New Students

Life in the City of Edinburgh

The City of Edinburgh is one of the greatest cities to live in, with so many cultural and historical attractions, beautiful scenery and places to visit, we have listed the best places to go.

Voted by students, the University of Edinburgh won the award for City Life (WhatUni Student choice awards 2019). With so much to explore and discover, information below outlines some of the places to check out as recommended by our students. 

Hot spots and hidden gems 

Festival poster board
Fringe Festival Edinburgh

Student Stories 

Hear from students about their favourite spots to go to:

Top ten things to do as a student in Edinburgh

5 Fun, Free Things to Do in Edinburgh for Students



Famous for being festival city, Edinburgh hosts an array of festivals/events throughout the year and is recognised for its international excellence in the arts, sciences and culture!

Find out more the world leading festival city and what's on



  • Edinburgh University Student Association holds regular live music events across the various student union venues showcase music from sci-fi glam punk to blues, jazz and psychedelic-garage rock there will be lots to choose from and enjoy.

Find out more about what live music events are on at your Student Association


Edinburgh Spots to visit:

Discover what other students have to say about their top recommendations of things to do in Edinburgh

  • Arthur's Seat and Salisbury Crags
    Skyline with Arthurs seat in the background on a sunny day
    Skyline with Arthurs seat

A popular hike for students with a stunning 360 degree view of the entire city at the end - this is definitely worth a visit. Download and check out the UoE Events App to find out more about the hikes offered by Students' Association during Welcome Week. 

  • Royal Mile

One of the more popular and busy tourist streets in the city, leading to so many other great places to see in Edinburgh, including Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood House. 

  • Scottish Parliament

Located in the city of Edinburgh, this is a fully accessible building. You can visit and enter the debating chamber, receive a free tour and check out the unique modern architecture. 


Best places to get outdoors 

  • The Meadows 

This is the central park of Edinburgh that is the hub for barbeques, sports, and sun. Perfect for those summer evenings and picnics with friends, a great place to relax, and close by to the University of Edinburgh central campus.

Find out more about The Meadows and the history of one of the most important open spaces in Edinburgh

  • Portobello Beach
    Portobello Beach
    Portobello Beach

Come rain or shine, Edinburgh has many local beaches to check out. One of these is the infamous Portobello beach, a popular choice for students and easy to get to with a short bus journey.

Discover more about Portobello Beach

  • Dr Neil's Garden

If you are looking for somewhere relaxing, peaceful and not too far to venture, then this is a hidden gem to visit. 

Read more about Dr Neil's Garden on our student stories

Check out Dr Neil's Garden website for more information


Scottish Weather

If you are moving to Scotland then you may be questioning what to expect from Scottish weather.

Scotland’s weather can be changeable in any season. It is common knowledge in Edinburgh that you may need an umbrella and sunglasses in the same day!

The key to coping with the changeable weather is to wear layered clothing and, in winter, to own a warm coat. However, Edinburgh does have plenty of sunny weather too, and summer days spent in the green city spaces are not to be missed.

During the spring and summer months, the vast green space beside the University’s central campus called The Meadows is busy with cyclists, runners, walkers, sunbathers and social sport teams.

For more information on weather in Scotland, see guidance from Visit Scotland


Related Links

Check out where to get discount purchases in Edinburgh and money saving tips