The Cost of Living in Edinburgh

Before we moved to Edinburgh on the Youth Mobility Visa, we didn’t really do any research into how much it would cost to live here. We knew it would be cheaper than living in London, but more expensive than living in Edmonton, Alberta. So here it is: The cost to live in Edinburgh.  The cost of beer in Edinburgh, Scotland.

How Much Does It Cost to Live in Edinburgh?

Cost of a 4 week bus pass – £51

If you end up being lucky and work close to where you live, you can scratch off the monthly pass and just pay for the bus when you need it. Single one way tickets are £1.50 and day tickets are £3.50.

Cost of our rent for one month including utilities – £310

Our rent is somewhat cheap, but we’re not close to the city centre and we don’t live in the greatest area – though neither one of us has ever had a problem. We recently found that you could rent a one bedroom for about £30 more in the same area, rather than the shared flat we are in. If you plan to live closer to the city centre rent could range from £300-700.

Cost of Food for a month – About £175

Groceries are one of the things that can be cheap in Scotland. Tesco seems to be one of the cheapest places to get your groceries. As long as you’re not too picky it’s easy to keep your food costs down.

 A drink at a bar – £2+

If you want to drink at a bar and not spend all your money, avoid the tourist bars. Neighborhood pubs and places the locals drink tend to be much cheaper than drinking in a large tourist concentrated area such as the Royal Mile.

Meal at a restaurant – £10-15

We try to avoid eating out as we’d rather spend our hard earned money on other things. But you are able to eat at some buffets for about £10 or find restaurants offering 3 course meals for around £15. There’s also loads of cheap places to get burgers and sandwiches.

Menu prices in Edinburrgh.

Other Costs:

Cost to see a movie – £9.10

Bus ticket from Edinburgh to Glasgow – £5.00

Cup of coffee- £1.20

Bus ticket to the Edinburgh airport – £1.50

Monthly cell phone costs – £10+

Haircut- £10.00

Internet- £10.00/month

What are Wages like?

Wages in the UK are defiantly lower than what we we’re use to back in Alberta.  Minimum wage in Scotland is £6.31/hour.  If you’re coming to Scotland on the Youth Mobility Visa, you’ll likely get a job in the service or tourism industry, and those jobs tend to pay only the minimum wage, or slightly above it.

Is it worth it?

Definitely! While you’re living in Edinburgh you may find it difficult to save money, but it’s a great city to live in – at least for a little while.



Do you want to know the price of anything else in Edinburgh?
We’ll do our best to find it for you.


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