Ah Edinburgh. Scotland’s capital, voted best city in the UK for three years running.
A UNESCO World Heritage site and home to David Hume, Adam Smith, Gavin Hastings and JK Rowling. A relatively small city of 495,000, Edinburgh certainly packs a well-heeled punch. The writer Alexander McCall Smith wrote famously, “This is a city of shifting light, of changing skies, of sudden vistas. A city so beautiful it breaks the heart again and again.” A bit dramatic perhaps, but take in the view atop Calton Hill or Arthur’s Seat and we beg you to differ.
Edinburgh has a reputation for being on the expensive side. Compared to its gritty neighbour Glasgow it is, but this is no London. For one, travel is cheap because it is a walking city, filled with winding lanes and banked avenues it’s not only the free way to get around but also the most rewarding – just make sure you’re wearing a jacket. If indeed, the weather is really taking its toll, the bus system is second to none (although this writer would highly recommend downloading the Bus and Tram app to help you catch the right one and the m-tickets app to help pay for it). There’s also a tram that was so disruptive in its construction it’s not worth mentioning to any local. At this point it really is only useful for airport connections.
The National Galleries, National Museum and even the Scottish Parliament building are all free to visit. While the iconic Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace are a bit costly, a quick annual subscription to Historic Scotland covers these and a wealth of other sites right on Edinburgh’s doorstep. Of course, the best sight is the city itself. A walk from the Grassmarket to St Andrew Square is one of the most rewarding city strolls in the UK. And what would a quick review of Edinburgh be without mentioning the Fringe, the largest Arts Festival on earth, where the whole city centre is overcome with frivolity and the accompanying hordes of tourists.
Edinburgh is the premier spot in Scotland for eating and drinking and these don’t necessary have to be bank busting pursuits either. The staples of fish and chips (with the ubiquitous “Special Sauce”) can be sourced on pretty much any street, while Michelin star restaurants rub shoulders with cheap and cheerful establishments. As for drinking, there are few spots on earth with a higher concentration of fantastic pubs. Start with an obligatory wander down Rose Street or a tipple around Toll Cross. You can find the oldest pub in Scotland at Duddingston, the fictional local of Rebus and bars so grandiose you can feel positively Parisian. When the Six Nations is on and Scotland are hosting at Murrayfield the atmosphere inside and outside the stadium is one to be savoured.
As the political and financial capital of Scotland, Edinburgh is a hub for public sector jobs and banking. In recent times, these traditional bastions of the capital’s economy have been joined by an exciting wave of tech start-ups, meaning Edinburgh won ‘Entrepreneurial City of 2016.’ Mix this innovation with a high score of 3.5/5 for GlassDoor’s survey of best cities to work in the UK, and you have a fantastic place to earn a living. If city life is not for you, there are numerous suburbs, small towns and villages nearby, from Balerno in the west, Crammond in the north, Portobello in the east and Musselburgh down south to call home. All are well connected to the city centre and if you really want an escape from the rat race, Pentland Hills Regional Park is a mere 7 miles away.
Alex works in our Edinburgh office and predominantly recruits for IT, Engineering and Management roles in the public sector, if you're interested in finding out more, get in touch with Alex on 0131 553 9100