Rooftop view of Edinburgh Castle from the West end

Night-time activities

Make the most of every minute. Edinburgh’s nightlife sparkles with a full schedule of things to see and do as the clock approaches midnight – and beyond.

Nights out in Edinburgh can be as vibrant or as gentle as you wish, with the city taking on a wonderful atmosphere. Discover some of the best ways to get your evening entertainment hit in Edinburgh.

Experience Edinburgh at night

Unique places to dine

Timberyard Restaurant

From fine dining to fast food, international cuisine to comfort eats, Edinburgh is a foodies paradise.

With 17th century oak panelling, stunning interiors and equally exciting food, The Witchery at the top of the Royal Mile is something special. Slouchy seating, woodburning stove and chunky wooden tables all add to the homely atmosphere of Timberyard.

The cosy rustic-chic atmosphere of Origano Cafe & Pizzeria in Leith is the perfect place to enjoy mouth-watering bowls of pasta and gourmet pizza, while the stone walls adorned with Scottish art are a lovely setting in which to enjoy the fresh, seasonal dishes at Howies Victoria Street.

Find more unique places to feed your belly and soul in our Guide to Food and Drink in Edinburgh

Cosy bars and beer gardens

Cold Town Beer House

Classic cocktails, aged whiskies, exciting gins or crafted beers – whatever your favourite tipple, the city has a bar to suit you.

With the look of a vintage barbershop, Panda & Sons has an excellent range of high-quality gins. Fan of an espresso martini? The Raging Bull stock six variations! If it’s bold décor as well as an original range of cocktails you’re seeking, Paradise Palms should be on your must-visit list.

For something a bit different, why not trying brewing your own magical concoction at The Cauldron or check out the monster range of cocktails at the gothic themed, Frankenstein.

For a relaxing pint, Brauhaus in Tollcross has a huge range of craft and imported beers to choose from, The Stockbridge Tap has a daily rotation of craft beers from all over the UK, while The Hanging Bat is dedicated to serving the very best UK beer.

If you’re looking to try a nip of Scotland’s national drink, the options are plenty. Housed in an old Victorian pump house, The Devil’s Advocate has over 200 whiskies to choose from. The Albanach has over 220 malt whiskies includes several single cask bottlings and a large selection of rare malts and at The Bow Bar you can enjoy the cosy atmosphere while experiencing their extensive whisky list.

Admittingly, the weather may not always play ball in Edinburgh, but when it does, there’s several beer gardens where you enjoy a tasty tipple while taking in the city views.

In the Grassmarket area, the rooftop bar of Cold Town House has unapparelled views of Edinburgh Castle. The equally popular Beehive Inn may look small, but outside you’ll find a large beer garden, perfect for relaxing as the sun sets.

Popular student hangouts, The Pear Tree and The Three Sisters both boast large outdoor spaces, while over at The Royal Dick you can enjoy a pint in what was once the home of the Dick Vet School. Make your way over to Leith and Teuchter’s Landing has a lovely terrace on the edge of the water.

Explore our favourite bars and pubs in our Guide to Edinburgh’s Bars 

World renowned theatre

Classical concert at Usher Hall.

From drama and tragedy to dance and music, a night at one of Edinburgh’s renowned theatres is sure to be a night to remember.

Theatre goers can choose from a raft of top class city centre venues and are sure to find a play, musical or performance to suit their tastes. Choose from The King’s TheatreFestival TheatreRoyal Lyceum Theatre EdinburghTraverse Theatre or Edinburgh Playhouse – all of which provide a truly astounding theatrical experience.

(The King’s Theatre is currently closed for refurbishment. Keep an eye on their website for opening updates). 

Did you know that Edinburgh is home to one of the oldest theatres in Scotland, or that one of the city’s concert halls has hosted the Eurovision Song Contest? Discover more in The History Behind Edinburgh’s Theatres

Spectacular live music 

Connect Music Festival Crowd
Image credit Ryan Buchanan

Edinburgh nightlife gyrates from hip-hop, techno and soul to jazz and blues and folk music. The city certainly vibrates to a beat that will hit the mark with music and dance lovers of all genres. 

Check out The Usher Hall or The Queen’s Hall for world class concerts and cracking gigs or Cabaret VoltaireShanghai ClubLulu or the Edinburgh Folk Club for an eclectic mix to get you dancing. 

Whether you want to be entertained in one of the city’s bars, clubs or renowned large scale venues, find all the info you need in our guide to Live Music in Edinburgh

Magical movies

Everyman Edinburgh

Want to catch the latest blockbuster, or one of cinema’s classics? Edinburgh is packed with a range of top-notch cinemas for movie-lovers.

Vue Cinema at the Omni Centre in Leith Street offers movie fans a great choice of all the latest blockbusters in the city centre. Further out of town are two more large cinema complexes at Ocean Terminal and Fountain Park.

The century-old Cameo Cinema in Tollcross maintains its tradition of arthouse screenings alongside the latest big releases and indie flicks, while in Morningside, the Dominion is a local favourite, famous for its comfy sofas in place of traditional cinema seats. Or settle down for a night of movie magic at Everyman Cinema at the St James Quarter – the city’s latest cinema, it even has a cocktail bar and at-seat service!

Side-splitting comedy

Monkey Barrel

Nothing beats a good laugh. Edinburgh’s range of stand-up comedians, one man shows and comedy classics know how to tickle the funny bones. 

Be sure to pay a visit to The Stand or Monkey Barrel Comedy for a night of side-splitting comedy.

Enjoy Edinburgh at sunset

Sunset city Centre

And finally, as the sun is setting, why not pause and take time to enjoy the magical colours against Edinburgh’s stunning skyline.

Head up the historic Royal Mile to the wide expanse of Edinburgh Castle’s esplanade and be rewarded with a spectacular view across the city; get the leg muscles pumping with a walk up Calton Hill and capture the perfect image of the hill’s monuments silhouetted against the evening sky; or feel the air in your lungs with a walk through Holyrood Park and catch the sun setting on the ancient Arthur’s Seat.

Find your next adventure

From exhibitions to festivals, musicals to sports events, for a round-up of events coming to Edinburgh, visit our What’s On page.


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