Edinburgh Nightlife

The nightlife scene in Edinburgh is vibrant—whatever you're looking for, you'll most certainly find it here, and you won't have to go far. Expect old-style pubs as well as cutting-edge bars and clubs. Live music pours out of many watering holes on weekends, particularly folk, blues, and jazz. Well-known artists perform at some of the larger venues.

Edinburgh's 400-odd pubs are a study in

themselves. In the eastern and northern districts of the city you can find some grim, inhospitable-looking places that proclaim that drinking is no laughing matter. But throughout Edinburgh many pubs have deliberately traded in their old spit-and-sawdust images for atmospheric revivals of the warm, oak-paneled, leather-chaired howffs of a more leisurely age. Most pubs and bars are open weekdays and Saturday from 11 am to midnight, and from 12:30 to midnight on Sunday.

The List and The Skinny carry the most up-to-date details about cultural events. The List is available at newsstands throughout the city, while The Skinny is free and can be picked up at a number of pubs, clubs, and shops around town. The Herald and Scotsman newspapers are good for reviews and notices of upcoming events throughout Scotland.

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Edinburgh Nightlife

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  • Bars/Pubs

A handsome Victorian-era island bar serves an ever-changing selection of real ales at the Abbotsford. ...

Black Bo's

  • Bars/Pubs

One of the coziest places in town, Black Bo's has a decent selection of beers from around the world, vegetarian nibbles, and an eclectic...

Blue Blazer

  • Bars/Pubs

This cozy, dark-wood bar has a top-notch selection of real ales, 50 malt whiskies, and 75 rums, all of which are enjoyed by a friendly,...

Bond No 9

  • Bars/Pubs

This stylish bar with hidden corners specializes in cool cocktails and exotic liquors, including absinthe. There's also excellent bistro...

Bongo Club

  • Dance Clubs

The bohemian Bongo Club stagess indie, rockabilly, dub and techno gigs, as well as various club and comedy nights. ...


  • Bars/Pubs

You could easily miss this basement bar on Queen Street—look for a spray-painted sign below a clothing alteration shop. Friendly barmen,...

CC Blooms

  • Bars/Pubs

Modern and colorful, CC Blooms plays a mix of musical styles. Open nightly, it's been a mainstay on the gay scene since the early '90s.

Cabaret Voltaire

  • Dance Clubs

This vaulted ceilings of this subterranean club reverberates with music most nights. You'll find everything from cheesy raves to cutting-edge...

Café Royal Circle Bar

  • Bars/Pubs

Famed for its atmospheric Victorian interiors—think ornate stucco, etched mirrors, tiled murals, stained glass, and leather booths—the...

Cameo Bar

  • Bars/Pubs

Backing onto the Water of Leith, the bright and airy Cameo Bar serves decent pub food and has big screens popular for sporting events.


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