The very best 12 nightlife spots in Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Welcome to Edinburgh, the city that proves that haggis isn't the only thing that Scotland has in abundance! Get ready to paint the town tartan with this guide to the twelve best nightlife spots in Edinburgh. From cozy pubs where even the ghosts know your name to hipster hideouts that serve cocktails only a unicorn could dream of, this city has something for every nocturnal adventurer. So grab your kilt and let's dive into the wild, whimsical and whisky-infused nights that await you in the heart of bonny Scotland!

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1. Panda & Sons

4.7 (1827)

79 Queen St, Edinburgh EH2 4NF, UK

Welcome to Panda & Sons in the marvelous city of Edinburgh, where one can enjoy more than just a delightful wildlife encounter. This hidden gem will deceive you with its inconspicuous facade, cleverly disguised as an old barber shop. But the secret is out: beyond the barbershop lies an enchanting world of mixology wonders, as if a panda had decided to try its tiny paw at crafting delectable cocktails. Step into this speakeasy oasis, furnished with vintage trinkets and an ambiance that transports you to a lush, pseudo-1920s era. The bartenders, clad in suspenders and handlebar mustaches, wield their shaking and stirring instruments with the finesse of a tightrope-walking panda—sorry, mixologist—and will craft you a cocktail that will leave your taste buds dancing on their own private cloud. So come, fellow adventurers, and embrace the playful secret that Panda & Sons offers; a sanctuary of mixology expertise, delightful atmosphere, and perhaps the only place where you'll be urged to order a drink without fear of panda-monium.

www.pandaandsons.com

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2. The Bow Bar

4.6 (2021)

80 W Bow, Edinburgh EH1 2HH, UK

Tucked away on bustling West Bow Street, lies the charming Bow Bar - a humble sanctuary for whisky enthusiasts and aficionados alike. Its unassuming facade might make you pass it by, but trust me, friend, this place is a hidden gem that'll make you weak at the knees. With an impressive selection of amber nectar, from the peatiest of Islays to the smoothest Speysides, this cozy joint will have you pondering life's questions over a dram or two, as well as whether to just move in permanently because, let's be honest, who needs a mortgage when you have whisky?

www.thebowbar.co.uk

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3. The Devil's Advocate

4.5 (3350)

9 Advocate's Cl, Edinburgh EH1 1ND, UK

Welcome to The Devil's Advocate, situated at the heart of Edinburgh, where temptation lurks in every glass! Step inside this devilishly charming establishment and prepare to be seduced by its wickedly impressive collection of spirits. This cozy underground hideaway offers a sinful escape from the bustling streets above, leaving you no choice but to surrender to its beguiling blend of world-class whiskies, devilish cocktails, and delectable bites. Immerse yourself in the mysterious ambiance of this quirky joint, lovingly crafted to resemble a sacrilegious celebration of fine beverages. With its dimly lit interiors, you'll feel like you're sipping elixirs in the devil's very own snug lair. Passionate staff members, well-versed in the art of temptation, are ready to indulge every wicked desire, guiding you through an array of deviously delightful concoctions. The Devil's Advocate is a haven for the adventurous palate, luring both whisky aficionados and daring cocktail enthusiasts alike. From fiery, smoky drams that'll make you swear on St. Andrew, to their playful signature cocktails that pack a powerful punch, you'll find yourself grinning like a mischievous imp with every sip. So, whether you're seeking an alluring respite from the Scottish rain or simply a place to revel in guilty pleasures, make sure to pay a visit to The Devil's Advocate - where libations are as wickedly delightful as the devil himself!

devilsadvocateedinburgh.co.uk

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4. The Jazz Bar

4.6 (1849)

1a Chambers St, Edinburgh EH1 1HR, UK

Nestled in the heart of Edinburgh, like a well-groomed jazz musician with a snazzy hat, The Jazz Bar is where music-loving souls find artistic solace. The moment you step into this cozy den, the sultry notes of jazz gently tickle your eardrums, transforming your surroundings into an improvised symphony of enchantment. Sip on your beverage of choice and let your body groove to the rhythm, making it absolutely impossible to resist the urge to snap your fingers and pretend you're part of a black-and-white movie scene.

www.thejazzbar.co.uk

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5. The Dome

4.6 (7157)

14 George St, Edinburgh EH2 2PF, UK

Welcome to The Dome, Edinburgh's answer to the architectural equivalent of a flamboyant peacock strutting its stuff. This exquisite building, likely to induce extreme bouts of neck-craning, boasts a dome so grand it probably makes Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel envious. Inside, you'll feel like you're sashaying through a majestic ballroom, only to realize you're desperately searching for the restroom whilst trying not to knock over a priceless chandelier.

www.thedomeedinburgh.com

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6. The Last Word Saloon

4.8 (313)

44 St Stephen St, Edinburgh EH3 5AL, UK

Nestled snugly in the heart of Edinburgh lies The Last Word Saloon, a sanctuary for both whisky connoisseurs and enthusiastic adventurers. With an interior that feels like stepping into a cozy embrace, this cheekily named establishment has mastered the art of balancing refined elegance with a jovial atmosphere. Whether you're a novice or a veteran in the world of whiskies, the charismatic bartenders will regale you with tales of distillery mishaps while expertly guiding you through their extensive menu of golden-hued delights.

www.lastwordsaloon.com

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7. The Hanging Bat

4.5 (2449)

133 Lothian Rd, Edinburgh EH3 9AB, UK

Nestled in the heart of Edinburgh, The Hanging Bat awaits like a mischievous bat in daylight, ready to charm your tastebuds with its quirky beers and tantalizing grub. Feast your eyes upon an enchanting array of craft beers, tactfully curated to suit all palates, from the hop-obsessed aficionado to those merely curious about beer beyond the usual pints. With its charmingly dim-lit ambiance and an atmosphere so cozy it could embrace you tighter than your ex, The Hanging Bat guarantees a memorable time, leaving you begging for more of its bewitching delights.

thehangingbat.com

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8. The Bon Vivant

4.6 (664)

55 Thistle St, Edinburgh EH2 1DY, UK

Nestled in the enchanting city of Edinburgh lies The Bon Vivant, a lively and charismatic establishment that promises to bewitch your taste buds and elevate your merrymaking game. With an ambiance that effortlessly blends chic sophistication with rustic charm, this gem will have you wondering if you've stumbled into a whimsical alternate universe. The creative cocktail menu is guaranteed to tickle your fancy, or perhaps your pickle, featuring concoctions named after literary characters, Scottish folklore, and the secrets whispered by tipsy unicorns.

www.bonvivantedinburgh.co.uk

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9. BrewDog Edinburgh

4.4 (2862)

143 Cowgate, Edinburgh EH1 1JS, UK

Tucked away in the heart of Edinburgh's vibrant streets, BrewDog Edinburgh is where hop-headed dreams come to life. With its eclectic mix of retro-industrial decor and a beer selection that could make even Shakespeare raise an eyebrow, this hipster haven promises an experience that's as refreshing as a Scottish rain shower. Grab a pint, strike up a conversation with a bearded local, and savor the flavors that will make you say, "Bagpipes, this is brew-tiful!"

www.brewdog.com

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10. The Royal Dick

4.5 (700)

1, Summerhall, Newington, Edinburgh EH9 1PL, UK

Nestled in the heart of Edinburgh's enchanting setting, The Royal Dick stands tall like a majestic unicorn amongst the city's quirky attractions. Once a veterinary school that tended to animals in need, it now boasts a vibrant gastropub that caters to humans seeking a delightful watering hole. Step inside this whimsical kingdom where funky art adorns the walls and you just might find yourself sipping the elixir of laughter while swapping tall tales with fellow travelers.

www.summerhall.co.uk

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11. The Blackbird

4.3 (1062)

37-39 Leven St, Edinburgh EH3 9LH, UK

Nestled in the heart of Edinburgh, The Blackbird welcomes you with open wings and a warm beak, ready to chirp the sweet tunes of Scottish hospitality. This cozy pub is a hidden treasure for those seeking a delightful escape from the bustling city streets. With its charming décor, hearty pub grub, and fine selection of liquid delights, The Blackbird is sure to tickle your feathers and leave you squawking for more!

theblackbirdedinburgh.co.uk

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12. Bramble

4.7 (798)

16A Queen St, Edinburgh EH2 1JE, UK

Nestled amidst the delightful chaos of Edinburgh's winding streets, Bramble stands tall as an oasis of artful indulgence. Step into this whimsical cocktail haven and let its quirky charms tickle your fancy. With its dimly lit interior, exuding an air of clandestine intrigue, you might just find yourself whispering secrets to the imaginative mixologists behind the bar, as they concoct drinks that will make your taste buds dance an impromptu jig.

www.bramblebar.co.uk

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How to get there

Plane

The best way to get to Edinburgh by plane is to fly into Edinburgh Airport, which is located approximately 8 miles from the city center, with many major airlines such as British Airways, EasyJet, and Ryanair offering direct flights from a range of cities around the world.

Car

Driving to Edinburgh is a great option for those who prefer to travel at their own pace or are traveling with a lot of luggage. You can reach Edinburgh by taking the M8 motorway, which connects the city to Glasgow and other major cities in the region.

Train

The most convenient way to travel to Edinburgh by train is to catch a train to Edinburgh Waverley station, which is located in the heart of the city center and is well connected to the rest of the UK. Trains are available from a range of cities including London, Manchester, and Birmingham.

Boat

If you're traveling from Europe, taking a ferry to Rosyth in Fife is a great option. From there, you can easily reach Edinburgh by car, bus, or train. DFDS Seaways operates a direct ferry service from Zeebrugge, Belgium to Rosyth.

Bus

The best way to get to Edinburgh by bus is to take a coach from Edinburgh Bus Station, which is located just a short walk from the city center. A variety of coach companies, including National Express and Scottish Citylink, provide direct services from various cities across the UK.

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