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Edinburgh nightlife

Edinburgh is a great city for drinkers, blessed as it is with a rich stock of venerable, atmospheric pubs topped with a froth of ever-mutating hipster hangouts. Some of the more traditional boozers stock whisky that is even older than the grizzled bar staff. Grassroots traditional music as well as fledgling indie and rock gigs bubble under the surface of the city (often literally, thanks to the number of subterranean venues), while the party-hungry students support a club scene happily catering to both mainstream and more esoteric tastes.

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Sygn, Edinburgh

Its name is Sygn, but you'll have to take our word for it, since there's no sign outside. (When you come to the only building on this cobbled street...more

Editors' Pick
Sandy Bell's, Edinburgh

Long a focal point for traditional music in Edinburgh, this small, cozy pub is best known for the folk sessions that take place in the back room every night, on...more

Editors' Pick
Pivo Caffé, Edinburgh

Old stone walls and the location (under Regent Bridge) gives this bohemian Czech watering hole an authentic feel, but don't mistake it for a traditional...more

Editors' Pick
Opal Lounge, Edinburgh

If you want to dance but aren't up for the all-out club scene, head for this central, super-sophisticated, and dimly lit 8,000-square-foot space, with a...more

Editors' Pick
Joseph Pearce's, Edinburgh

This split-level bar at the top of Leith Walk retains the brass light fittings and tall gantry typical of a traditional public house, but the birdcage hanging...more

Editors' Pick
Cabaret Voltaire, Edinburgh

Probably the most active venue in town, Caberet Voltaire is set in vaults deep under the Old Town. Cool lighting and the odd painted red or wood-paneled wall...more

Editors' Pick
Bramble Bar and Lounge, Edinburgh

This basement bar in Edinburgh's Georgian New Town is easy to miss. Inside, the dim lighting, bare stone walls, and multiple nooks and crannies don't make...more

Editors' Pick
Bongo Club, Edinburgh

Cafe and art venue by day, club, live music, and theater space by night, the Bongo Club has been pulling in crowds (albeit in a different—less...more

Editors' Pick
Bennets, Edinburgh

This is a local workingman's pub—more than 100 malt whiskies are given pride of place along the tiered wooden bar—but proximity to a large...more

Editors' Pick
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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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