Although easily eclipsed by Glasgow in terms of population, Edinburgh holds its own as the capital of Scotland and is a destination beloved by tourists and expats alike, who are attracted by a city rich with history, a vibrant culture, and blessed with postcard-pretty scenery, not to mention a booming financial services industry.
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 aiming to work in Edinburgh should be prepared to enter a highly skilled workforce, as most employees have some degree of tertiary education.
Edinburgh is situated in the southeast of Scotland, less than an hour from Glasgow by train, and a little more than four hours from London. 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 city's financial hub.
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.
One element that expats can struggle to adapt to is the consistent grim winter weather, when shortened days, sparse sunlight, 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 look forward to embracing a high quality of life in Scotland's capital.
Are you an expat living in Edinburgh?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Edinburgh. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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