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Edinburgh Student Accommodation

Even when you put aside the fact that Edinburgh student houses can be miles cheaper than in other big student cities, the Scottish capital is one of the best and most exciting places to live as a student. It is, after all, the number one festival city in the world. Each year Edinburgh’s festivals attract an audience of over four million; the number of tickets sold is only exceeded by that of the Olympics and World Cup.

The city’s cultural footprint doesn’t stop there either, having birthed some of the most renowned authors including Irvine Walsh, Sir Walter Scott and Ian Rankin. It’s also a known fact that J.K Rowling penned Harry Potter in Edinburgh’s Elephant House Café – a must visit location of anyone studying in the city.

As well as the usual city centre bundle of cafes, pubs and shops, Edinburgh is also abundant with stunning countryside scenes that have served as the backdrop for many Hollywood blockbusters. There’s even an Edinburgh Film Map to guide you to all of the most iconic filming hot-spots across the city, many of which are not too far from the most popular student areas.

In Edinburgh, student houses are spread out all over the city. If even if you already know your way around the city, choosing your next student home can therefore be a little daunting. With our handy guide to all the different areas of Edinburgh and the student accommodation on offer, we aim to make the task as easy as possible.

Use our guide to help you decide where you want to live, then find your perfect student property from our extensive listings by using our accommodation search tool.

View of Edinburgh


Student Accommodation Areas in Edinburgh

Student accommodation for both Napier University and the University of Edinburgh is spread out across the city. Each area of student housing has it’s advantages and it’s own unique charms, so there really is something for everyone. There’s definitely no single best place to live in Edinburgh.

Only a 5 minute walk from Tollcross and the ‘student centre’ of Edinburgh, Fountainbridge is a quiet area with a good selection of pubs and clubs nearby. The rent for houses isn’t too high here as the area is very much geared towards students. As well as the pubs and clubs there’s also a cinema, bowling alley and fitness centre nearby, so you won’t be bored of things to do.

Fountainbridge Student Flats

Fountainbridge Student Flats

One of the main Edinburgh University areas is The Old Town, which includes the impressive Edinburgh University student union. While it’s a bit far from the Napier main campuses it includes the Cowgate (top night spot that runs into the Grassmarket). Old Town is slightly more up market and the house prices are a little bit dearer, but for some it can be premium worth paying. Grassmarket is part of The Old Town, and is the student accommodation area of choice for those who want to be in the thick of the nightlife. Even if you don’t live here, you will probably spend a lot of time here. Grassmarket is certainly ideal for those who don’t like walking far to get a pint.

Much closer to Napier university, and within easy reach of Edinburgh Uni, is Bruntsfield. Most importantly, it’s only a 10 min walk from the pubs and clubs in the centre of Edinburgh and student accommodation here is plentiful. Marchmont is similar to Bruntsfield, but slightly closer to Edinburgh University. This is probably the most ‘studenty’ of Edinburgh’s student areas, adjoining to the Meadows – a large and popular central park.

Meadows Park

Meadows Park by Marchmont

Morningside is a more sophisticated part of the Scottish capital so flat and student houses are a bit pricier than most other areas. It is also further from the universities and city centre, but on the flip side with price comes quality, and the student houses and flats in Morningside are well known for their cosiness.

New Town is not usually associated with being very studenty as it’s not that close to either campuses of the university. However still hailed as an amazing place to live with Georgian flats and cobbled streets. Prices are higher than average but it’s considered a great location and a very nice place to live. A little to the east of here you’ll find the Bellvue/Canon Mills area, which is jam packed full of your “budget is of no consideration” friends. The area is a little cheaper than the New Town at around £100 – £125 ppw and provides a mixture of really nice, and not so nice, student accommodation.

Haymarket is a really lovely area to live. Close to a train station and Gorgie Road, one of the main routes through Edinburgh. There are plenty of flats in this area and Lothian and Princess Road also fall nearby. Prices in this area are around £90 – £100 ppw. The only cheaper place to live is probably Newington, a hugely popular area for students on a budget. Prices start from £52 ppw here but remember that you generally get what you pay for. It’s not the most done up of places but there are some nice flats to be found.

Napier Campus

Napier Campus

Although most student accommodation in Edinburgh caters to all students, Tollcross is predominantly favoured by Napier students. It’s only 5 minute walk away from Cowgate, Grassmarket and the bustling hub that is Lothian Road so a lot of students will choose to move here.

With Edinburgh student accommodation, like in any other university city, you nearly always have to compromise somewhere. Castle Terrace are excellent quality flats at reasonable prices, but you have to be quick off the mark as when they do come up they disappear quick! Prices vary.


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