Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland and is the second largest city in the country. It is situated in the southeast side of Scotland, on the Firth of Forth’s south shore and on the North Sea. Its beautiful location makes it one of the most dramatic cities in all of Europe. Edinburgh is composed of urban and rural Edinburgh with the Old Town and New Town districts referred to as UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1995. The city now has a population of around 450,000 residents plus over 13 million visitors annually.

One of the official annual events of the city is the Edinburgh Festival which is a series of independent festivals held over the four weeks of August. During this time, the visitors to the city is almost equal to the actual population of the city.

Residential Places in Edinburgh

There are several districts in Edinburgh which may come in the form of a few streets while others are included in the bigger areas of Old Town and New Town. In Old Town, there are a number of old residential places like High Street, Castlehill, Cowgate and Grassmarket.

New Town is found just north of Old Town and is made up of streets, squares and terraces. There are around 25,000 residents in the area. UK expatriates may find apartments and homes for rent in these broad regions. There are also some old homes for sale at relatively affordable prices. Another popular residential part of Edinburgh is the South Side, which include the areas of St Leonard’s, Marchmont, Newington, Sciennes and the Grange.

Hospitals and Universities in Edinburgh

The University of Edinburgh is the 4th oldest university in Scotland. It started out as The Old College on South Bridge in the 1820s and continued to grow in George Square. The King’s Buildings campus is located in southern Edinburgh where the Law School is also found. In the west of Edinburgh is the Heriot-Watt University which has a reputation in producing excellent engineers. Napier University has campuses in the west and south of Edinburgh.

It has many research centers and offers a wide range of degrees and specialties. Queen Margaret University focuses in business, health care and theatre. It started out in 1875 as a women’s college. There are several other notable colleges and schools in the city offering language, education and communication courses.

Other educational institutions in the city are the Heriot-Watt University and the Napier Technical College. Also located in the area are the Telford College, the Scottish Agricultural College and the Queen Margaret University. Perhaps the most famed of all the institutions found in the city are the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh.

Stockbridge has a community conveniently located near cafes, pubs and shops. At the city center, Haymarket and Dalry West are two districts that also have a number of apartments. Prices are higher in these places. Near Shandwick Place are the West End neighborhoods which are quite exclusive. Suburbs are also good places to stay in Edinburgh. Bruntsfield and Marchmont are great residential districts with sentimental and amusing histories. Other notable places to stay are Morningside, Carlton Hill, Leith Walk, Broughton Street and the fishing village of Newhaven.

Medical Facilities

The Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh is one of the most prestigious and oldest health institutions in the country. It has excellent emergency response and treatment approaches. The Royal Edinburgh Hospital is located at Morningside which focuses on mental health. The Royal Hospital for Sick Children has a good reputation in pediatrics. The Royal Edinburgh Hospital had new buildings recently built known to be the biggest in the entire nation. There are also the Edinburgh University Medical School and the Western General Hospital which specialize in cancer treatment. BUPA’s Murrayfield Hospital is a private institution offering quality patient services, units and staff.

Commercial Places in Edinburgh

The commercial life of the city was captured in a post at the Britain Expat Forum last January 3, 2009:

Edinburgh & Glasgow both have a lot of recruitment firms and according to our friends back there outside of banking there are still some good career opportunities. Both cities have a vibrant nightlife and excellent gallaries & museums. Something for everyone!!!

The city has a large number of pubs, clubas and restaurants with areas such as the Grassmarket, Lothian Road, Rose Street and George Street. There are several department stores and shopping centers in Edinburgh. Jenners, Harvey Nichols and John Lewis are notable department stores featuring a number of well-known brands plus traditional trinkets and accessories. The Ocean Terminal and Princes Mall are also great places for shopping which features so many shops and restaurants. Specialty stores are also available all around the city such as Anta, Geoffrey and James Pringle.

Visitors will find great souvenirs and items at Tartan Gift Shop. There is a huge collection of antiques as well at The Bachelor Pad. Some great clothing, shoes and accessories stores are Schuh, Walker Slater and Edinburgh Woollen Mill Shop. A nice selection of wines can be found at Royal Mill. Waterstones has a great selection of books and reading materials as well.

Daniel’s Bistro is located at Leith by the harbor and features a very romantic setting. The bistro serves authentic Scottish and French cuisine and is highly known for its delectable vegetable dishes. The Shore Bar and Restaurant has a very stylish ambiance with a bar playing nice jazz and folk music. The place serves delicious European dishes and has a great selection of wines. Other excellent places to dine include Duck’s at Kilspindie House, Skippers Bistro which serves seafood and Le Café St. Honore.

The life in Edinburgh has become a haven for expats, as seen in a post in the Introductions Forum last December 22, 2008:

I'm looking to move to Edinburgh in July and came across this site in doing some research. I've been working full time in New Jersey in the USA and traveling in my spare time for the past 6 years or so. This past summer i traveled to the UK including Edinburgh and just fell in love with it. When i got back home, I decided that it was time for a change...a rather BIG change. I'll be applying for my work visa mid-january. According to the UK's online point-calculator i look to qualify for this...woohoo!

Service Establishments in Edinburgh

Private companies offer water distribution, management and sanitation services all throughout Edinburgh like EcoWater Systems, Inc. and Bailey’s Ecowater Systems. Other agencies responsible for safe and purified water are Premier Pure Water, Waterwatch Scotland and Water Industry Commissioner for Scotland. Prince’s Lakes Department of Water Works is also found in the city.

As for electricity and energy, a number of companies provide such as Fife Energy Ltd, Scottish Power and S P Power Systems Ltd. There are several telecommunications companies featuring satellite and cable services, internet provision and cable TV connection such as Scotline Communications Ltd and Edinburgh Communications. Gas utilities are provided by a number of private companies as well. Transportation services in the city have been modernized to continue serving the local residents as well as the millions visiting every year. Facilities and transportation hubs are state-of-the-art and are among the best in Europe and the world.

Embassies in Edinburgh

So many embassies from different countries are situated in Edinburgh. Consulate offices are located in different parts of the city such as Australian, Austrian, American, Russian, Belgian, French, German, Chinese, Italian, Irish, Mongolian, Norwegian, Thai, Spanish and many more. Since the arrival of the Scottish Parliament, more government agencies and departments have been set up in Edinburgh which further improved employment for all residents.

There are several British groups and organizations in Edinburgh as well. The Edinburgh Tenants Federation is a voluntary group that aids to help tenants and residents in the city in order to improve relationships and financial disposition. The Edinburgh Community Safety Partnership is concerned about safety issues in the city. It is also actively involved in community planning and government projects.