Vibrant, cosmopolitan and consistently voted one of the best cities in the world, Edinburgh is the perfect place to experience student life or build your career. It's big enough to have everything you need, yet small enough to feel like home. No matter where you're from, the Festival City is ready to welcome you.

24 hours in Edinburgh. What would you do?

Inspiring locals and visitors alike for centuries

The city is bursting with cafes, pubs and clubs. There are museums and art galleries across the city, live music venues, hidden markets and more history than you can possibly imagine.

Volcanic foundations frame medieval architecture, while mountains, valleys, lochs and jagged coastline envelop the city. The best part is how easy it is to get both around and out of the city into the countryside. Half an hour on the bus will see you on the edge of the North Sea, or up a craggy hill in the Pentlands.

It's not just us that thinks Edinburgh is great

I'm nomadic by nature and have been travelling my whole life ... Then I came to Edinburgh and within two days I'd rung home to New Zealand and said, 'I've found my home.'

Anna Fawcett

MSc International Marketing student

Back to nature

Recent research has shown that Edinburgh has more green spaces than any other city in the UK, and with fantastic public transport beyond the city limits too, the great outdoors are easily accessible. Get on your bike or strap on your hiking boots and get outside!

The Water of Leith
runs from the Firth of Forth to the sea at Leith. The 35km long river tickles through funky Leith, quaint Dean Village and passed the Slateford Aquaduct. Keep your eyes peeled – it’s not uncommon to spot a heron amongst the reeds.

Portobello Beach is two miles of golden sand to the east of Edinburgh, where locals brave the chilly sea, fly kites and spend pennies on the old school fun-fair.

There’s also the city’s popular Holyrood Park, Meadows and Princes Street Gardens – you really are spoilt for choice. 
Get out and about

The Festival City

August is the month that Edinburgh comes alive. What’s known as the ‘Edinburgh Festival’ is actually many different festivals that together make up the largest arts festival in the world.
The International Festival, the catalyst for the festival reputation, has a programme of classical music, opera, dance and theatre, often with a contemporary twist that makes it a lot more accessible than it might sound.

The Fringe, as the name suggests, grew up around the edges of the International Festival as an unprogrammed alternative but in terms of scale, it has now surpassed its older relative.

The Book Festival brings top authors from around the world to give talks and do readings. Then there is the Art Festival, Mela Festival, and the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo as the city takes on a whole new persona for a month – and the transformation is definitely not to be missed.
Festival fun in photos

Food and café culture

Within the streets of Edinburgh you’ll discover cuisines from across the globe. You could probably make a good go of eating your way around the world without ever leaving our cobblestone streets behind.

Visit the tropical haven of Paradise Palms for a colourful cocktail, take yourself to Tokyo with a big bowl of ramen at Maki and Ramen or say ‘hola’ at El Cartel Mexicana on picturesque Thistle Street.

For a tea break, why not stop in by The Beach House during your visit to the white-sand beach at Portobello or visit one of Cairngorm Coffee’s city locations for a delicious toasted cheese sandwich? Oh and there’s Lovecrumbs too, for sweet and savoury treats galore.

Fancy something a bit different? The Food and Flea Market is a foodie fashionista’s Instagram dream – open all weekend, all summer long and located just off the Royal Mile.

On Saturdays, don’t miss out on The Pitt. This industrial yard in Leith transforms every week into a street food and drinks market with something for everyone.

And for the largest and oldest modern market in Edinburgh, visit Stockbridge every Sunday. Huge paella, vintage tweed coats and haggis scotch eggs. Perfect.
Something for everyone

Leith Walk, live music and literature

Princes Street and George Street are the place to go for high street brands, but there are also loads of interesting and independent shops to explore off the beaten track.

Stockbridge’s Raeburn Place is home to more than 10 charity and vintage shops, Leith Walk is dotted with loads of great shopping and Bruntsfield is the place to score cool antiques and homewares.

From the largest monument to a writer – the Scott Monument – to the literary quotes that adorn the bricks of the Scottish Parliament, it is easy to see why Edinburgh was declared the first ever UNESCO City of Literature. Victoria Street and West Port are you go to places here.

If shopping and books are not your thing, you can catch a global superstar, listen to an up-and-coming act, dance to the newest beats or get on stage yourself as part of the city’s vibrant music scene. Sneaky Pete’s in the Grassmarket and The Jazz Bar on Chambers Street are two of our favourites.
Bargains and books

A place to prosper

History and culture is all very well but Edinburgh is also a city that is looking forward. The biggest financial centre in the UK outside London, the city boasts a wide range of employers. These include multinational corporations such as Standard Life and HBOS through to high-profile technology game-changers such as Rockstar North and Skyscanner.

The recent expansion of Edinburgh Airport, building of the new Forth Crossing and investment in a multi-million-pound tram system show that Edinburgh is a city committed to preserving an illustrious past while building an exciting future.

SMEs are growing like I've never seen before. It's like a new Enlightenment for Edinburgh, especially in terms of innovations and enterprise

Read our Wee Guide to Edinburgh here: 

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