Top 10 Student Hangout Spots in Edinburgh

students celebrating

Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland, is known not only for its historic magnetism and breathtaking architecture but also for its fiery student community. With several universities and colleges within the city, Edinburgh hosts all manner of hangout spots, catering to every kind of student interest, be it learning, socialising, or simply unwinding.

Students in an Edinburgh University

What Makes Edinburgh So Appealing to Students?


Here are some key factors that make Edinburgh such an attractive destination for students:

  • Edinburgh is home to several world-renowned universities, including the University of Edinburgh, which consistently ranks among the top universities globally.
  • The city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and its blend of mediaeval and Georgian architecture resonates with students who appreciate history and architectural aesthetics.
  • Edinburgh is famous for hosting some of the world's most iconic festivals. The Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the largest arts festival on the planet, draws artists, performers, and audiences from around the globe. This event, along with other famous festivals hosted in the city, creates an unparalleled cultural experience for students interested in arts, literature, theatre, and music.
  • Stunning landscapes and natural wonders surround Edinburgh, providing students with scenic views and access to outdoor activities — a refreshing escape from your academic commitments!
  • The city's nightlife has diverse offerings, with something for everyone. From traditional Scottish pubs and trendy bars to live music venues and nightclubs, Edinburgh's nightlife caters to a broad spectrum of preferences. 
  • Edinburgh is a place for academics and an epicentre for innovation and entrepreneurship. The city hosts numerous tech startups, incubators, and innovation centres, creating opportunities for students to engage in real-world projects and connect with industry professionals.
  • While living in a city can sometimes be costly, Edinburgh offers various discounts and deals for students, making exploring cultural attractions, restaurants, and entertainment more affordable. Compared to other major cities, Edinburgh's cost of living is relatively reasonable.
  • Edinburgh's international airport provides easy access to and from major cities worldwide. This accessibility is especially appealing to any international students who want to explore Europe and beyond during their breaks.


Students laughing and drinking together in Edinburgh


Top Ten Spots for Students To Hang Out in Edinburgh

From outdoor wonders to cultural hotspots, Edinburgh isn't lacking in options if you're looking to take a much-needed break from the study halls:

The Meadows 

One of Edinburgh's most beloved student hangouts is undoubtedly The Meadows, a large public park just south of the city centre. The Meadows provides a splash of greenery amidst the bustling urban environment. This vast open space is often dotted with students lounging on blankets, playing frisbee, and enjoying picnics with friends. During the warmer months, The Meadows hosts various events and festivals that you should keep your eye on. Its proximity to many university campuses makes it an easy spot to run over to for a quick study break.

Teviot Row House 

As the oldest purpose-built student union in the world, Teviot Row House is a historic landmark and a hub of student activity. Located at the University of Edinburgh's main campus, this charming building offers a range of facilities, including bars, cafés, event spaces, and a relaxing courtyard. It's not just a place to grab coffee between classes; Teviot hosts many events, including club nights, live performances, and themed parties. 

The Royal Mile 

Stretching from Edinburgh Castle to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Royal Mile is a bustling passage always teeming with energy. This iconic street is a hotspot for tourists and a favourite hangout for students. With a dazzling display of cafés, pubs, and shops, students often gather here to enjoy street performances, grab a quick bite, or take in the historic ambience. 

The Pleasance 

The Pleasance is located just a short walk from the city centre. This area is known for its vibrant arts scene, with venues hosting theatre performances, comedy shows, and live music events. The Pleasance Courtyard, in particular, is a vibrant space that transforms during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, attracting students and visitors from around the world. Throughout the year, students gather at The Pleasance to enjoy its unique blend of entertainment options, making it a fantastic place to unwind after a long day of classes.

Liquid Room 

Among all the nightclubs in Edinburgh, Liquid Room is a favoured spot for students to grab a pint. This club has never had a quiet night, always packed with partygoers and anyone looking to unwind. With its selection of affordable drinks, this entertainment hub hosts many student nights you won’t want to miss out on. With two floors and a balcony, Liquid Room can house an extensive crowd, and certainly draws one in. 


Summerhall is a hidden gem for all arts enthusiasts in Edinburgh. This former veterinary school has been transformed into a thriving arts venue, hosting exhibitions, performances, talks, and workshops. You'll find yourself drawn to Summerhall for its unique blend of contemporary art, science exhibits, and eclectic events. 

Portobello Beach 

When students need a break from the city's hustle and bustle, Portobello Beach provides a serene escape. Just a short bus ride from the city centre, this sandy shoreline offers sensational views of the sea and a long promenade perfect for strolls and cycling. Students often visit Portobello Beach to recharge, unwind, and soak up the natural beauty of the Scottish coastline. During warmer months, the beach becomes a popular spot for picnics, beach volleyball, and swimming.

The Jazz Bar 

Music enthusiasts and night owls alike find themselves flocking to The Jazz Bar, an intimate venue that celebrates live music. Located in the heart of the Old Town, this basement bar hosts jazz performances, jam sessions, and other music events. The relaxed vibes and diverse range of performances create a space where students can appreciate the talents of local and visiting musicians while enjoying a drink (or three).

Dynamic Earth 

For the more scientifically inclined student, Dynamic Earth offers an immersive experience that blends education and entertainment. You can find this interactive science centre near the Scottish Parliament and enjoy engaging exhibitions that explore the Earth's history, geology, and natural phenomena. Students can take a break from textbooks and delve into a world of interactive displays, 4D shows, and hands-on activities.

Arthur's Seat 

Arthur's Seat is an absolute MUST-visit for any student in Edinburgh yearning for breathtaking views and a touch of nature to clear any head fog. This ancient dormant volcano stands proudly in Holyrood Park, offering hiking trails that lead to panoramic views of the city and surrounding landscapes. Students often hike up Arthur's Seat to witness spectacular sunrises and sunsets. This stunning natural wonder provides a much-needed reprieve from the stressors of student life. 

Students storing their items away in a Len’s Self Storage unit


Student Storage in Edinburgh


If you’re moving into a new flat, visiting home, or travelling over the summer, Len's Self Storage is your solution to any space troubles that spring up. Store your items in one of our secure units, and we’ll keep your things safe while you’re out exploring. You can even get together with friends and share a locker to split the cost.

Check out our Edinburgh branches for the best option near you.