Where to Live in Edinburgh: A Comprehensive Guide

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Where to Live in Edinburgh: A Comprehensive Guide
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If you’re confused about where to live in Edinburgh, you certainly aren’t alone. Hundreds of people move to Edinburgh each year, largely due to the vast array of cultural amenities, variety of neighbourhoods, plus the fact that it’s a capital city of great history.

It’s likely that your confusion stems from where exactly within Edinburgh you should settle. There are many great areas, so how do you choose where to live in Edinburgh?

Here are We Buy Any Home, we have many years of experience buying properties in different areas of Edinburgh, giving us a wealth of knowledge that can help you when choosing whereabouts in the Scottish capital you should live.

Keep reading for an in-depth guide to where to live in Edinburgh, including an analysis of different neighbourhoods, the cost of living, transportation, the best schools, and local amenities.

Neighbourhoods in Edinburgh

In the below sections, we’ve delved into different areas of Edinburgh, discussing pros, cons, unique features/attractions and whom they’re best suited to.

Northern Edinburgh

Northern Edinburgh is situated on the coast of Edinburgh and is home to both hip creatives and long-standing locals with many places to eat and drink.

A few popular towns in Northern Edinburgh include:

  • Leith
  • Trinity
  • Newhaven
  • Silverknowes
  • Muirhouse

Local amenities in these areas include the Royal Botanic Garden of Edinburgh, as well as The Royal Yacht Britannia. Northern Edinburgh is best suited to younger people or those who enjoy going out regularly, as there are many great bars, restaurants and attractions on the coast.

We wouldn’t advise living here if you’re not a fan of the sea, as this is quite literally on your doorstep!

Central Edinburgh

Central Edinburgh is where most of the hustle and bustle is, featuring many famous Scottish places including Edinburgh Castle, The National Museum of Scotland and Edinburgh University.

Some popular areas of central Edinburgh include:

  • Newington
  • West End
  • Edinburgh Old Town
  • Holyrood
  • Southside

Central Edinburgh is perfect for young people starting careers due to the job opportunities available. If you don’t like cities that are too busy, perhaps keep reading to learn more about quieter areas of Edinburgh.

Eastern Edinburgh

Eastern Edinburgh is where people tend to base themselves if they have a young family, away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre. Home to Edinburgh Zoo and the Gyle Shopping Centre, there’s plenty to do in this popular area.

Some key areas in Eastern Edinburgh include:

  • Craigmillar
  • Duddingston
  • Meadowbank
  • Milton
  • Mountcastle

While great for young families and commuters, you may prefer to live in central Edinburgh if you want a little more to do on the weekends.

Western Edinburgh

Western Edinburgh is another area that is mainly suited to families, with popular attractions such as Craigmillar Castle. It’s also suited to students with the Queen Margaret University nearby and is home to the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.

Areas in Western Edinburgh include:

  • Newcraighall
  • Old Craighall
  • Danderhall
  • Bingham
  • Millerhill

If you’re not into your culture but prefer green spaces, take a look at the area below as this may be more suited to your lifestyle.

Southern Edinburgh

Southern Edinburgh features some beautiful green areas, making it perfect for dog walkers, families and elderly people.

Some recommended places to visit in Southern Edinburgh include Hermitage of Braid and Blackford Hill Local Nature Reserve, Colinton Mains Park and Brad Hills.

Popular areas to live in Southern Edinburgh include:

  • Greenbank
  • Craiglockhart
  • Liberton
  • Inch
  • Oxgangs

If you’re a seadog at heart, you may prefer living in the North of the city, where you’ll be able to visit the coast on a daily basis!

Transportation in Edinburgh

There are many fantastic transportation links in Edinburgh, from public transport to walking routes.

Popular services include the Edinburgh Trams and Lothian Buses which run across the city. There are two main train stations, as well as Edinburgh Cycle Hire if you’re a keen cyclist.

While there are no congestion charges in Edinburgh for general drivers, most people prefer to take public transport or enjoy walking through the city, as there’s so much to see and enjoy along the way.

The city centre is the most public transport friendly area, however, there are great transport links across the whole city.

Schools in Edinburgh

If you have young children, you are likely concerned about the kind of schools you’ll find in Edinburgh. Some of the best neighbourhoods for well-rated schools include Saughton, Viewforth, and central Edinburgh.

Primary Schools

As a child’s first experience of school, primary school can be a daunting experience. However, most primary schools are inclusive and provide a great start to a child’s education. 

Well-rated primary schools in Edinburgh include the following:

  • St Joseph’s Roman Catholic Primary School
  • Prestonfield Primary School
  • Sciennes Primary School

Secondary Schools

As children reach the age of 11 or 12, they’ll likely move on to secondary school. This can be a scary place for some children, but if provided with the correct environment they’ll thrive and learn more about the world as they become young adults.

Some popular secondary schools in Edinburgh include:

  • Boroughmuir High School
  • The Royal High School
  • St Thomas Of Aquin’s High School

Tertiary Education Options

For children that want to continue their education after secondary school, there are many options in Edinburgh to choose from. 

Some popular tertiary education options in Edinburgh include:

  • The University of Edinburgh
  • Moray House School of Education and Sport
  • Edinburgh College

Tertiary education isn’t for all young adults, so there are also many apprenticeship options available within the city.

Amenities in Edinburgh

There are many fantastic amenities in Edinburgh, including local parks, museums, restaurants and cultural events. Take a look at these in more detail below.


Parks are perfect if you are a dog owner or have young children. Some parks in Edinburgh that we’d recommend are:

  • Saughton Park & Gardens
  • Braidburn Valley Park
  • Lochend Park

Most larger parks can be found in central Edinburgh; however, Southern Edinburgh also has many parks including Colinton Mains Park. Have a browse on Trip Advisor to find some of the best parks in Edinburgh. 


If you prefer some culture when moving to a new city, check out some of the city’s best museums.

Some of our favourites include:

  • The Writer’s Museum
  • National Museum of Scotland
  • St Cecilia’s Hall & Music Museum

Most of these will be found in the city centre, however, there are some museums further afield. Local tours are run regularly across the city – these are perfect for finding the best museums in the Edinburgh area.


As with most cities, there is a wide range of restaurants in Edinburgh. These are based mainly in the centre and northern parts of Edinburgh, with the following being some of the best-rated:

  • Chaophraya Thai Restaurant
  • Gaucho Edinburgh
  • Chop House Leith

Check out some reviews on Trip Advisor to find the perfect place to eat in Edinburgh.

Cultural Events

If you love cultural events, Edinburgh is the perfect city. Running many events each year, swathes of tourists flock to Edinburgh in their thousands to visit some of the best events in the UK. 

Edinburgh is very famous for its cultural events, predominantly run in the city centre, including the following:

  • Edinburgh Fringe Festival
  • Edinburgh Science Festival
  • Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo


After reading this article we hope you have a clear understanding of just how much you can experience living in Edinburgh, from fantastic eateries and cultural events to more practical features such as highly rated schools and good transport links.

It’s important to take some time to thoroughly research different areas of Edinburgh to ensure the one you choose is best suited to your lifestyle and needs. Perhaps central Edinburgh is best for you if you’re keen to explore the main city attractions, or Southern Edinburgh may be the ideal choice if you have young children and desire plenty of green space for them to enjoy.

Wherever you choose, we’re sure you’re going to love living in the vibrant Scottish capital.

If you already live in Edinburgh and are looking to sell your home, We Buy Any Home can help! We’re the biggest cash-buying company in the UK and can ensure your property funds are with you in as little as just 7 days. Get your free cash offer today via our website.

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