The Cost of Living in Edinburgh

The Cost of Living in Edinburgh

When choosing a place to study English, the cost of the course isn’t the only thing to consider. Finding out about the cost of living in a certain city can help you to figure out your budget and pick the best place to suit your needs.

Edinburgh is one of the most affluent cities in the UK, meaning that some things may cost a little more than other destinations (although the cost of living here is still around 25% cheaper than in London!).

Of course, a lot of your costs will depend on your own preferences: if you have a higher budget, there are plenty of luxurious options to cater to your tastes and, thanks to Edinburgh’s vibrant student population, there are lots of budget-friendly options if you prefer to save money.

Whichever end of the scale you are, here’s a rough guide of how much things cost in Edinburgh:

Going out

Glass of beer (pint) £3-£5
Glass of wine (175ml) £3-£5
Sprit (25ml) + mixer £2-£4
Soft drink (e.g. cola, lemonade, orange juice) £1-£2
Coffee in a café £2-4
Two-course evening meal at a restaurant £15-£30
Lunch at a restaurant £8-£15
Entrance to nightclub £5-£10
Cinema ticket £8-£12
Theatre tickets £10-50 (depending on seats)

Food & drink

Take-away lunch £3-£5
Meal in fast food restaurant £4-6
Domestic beer (from supermarket) £1.50
Bottle of wine (from supermarket) £8-10
Weekly food shop (from supermarket) £30-50
Take-away coffee £1.50-£3.50

Transport

Single bus/tram journey in Edinburgh £1.60
Weekly bus pass £18
Taxi in Edinburgh Around £10/ 15 minute journey

Personal Care

Cold medicine for 1 week £5
Box of Paracetamol/Ibruprofen 20-50p
Deodorant £2-3
Shampoo/conditioner £3-4
Toothpaste £1-2
Haircut £10-15 (men) £20-35 (women)

Phone*

Sim card with 100MB data, 125 UK minutes and 500 UK texts £5/month

*You will receive a free giffgaff sim card with £5 pre-loaded credit when you arrive at inlingua!

Visiting Stirling and Edinburgh Castle

Visiting Stirling and Edinburgh Castle

Image credits: Pixabay, Walkerssk

When people think of Scotland, castles are usually one of the first things that spring to mind. It’s no surprise when over 3000 castles have been built in this country over the centuries. Two of the most impressive and renowned are Stirling Castle and Edinburgh Castle which are both based in central Scotland and easy to reach by car, bus or train. If you’re thinking of visiting, here are a couple of wee guides on what to expect…

Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle

Stirling castle is one of the largest and most famous castles in Scotland. It is located in the town of Stirling which is about a 1-hour drive from Edinburgh. The castle itself is located on the top of an extinct volcano, and is surrounded on three sides by cliffs, giving it a strong defensive position. Because of this and its strategic position it became a key military location during the 13th and 14th Wars of Independence. However, Stirling Castle is not only known for its military importance – several Scottish Kings and Queens were crowned here, including Mary, Queen of Scots in 1542.

In the long life of the castle, many changes have been made and other buildings have been built in and around it. The biggest reform was probably in the 16th century, when the Royal Palace was built inside the castle itself. It was designed during the reign of James V, to show the world his wealth, education and sophistication, as well as his right to rule. It is considered one of the finest and best preserved pieces of Renaissance buildings in Scotland.

Today the castle and the palace have been transformed into museums. Here, you can take a look at how the Scottish kings and queens lived and admire the building and its Renaissance furniture. The defences of the castle are also worth seeing. And if you’re travelling with kids, you don’t  have to worry about them being bored : there are many activities for children so that they will certainly have fun while learning.

For people who don’t have much interest in visiting a castle and just prefer to have great views of the landscape, Stirling Castle also has plenty to offer. There is a walk around the old town walls which takes about 1 to 1.5 hours, from which you can see the whole town of Stirling, Ben Lomond (one of Scotland’s most emblematic mountains) and many others.

In any case, because of its history, the building, the art inside the building and the activities for the children, etc. I fully recommend a visit to Stirling Castle!

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh has been at the heart of Scotland for over 1000 years. During the Medieval era it was an important royal residence, and the city has grown around it ever since.

The history of the castle’s building is complicated, since it has undergone some major alternations – new buildings have been built throughout the centuries and also the many sieges it has been under have caused deterioration. The first building was built in the 12th century and, from the original buildings inside the castle, the only one left is St Margaret’s Chapel. During the First and Second Wars of Scottish Independence (between 1296 and 1341), the castle changed from Scottish to English hands and back from English to Scottish several times. This was because of its strategic position – to rule over Scotland you needed to rule over Edinburgh, and thus, you needed to control the castle. After this period the castle was in need of repairs, and most of them were made during the reign of David II, so David’s Tower was erected in the castle. Sadly this tower was destroyed in 1573 during what is today known as the “long” siege, which lasted for over two years. This time it was attacked by English forces who wanted to capture Mary Queen of Scots.
The castle under siege several more times, but the last time was in 1745, during the Jacobite Risings, when the Scots attempted to take the castle. However, although the city was captured, they couldn’t take the castle, so they were forced to retreat. In the 18th century it was used to keep military prisoners from the many British wars, but after a massive break out in 1914, it was transformed into a museum.

Today it is still used as a museum and it’s a world famous icon for Scotland, having been recently voted the top UK Heritage Attraction in the British Travel Awards. The castle is also home to the crown jewels of Scotland, the One O’ Clock Gun (which was originally used to tell the time when not many people had clocks. It’s is still used today although we’re fairly certain most people have their own timepieces these days!). Inside the castle there is also the National War Museum of Scotland, where you can learn about the military history of Scotland. The Scottish National War Memorial, which was built after the First World War, is also there –  books inside the building list the names of all the Scottish soldiers who died in service.

If you are planning a trip to Edinburgh, a visit to this castle is a must!

Leap Year Around the World

Leap Year Around the World

Image: Rafiq Sarlie (Flickr)

It only comes once every four years but the 29th of February is here today! In the UK, it was traditionally the only day of the year that a woman could propose to a man (although times have definitely changed now!).

Here are some other traditions and superstitions from around the world:

1. In Denmark, if a man refuses a woman’s proposal on the 29th February, he has to give her 12 pairs of gloves and in Finland, they have to buy her fabric for a skirt.

Glove

2. In Greece it’s unlucky for couples to marry during a leap year, especially on the 29th February!

Marriage

3. Italians are also not fond of Leap Years with one saying being, “anno bisesto, anno funesto” or “leap year, gloomy year”

...sad

4. Russians believe leap years are associated with strange weather and a higher risk of death!

Danger Electric Shock Risk. Sign

5. In Taiwan, it is thought that parents are more likely to die during a leap year. During this time, a married daughter ought to return home in February and bring pig trotter noodles to her parents to encourage good health and fortune.

CongeeRoyal Pig's Trotter Noodles

6. And here in Scotland, a leap year is also supposed to be a bad year for livestock. The saying goes “Leap year was ne’er a good sheep year”

BAAAAAAAAAAAK

Do you have any Leap Year traditions from your country? Let us know!

LOIC – 27 YEARS OLD – FRANCE – 579 DAYS IN EDINBURGH

LOIC – 27 YEARS OLD – FRANCE – 579 DAYS IN EDINBURGH

Where do you come from? 

I’m French. I lived in Caen (Normandy) but I was born in East of France.

When did you arrive in Edinburgh?

I arrived the 27th April 2014.

Why did you decided to come to Edinburgh?

I wanted to join an European programme to improve my English. I didn’t have a real idea of which destination I wanted to target. In December 2013, I received from a French Job Center more information about the Leonardo Programme. I decided to apply and choose Edinburgh as the destination for my programme.

Why did you chose inlingua Edinburgh for your English lessons?

inlingua Edinburgh was the official partner of my Leonardo Programme. I was really happy about this choice.

How long did you study at inlingua?

I studied 3 weeks at inlingua. I had lessons every morning in mini-group. After my weeks of English courses inlingua helped me to find an internship for 2 months. When I started my internship I decided to continue to have english lessons and I joined evening courses. Today, I continue to have evening courses.

What is you favorite thing about Edinburgh?

My favorite thing about Edinburgh is that you can meet people from around the world. You can hear different languages, discover new cultures and everybody is here to practice English. It’s the perfect atmosphere to create real relationships.

What do you do now? 

I’m currently working as a digital marketing executive for inlingua. After being a student I’m now part of the great inlingua’s team.

What are you plans for the next few months?

I would like to continue to create new relationships with local people and continue to discover the Scottish culture.

NURIA – 29 YEARS OLD – SPAIN – 285 DAYS IN EDINBURGH

NURIA – 29 YEARS OLD – SPAIN – 285 DAYS IN EDINBURGH

Where do you come from? 

I come from Barcelona, Spain.

When did you arrive in Edinburgh?

I arrived the 27th April 2014.

Why did you decided to come to Edinburgh?

I chose Edinburgh because I was looking for a nearby english-speaking city. I was doubted between Dublin or Edinburgh but I decided the last because people suggest to me. I’m very happy with the choice.

Why did you chose inlingua Edinburgh for your English lessons?

I chose Inlingua because my English teacher in Spain suggest me this school for the quality. My priority was to have small groups in class and native speaker teachers. I also chose inlingua because I was looking for a school with activities after classes to improve my english and meet new people as well. I had a very good time and met a lot of good friends.

How long did you study at inlingua?

I had 2 months and half of English lessons. I had lessons in mini-group the morning and intensive speaking the afternoon.

What is you favorite thing about Edinburgh?

It is a dynamic city in a small city. I can almost go everywhere on foot. There are a lot of festivals during the year. And my favourite place… Arthur’s Seat. A hill a few minutes of the heart of the city with excellent sights of the city.

What do you do now? 

I’m working in a souvenir shop at the Royal Mile since beginning of September 2014. I was optometrist in Spain but I wanted to find a job to practice my English.

What are you plans for the next few months?

My plan… it’s to continue to work here and improve my english. I also want to continue to discover this city and its culture. When I will be ready I want to go to India to work with people in a ONG.

PAOLA – 17 YEARS OLD – ITALY – 3 TIMES 60 DAYS IN EDINBURGH

PAOLA – 17 YEARS OLD – ITALY – 3 TIMES 60 DAYS IN EDINBURGH

Where do you come from? 

I come from Savona in Italy.

When did you arrive in Edinburgh?

My first time in Edinburgh was in July 2012, then in 2013 and finally I came back in the summer 2014.

Why did you decided to come to Edinburgh?

I had already been in England and I wanted to try Scotland.

Why did you chose inlingua Edinburgh for your English lessons?

It was a suggestion and it’s very next to Princes Street the main street of Edinburgh.

What is you favorite thing about Edinburgh?

It has a particular atmosphere, it’s old and modern at the same time.

What do you do now? 

I’m in a gap year and I follow English & German courses. I’m waiting for my university application results

What are you plans for the next few months?

I’ll go on with my studies and continue to learn Foreign languages.

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