Official Guide to Edinburgh

How to Spend Valentine's Day in Edinburgh

09 February 2016

Whether you have been together for two days, two months, two years, or what feels like two lifetimes, we have collated a list of fabulous Valentine’s date locations in Edinburgh that will make your day extra special. From day dates to the more unusual experiences, make sure you treat your Valentine on the most romantic day of the year.

Day Date

Mary’s Milk Bar

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Mary’s Milk Bar takes its inspiration from the incredibly popular milk bars in Britain throughout the 1920s to 1960s. Cute for a day date, the Milk Bar prides itself on the unusual flavours and textures it has to offer.  With ice cream, chocolate and a castle view, it would be hard to get a Valentine’s date wrong in this wee gem. 

Top tip: Order a hot chocolate milk float on a chilly day, you will not regret it!

Mary's Milk Bar (website), 19 Grassmarket, Edinburgh, EH1 2HS

Dunbar Close Garden

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[© Sir Gawain / Wikimedia Commons]

This close just off the Royal Mile is where Robert Burns enjoyed wine and women. There are a handful of small independent coffee shops nearby to grab a cuppa then meet here in order to woo your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day. 

Cairngorm Coffee

Cairngorm Coffee Interior

This rustic yet modern coffee shop on Frederick Street ticks all the boxes. Their grilled cheese and chilli jam sandwiches are heavenly and their coffee is even better. The cosy, intimate atmosphere makes this a top place stop on a chilly Valentine’s Day.

Cairngorm Coffee (website), 41a Frederick St, Edinburgh EH2 1EP. Tel. 0131 629 1420

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Romantic Strolls

Calton Hill

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[Image Credit: Simon Williams Photography]

Calton Hill offers some of the best panoramic views of the city. Definitely worth the walk up the hill to be rewarded with a spectacular viewpoint over Edinburgh and its skyline – perfect place for a romantic wander this Valentine’s Day.

Sunrise on Arthur’s Seat

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[Image Credit: Visit Scotland]

Planned or unplanned – this will be one of the best things you will ever do in Edinburgh. The breath-taking sky will blow you away. Set your alarms, take a breakfast picnic and head to Arthur’s Seat for a very romantic start to your Valentine’s Day.

The Water of Leith

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For peace and tranquillity within the city centre, the Water of Leith is perfect for a gentle stroll. Despite being minutes away from the city’s hustle and bustle, you can feel like you are in the heart of the countryside.  Stop off in Stockbridge for a spot of lunch or enjoy a cocktail and dinner at the end of the walkway in one of Leith’s stylish bars and restaurants.

See more breathtaking outdoor spaces>

Dine with a view

The Tower Restaurant

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There are few restaurants with a more impressive setting than Edinburgh’s The Tower Restaurant. It cannot be missed with the combination of the outstanding scenery and a menu to die for. Above the landmark Museum of Scotland, The Tower Restaurant boasts a menu where Scottish produce is the main event with Isle of Skye lobsters and haggis from Dingwall to name a few delicious dishes. The Tower also offers Brunch, Lunch and Dinner menus, and even Afternoon Tea so you can find the perfect dining option for you and your partner!

The Tower Restaurant (website), National Museum Of Scotland, Chambers Street, Edinburgh EH1 1JF, Tel. 0131 225 3003

Twenty Princes Street

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This restaurant is tucked away, just up a flight of stairs off Princes Street. Complete with views of Edinburgh Castle, this idyllic setting and scrumptious menu is enough to woo your Valentine. Sip on a cocktail or two and nibble on any of their delicious treats from the Josper Grill, you will realise that Twenty’s definitely plenty on arguably the most romantic day of the year.

Twenty Princes Street (website), 20 Princes Street, Edinburgh EH2 2AN, Tel. 0131 652 7370


Valentine2 Chaophraya

A rooftop restaurant with a mouth-watering menu, Chaophraya has a brilliant atmosphere, infusing Thai cuisine with Edinburgh’s magnificent surroundings.  With ceiling to floor glass panels framing the restaurant’s dining area, the food and setting in the heart of Edinburgh’s city centre will astonish you.

Chaophraya (website), 4th Floor, 33 Castle Street, Edinburgh, EH2 3DN, Tel. 0131 226 7614

First Date venues


Valentine2 Dominion

Dominion is Edinburgh’s cosiest cinema. With seats that recline and small intimidate screenings, this friendly cinema and relaxing atmosphere is the place to have a cinema date in Edinburgh.

Top Tip: Make it a cinema and dinner date at one of the surrounding local restaurants. At least you can avoid any awkward silences by already having one thing in common – the movie!

Dominion Cinema (website), 18 Newbattle Terrace, Edinburgh EH10 4RT, Tel.0131 447 4771

Edinburgh Zoo

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Take a trip to see Edinburgh’s most notorious lovebirds –Tian Tian and Yang Guang! Between all the animal enclosures, talks and the Penguin Parade, there is enough to discuss on any first date. If you fancy a nibble, visit the one of the three dining venues the Zoo offers. 

Edinburgh Zoo (website) 134 Corstorphine Rd, Edinburgh EH12 6TS, Tel. 0131 334 9171

The Stand Comedy Club

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For a night filled with belly laughs, splitting sides and good food, you should look no further than The Stand Comedy Club. With shows running almost every day, it is the perfect date for those who are busy on Valentine’s Day and need an alternative night to celebrate.  Remember, they do say a couple that laughs together, stays together!

Top Tip: Get there early as seating is limited!

The Stand Edinburgh (website), 5 York Pl, Edinburgh EH1 3EB, Tel. 0131 558 7272

Unusual Experiences

Winter Astronomy Evenings at the Observatory

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The long, dark winter nights make a trip to Observatory an essential when stargazing is at its best. Using the Observatory's 8" and 10" Meades telescopes whereever possible, the observatory team will guide you through some of the night sky's most interesting sights, fromthe planets to nebule. You never know your romance could be written in the stars! Booking is essential. 

Royal Observatory (website), Blackford Hill View, Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh EH9 3HJ.

Please note: Winter Astronomy Evenings take place between October 2015 - April 2016 with weekly events on Friday evenings from 6.30pm - 7.30pm and 8pm - 9pm. Last winter session on April 29th 2016.

Camera Obscura and World of Illusions

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Edinburgh’s Camera Obscura and World of Illusions has been delighting and fascinating visitors for over 175 years. Whether you’re 22 or 62, Camera Obscura offers fun for couples of all ages. And you never know if the date goes well, you could get hitched by a robotic wedding machine all for the bargain price of £1.   

Top Tip: Take a visit up to their rooftop for incredible views over the city.

Camera Obscura and World of Illusions (website), Castlehill, The Royal Mile, EH1 2ND Edinburgh, Tel. 0131 226 3709

Mercat Tours - Sin in the City

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Edinburgh’s history is laced with tales of love, lust and passion – Sin in the City promises to reveal stories people probably would like left untold. Promising to shock, surprise and entertain, grab your Valentine’s hand on this one-off tour then enjoy a complimentary drink in the candle-lit underground cellar.

This special Valentine’s tour is running on Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th February with each tour lasting an hour and thirty minutes.  The meeting point is at Mercat Cross, High Street. Booking is essential, visit the Mercat website to sign up.