The Ultimate ‘Cost Of Living’ Guide In Edinburgh For Students

Written by Pierre Noronha

Born and raised in Mumbai, Pierre Noronha thought that he was destined to be a Chartered Accountant, but all that changed when he discovered his love for writing. Taking this new found passion forward, he started working as a content writer for UniAcco.

Last updated Sep 3, 2021

The mighty capital of Scotland has been an important part of Scottish history right from the 15th century. This city has long been a prominent centre for education, especially in the fields of medicine, Scots law, literature, philosophy, the sciences and engineering. Many people are surprised to know that this old castle laden town is the second-largest financial centre in the United Kingdom (after London). Let’s take a dive into what makes Edinburgh so special and of course, the costs associated with living in the city that attracts 4.9 million visitors every year.

What Is The Cost Of Living In Edinburgh?

The cost of living in Edinburgh is slightly higher than the UK average but still manages to attract a good number of students from all over the world. The presence of world-class universities such as the University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh Napier University and Heriot-Watt University add to the overall allure of Edinburgh.

Here’s a quick monthly breakdown of the cost of living in Edinburgh –

  • Accommodation – £700
  • Food shopping – £120
  • Local transport – £56
  • Books and printing – £50
  • Internet and mobile phone – £50
  • Social activities – £250

It is advisable to have a monthly budget of around £1,200 (without tuition) to live comfortably in Edinburgh

What Is The Average Rent In Edinburgh?

The student accommodation Edinburgh is a little different compared to the rest of the UK. You will find more flats rather than houses here so don’t be alarmed if you have 9 housemates. But UniAcco has partnered up with some of the best student accommodation Edinburgh, that enables students to choose from a variety of room configurations that include en-suite rooms, studio rooms and student flats Edinburgh. A 5 bedroom flat in the city centre will have an average rent of £1850 (£90 per week each).

Where Can I Find The Best Student Accommodation in Edinburgh?

Premium Student housing Edinburgh Option –

iQ Fountainbridge

Cost Of Living In Edinburgh For Students

Where?

114 Dundee Street Fountainbridge Edinburgh EH11 1AB United Kingdom.

About iQ Fountainbridge

iQ Fountainbridge is one of the few properties in Edinburgh that offers students en-suite rooms, studio rooms as well as apartments. No matter which room type you choose, you can expect a study desk, a bed and a WiFi connection. The University of Edinburgh is the closest university to iQ Fountainbridge. On weekends, students can hit one of the many restaurants, pubs and cafes like Chiquito, Pizza Hut, Fahrenheit Restaurant & Bar, among others. This student accommodation Edinburgh comes with amazing communal amenities that include a gym, a cinema and a spacious lounge.

Mid-Range student housing Edinburgh Option –

iQ Grove

Cost Of Living In Edinburgh For Students

Where?

69 Grove Street Edinburgh EH3 8FD United Kingdom.

About iQ Grove

The best part about iQ Grove is its proximity to famous universities. For instance, Edinburgh College of Art is just a 7-minute drive away from this property. This student accommodation Edinburgh offers amazing apartment facilities like a television, a fridge, a WiFi connection and a microwave. The communal amenities include a cinema, gym, private dining rooms, lounge and study areas, as well as useful services like a laundry room and all-inclusive utility bills. There is an ever present on-site staff available at the beck and call of students.

Value For Money student housing Edinburgh Option –

iQ Elliott House

Where?

iQ Elliott House 8 – 11 Hillside Crescent Edinburgh EH7 5EA United Kingdom.

About iQ Elliott House

iQ Elliott House provides the best bang for your buck when it comes to Edinburgh uni accommodation. The en-suite rooms, studio rooms and apartments are very well priced, making this property immensely popular among students. iQ Elliott House is very close to universities like the University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh Napier University and Heriot-Watt University. So, your travelling costs are likely to be low. The communal amenities at iQ Elliott House are a laundry room, social events and on-site management.

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What Is The Cost Of Tuition In Edinburgh?

The cost of tuition in Edinburgh for international students is slightly higher than it is in cities such as London or Manchester. But for undergraduates within Europe, university fees are entirely subsidized by the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS). So depending on where you’re from, the cost of tuition in Edinburgh can be surprisingly affordable. 

What Is The Cost Of Transportation In Edinburgh?

Buses – Lothian Buses run throughout Edinburgh and into Midlothian and East Lothian, making travel cheap and easy for students. There is a special night service with buses leaving every 10-minutes from Waverley Steps. Use this service when you’re getting home from night outs as it is safe and will save you a fortune on spending on cabs. A one-way ticket will cost you around £1.70. Consider procuring a monthly pass for around £56.

Taxis – A typical taxi trip (basic tariff – 8 km) will cost you £19.

Trains – Haymarket and Waverley are two of the major stations in Edinburgh. Try booking your train ticket in advance online. This will save you some bucks. 

What Is The Cost Of Food And Other Necessities In Edinburgh?

Edinburgh boasts some amazing restaurants, particularly on George Street. There are some great, budget-friendly restaurants like Bella Italia, Jimmy Chung’s, Prezzo and Gusto but it goes without saying that cooking your own food will lead to massive savings. Here is a rough breakdown of the cost of basic food in Edinburgh – 

  • Milk (regular), (1 liter) – £0.88
  • Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500g) – £0.95
  • Rice (white), (1kg) – £1.00
  • Eggs (regular) (12) – £1.78
  • Local Cheese (1kg) – £6.31
  • Chicken Fillets (1kg) – £7.02
  • Apples (1kg) – £1.83
  • Banana (1kg) – £1.19
  • Oranges (1kg) – £1.98
  • Tomato (1kg) – £2.03
  • Potato (1kg) – £1.09
  • Onion (1kg) – £0.94
  • Water (1.5 liter bottle) – £1.04
  • Domestic Beer (0.5 liter bottle) – £1.71 
  • Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle) – £1.65

Besides food, you will also have to spend on clothing, doctor’s visit, toiletries, gym membership, etc. Be prepared to spend close to £200 per month on all these other necessities.

What Is The Cost Of Entertainment And Recreation In Edinburgh?

Edinburgh has one of the most buzzing entertainment scenes in the UK. This city is famous for its annual events such as the Edinburgh International Festival and New Year’s Hogmanay street party. Edinburgh tourist attractions are a must-see! You cannot miss The Royal Mile, the 287 steps of Scott’s Monument and the Princes Street Gardens. Apart from these, students can have a gala time at one of the several bars, restaurants, and pubs Edinburgh has to offer. Here is a list of basic prices for entertainment and recreation in Edinburgh – 

  • Basic dinner out for two in a neighbourhood pub – £36
  • Dinner for two at an Italian restaurant in the expat area including appetisers, main course, wine and dessert – £57
  • 2 tickets to the movies – £20
  • 1 cocktail drink in a downtown club – £8
  • Cappuccino in expat area of the city – £3.03
  • 1 beer in neighbourhood pub (500ml or 1pt.) – £4.74

Source: UniAcco data, Numbeo, Expatistan.

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