53 Reasons Living In Edinburgh Ruins You For Life

Great food, beautiful views, and incredible New Year’s Eve parties. What more could you want?

1. Because the outdoor art is dazzling.

Chris Fleming / Via Flickr: chrisfleming

A field of light in the city centre? Why not.

2. Because this is what happens on an average summer evening.

Graeme Pow / Via Flickr: graeme_pow

This happens every night in August. EVERY NIGHT.

3. Because you’ll be able to afford a flat like this.

John Blower / Via Flickr: 10332960@N03

For about £700 a month. Sorry, Londoners.

4. Because this is your gym.

Tim Jordan / Via Flickr: livingfitnessuk

“Hey look, someone left a bunch of countryside in the middle of the city.”

5. Because the universities are among the best in the world…

Kay Williams / Via Flickr: 23351536@N07

Edinburgh University is ranked as the 17th best university in the 2014–15 QS rankings. And it’s the sixth oldest university on the planet.

6. …and the student union buildings look like Hogwarts.

Patrick Down / Via Flickr: patrickdown

7. Because our shopping centres know their place.

Graeme Pow / Via Flickr: graeme_pow

Who wants a branch of The Body Shop or New Look blocking their view? Better to keep them neatly tucked away underground.

8. Because the vintage shops are second to none.

Armstrong’s is basically second-hand clothes Narnia.

9. Because the pubs are truly historic, wonderfully unique…

Tom Parnell / Via Flickr: itmpa

The Sheep Heid in Duddingston is home to a vintage skittle alley and the finest selection of cask ales in east central Edinburgh.

10. …and you run into famous authors whenever you go for a drink.

If you visit The Oxford Bar you’ll probably end up sitting next to Ian Rankin; it’s his local.

11. Because a long black at Brew Lab is the finest thing.

Darcie Tanner / Via Flickr: darcie

Also, the tiny milk bottles are adorable.

12. Because this is the city centre.

Abi Booth / Via Flickr: abibooth

This is the view just 10 minutes away from Princes Street. HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE?

13. Because you haven’t really had a baked potato until you’ve had a Baked Potato Shop baked potato.

Haggis-topped tattie? Don’t mind if I do.

14. Because Newhaven.

Tim Edgeler / Via Flickr: kraft_d

Newhaven is basically heaven with better seafood.

15. Because our food shops are packed to the rafters.

Howard Twine / Via Flickr: foto_dobbin

Who needs Tesco when you’ve got world-class delis like Valvona and Crolla, Mellis, and Lupe Pintos?

16. Because winter has never looked so beautiful.

Fergus Ray Murray / Via Flickr: 0olong

Dean Village is perfection, and just a stone’s throw from Princes Street.

17. Seriously, SO beautiful.

This is what you get to look at while you trail up and down Princes Street doing your Christmas shopping.

18. Because all Christmas markets should look like this.

Ross G. Strachan. / Via Flickr: ross_strachan

19. Because it’s Christmas all year round.

Ken Douglas / Via Flickr: good_day

Want to buy festive baubles in July? No problem.

20. Because New Year in Edinburgh is beyond spectacular.

Robbie Shade / Via Flickr: rjshade

Why would you want to be anywhere else on Hogmanay?

21. Because the museums are stunningly beautiful.

Hilary Wardle / Via Flickr: 23064699@N02

It isn’t enough that the National Gallery of Scotland boasts world famous paintings by Titian, Monet, and Cezanne. It also looks like a glorious ancient temple.

22. Because this is where you go out to eat.

Tom Parnell / Via Flickr: itmpa

Famous restaurants at the Shore include The Kitchin, Fishers in the City, Martin Wishart, and, of course, Pizza Express.

23. Because it’s home to the best, most dangerous bookshop in the world.

Boon Low / Via Flickr: ipohkia

Armchair Books: famous for its precarious ladders. Enter at your own risk.

24. Because it’s compact, clean, and safe.

Stuart Caie / Via Flickr: kyz

You can cycle across the whole city in about an hour, and no one will steal your bike.

25. Because nowhere else in the world has a mysterious book sculpture fairy.

Robert Burdock / Via Flickr: robaround

Ten intricate sculptures made from famous Scottish books were hidden at various cultural spaces throughout 2011. No one knows who created them.

26. Because the streets are on another level.

Ken Douglas / Via Flickr: good_day

More cities should stack one street on top of another. It saves a lot of space.

27. Because Café Piccante regularly saves your life.

Dauvit Alexander / Via Flickr: the_justified_sinner

You just know your hangover would be worse if you hadn’t stopped for chips and a deep-fried Mars bar on the way home.

28. Because once a year, the whole world comes to us…

Hamish Irvine / Via Flickr: topaz-mcnumpty

The International Festival is spectacular. Who needs to travel when you have hundreds of cultural events on your doorstep every August?

29. …not to mention thousands of comedians…

30. …and hundreds of world-famous authors.

“BRB, just popping out to get my book signed by Neil Gaiman.”

31. Because you know you couldn’t live without your daily burrito from Illegal Jack’s on Lothian Road…

Carnitas, black beans, jalapeños…

32. …or your weekly Sunday brunch from Toast in Marchmont.

The Edinburgh Blog / Via Flickr: theedinburghblog

Herby sausages, homemade beans, and, of course, a tattie scone. Divine.

33. Because there are hidden gems down every side street.

Graeme Pow / Via Flickr: graeme_pow

34. Because why would you go and see any old play when you could watch a brand new one?

The Trav is the home of new writing. And the bar’s not bad either.

35. Because the Forth Rail bridge never fails to take your breath away.

Miroslav Petrasko / Via Flickr: theodevil

Every time you go to South Queensferry you just have to take a photo.

36. Because Halloween isn’t Halloween. It’s Samhuinn.

Alex Morrice / Via Flickr: eastdakota99

What’s the point of living in a city that doesn’t throw an odd pagan festival at least twice a year?

37. Because even the train-station roof is insanely beautiful.

Miroslav Petrasko / Via Flickr: theodevil

An all-glass train-station roof was a bold move, but it totally paid off.

38. Because anything Cornwall can do, we can do better.

Stu Smith / Via Flickr: 40139809@N00

Cramond is basically a Scottish version of Mousehole with a bonus Roman fort.

39. Because dogs are almost always welcome in pubs.

They never get a round in though, the furry skinflints.

40. Because you’d feel weird if you couldn’t climb to the top of an extinct volcano whenever you felt like it.

Antonio M. Mora García / Via Flickr: toniomora

And take in this glorious view.

41. Because this is a club.

Kay Williams / Via Flickr: 23351536@N07

Until you’ve partied in a haunted vault, you haven’t partied at all.

42. Because you love being greeted by these guys on your way to Elm Row.

It’s an urban jungle.

43. Because we all know that the cakes at Mimi’s are the best in the world.

The Edinburgh Blog / Via Flickr: theedinburghblog

How are they blue? And are those mint Aeros?!

44. Because the parks are truly magical…

Graeme Pow / Via Flickr: graeme_pow

Princes Street Gardens, The Meadows, Inverleith Park… You’re spoiled for choice.

45. …and you’re never far from the water.

Barbara Agnew / Via Flickr: hockadilly

Edinburgh is criss-crossed with scenic waterways. It’s basically Venice, but colder.

46. Because Edinburgh looks just as beautiful on a rainy day.

Which is good, because there are quite a lot of those.

47. Because this has to be the world’s most scenic Farmers’ Market.

Whenever you visit you snigger at “Well Hung and Tender”.

48. Because this is the high street.

You won’t find any branches of New Look or Argos here. Just whisky shops.

49. Because you’re never more than a 40-minute bus journey away from scenery like this.

Dougie Mathieson / Via Flickr: 41317617@N05

The Pentlands are basically Edinburgh’s back garden.

50. Because we don’t have monuments, we have “Gothic rockets”.

Christoph Strässler / Via Flickr: christoph_straessler

No, it’s not an alien spaceship, it’s a tribute to Sir Walter Scott.

51. Because Edinburgh wins at afternoon tea.

From the amazing spread at Prestonfield House to this stunning high tea at the Balmoral, you just can’t beat it.

52. Because when you live in Edinburgh, you lose all sense of perspective.

Craig Cormack / Via Flickr: craigyc

“Isn’t it normal to have a gigantic 12th-century castle in the middle of the city?”

Other cities pale in comparison to Edinburgh. In fact, it’s ruined you for anywhere else. You can never, ever leave.

Andy Smith / Via Flickr: smithat

“Edina! Scotia’s darling seat! All hail thy palaces and tow’rs.”

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Hilary Mitchell is the Scotland editor and is based in Edinburgh.
 
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