I think almost nothing compares to the magic of a city like Edinburgh. It is far more adorable than I could have imagined, and it’s a whole lot of fun. So how does it look as a potential destination to live long-term?
Edinburgh is nothing short of wonderful. With little stone houses lining the neighborhoods and grand castles and cathedrals surrounding its beautiful parks, it has some serious beauty. Over time, I’ve learned to appreciate living in a place that is simply nice to look at. And Edinburgh has that in spades. There are wonderful little cafes and cozy bars where people are enjoying a pint or a whisky even in the middle of the day. I can totally see why JK Rowling would come write here. In my wildest fantasies of being a full-time writer, I would be extremely fortunate and overjoyed to be sitting at warm café in Edinburgh looking out at this gorgeous city and typing away on my laptop.
One of the nicest things about Edinburgh is how jovial everyone is. Most encounters with people are downright pleasant. Everyone seems to go out of their way to be accommodating and sweet. The Scots seem to be naturally ebullient and hilarious without even trying, which makes even passing encounters seem kind of delightful. Even the person checking tickets on the tram, who is typically a bastard by default, will say “cheers” when they pass. The bars are full of people of all ages, which is a good indication that people never stop enjoying life. Plus, the accent is a huge bonus. I could listen to Scottish people talking all day.
The food in Edinburgh has been incredible. Scottish cuisine is so unique but also really comforting, which makes this a perfect place to be when it’s cold. I’ve gotten used to getting haggis on everything, and it’s a flavor that is incredible though unusual. As far as the drinking goes, in a very short time, Edinburgh has turned me into someone who enjoys both gin and whisky on their own. I had no idea that I liked whisky at all. And with how cold it is, the rich fiery warmth really hits the spot. And I mean, you can’t get better than spicy gin distilled locally. I’m in alcoholic heaven.
Goddamn, I haven’t been anywhere this expensive in a wee bit. Though the pound is weaker than it has been in years, sitting down to a fairly simple meal that costs 60 pounds (almost $80) is not an ideal financial situation. A flat would be at least $1000, even a studio, to live somewhere remotely central. I would have to make a lot more money than I do now to be able to live here comfortably.
Comfort and convenience
The good thing about Edinburgh is that it’s walkable, and it’s so nice to enjoy on foot. But it also has solid transportation. The tram from the airport is one of the most convenient and hassle-free airport transfers I’ve ever seen. I got my ticket in 2.5 minutes and was on a departing tram in 4 minutes. The buses are fairly commonplace, though the fact that they’re run by separate companies is kind of annoying. So you can’t just have a blanket transport pass that covers everything. You need tram passes and Lothian Bus tickets and First bus tickets. If you’re not taking public transport and you’re walking, the weather is unpredictable. It’s constantly raining, but also constantly sunny. So you might have a fantastic day turn to shit without any warning in the span of 15 minutes.
I also have a bit of a problem with the plumbing of Scotland. It’s the kind of place where cold and hot water come out of a different faucet without overlapping and the toilet flush is so weak that it barely eliminates toilet paper. They need to get that shit together.
Total livability score: 7/10
This city is fucking adorable in a way that I can barely handle, and if I had more money to spend on haggis and whisky, I would totally live here.