If you are pondering Edinburgh as a location for university, then you will need little introduction to the virtues of choosing one of the UK’s most historic cities. The university and culture of the city are steeped in history dating as far back as 1582, and the charm of Scotland’s capital brings in millions of tourists every single year.

This will have no doubt been at the core of your decision to choose, or at least consider Edinburgh as your home for the next three or four years. As part of our series of summer student guides profiling some of the best locations in our portfolio, the Collegiate team has compiled a guide to living in Edinburgh as a student.

We hope this article will help you to make the most of your time there and discover some of the hidden gems Edinburgh has to offer.


Things to do in Edinburgh

There is a vast array of things to see in Edinburgh, and to explain them all in one feature would not do them justice. But here are few of the most popular Edinburgh attractions that you may want to explore when you arrive to study your all-important degree;

These are all heritage sites, which account for many of the tourists that flock to the city every year. Although you will want to get under the surface of the city during the years you spend there as a student, why not start with the more obvious attractions? So you have them boxed off early in your tenure.


Things to do in Edinburgh as a student

Once you have the touristy bit done, there are some places off the beaten track in Edinburgh that our current tenants have found to be very special during their stay in the city. Read on to find out the four places we think you simply have to visit over the next few years, should you end up choosing Edinburgh as you place of study.

Breakfast At Spoon – The rumour is that J.K. Rowling penned some of her earliest Harry Potter works in this café, meaning it must be conducive for academic pursuit. Add to this the fact that it has a reputation for some of the finest high-class comfort food in the city and is super student friendly and you have yourself an absolute winner.

It isn’t far from many of the campuses around the town and the hearty breakfast there will set you up for even the most rigorous day of study. So, on those days you need to eat well and crack on with some serious work, we strongly recommend heading to Spoon, opening our laptop and enjoying this cracking Edinburgh eatery.

Take A Stroll Down The Leith – This 13 mile walk could be the perfect way to clear ones head during intense periods of study or perhaps on a lazy Sunday with your housemates. The Leith is a simply beautiful river that runs through the heart of this ancient city and you will see some quite beautiful scenery along the way.

From Balerno and Juniper Green to the stunning Dean Village it is simply impossible not to have your breath taken away on this walk, and we guarantee that you will end up doing this several times during your stay. And there are plenty of fine restaurants and typical Edinburgh pubs along the way so you can turn it into a great day out if you so wish.

Cramond Island – This is truly one of the most unique places to visit in Edinburgh and one that we recommend you do as soon as possible upon arriving in Edinburgh for your studies. It does involve a bit of a journey out of the city on the number 41 bus but it only takes half an hour and you can then walk out to this island from one of Scotland’s most serene beaches.

Once you have taken in the views, and perhaps had a few glasses of wine on the waterfront, you can make the walk over Cramond Causeway. Don’t forget to get a tide timetable to make sure you don’t get stranded. Once there you will be simply blown away by this gorgeous piece of land with some of the best views Edinburgh and its surrounding areas have to offer. You can take a picnic, your speakers and plenty of beer in nice weather for what is truly one of the very best things you can do as a student living in Edinburgh.


This is of course just a snapshot of Edinburgh attractions and describes just some of the best things to do in the city, but we think it gives you a good idea of how diverse and fascinating a study location it is. We hope you find it useful and you can see some of our amazing Edinburgh student accommodation residences by clicking here.