Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Au Pairs in Edinburgh. Edinburgh on a budget.

au pairs in edinburgh
In 2013 Edinburgh was voted the second best city to live in the UK! Its costs of living are much lower than in London, so it could be the perfect destination for a young person who wants to become an au pair in the UK as London can be very expensive.

Below is a list of how to enjoy this beautiful city at a discount price!


Edinburgh is a relatively small and compact city and that making things easy when you have to travel around in town. If you live outside the city centre buying a Ridacard, allows you to take the bus or the tram at a discounted fare. If you’re a student, you can buy a weekly Student Ridacard for £13 or, if you’re staying in Edinburgh for a good few months, it is worth buying a monthly Student Ridacard that will cost you only £36. With this card you’ll be entitled to unlimited travel on all Lothian Buses, Edinburgh’s trams, Nightbuses and the Airlink!

Eden Valley School of English
English Language Schools

If you decided to become an au pair in Edinburgh, you probably want to improve your English language skills. In Edinburgh you'll find a wide selection of language schools to choose from offering any kind of English language course. Among the best schools available at reasonable prices, we recommend: 

Eden Valley School of English is situated at 53 George Street EH2 2HT. It offers among the most inexpensive rates in Edinburgh, from only £2.50 per hour! Courses range from the Callan Method to Cambridge and IELTS exam preparation classes. Pupils can attend classes throughout the week, however, students with busy schedules can choose flexible lessons if desired.

Edinburgh School of EnglishThe school, located in the heart of Edinburgh's Old Town, has 40 years of teaching experience and offers English courses for any age. Their philosophy of learning English is to combine fun with a cultural and activity programme. The adult courses include General English, Intensive classes, IELTS and Cambridge Exam Class preparation. 

The Randolph School of English, located in New Town, offers very competitive prices.
 Their core strength is to keep classes with a limited amount of students to respond at best to each student's needs. They offer 1 to 1 classes, group and evening classes.

The Edinburgh Experience offers special deals combining English courses and accommodation. Their method combines learning from and listening to native speakers and doing cultural activities in the afternoons. Their staff is DELTA qualified teachers with many years experience teaching EFL.

Caledonian Language School, just 5 minutes walk from Princes Street in the city centre, offers General English, full/part-time classes, and CAE, FCE and IELTS preparation courses. The school is open for students even when they don't have classes and computers are open access, so that students can carry on studying or keep in touch with their family and friends. 

Inlingua Edinburgh, located right in the city centre, is a British Council accredited school which offers a personalized approach enhanced by their commitment to small class sizes of no more than 10 students. They have courses for any level of English from Beginners to Advanced and Exam Preparation classes. They also offer a work placement programme in different fields such as design, sales, marketing, and much more!

Discover the city

Edinburgh is a buzzing city full of life at any time of day and offers a wide variety of cultural events.


This museum brings together people with different passions. You can explore the natural world, art, design, science, technology and Scottish history, all this for free!

This temple of the greatest works of contemporary, modern and classic arts has free admission and has a vast collection of paintings of the main art movements in history: Cubism, Dada, Impressionism, Surrealism, Renaissance and much more!

  • Going to a gig
The city is full of big and small venues where you can listen to international and local bands. If you don’t want to spend money on a paid gig, you can go to one of the many jazz bars where you can enjoy folk sessions and more. A famous spot for free good live performances is Whistle Binkies, at the junction of High Street and The Bridges, where you can catch live local bands every night of the week. Music goes from rock to blues, Celtic folk, indie rock, funk, ska, RnB, so it’s impossible to be disappointed!

  • Going to the cinema
The Cameo, one of the oldest cinemas in the UK (it opened in 1914!), screens the latest releases but also all-time classics and offers a Student membership of £10 only that entitles members to free screenings, discounts on ticket prices, food and drinks in the cinema’s bar and many more offers.

  • Stand-up comedy shows
Edinburgh is famous for hosting some of the best comedy shows in the world. One of the best spots is The Stand, where you can catch free improvisations every Sunday afternoon.


  • Free walking tours
If you’ve just arrived in Edinburgh, the best way to explore the city is walking around. Sandeman’s tours offer free walking tours every day. The tour lasts around 3 hours and a guide will bring you to visit Edinburgh Castle, St. Giles Cathedral, the Grassmarket, the Hogwarts and more. Having a guide giving you an insight to the city and bring you around is a great opportunity to get to know the city and you may even get to make some friends!

  • Princes Street Gardens
If you want to escape the frenzy of the city, you can go hide yourself in the beautiful Princes Street Gardens. You and your friends could have a picnic there while enjoying the beautiful view of Edinburgh Castle.

  • Royal Botanic Gardens
These beautifully landscaped grounds are free in. There’s an admission fee only if you want to visit the Glasshouses, but the site is so vast, you’ll manage to enjoy most of its natural attractions for free. Must-do: go to the top of the Chinese rock garden to catch one of the best scenic views in Edinburgh ever!

  • Explore the city from the top!
On a nice sunny week-end, if you don’t want to move too far away from the city, you can go for a walk in Holyrood Park. The highest of this group of hills is Arthur’s Seat, an extinct volcano that can be reached easily in around an hour. Another hill from which you can admire a stunning view is Calton Hill, right in the city centre and close to Princes Street. The hill, with its beautiful Athenian acropolis at its top, is one of UNESCO heritage sites.

  • Go to the seaside!
Edinburgh is on the sea and if the weather is nice there’s nothing better and cheaper to do than going to the seaside! The most famous beach in Edinburgh is Portobello beach, the perfect place to relax and take a stroll along the seaside. This sandy beach is populated by loads of cafés and restaurants. Portobello also hosts one of the best markets in Edinburgh, the Portobello Market, where you can find local organic fruit and veggies, fish and much more. The market is held every first Saturday of the month from 9.30am to 1.30pm.

Not far from the city, 8 km north of Edinburgh, you can visit Cramond Seaside Village, famous for its promenade that links the inland to Cramond Island by a causeway. You can reach this picturesque village by bus or by ferry.

Eating out

If you want to grab a bite with your friends in a nice budget restaurant, you’ll have plenty of choices in Edinburgh. There's something to suit everyone's taste: Italian, Mexican, Thai, Scottish, French, etc. If you fancy some Indian food, one of Edinburgh students’ favourite is The Mosque Kitchen, close to the University of Edinburgh, where you can get a cheap curry. For a gourmet burger you and your friends could pop in the Red Squirrel, on the central Lothian Road, where you can choose from a range of 20 different burgers for under £10. Pig lovers can have a tasty hog roast in a roll in Oink! on Victoria Street, close to the castle. For a typically British meal, you can try some delicious pies in The Piemaker or sausage and mash in MUMs. Union of Genius is a popular spot among students and is famous for its soups. Illegal Jack’s and Tapa are the best choices for respectively tex-mex and tapas. All these places offer main courses for around £10.

We at Kangaroo Au Pair hope you enjoy your au pair placement in Edinburgh!

For more information on things to do and visit in Edinburgh, visit Scotland’s official tourist information website.

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