Edinburgh – a picture perfect city

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From the historical buildings to the views of Arthurs Seat, photography student Ili from Singapore believes Edinburgh is picture perfect.  

Moving to Edinburgh

When I first moved to Edinburgh, I was mesmerised by the beautiful city. Coming all the way from Singapore to study in a place I hadn’t been before was scary for me. Before moving here I did my research and I fell in love with the pictures of Edinburgh. Now as a student at Edinburgh Napier University I'm really happy and thankful that I decided to study here.

Picture perfect

As a photography student, Edinburgh is definitely the place to be. From the historical buildings, beautiful hills, calm views of the ocean, busy streets and friendly people, it’s easy for me to capture good photographs. I remember when I first came to Edinburgh in September 2016 for my first assignment as part of my landscape photography module I chose to capture photos of Arthur’s Seat from Calton Hill. Although I had to climb up Calton Hill about seven times or more, I never got bored of it. Not once. It is tiring but it is worth the walk up!

Image of Arthurs Seat

View of Arthur's Seat

and relax..

One of my favourite pastimes is to go on walks with my friends around Edinburgh. It was during the 2017 summer break that I discovered so many interesting places around Edinburgh. I moved to Leith walk, rented a place with another two friends from the same university, Edinburgh Napier and this was when I realised that there is a lot more to Edinburgh than what is in the city centre. Since it’s about a 20-minute walk from my flat I spent a lot of my time walking around Ocean Terminal shopping centre. There is so much to see including the beautiful canal and water of Leith. It’s so peaceful early in the morning and it’s nice to sit and breathe in the fresh morning air with the opportunity to capture beautiful photos. 

Evening image of The Water of Leith

The Water of Leith Canal


I have to say Edinburgh always looks good no matter the weather. When I first came, all my friends kept saying that it always rains in Edinburgh. Surprisingly, since I moved here I have experienced more sun than rain and the rain is unnoticeable when Edinburgh is so beautiful.

The recent snow in Edinburgh has been my favourite. I love how white the city looks! Coming from a tropical country like Singapore I get really excited when it snows. I have always admired it in online photographs or on my friends’ social media accounts.

"Now, I have my own set of photos to admire. This will be a memory I keep dearly!"


Ili walking along Princes Street in the snow.
Two student enjoy the snow in Edinburgh.

Ocean views

One of my favourite places in Edinburgh that I keep visiting is Western Harbour, especially the lighthouse. I went to watch the sunrise and I have been going there with different groups of people ever since. I love how it’s not crowded and you can experience the amazing views of the ocean. Sometimes when I get really tired of assignments, all I need is peace and quiet and a nice view to calm down. My friends from university definitely agree with this! We always ask one another to hang out at nice places and when we are tired of working on university work, we hang out and chill.


Second home

"Edinburgh is perfect for me"

Honestly, it’s safe to say I can’t get enough of Edinburgh. There are a number of places that are still on my list that are still to be ticked off to visit in Edinburgh. I’ve never regretted my decision to study here. Especially as a student studying photography, Edinburgh is perfect for me. Feel free to follow me on my social media accounts to find out more about my student life in Edinburgh. I am @ilinadhirah & @ili.n on Instagram. 

Be warned, I always upload lots of pictures!


Get in touch with Ili or our helpful International Team to find out about student life, our courses or how to apply.

Ili from Singapore is in her third year of a BA (Honours) Photography course at Edinburgh Napier University.

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