If you are contemplating studying abroad in Edinburgh, Scotland, then there is plenty to see. This capital city was the first city to be named a United Nations Educational Scientific Cultural Organization (UNESCO) city of literature. It hosts one of the largest art festivals in the world. Unfortunately, all this culture can come with a hefty cost of living. Here are six tips to follow to cut down on expenses while studying in Edinburgh.

Eat Like a Local

The cost of food when traveling can be a big expense, but there are ways to make eating while traveling cheaper. If you are staying in Edinburgh for a study abroad, the easiest way to save money on food is to buy local ingredients and prepare food yourself, rather than eat out at every meal. While there are many outstanding restaurants to dine at in Edinburgh, there are also easy ways to save money on food in the city. Located at the Castle Terrace on the first Saturday of each month, the Edinburgh Farmers’ Market is often hailed as one of the best in the world. It is a great place to eat on the cheap or pick up groceries to prepare at home.

Students may also want to check out the University of Edinburgh Chaplaincy’s Hearty Monday where a cheap, locally-prepared, organic meal is available for purchase each Monday. Additionally, students who are scrapped for food and money can receive help through the university’s Food Sharing Edinburgh program. Here, food is picked up at local restaurants and redistributed to students.

Buy Plane Tickets

Knowing when to buy your plane tickets is essential if you plan on coming home during the school year. Travel agents suggest that you buy your fall plane tickets between 45 and 61 days ahead of time to get the best prices. If you plan on purchasing your winter holiday plane tickets separately, then purchase them in mid-September. If you need tickets to get you back in time for the spring semester, then buy those tickets 90 days in advance. The cheapest plane tickets are usually round trip for flights leaving on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Use Mass Transportation

Edinburgh is a great city to get around in via public transportation. Buses, trams, and taxis are all available. The buses run 24 hours a day from many locations around the city. There are 15 tram stations in Edinburgh. Additionally, many of the best attractions are located close together in the middle of the city.

Find Free Activities

While you may learn about many free activities on campuses, there are others you may want to try around Edinburgh. Stroll through the Royal Botanic Garden of Edinburgh that started out as a physics garden in 1670. Hike to the top of Arthur’s Seat for a panoramic view of the city. Explore the Scottish National Gallery where many famous works of art are on display or take a one-hour guided tour of the Scottish Parliament.

Choose Cheap Housing

All three universities in Edinburgh offer catered and self-catered flats for college students. While these are most popular with first-year students, they also work well for international students who do not want to navigate their way around the city often. Many students live in the Newington, Bruntsfield, Tollcross and Marchmont neighbourhoods.

Shop Thrift Stores

While it is important to dress well as a student, buying your clothes in a thrift store is a great way to save money in Edinburgh. The highest concentration of charity stores is found nestled right around the University of Edinburgh, making it easy for students of this college to shop there. The Stockbridge neighbourhood near the Botanical Garden has many great places to shop for home decor and clothes.

When you employ these six tips, you can survive studying in Edinburgh at a very inexpensive price. Make the most of your time in this beautiful city and make sure you explore everything that you can. There are so many hidden treasures that you shouldn’t miss out on.


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