As the capital of Scotland and second most populace city in the country (smaller only than sprawling Glasgow), Edinburgh is a popular destination for both tourists and renters of all backgrounds. Its significance extends into all aspects of Scottish and British history and culture, ensuring that Edinburgh remains one of the world’s most interesting (and beautiful) cities to explore and live in.
Choosing to live in Edinburgh means taking a front seat to some of the world’s best attractions. The city is perhaps best known for the annual Edinburgh Festival – which runs for the entirety of August and almost doubles the city’s population. It is actually comprised of three key festivals that exist separately from one another: the Edinburgh Fringe is the biggest, taking place in hundreds of venues across the city centre and beyond; whilst the Edinburgh International Festival tends to be housed in the bigger theatres and caters for more strictly artistic fare. Finally, the Book Festival is housed in Charlotte Square (which is usually closed to the public), with lots of readings and discussions for lovers of literature.
The city is also home to the home of Scottish Rugby, and sees Scotland’s home matches in both the annual Autumn Internationals and Six Nations tournament at Murrayfield (as well as any other friendlies and a host of other entertainment on offer at the stadium). If the chance arises, going to see Scotland play at Murrayfield is an amazing experience and there’s plenty of property in the areas near the stadium. Fans of football may prefer Easter Road, home of Hibernian F.C or Tynecastle, home of Hearts.
Where to live in Edinburgh
The city centre is divided by bustling Princes Street, which bisects the Georgian New Town to the north and venerable, gothic Old Town to the south. There are plenty of townhouses in the New Town to rent, though they tend to attract more affluent tenants due to their proximity to the city centre and luxury accommodation. The Old Town is more touristy, though flats are on offer there most of the time.
The southern side of the city is extremely popular for renting in, home as it is the University of Edinburgh’s main campus. One of the biggest and oldest universities in the country, the student population of Edinburgh (who may also attend Napier Univeristy, Heriot-Watt University, or any of the smaller colleges that exist across the city) tend to live in the areas to the south of campus. Marchmont, Newington and Craiglockhart (out to the west) are all popular student areas, whilst those spending time in the King’s Buildings may wish to reside further south in Liberton.
The university is deeply ingrained into the city as a whole, so whilst the south of the city has many students it is also home to a lot of families and professionals, especially in the areas of Bruntsfield and Morningside. These fairly well off districts are home to plenty of property usually, in the form of sandstone tenement buildings. The prevalence of property in this area means that it is also home to several of Edinburgh’s letting agents, and well worth a visit as part of a search for property.
Renting in Edinburgh tends to cost more than most of the other cities in Scotland (with the exception of oil-rich Aberdeen), but there are a few more affordable districts located throughout the city. Leith used to be a separate city from Edinburgh but was enveloped as the city grew, and retains its own atmosphere to this day. It’s located on the shore to the north of the city centre, and has plenty of bars, restaurants and shops on offer for its residents as well as good transport links into the city centre around a mile and a half away.
Further afield is Portobello, round the coast in between Leith and Musselburgh. Home to a beautiful beach and popular with fishermen, Portobello is a great district for those that want to have easy access to the centre of the city but not pay the higher rents of living there.
There are plenty of other districts that are worth a look when trying to find a place to live in Edinburgh, so consult a letting agent and make sure that you know the areas that will suit your needs.