee shop which serves good coffee with “very-good-with-a-coffee products”, which we’re 99.9% sure refers to the array of sandwiches and baked goods on offer. Cosy décor of rustic wood furniture and exposed brickwork make it a popular choice for those who like to be recognised as a regular when ordering your flat white.

2 Nicolson St, Edinburgh EH8 9DH

Things to do in Edinburgh

Days Out in Edinburgh

Yes, you’re going to be studying ALL the time,  but you might be able to squeeze in a few activities around those intense hours of reading at home with Netflix. Your years of student discount are numbered, so exhaust your rights to it at every pub, club, shop, gallery, bar, restaurant and at any other opportunity available to you! 


Twitter is your friend! Search ‘Student discount Edinburgh’ to find restaurants, bars, events and shops offering events and savings right now, or follow your favourite haunts to make sure you’re always one step ahead of the curve.

Free things to do in Edinburgh

The best things in life are free, and come rain or shine, exploring Edinburgh can be as cheap you want it to be. Get outside as much as possible to gulp in some fresh, revitalising oxygen to refresh your tired, hungover or over-worked mind, and when the weather doesn't play ball, dive into Edinburgh's vibrant arts scene to switch off.

Sunny Days

arthurs seat

Arthur’s Seat and Holyrood Park - Escape in the Scottish wilderness on your doorstep, by scaling the ​extinct volcano Arthur's Seat. With and abundance of wildlife and panoramic views over the city, it's the perfect place to grab some exercise and clear your head.

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh - The Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh has been described as a “deliriously tranquil space” by the Telegraph, which we think means you’ll find it a maddeningly peaceful escape from the stifling staleness of studying in the library?

Stockbridge Market - The beating heart of Edinburgh's foodie scene is the Sunday street food market in Stockbridge, where you can drool over fragrant Bombay curries, a colourful jambalaya of paella in a pan, cheese, chocolate and a whole cart of gourmet delights every Sunday. 

Water of Leith Walkway -  Follow the river with its lush, green banks as it snakes through the city on this 12 3/4 mile public walkway. The route is has a wide diversity of wildlife and local history, and it's easy to hop on and off the walkway as it winds through the centre.

Portobello Beach - Yes, Edinburgh has a beach. Although it may not be the place top up your tan, who doesn't like to be beside the seaside?

Rainy Days

The National Museum of Scotland

This museum's collection is a people-pleaser. With everything from old airplanes to Dolly the Sheep; the pieces in the collection span the themes of Art and Design, Natural World, Science and Technology, Scottish history and archaeology and World Cultures.

National Galleries of Scotland

The three galleries under the umbrella of the Scottish National Galleries in Edinburgh are the Scottish National Gallery, Portrait Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art. Together, with partner galleries Paxton House and Duff House, they house one of the best fine art collections in the world. The 96'000 pieces of art are bolstered by exhibitions, guaranteeing you a fresh display each and everytime you visit.

Fun Things to do in Edinburgh

edinburgh castle

Edinburgh Castle

We don’t really need to tell you to go here, this grand historic fortress towers over the city on its rocky perch, which serves nicely as a continuous reminder to find the time to explore within its walls. Beat the tourist queues, and book tickets online for fast-track entry. Stand tall for the traditional firing of the One o’ clock gun – first fired in 1861 for ships to set their maritime clocks to navigate their way across the oceans – or drool over the sparkling crown jewels in there grand glass case. Edinburgh Castle Student Prices

Camera Obscura and World of Illusions

On the tourist trail, but the Camera Obscura and World of Illusions would be a great way to break the ice with new friends, and have a giggle. Seeing is not believing in this visionary world of dazzling, mind-boggling illusions, many of which provide excellent photo and selfie opportunities!

Edinburgh Zoo

Arguably one the best in the country, Edinburgh Zoo’s enduring popularity with the public has supported their conservation work for over 100 years, safeguarding the future existence of over 1,000 species of rare and endangered animals. From joining the notorious penguin parade to a reptilian rendezvous with the snakes and lizards in the collection, you’ll have the chance to meet and greet many a curious creature. Book online 3 days+ in advance with your student card, and you’ll pay £14.50, and make all small saving on their standard, on-the-day Student Concession entry price of £16.50.

nights out in edinburgh

Nights Out in Edinburgh

Now, we know the partying is on par with studying at university, no matter what your parents or lecturers say. Monday is the new Friday, Tuesday is the new Saturday, and although the student Union’s will have a wild calendar of Fresher Student events, it won’t be long till you feel like venturing out into the city to see what else is in store. Edinburgh may be a city with Georgian facades, historic tourist attractions, first-class shopping and fine dining, but under the guise of a tourist town, Edinburgh has a lively grassroots arts scene and numerous underground clubs in its wickedly wild underbelly. Now, what will it be - live music, clubbing til the small hours or two-thirds of a craft beer? 

Grassmarket and George IV Bridge

Crooked and characterful pubs on Victoria Street and Candlemaker Row are regular refuges for sociable students. Grab a pint or two for a chilled evening, or a place to get the night going for that matter. Get to know others away from the pulsating speakers of clubs and music venues, and enjoy a nice pint of good ale while you're at it! George IV Bridge has a few contemporary cocktail lounge offerings, and around corner on Chamber Row, you'll find the reliable buzz of Revolution Bar (that's Vodka Revs to you!). Dive into Sneaky Pete's for a wild night out, or head to The Bongo Club for a heavy dose of hip-hop!

The Oz Bar - 33 Candlemaker Row, Edinburgh EH1 2QGbars in edinburgh

Good for: Cheap drinks paired with pool or sports

Frankenstein - 26 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1EN

Good for: An eclectic night out in a buzzy, lively bar

Revolution Edinburgh  - 30A Chambers St, Edinburgh EH1 1HU

Good for: Mixer Jugs and 2-4-1 cocktails 

BrewDog - 143 Cowgate, Edinburgh EH1 1JS

Good for: Revered Scottish craft beers served with a punk attitude

Bow Bar - 80 W Bow, Edinburgh, EH1 2HH

Good for: Whisky and ales in a cosy, pub setting

Sneaky Pete's - 73 Cowgate, Edinburgh EH1 1JW

Good for: Live gigs and unruly club nights in Edinburgh's revered, grungy basement

Opium 71 Cowgate, Old Town, Edinburgh EH1 1JW

Good for: Themed parties and karaoke

The Bongo Club 66 Cowgate, Edinburgh EH1 1JX

Good for: Film, Theatre and Comedy Nights and Hip hop Music

The Old Town and South Bridge Street

You'll have to go underground if you want to get a real taste of the Edinburgh nightlife, but as every second bar and club can be found in a basement or vault of some kind - you won't have to try too hard to stumble into the late night haunts.  South Bridge Streets proximity to the University of Edinburgh makes a popular area for an alternative, with a couple of pop nights thrown in for good measure.

City - 1A Market St, Edinburgh EH1 1DE

Good for: Chart music and £1 shots - this 1500 capacity venue is a student favourite

Brass Monkey - 14 Drummond St, Edinburgh EH8 9TU

Good for: Laid-back folk looking to kick their shoes off, grab a pint and watch an afternoon film screening

Cabaret Voltaire - 36 Blair St, Edinburgh, EH1, 1QR

Good for:  Live music and club nights in trendy underground vaults

The Hive - 15-17 Niddry St, Edinburgh, EH1 1LG

Good for: Cheap drinks and free entry on the door

The Jazz Bar - 1A Chambers St, Edinburgh EH1 1HR

Good for: Clues in the name. Good cocktails too!

Dragonfly - 52 West Port, Old Town, Edinburgh EH1 2LD

Good for: A glimpse of the roaring 20s with cocktail in hand, with DJ sessions at the weekend

The Mash House - 37 Guthrie St, Edinburgh EH1 1JQ

Good for: Intimate and experimental club nights and live gigs

The Caves - 8-10 Niddry St S, Edinburgh EH1 1NS

Good for: Drum & Bass, Dubstep and Techno in the vaults under the city

edinburgh drink deals

George Street and New Town

Although a little further from the regular student areas, the upmarket drinking spots on George Street often have tempting drinks deals and students nights to pull you out for a night of clubbing. Expect pop music, mixer deals and tourists on a big night out in the city.

Why Not - 14 George St, Edinburgh, EH12 2PF

Good for: Kicking the week off with their Student Only night on Monday

Lulu - 125b, George St, Edinburgh, EH2 4JN

Good for: Student drink deals in a lavish club setting

Lola Lo - 43B Frederick St, Edinburgh EH2 1EP

Good for: Chart music and dancing in a tiki-themed bar

Panda & Sons - 79 Queen St, Edinburgh EH2 4NF

Good for: A cocktail or two in a sumptuous speakeasy setting

Bruntsfield and Marchmont

Heading down towards the student turf of Marchmont and then Morningside, the south west corner of Edinburgh is brimming with students nights and prices to keep their sociable residents entertained. Did somebody say pub quiz? Everyone likes a quiz night, so gather a team, put your heads together and dig up all useless facts you can recall in your punch for the pub prize (usually a bar tab – free booze!)

Cav - 3 W Tollcross, Edinburgh EH3 9BP

Good for: Dancing to pop music in Edinburgh's largest night club

The Golf Tavern  - 30-31 Wright’s Houses, Edinburgh EH10 4HR

Good for: Wednesday night pub quiz and pints in this historic Edinburgh pub 

The Blackbird Bar and Restaurant 37-39 Leven St, Edinburgh EH3 9LH

Good for: Sunny days, it's the best beer garden in Edinburgh

The Cellar Monkey - 15 Argyle Pl, Edinburgh EH9 1JJ

Good for: Student discount and Tuesday Night Pub Quiz

shopping in edinburgh

Where to Shop in Edinburgh

Your student loan has come in - hooray! Download the vouchercloud app, and we'll be able to direct you to all the student discounts waiting in your favourite high street stores. We endorse thrifty shopping here at vouchercloud, so if you are hitting the high street, don't be tempted to blow all your student loan in one go. You will regret it later. Having said that, everyone's entitled to their fair share of retail therapy, so if you're looking to dress to impress your fellow students, or decorate your student digs - here's some insider shopping knowledge to take advantage of with your student discount savings.

Princes Street and Waverley Mall

Stroll up and down Princes St to hop in and out of the regular high street residents of Topshop, H&M, Zara, Urban Outfitters, River Island, Primark and Debenhams to name but a few, or pop into Waverley Mall to shop the handful of fashion stores there, including New Look, Warehouse and Superdry.

George Street

Parallel to Prince St, George Street could identify as the street with higher-end fashion stores, such as French Connection, Karen Millen, Hobbs, Hollister and Jack Wills. With so many shops on George Street and Princes St in such close proximity, the city centre is undoubtedly the go-to shopping destination for students looking for fresh outfits for a big night out, as well as casual daytime wear.


For a selection of independent gift stores, cafes and vintage stores, the small suburb of Stockbridge will tempt you away from the hustle and bustle of the centre. Elaine's, Miss Bizio Couture and Those Were the Days have racks of vintage clothing and accessories, much of which has a place in stylish student floordrobes! 

Nicolson Street

For really savvy students who love a good bargain, Nicolson Street is strung with charity shops brimming with clothes, books, DVDs, and homewares, as well as a standalone Oxfam bookshop. You'll find a handy Superdrug and a Holland & Barrett along there too, should you need to stock up on health and beauty essentials.

health and fitness in edinburgh

Health and Fitness

All that time spent enjoying yourself as a student more often than not leaves health and fitness considerations in the gutter. Ask any graduate, and they'll sheepishly admit they probably ate more slices of pizza a week than they did vegetables. The student lifestyle doesn't make maintaining a good level of fitness or a healthy diet easy, but by packing some fruit and veg into the latter, and finding a fun sport or activity to keep you moving, you'll be able to shake the off the sluggish state and benefit from feeling refreshed, energised and ready to focus on your studies.

University of Edinburgh CSE - UoE students, your university has it's own gym for £100 for the year, or £65 for off-peak sessions if you want to keep the cost down.

[EN]GAGE - The sports facilities at Edinburgh Napier, which offers students over 50 classes, as well as courts and equipment for football, basketball and other team sports.

PureGym - With two convenient central locations, Pure Gym is an excellent low-cost, no-contract option with over 50 classes and enthusiastic personal trainers to help you determine and stick to some fitness goals. They offer discounted memberships to students with UNiDAYS.

Edinburgh Leisure - For a mixture of activities, Edinburgh Leisure has the facilities and the equipment to help you find a sport that really gets your the blood pumping. After all, exercise is more fun when it doesn't feel like exercise! Visit Edinburgh Leisure online to participate in all sorts of activities, from football to rock-climbing.

Student Jobs and Finance

You may wrinkle your nose at the idea of having a job initially, but when your sporadic student loan installments seem to get further and further apart as the month's pass by, a part-time job becomes an increasingly attractive necessity. Not only is it good to have some extra cash, but you're likely to make new friends, and enjoy a healthy dollop of real-life experience - which you'll be grateful for when you graduate into the big, wide world. What's more, you could earn some staff discount on drinks, fashion or cosmetics from bar jobs, retail and beauty jobs respectively, so make your job work to your advantage.

local student apps edinburgh

Local Apps and Websites

Aside from your Just Eat and Uber apps, there are a bunch of handy lifesavers specific to Edinburgh you can download in an instant to supplement your student living.

Transport for Edinburgh - If you regularly hop on and off the Lothian Buses and Edinburgh Trams, this app will help you plan your journeys around the city.

City Cabs Edinburgh - This app is an Edinburgh version of the well-known taxi app which took over world, and is just as convenient. Book your cabs with one touch and pay your fare seamlessly through the app - no cash point stop required!

vouchercloud - The money-saving app with a bunch of savings for local restaurants and shops.

Your Key Calendar Events

Fresher's Week - September

Samhuinn Fire Festival - October 31st

Hogmanay - December 31st

Edinburgh International Film Festival -  21st June - 2nd July

Edinburgh Art Festival - July/August

The Edinburgh Fringe Festival - 4th-28th August

Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo - 4th-26th August