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The Abroad Guide to Edinburgh

Downtown Edinburgh

Use your time studying abroad in Europe to visit Scotland’s capital. The historic, picturesque town of Edinburgh has a large student population, which means you’ll find exciting nightlife and plenty of inexpensive ways to experience the city.

First things first…

Make sure you’re saying it right! It’s Ed-in-brah.

The Scots speak English, so unless you have a tough time with accents, there won’t be any language barriers in Edinburgh. Scotland uses the UK Pound, and the cost of living can be comparatively high to other European cities, but that doesn’t mean you can’t see the city on a budget.

Getting there

Edinburgh Airport is a hub for international flights, with connections to many other top European cities, which means getting there from your study abroad city won’t be too tough. The airport has its own dedicated bus service, taking you to or from the airport, straight to the city center in only half an hour. Edinburgh is also close to the other Scottish cities of St. Andrews and Glasgow, so exploring more of the country is easy. The train system in the UK can look confusing and expensive at first, but booking your tickets through services like can save you a fortune if you reserve in advance.


Prices for hostels start from around £10, and most are based around the Old Town in the city centre. Check out the Scottish Youth Hostel Association for cheap deals on student accommodation during the summer months, or top rated hostels The Hostel, Smart City Hostel, and Edinburgh Central Hostel.

Edinburgh, Meadows

City Highlights

– Edinburgh Castle – a must-see with expansive views over Edinburgh

– The Old Town – a great area to explore the city’s history

– The Meadows – a picture-perfect place to relax and enjoy some greenery

– Princes Street – to get your shop on

Guide to Edinburgh study abroad

Eating and Partying

Edinburgh is a study abroad student’s dream, with cheap eateries and plenty of bars and nightclubs. Check out City Café for what may be the best burgers in town, or head down to the Three Sisters (above) for some traditional British pub grub that won’t break the bank.

Thursday is the city’s official student night, and you’ll find some great deals on food and drinks if you bring along your student I.D. The best nightlife spots are centred around the Cowgate and Grassmarket areas– we recommend checking out The Hive or The Liquid Room, two of the best clubs in the city.

Are you studying in Edinburgh? Or plan on visiting? Tell us about your favorite spots or ask us a question about the city!

The post was written by Maria Barr, on behalf of our friends at They’re not only helpful with train tickets in the UK but are also Edinburgh pros!

Photo credits: 1, 2, 3

Jess is the Editor-in-Chief of The Abroad Guide. After studying abroad in Belgium during her junior year of college, she caught the travel bug. Her experiences include volunteering in Nicaragua, backpacking through Europe, and a year-long adventure in Italy, and she's now settled in London.

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