Accommodation in Edinburgh

Finding Accommodation, Flatsharing, Hostels in Edinburgh

Home > Expat Guides > Europe > United Kingdom > Edinburgh

Cost of Living

Scotland is relatively expensive when compared to some other European countries, but is lower than many other regions in the UK. Costs are highest in Edinburgh, and in remote areas like Stornoway where supplies are difficult to access.

When travelling, expect to pay about 50 GBP per person for mid-range accommodations and meals. Backpackers using hostels and cooking their own meals can get by on as little as 25 GBP a day, not including transport.

    Estimates on cost of living:
  • Rent (Studio): 120 GBP/week
  • Rent (Shared Flat): 90 GBP/week
  • Gas/electricity: 11-15 GBP per week
  • Internet: 5-8 GBP per week
  • Mobile phones: 10-15 GBP per week
  • Laundry/toiletries: 8 GBP per week
  • Cinema ticket: 3.50-7.50 GBP per week
  • Haircut: 8-30 GBP
  • Monthly Bus Pass: 45 GBP
  • Lunch with drink: 15 GBP
  • Milk (2 L): 1.50 GBP
  • Whole Chicken: 4.00 GBP
  • Bacon: 2.80 GBP

Prepare for your Housing Search

Research, research, and introspection should define your pre-accommodation search. Familiarize yourself with the different areas of Edinburgh and find where you want to live. Read blogs from the area, find official resources, visit the different areas. Ask yourself questions like:
How big a place do you want? A studio? A three room flat?
Where do you want to live? Somewhere close to your work?
What's your price range? What are you comfortable paying?
With answers to these important questions you can begin to think of a specific place.


A flatshare can be an excellent way to save money on your accommodations. It also offers an opportunity to get to know a new city with a local. Shared accommodation in cities ranges from around 300 GBP per month (out of the city center) to 400 GBP or more per month in the city center.

However, an important trait in any roommate situation is having boundaries and a clear understanding of what each roommate requires. To protect yourself against potential problems should the worst happen, try to arrange it so that your roommates co-sign the lease. This makes all the roommates responsible for whatever happens to the property. If the worst was to happen, such as your roommate losing their job and not being able to pay rent, they will be held financially responsible- not you.


Hostels are plentiful across the UK and Scotland is no exception. Most are clustered around the cities, although a few are interspersed in the countryside. Most youth hostels only charge 10 GBP per bed, per night.

The Scottish Youth Hostel Association (SYHA) has a searchable network of Independent Hostels. The SYHA traditionally involved guests performing chores and a ban on alcohol. However, as time marches on many new hostels are abandoning these rules.

Update 8/04/2011


Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Pinterest Addthis

Recommended Service Partners

Online marketplace for mid-long term accommodation

Looking for cheap accommodation in Edinburgh isn’t easy and can be time consuming. Fortunately the times of browsing innumerable adverts, making hundreds of phone calls and visiting dozen of houses belong to the past: with Uniplaces now you can look for your room comfortably sitting at home. You can pick a room in a shared home with other expats, a studio flat if you want more privacy, or you can team up with other friends and rent an entire apartment just for yourselves.

The booking system is very simple and doesn’t require any visit: all can be done in advance thanks to the detailed descriptions and photos of the rooms and you can secure your room before even getting there. Moreover the Uniplaces team will be available for any questions and help.

Uniplaces is an online marketplace for booking mid-long term accommodation with thousands of verified properties.

  • If you’re looking for a room or a flat, you can search for ads in your new city: Search
  • If you have a room available and you wish to rent it, get in touch with us: Contact

Do you have comments or personal information to communicate about this article? Add your comment.

Go to the Forum to talk more about finding accommodation, flatsharing, hostels in Edinburgh, accommodation.

Find more definitions and general answers on expatriation issues in the Expat FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions).