English

Homestay Accommodation in Edinburgh

Airbnb
Book a room in a private home or apartment online

Quick booking, amazing choices

Edlets
Book short term, self-catering rooms in private homes

Easy self-catering booking, the agency finds a room for you

Alba English School Homestay
Book a homestay through your English school

Easy booking, your school chooses for you

Homestay.com
Book your own homestay family online

Quick booking, your own choice of family and location

Student Residence
Book studio apartments or en-suite rooms in shared apartments online

Easy booking, your own space and freedom

Flatshare
Find short or long term rooms in shared flats

Usually the cheapest option

Airbnb

Book a room in a private home or apartment online - Quick booking, amazing choices

Airbnb is a website where normal people rent out spare rooms in their house (or rent whole apartments). It is extremely popular in Europe, the US and over the world with around 100 million nights booked a year.
Location ★★★★★ Varies with price but you can choose the location you want to stay
Comfort ★★★★★ Check the reviews for each listing but usually excellent standards.
Freedom ★★★★✰ There will be “house rules” to agree to but they are usually flexible with coming and going.
Easy Booking ★★★★✰ It can be in your own language (probably). It takes a few minutes to set up your profile
Speaking English ★✰✰✰✰
to
★★★★★
Some hosts will talk a lot, other hosts you won’t see at all. Read the “interaction with guests” section.
Availability ★★★★✰ Usually plenty of availability (except in August). But booking early can mean a great price!
Price Varies
£££ to £££££
You could try asking for a discount if you are staying longer term. The cheapest prices are for listings out of the city centre, in low-season, with no reviews yet or book far in advance.

When searching on Airbnb…

- use the “Filters” for your dates, home type and price

- “Private room” is usually cheaper than “Entire place”

- use the map to find somewhere close to the school. Search Homes → Causewayside, Newington Edinburgh

- read the “interaction with guests” section to find out how much you will see them

To message an Airbnb host, you could write…

Hello Mary,
I am and Italian student coming to Edinburgh to study English at Alba English School in the Newington area. Your place would be really convenient for me. Will I be able to use the kitchen?
Thank you and look forward to hearing from you!
Maria

Are you new to Airbnb? Use this link to sign up to get £25 off your first Airbnb booking and a £15 discount from your Alba English course.

SIGN UP FOR AIRBNB

Click this link to search for Airbnb listings in walking distance of Alba English School (Newington Area).

Click this link to search for cheaper Airbnb listings a short bus ride from the school.

Edlets

Book short term, self-catering rooms in private homes - Easy self-catering booking, the agency finds a room for you

Edlets is a local company that finds rooms or apartments in Edinburgh for short-term tourist, business or student visitors. They are friendly and helpful and often cheaper than Airbnb with excellent reviews.
Location ★★★★✰ Choose the approximate area you want to stay.
Comfort ★★★★★ Check the reviews for each listing but usually high standards. Most are in quiet areas, not far from the city centre.
Freedom ★★★★✰ The host will probably have some house rules.
Easy Booking ★★★★★ Online, email or by phone.
Tell them your details and they give you options and prices in about 24 hours.
Speaking English ★★✰✰✰
to
★★★★★
This varies from house to house.
Availability ★★★★✰ They usually have availability but book in advance for August. 
Price Varies
£££
Often cheaper than Airbnb

Contact Edlets with…

- the dates you want to stay

- the location (say “walk or easy bus ride to Newington” to be closer to Alba English)

- your maximum price (or you can ask for the lowest cost room)

- your name, age, gender and nationality

Example:

Dear Edlets,
I am coming to do an English course at Alba English School in Edinburgh. I am looking for a room from Sunday 7th April – Saturday 11th May. I want to be as close to Alba English School as possible (walk or easy bus ride to Newington) and I need to be able to use the kitchen. I would like the lowest price possible. I am a student, am 25 years old and from Spain. What options do you have?
Many thanks,
Mario

Send Edlets a message or call them on +441315100020

Click here to book short term accommodation with Edlets.

Alba English School Homestay Accommodation

Book a homestay through your English school – Easy booking, your school chooses for you

Only available for Alba English students studying 16 hours or more per week.

Staying with a homestay family or individual is a great way of practising your English. You can choose from Half-Board (including 6 breakfasts and 6 evening meals per week) or self-catering with use of kitchen.
Location ★★★✰✰ Homestays are usually in quiet residential areas. Close to the school when possible but the maximum distance is 40 minutes by bus and the homes are close to public transport.
Comfort ★★★★✰ They are homes, not hotels. But the school visits the homestay to check it is a suitable place to stay.
Freedom ★★★✰✰ You should follow the routine of the family (e.g. dinner at 6pm).
Easy Booking ★★★★★ The school books for you.
Speaking English ★★★★★ Homestay hosts will help you to practice your English, especially if you eat dinner together. Hosts have their own work, family and social life so they will not always be at home.
Availability ★★★✰✰ Can be limited so book early!
Price ££ Usually a good value option. Click here for prices.

When staying in an Alba English School homestay…

- your room will have a bed and clothes storage

- you should be able to use the washing machine once a week – ask your host if they will do it for you or you should do it yourself

- study space will be provided (either a desk in your room or a living room/kitchen

- there is free Wi-Fi

- bed linen is provided

- you should do your best to fit into the routine of your host family

- kitchen use may be limited (i.e. not after 9pm)

- your host will clean your room but you should keep it neat and tidy

- there is usually a shared bathroom for the home. You should ask the best time to take your shower. A private bathroom can be provided for an extra charge (limited availability)

- we may use an external accommodation agency to allocate students with host families during high season

Homestay Accommodation with Homestay.com 

Book your own homestay family online - Quick booking, your own choice of family and location

Staying with a homestay family or local person is a great way of practising your English and on Homestay.com you can choose your own family.
Location ★★★★✰ Homestays are usually in quiet residential areas but on Homestay.com you can choose it.
Comfort ★★★★★ Check the reviews and photos but the standards are usually very high.
Freedom ★★★✰✰ The host will probably have some house rules.
Easy Booking ★★★★★ It takes a few minutes to set up your profile.
Speaking English ★★★★★ Homestay hosts will help you to practice your English.
Availability ★★★★✰ Can be limited so book early!
Price £££ Can be cheaper than Airbnb

When searching on Homestay.com…

- use the map to find homestays near Alba English School (Newington area, Edinburgh)

Here is an example of how you can introduce yourself:

Hi Mary,
I am a Korean student coming to Edinburgh to study English at Alba English School in the Newington area. Your place would be really convenient for me.
Thank you and look forward to hearing from you!
Ji-Yoo

Click this link to find Edinburgh homestays close to the school on Homestay.com

Student Residence 

Book studio apartments or en-suite rooms in shared apartments online - Easy booking, your own space and freedom

Student Residences are modern and comfortable apartment blocks with individual en-suite rooms and a shared kitchen or studio apartments with your own small kitchen. You can usually stay for a few weeks in the summer or longer for the academic year (approximately September - June). They are usually more expensive than homestays or shared flats. 
Location ★★★★★ They are usually in the city centre. 
Comfort ★★★★★ There is usually a very high standard of comfort and cleanliness. 
Freedom ★★★★★ You can usually come and go when you please.
Easy Booking ★★★★★ Usually online.
Speaking English ★★★★✰ Student Residences often have common areas where you can meet people – but you need to be proactive and start the conversation!
Availability ★★★✰✰ Usually up to 30 days in the summer (although you could book two places for 30 days each). From September - June you often need to stay for 9 months - but they sometimes have short term availability so contact them to ask.  
Price £££££ If you don’t mind staying in a dorm, it is probably the cheapest option. You will usually have to pay a deposit of approximately a weeks' rent. 

Student Castle is closest to Alba English School (only a two minute walk). Their studio apartments have en-suite bathrooms, ktichenettes with cooking utensils, towns and bedding. There is also a gym, common room and bicycle storage/hire. Check short term availability at www.studentcastle-shortstay.co.uk and longer term (academic year September to June) availabillity at www.studentcastle.co.uk//edinburgh.

Unite Students have 5 Student Residences in the City Centre. Check short term availability. 

For summer residence accommodation go to Destiny Student Accommodation or Edinburgh First.  

For Student Residence portal websites with listings of students residences try Casita.com or UniversityRooms.com

Find a flat share on Gumtree or Facebook

Find short or long term rooms in shared flats - Usually the cheapest option

Finding a room to rent on Gumtree/Facebook can take time, but you can find a room in a flat with other young people rather than living with a family.
Location ★★★★★ Lots of locations to choose from.
Comfort ★✰✰✰✰
to
★★★★★
Depends on where you choose.
Flexibility ★★★★✰ There will be “house rules” to agree to.
Easy Booking ★★✰✰✰ You will need to email or text to arrange.
Speaking English ★★★★★ This depends on the flat you choose. Try to find a flat with sociable flatmates that don’t speak your language!
Availability ★★★✰✰ Depends on the time of year. July, August, September and October are the most difficult months (because of the summer festival and students starting their course).
Price Varies
£
Probably the cheapest option. Remember that you will probably need to pay a deposit (that you should get back when you leave).

Facebook groups are a great place to look for rooms.

Public Groups

Edinroom

Edinburgh Housing, Room & Flat Share

Rooms, Houses, Flats for Rent in EDINBURGH

Edinburgh Rent/buy/sell a room,flat or house

Closed Groups

Edinburgh: Rooms and Flatmates Offered/Wanted

Gumtree is the most popular website to find a spare room.

Short term rooms to rentin Edinburgh

Longer term rooms to rent: near Alba English all Edinburgh

A good idea is to set up an alert so you get an email when there is a new post.

Here are 3 really useful articles:

How to find a room or flat in Edinburgh when you come from another country (Reddit article)

Over 30 questions to ask when you visit a flat (Alba Blog article)

How to avoid rental scams - important!

Alba English School makes no profit from accommodation except the £50 Arrangement Fee for Alba Homestay Accommodation. We have tried to be as impartial as possible but let us know if you think something on this page can be improved.