Flats (apartments) are a very distinctive feature of the Edinburgh urban landscape, particularly in the central areas of the city.
Traditionally, construction in Edinburgh was in stone, but brick, concrete and steel are now widely used.
The traditional tenement blocks of flats which are the norm in central Edinburgh vary from three to five storeys in height.
Only the most modern will have lifts (elevators); the traditional access is by means of a walk-up staircase from street level.
Each block contains a number of flats, with usually between two and four flats on each storey.
In British parlance, the floor (storey) at street level is the ground floor; the one above that is the first floor, and so on.
The floor below the ground floor is the basement.
Lifts (elevators) are available in most University residences, and in a few of the blocks of University flats.
Most blocks of flats, however, have the traditional walk-up staircase.
This article was published on Sep 11, 2008