Moving to Edinburgh
Although easily eclipsed by Glasgow in terms of population, Edinburgh has always been the capital of Scotland and is the most popular destination for expats attracted by a booming financial services industry and the vibrant culture and arts scene.
As the location of the Scottish Parliament, the University of Edinburgh and the Bank of Scotland, Edinburgh is home to many of the country’s political, legal, educational and financial leaders. Expats should be prepared to enter a highly skilled workforce, as most employees have some degree of tertiary education.
Edinburgh is situated on the southern shore of the Firth of Forth, in the southeast of Scotland, less than an hour from Glasgow by train, and little more than four hours from London. Like Rome, the city is built on seven hills. The town centre remains dominated by Edinburgh Castle, situated atop Castle Rock and perched above the medieval Old Town and the Georgian New Town. To the west lies the West End district, which includes the financial district.
The city is a pedestrian-friendly mosaic of open green space intermixed with the cobbled alleyways of Old Town and the wide Georgian avenues of New Town. An easy-to-use public transport system connects nearby suburbs, and even makes the coasts and countryside accessible for a quick weekend break.
Expats can take comfort in a reputable state-funded National Heath Service, and a free education system that is regarded as one of the best in the world.
While Edinburgh is the most expensive city in Scotland and one of the more expensive in the United Kingdom, compared to London, property prices and the general cost of living are very reasonable.
One element that expats can struggle to adapt to is the consistent grim winter weather, when days are short, sunlight becomes sparse, and high winds and rainfall can make for melancholy moods.
Still, with the legendary Edinburgh Art Festival to look forward to in August, and an impressive selection of pubs to help take the nip out of the winter air, expats can embrace a high quality of life in this medium-sized metropolis.