Alternative Date Ideas in Edinburgh
22 February 2022
- things to do
You want to spend some time with that special someone but sometimes the usual "movie and a meal" date format can get a little bit old.
Thankfully, Edinburgh has lots of great alternative date options so whether it's your first date or your twenty-first date, read on to discover some great days (or nights) out that are ideal for couples...
Get a breath of fresh air
With more than 100 parks, as well as more trees per head of population than any other city in the UK, nothing beats a wander around one of Edinburgh's beautiful green spaces.
Holyrood Park is a popular choice with both locals and visitors, with the mighty Arthurs Seat (an extinct volcano) and the Crags making for a suitably romantic backdrop.
However, if you fancy your backdrop less wild, the picture perfect Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh has beautiful landscaped grounds that change with the seasons, so whenever you go, you can be sure of a glorious botanical experience.
And for the perfect way to fill your lungs with fresh air, how about a trip to Edinburgh’s coastline. From Portobello’s 2 miles of award-winning sandy beach to Cramond island, with it’s WWII history, you’re never far from somewhere to stretch your legs and enjoy the beauty of Edinburgh’s coastline.
Immerse yourself in history
Edinburgh has a wealth of fascinating museums & attractions and you could easily spend days wandering around the world-class venues.
The National Museum of Scotland is an obvious choice, but for good reason - whether you’re interested in arts & crafts, wildlife or space exploration, there’s something to capture everyone’s imagination.
Take a wander down the historic Royal Mile and there’s no shortage of attractions that’ll leave you in awe of the city’s heritage. Starting at the top with the majestic Edinburgh Castle, where you can see the Honours of Scotland, the oldest crown jewels in the British Isles; to the Museum of Edinburgh, which is packed full of fascinating artefacts telling the story of the city. At the foot of the Mile is the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Queen's official residence in Edinburgh and the home of Scottish royal history.
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Or make your loved one’s heart sing with a trip to St Cecilia’s Hall: Concert Room and Music Museum. With over 400 objects across four stunning galleries, including musical instruments dating back to the 16th century along, it’ll hit the right note.
How to make their heart skip a beat? For something a bit different, Surgeons' Hall Museums are perfect for anybody fascinated by the wonders of the human body.
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Have a chuckle at The Stand Comedy Club
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Edinburgh is famous for being a hub of new comedy talent during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, but did you know there are fresh new comedians performing all year round at The Stand Comedy Club? This institution has a reputation of showcasing the rising stars of comedy and a live stand up show is a great alternative to more traditional date nights.
Become a gin/whisky/beer connoisseur
Whether you’re a whisky, gin, rum or beer fan, or simply interested in the magical science behind the process of brewing and distilling, there are numerous places in the city you can visit as part of a guided tour (and sample a few glasses!)
The first exclusive gin distillery to be established in Edinburgh for over 150 years, Pickering's Gin is based is based on an original 1947 recipe. Get an insight into how small batch gin is made with Gin Jolly Tour. For just £25.00 per person, it’s an hour of pure gin pleasure.
Situated next to Holyrood Park, Holyrood Distillery opened in 2019 and the 180-year-old railway goods building has been thoughtfully renovated as both a whisky and gin distillery. As such, they have a number of tempting tours to choose from, covering all interests and tastes.
If beer is your go-to drink, at Cold Town House visitors get the chance to go behind the scenes at this city-centre microbrewery, find out how Cold Town Beer is made and follow the process from pipes to tap. Led by a member of their expert brewing team, this is a great opportunity to ask all those questions you’ve ever had about the magical process of brewing.
Uncover Edinburgh's dark side
Hang onto your loved one!
From terrifying tours of Edinburgh’s underground vaults to a theatrical ghost tour round the city on a 1960’s black double-decker bus, if you’re looking for ways to get your heart racing, Edinburgh has several attractions that are perfect for an alternative date night.
The only walking tour company with access to the 18th century Blair Street Underground Vaults, join Mercat Tours on their Ghostly Underground Tour and hear tales of mischief-makers, murderers, vagrants and torturers.
With a mixture of live actors, theatrical sets and thrilling rides, Edinburgh Dungeon is the ultimate underground journey through Edinburgh's darkest history. Hang onto your seats as you meet some unsavoury characters, all of whom have mischief on their minds. From graverobbers Burke & Hare, who’d just love to get their hands on you; to the Torturer, who’s always on the lookout for 'volunteers'’ to test his implements on - a trip here is packed with scary fun!
Or strap yourself in for a comedy-horror theatre experience on wheels as the Ghost Bus Tours treats you to some quirky horror stories, all while travelling through Edinburgh’s historic streets.
Fan of dark and sinister stories? Head to our guide to Edinburgh's Haunted Past for some spine-chilling tales….
From exhibitions & festivals to tours & talks, there’s always an array of great events taking place in Edinburgh – find more on our What’s On page >