Edinburgh University

Things to do in Edinburgh | Edinburgh University

For more than 400 years, the University of Edinburgh has been attracting students from all over the county and the world with its excellent academic reputation and buzzing city centre campuses. Whether you’re checking out an open day or just visiting, get your stay off to a great start with our quick guide to the university.

Founded by the Town Council in 1582 as a college of law, the University of Edinburgh is Scotland’s oldest university. It played a vital role in Edinburgh getting its reputation as an intellectual centre during the Age of Enlightenment and helped the city get its nickname of the “Athens of the North”. Over the years, the university expanded its buildings and campuses and broadened its scope to cover medicine, science and engineering, and arts and humanities. From Nobel laureates to Olympians, astronauts and politicians, the University of Edinburgh has had some distinguished alumni, including Charles Darwin, Walter Scott, Arthur Conan Doyle and Chris Hoy.

Edinburgh University

Edinburgh University

Eating and drinking

Make sure you take a tour of the best eating and drinking options on campus and nearby.

The University of Edinburgh’s campuses are packed with places to eat and drink. From global street food at Brucks to sandwiches at the Library café, there’s a whole number of restaurants and cafés to choose from. For late night drinks, head to one of the many university bars or its nightclub, Potterrow.

If you want to head off campus for food and drink, you’ll find more options in the nearby city centre. With plenty of high street regulars, like Slug and Lettuce and Las Iguanas, as well local favourites, like Wildfire and Usquabae Whisky Bar, there’s something for every taste.

Getting to Edinburgh University

Located in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town, the university has great transport links.

By car
If you’re driving to the university, you’ll need to pay for a scratchcard permit to park in the car parks. This costs £13 for the day and covers a number of car parks.

By bus
Edinburgh is well served by plenty of bus routes. If you’re walking from Edinburgh bus station, it’s about a 30 minute walk through the Old Town to the university.

By train
The university’s main building is located in George Square to the south of the Old Town. If you’re arriving at Waverley station, you’ll arrive in 20 minutes.

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