Ross Fountain - cast iron fountain with the view of Edinburgh Castle in the background

23 Reasons You Should Move to Edinburgh

Have you been thinking about moving to Scotland for university or on a working holiday? Anywhere you pick in Scotland will be an excellent choice, because the country is such an incredible place with a world of opportunities, regardless of where you are. There are so many different reasons you should move to Edinburgh depending on what you want to take out of your working holiday experience.

Edinburgh is a charismatic city and a spectacular place for anyone moving to Scotland on a temporary working visa.

Edinburgh, (Pronounce it ED-IN-BURR-UH and the locals will love you!) is the capital of Scotland. It’s a small, friendly city with so many amazing attractions, historic sites and welcoming citizens that makes it perfect for a year or two abroad.

Not only is Edinburgh a great place to live, but Scotland as a whole is a fantastic place to take a holiday. So your friends and family can come to visit you in one of the world’s top destinations while you’re living your best life on your working holiday or year abroad at university.

Ross Fountain - cast iron fountain with the view of Edinburgh Castle in the background
Ross Fountain in Princes Street Gardens

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23 Reasons You Should Move to Edinburgh for Your Working Holiday

1. Edinburgh is a Walkable City

View of Royal Mile and Edinburgh Castle from above showing Edinburgh is a walkable city and a great place to move
The Royal Mile & Edinburgh Castle from the top of Camera Obscura

Edinburgh is a compact city, which makes getting around without a car very easy — you can walk almost everywhere! No matter where you choose to live, you’re never more than a few minutes away from shops, parks and city attractions.

If you need to venture out a bit farther, Edinburgh’s public transportation is first class, with frequent and reliable buses and trams, plus apps that let you plan your route down to the minute.

2. Edinburgh Tourist Attractions

Sign for Mary Kings Close on a wall pointing towards the hot Edinburgh Attraction

I’m a big fan of being a tourist in your own city and Edinburgh is perfect for people who love visiting both popular and off-the-beaten-track attractions. Spending such a long time in one place gives you the opportunity to find hidden gems that only locals know about!

With Edinburgh’s abundance of attractions and my list of the best places to visit, you’ll never be bored.

3. Edinburgh Job Opportunities

Crystal working at Edinburgh Zoo - photo taken in the photo booth
Here I am working hard -playing around with the photo booth.

Since you’ll be moving to Edinburgh on a temporary work visa, you’ll be happy to know the city has tons of job opportunities. And as it’s such a huge tourist attraction, you can choose from many different types of jobs!

Unlike cities that rely heavily on peak tourist seasons, Edinburgh is a busy place all-year-round. So even during low tourist season, there’s no shortage of jobs in Edinburgh. Relocating to Edinburgh is the right choice for your future employment opportunities.

If you’re looking for a part-time, full time or seasonal position in retail, hospitality or anything else, you’ll find many different types of jobs will be available in Edinburgh.

Related Post: How to find jobs in Scotland for foreigners

4. You’ll Make New Friends

Although you’ll meet cordial locals all over Scotland, Edinburgh is an especially friendly city with plenty of opportunities to make new friends. If you are moving to Edinburgh alone you need not fear being lonely for too long! Whether you make friends with your work colleagues, when you join socializer groups, or as you’re taking part in the pub quiz, you’ll never be lonely.

As Edinburgh is a city full of foreigners from around the globe, you’ll have a lot of options to connect with others from your home country. Feeling homesick? Go to a local meetup with people from your country and connect! Living in Edinburgh as a foreigner is a wonderful experience!

Related Post: How to Deal with Loneliness and Homesickness by Living Abroad

5. It’s Easy to be Healthy – Edinburgh Vegetarian Restaurants

The storefront of Hendersons Vegetarian Restaurant in Edinburgh Scotland - one of the reasons to move to Scotland

Edinburgh has a myriad of healthy restaurants that offer everything from natural food and juices to vegetarian and vegan options from different cultures across the world. As well as nutritious takeout choices, Edinburgh supermarkets are chock full of healthy options, making staying healthy really easy!

If you’re looking for some really great healthy restaurants in Edinburgh, I recommend checking out Union of Genius, Henderson’s Vegan Restaurant and the Hula Juice Bar & Café. Know another amazing healthy restaurant in Edinburgh I missed? Tell me about it in the comments below!

6. You Can Get into the Best Shape of your Life

Not only is Edinburgh terrific for healthy eating, but it’s also the perfect city for exercising. As Edinburgh is a walkable city, getting everywhere on foot helps keep you trim and feeling fantastic. This was one of the best things about moving to Edinburgh! It really made me feel healthy.

In addition to walking everywhere, Edinburgh also has tons of great parks, trails and hills (like Arthur’s Seat and the Pentland Hills) that will not only challenge you but keep you in great physical shape and make for a great day out!

7. Loads of Filming Locations in Edinburgh

Bakehouse Close in Edinburgh - a little street used as a filming location for Outlander
Bakehouse Close – Filming location for Outlander in Season 3

A lot of movies and TV shows are filmed in and around Edinburgh. It’s super easy to visit filming locations and see the real places your favourite scenes were shot. From “The Da Vinci Code” to “Trainspotting” to “Outlander”, you can visit them all. Here’s a map of some movie filming locations.

8. Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Bright blue store front of the Edinburgh Fringe Shop on the Royal Mile

Edinburgh truly is a festival city. Out of the many festivals which return to Edinburgh each year, the largest and most recognizable is the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

During the month-long theatrical event, the city is flooded with tourists and the incredible talent that transforms Edinburgh into an astounding extravaganza. The Festival Fringe is one of the biggest and best reasons to visit Edinburgh.

9. Edinburgh is a City Built on History

Saint Anthony's Chapel Ruins in Edinburgh is close to nature and a perfect reason why Edinburgh should be the place to move to on your working holiday
Saint Anthony’s Chapel Ruins

If you’re a history lover, Edinburgh is full of so much history making it even more incredible. With a population that dates back several hundred years, the city is oozing history out of every corner and features more historical attractions than you can count.

The historic Royal Mile leads you from an ancient castle down to the plague-infested Mary King’s Close. There are so many historic sites all over the city that you’ll fall in love with history.

Related Post: Discovering the Truth behind The Real Mary King’s Close

10. Fantastic Places to Live

Living in Edinburgh is great! It’s full of cool places to live, including fully furnished flats in which you can live on your own or shared flats in which you can rent a room.

Living in Edinburgh has its pros and cons as depending on where in the city you live, prices range dramatically. I recommend picking a room in a shared flat with others from Scotland or anywhere else around the world. It’s much more affordable and your flatmates might just become some of your best friends! This is definitely one of the best reasons you should move to Edinburgh.

11. Edinburgh inspired Harry Potter – Harry Potter Sites in Edinburgh

The Elephant House in Edinburgh - the front of the cafe where JK Rowling wrote Harry Potter
The Elephant House is one of the many Harry Potter sites in Edinburgh

Edinburgh is a city of literature, home of world-renowned authors like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Robert Louis Stevenson and Ian Rankin. The capital is also famous for being the birthplace of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter.

There are oodles of sites all over the city that influenced the books about the boy wizard that captured the hearts of readers around the world.

12. Always Sweater Weather

Who doesn’t love “sweater weather”? It’s the best time of the year! Although, Edinburgh does get its share of super warm and humid days in the summer, most of the time the windy, rainy city is the perfect temperature to wear your favourite hoodie.

13. Edinburgh has an Impressive Night Scene

The front of the Jazz Bar in Edinburgh Scotland

Edinburgh has an impressive night scene, no matter what you’re into. For me, I really loved the quiet pubs where I could talk with friends over cider. If that’s not your thing, Edinburgh is covered in lively pubs with music and the best-tasting vodka cocktails!

From haunted pubs to Jazz Bars to one of the smallest pubs in Scotland, Edinburgh has it all!

14. The Coolest Places to Shop

The store front of the vintage clothing shop Armstrong's Vintage - W. Armstrong & Sons store

This is coming from someone who hates shopping. So you know the shops in Edinburgh must be good! There are some really cool and unique shops you can visit and one of the best is a vintage thrift shop called Armstrong’s Vintage – W. Armstrong & Son. Even if you don’t plan on buying anything, I highly recommend checking it out.

Edinburgh also boasts several high-end boutiques, quirky shops and plenty of souvenir shops you can raid to send tacky gifts back home to your family.

15. A Castle in the Middle of the City – Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle on a dark misty night. Living in a city with a castle is one of the reasons you should move to Edinburgh.

Who wouldn’t want to live in a place with a castle towering over the city from the top of an extinct volcano? Well, now you have even more reasons you should move to Edinburgh! Edinburgh Castle is an impressive sight to see and the bang from the one o’clock gun will startle you every time!

Edinburgh Castle is open to the public if you’d like to imagine what it was like to live in a castle. Plus you can see the one o’clock gun up close!

Book your visit to Edinburgh Castle here.

16. Scotland’s Most Haunted City

The stone circle of protection (Niddry Street Vaults). If you love dark history then this is reasons you should move to Edinburgh. You are surrounded by history!
The stone circle of protection (Niddry Street Vaults)

Being such an old city, Edinburgh comes with plenty of dark history. The capital has witnessed some incredibly horrific events, including the Great Scottish Witch Hunt of 1597 and brutal murders committed by some of the most gruesome serial killers in the world.

Such history results in plenty of haunted sites, including an incredibly haunted graveyard and a series of underground vaults.

Related: The Ultimate List of Spooky, Haunted and Scary Edinburgh Attractions

17. Museums and Art Galleries Galore

The outside of the Scottish National Gallery in Edinburgh is free and one of the best reasons to move to Edinburgh
Scottish National Gallery

Edinburgh’s museums and art galleries are so diverse and comprehensive that it’s easy to spend an entire day just exploring one of them. The National Museum of Scotland alone has more than 8,000 objects for you to discover!

18. Tons of Free Activities

Want your fill of Edinburgh’s museums and art galleries but don’t want to spend much money? One of the reasons you should move to Edinburgh is for amazing access to free places to visit! There are so many fantastic things to do in Edinburgh that are also completely free, including several museums, art galleries, cathedrals and gardens!

19. Easy Access to Nature

a path with cherry blossom trees lined on both sides of the path
The Meadows

Edinburgh has some of the best parks, trails and hills in Scotland, so a bit of beautiful greenery is always within walking distance. Take a stroll down by the Water of Leith, the Meadows or head to the gorgeous (and free) Royal Botanic Gardens.

20. Scotland’s Best Universities – Edinburgh University

My writing focuses on working abroad rather than being a student. But everything in this post is suitable for anyone who wants reasons why you should move to Edinburgh, too — including students.

Edinburgh has some of the best universities in the UK. However, I won’t sell Glasgow short — it also has excellent universities that anyone would be proud to attend. But this post not about Glasgow, so back to Edinburgh! (but real talk if you want to move to Glasgow, here are 16 reasons you should move to Glasgow)

21. Incredible Day Trips – North Berwick

View of the beach side town of North Berwick in Scotland, beach with the townsite and a large hill.
North Berwick, Scotland

As lovely as Edinburgh is, it’s also surrounded by some impressive places you can visit as part of a day trip. One of the best spots near Edinburgh and my personal favourite is the beautiful coastal town of North Berwick where you can spot cute puffins and other seabirds.

22. Edinburgh is a Beautiful City

Huge gothic monument called Scott Monument in Princes Street Gardens in Edinburgh. Beautiful architecture is just one of the reasons you should move to Edinburgh.

As Edinburgh is a historic city, it’s brimming with some of the most incredible architecture in the world. Take a walk-through an ancient close to the Old Town where you can admire stunning Gothic and Georgian architecture.

23. Edinburgh is a Very Safe City

Edinburgh has the lowest reported crime rate in the UK. I lived in Edinburgh for a few years and was out and about at all hours of the day and night — I always felt safe. Feeling safe is important and should be something you consider when you are thinking about the reasons you should move to Edinburgh.

Like any city, there are a few shady areas that are wise to avoid (Niddrie, Wester Hails, MuirHouse and Pilton) and you should use common sense at all times! However, you should also feel at ease whenever walking around Edinburgh.

Related Post: All Posts Related to Living Abroad

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