It’s easy to become less enamoured with Edinburgh as blue skies turn to 3 o’clock nightfalls and cobbled streets turn into wind tunnels. With Spring finally starting to emerge, I for one am starting to remember how wonderful Edinburgh is. So, here are five ways to enjoy it in a student-friendly manner – totally free!
Firstly, why not try popping down to the Meadows to watch the Monday Meadows Fire Club? Welcoming newcomers and practised performers alike, this community of fire-eaters, jugglers and dancers get together to practice and showcase their skills weekly. They can be found by the Pavilion Café every Monday evening at 9pm (weather permitting) and if you ask nicely they might even teach you a thing or two!
Next, get cultured! Don’t forget that Edinburgh is a city of art, packed with free museum and gallery experiences. While most of us begrudgingly traipse round the Scottish National Gallery when our family comes to visit, there’s so much more to see. Try the National Portrait Gallery on Queens Street or the Modern Art Gallery on Belford Road. Alternatively, go to the charming Museum of Childhood on the Royal Mile, or go back to the National Museum of Scotland and actually look at all of it. Our city has so much history.
Although not all year round, if you study at Kings you might be aware of the occasional visits from the BobCat alpacas! If you book in advance, you’re welcome to say hi, feel how unholily soft their fur is and take them for a walk – a de-stresser if there ever was one!
Like me, you may have been unaware that it’s free to visit Edinburgh’s Botanic Gardens, with a charge of £6.50 to view the glasshouses. So, spend an afternoon at this horticultural paradise for a bit of peace and quiet only a mile outside the city centre.
Finally, remember to take in the view. Edinburgh has so many fantastic spots where you can see the entire city. Maybe you’ve been up Calton Hill and Arthur’s Seat, but even looking out from the top floor of the David Hume Tower is breathtaking, or from the top of the National Museum of Scotland on Chambers Street. Getting that Instagram shot is so worth it.
And finally, bonus number six: Hive on a weekday!
image: Herbert Frank via flickr