Student Life In Edinburgh

By on November 17th, 2022


Downing’s Guide to Student Life in EDINBURGH

Moving into a new student accommodation is exciting, but it can also be a bit daunting! If you’re looking for student accommodation in Edinburgh,

this guide is packed with information and advice to get the most out of your student life in Edinburgh.

Student Life in Edinburgh


You may already have an idea of the University you are attending based on the course you will be

studying, but here are the top Universities located in Edinburgh.


  • University of Edinburgh
  • Edinburgh Napier University
  • Queen Margaret University
  • Heriot Watt University
  • Edinburgh’s Telford College


The buzz of exploring a new city is always exciting, and you will find there are so many things you can get up to, local to your student accommodation too.


Edinburgh Zoo

Possibly one of the most popular zoo’s in the country, with over 2,500 amazing animals from around the world. From paddling penguins and famous giant pandas to a herd of giraffes. You won’t want to miss out on seeing Scotland’s only sloths either! Even better, take advantage by using your student discounts!


Edinburgh Castle

Soak in the heart of Edinburgh by visiting here – great for unwinding away from lectures! and the city’s iconic Castle. Visit this winter  as Castle of Light transforms Edinburgh Castle into a “Kingdom of Colours”. An all-new and expanded show will create truly unmissable moments as extraordinary projections dance from the castle walls and immersive illuminations guide you throughout the castle in a sea of twinkling lights and colourful displays.


Princes Park

Take a moment to enjoy your student life in one of the most important urban parks situated in the heart of Edinburgh. It separates the Old Town from the New Town. The most wonderful time of the year sees Princes Park transform into a winter wonderland; with a Christmas Market, an ice rink and many other fun attractions, including a Ferris wheel.


Holyrood Park

Outdoor lovers, you will LOVE this! Climb Arthur’s Seat (251m) for 360-degree views of Edinburgh and the Lothians, visit St Anthony’s Chapel, a picturesque medieval ruin and watch out for geese at Duddingston Loch, a haven for waterfowl.

Edinburgh Zoo

Places to eat in Edinburgh


There are so many places to enjoy some tasty food in Edinburgh, but here are our favourites that you have to try, particularly if you are on a budget.


The Mosque Kitchen

curry and rice from £4? Perfect if you are on a budget, and it is close to lecture theatres too! a no-frills, queue-up-with-a-tray canteen-style set-up, with plastic cutlery and plastic plates.


Mum’s Comfort Food

In need of comfort food? MUMS is exactly what you’re looking for. There is something on the menu for everybody, with options including:  customisable sausage and mash meals, pies, stews, burgers, haggis, breakfast and so much more. With the ethos of “top nosh at half the cost”, this place measures up against the best. Open from 9 am to 10 pm.


Bonnie Burrito

Burritos start at only £5 and with that, you can construct whatever kind of masterpiece your heart desires. Choose from delicious iron-bru pulled pork, haggis (or veggie haggis), steak, chicken or veggies, fill up your burrito with as many extras as you want and then pack on the heat using some of the team’s fiery homemade Bonnie Sauce.

Cafes to Study In in Edinburgh


Elephant House

Harry Potter fans, this is a must for you to visit- the place where JK Rowling herself wrote some of the many Harry Potter books.


Union Brew Lab

This café to study in Edinburgh is centrally located for many students, so you can expect a general student crowd catered for with all the amenities a student may require. Make use of their fast and reliable free WIFI, and if your laptop or device struggles to keep up with the long hours of study, Union Brew Lab has many plug sockets dotted around their seating area, so you don’t need to worry about breaking that workflow.

DS_ Elephant House_Edinburgh

Best Bars For Students In Edinburgh

Best Bars For Students In Edinburgh


Sneaky Petes

Head here for a buzzing atmosphere, compact late-night eclectic live music bar and dance club, with new band nights.


The Three Sisters

The ENSA union bar below The Three Sisters is always abuzz with society socials, sports nights and those looking for some bargain booze. Enjoy £1.99 pints, £5 cocktail buckets and £2.35 spirit mixers at this student staple.


Bar Soda

Become a Soba Student member (oh the irony) and you’ll get a mammoth 50% off food along with 25% off drinks from Sunday to Thursday. Sit back and let the team of super-skilled mixologists do all the work as you sip on Jangshi Zombies, chocolate orange espresso martinis and Singapore Slings.


3 bars over 3 levels with a buzzing vibe, eclectic menu and a monster show. Ideal for an alternative night out!


Ballie Ballerson

A student bar in Edinburgh with a ball pit? Life your student life right here at Ballie Ballerson, the famous spot that’s made its way to our city all the way from the streets of Shoreditch, London. Expect £5 cocktails, a go-diving among the balls and a live DJ to boot.


Paradise Palms

A one-stop-shop for all your nightlife needs, Paradise Palms hosts regular speed dating events, bingo games, karaoke sessions and live music. Adorned with neon lights, pink flamingos and quirky knick knacks, it’s the perfect drinking den for a night on the tiles that won’t see you reaching for your overdraft.

Frankenstein Student Bar

Shops in Edinburgh

SHOPS in Edinburgh

St James Quarter

Food, drink and retail therapy all under one roof! From John Lewis department store, Bershka, The Alchemist and more.


Stockbridge, Nicolson Street

The best place to soak in the culture, from food shops, many independent stores and vintage stores, including @thosewerethedaysvintage


Princes Street

head here for all of your high-street favourites, including: Topshop, H&M, Zara, Urban Outfitters, River Island, Primark and Debenhams to name but a few.


Multrees Walk

The perfect place to suit your designer needs! From Burberry, Mulberry and many more!



When searching for accommodation in your University city, consider central locations so student life is easily commutable.

Downing Student’s New Park student accommodation offers unique luxury student living within easy commuting distance from the University of Edinburgh, Queen Margaret University, Heriot-Watt University and Edinburgh Napier’s Merchiston campus, as well as many of the English language colleges.

There are plenty of food stores nearby including Iceland, Scotmid, Sainsbury’s, Lidl and lots more. A wide range of exciting restaurants and bars can be found on Easter Road or Leith Walk and St James Quarter shopping centre is only a short 5-minute walk away. With bespoke furniture, ensuite bathrooms, study areas and plenty of televisions in each room, you will be able to settle into Edinburgh in style and comfort.

Student Accommodation in Edinburgh - New Park

The Mont Downing 2023

At Downing Students’, we are very excited to be launching our new student accommodation The Mont, launching in 2023. Just a 2-minute walk from University of Edinburgh, expect stylish social spaces, a games room, state of the art gym and more!

Only a few minutes’ walk across The Meadows from campus, enjoying the student living experience in Edinburgh is guaranteed at The Mont.  Our accommodation is designed to give you the best possible student experience, with an atmosphere of fun, relaxation and success. Dine out in our private kitchen area, study, chill out or entertain friends in our fantastic social spaces.

If you are planning ahead for 23/24 and want to secure the best student accommodation in the heart of Edinburgh, you can join The Mont and New Park waiting lists.


Keep up to date with student life at Downing Students’ with the latest from our wonderful Content Creators over on our YouTube channel. Want to know more? Simply drop us a DM @downing_students

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