10 of the most stress-inducing things about Edinburgh
Edinburgh skyline

Not to blow our own horn, but Edinburgh’s been ranked – once again – as one of the best places to live in the UK, thanks to high wages, low crime rates and fast broadband.

That being said, those of us who are lucky enough to live here already know that there are a few things that can raise residents’ blood pressure at times…

1. August

It’s the month Edinburgh natives dread the most – sure, there’s loads of world-class shows to see, but there’s also a deluge of tourists to avoid, and queues in every bar in town, and inevitable mark-ups in all our favourite places to eat.

2. Navigating Princes Street

Never mind August when this thoroughfare is a total no-go zone, but trying to navigate your way down Princes Street at any time of the year is a nightmare. Why are there so many tourists, and why are they walking so slowly? The street just isn’t wide enough for everyone to get along in harmony – what it really needs is to make like New York and get a fast lane installed, just for locals.

3. Blooming bus stops

So, the bus system in Edinburgh is fantastic – but why does everyone feel the need to wait in line for the bus? There’s no way of knowing who’s waiting for what bus, so standing in a queue is an utterly futile task – but be so bold as to wait outwith the queue (say, in the bus shelter – since it’s Edinburgh and invariably raining) and you’ll be met with glares from everyone patiently waiting in line. Sigh.

4. Resident rodents

How can a city so beautiful be so full of vermin? Thanks to Edinburgh’s historic old buildings, there’s very little chance of living somewhere without mice. But it makes for a pretty stressful existence, wondering whether you’ll wake up to a half-eaten loaf of bread, mouse droppings on the kitchen counter – or even worse…

5. Trying to find a cab at 3am

Our #taxi looking amazing on the streets of #Edinburgh

A photo posted by City Cabs (Edinburgh) Ltd (@citycabsedin) on

When you’re on a night out and clock-watching because you know there’s no chance of you getting a cab after 2.30am, you know there’s a serious problem with the city you live in. Where do all the taxis go after a certain hour? We get that there’s a high demand for folks wanting to get home after a drink or two, but in most cases it’d be quicker – and, depressingly, cheaper – to just walk home.

6. Depressingly expensive drinks

It’s lucky we don’t need to catch cabs that often – when drinks prices are as high as they are in Edinburgh, it’s a rare month when we can afford to go out more than once. Order two pints in the majority of city centre establishments, and you’re unlikely to get much change from a tenner. Sure, there are cheaper places to hit up, but then, they’re so packed, you can barely get to the bar. Your choice.

7. Rocketing rent

Compared to Glasgow over in the west, the cost of rent in Edinburgh is extortionate – and usually for much smaller flats. It’s certainly stress-inducing realising that half of your hard earned cash every month is going on a pokey room in a pokey flat, when you could be getting much more bang for your buck elsewhere – but then, you’d be elsewhere and not in Edinburgh. It’s a catch-22.

8. Futile flat-hunting

Dealing with costly rent is something you only need to think about once you’ve actually found a place to live – and that can be a mission and a half in itself. We’re not sure what it is about the city, but it’s near impossible to find a flat – as soon as they’re advertised, they seem to be snapped up.

9. Cycling in the city


A photo posted by Colin Moore (@777cosmo) on

From sharing cycle lanes with buses to the aforementioned tourists stepping out in front of you bike, there’s no doubt that Edinburgh has to be one of the most stressful cities to traverse on two wheels. With few provisions for cyclists in the city centre, every journey by bike feels like it could be your last – and that’s not to mention the hills you’ll have to cycle up on a daily basis. Just remember, what goes up must come down…

10. Dire driving conditions

What should be a 20 minute commute from one end of the city to the other can often turn into a forty minute journey (or more) thanks to endless roadworks across Edinburgh. Between the roadworks and the prevalence of buses on Princes Street, trying to make a journey by car has to be one of the most stress-inducing things about living in Edinburgh. It’s no wonder, really, that those taxis are few and far between…

What stresses you out most about living and working in Edinburgh? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter

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Main image: Stuart Cale / Flickr / CC