Edinburgh and the Lothians

We’ve compiled the best of the best in Edinburgh and the Lothians - browse our top choices for the top things to see or do during your stay.

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  • 1. Cafe Royal Circle Bar

    New Town

    Famed for its atmospheric Victorian interiors—think ornate stucco, etched mirrors, tiled murals, stained glass, and leather booths—the Cafe Royal Circle Bar has been drawing a...Read More

  • 2. Edinburgh Ceilidh Club


    One of Edinburgh's most popular ceilidhs, this traditional Scottish music and dance night is held every Tuesday at Summerhall. It's ideal for beginners, as a...Read More

  • 3. Guildford Arms

    New Town

    Like the Café Royal Circle Bar on the other corner of the same Victorian block, the Guildford Arms has a spectacular interior of intricate plasterwork,...Read More

  • 4. Juniper Edinburgh

    New Town

    Situated right opposite Edinburgh Waverley Station, Juniper cultivates an air of glamorous fun with its plant-filled interior and postcard-worthy views of the city and the...Read More

  • 5. Panda and Sons

    New Town

    The very definition of a hidden gem, this Prohibition-style speakeasy is cunningly tucked away behind a barbershop exterior. Venture inside and downstairs to discover a...Read More

  • 6. Teuchters Landing


    Tucked away down a side street near The Shore, Teuchters Landing is a perennially popular pub for its wide range of whiskies and beers, its...Read More

  • 7. The Dagda Bar


    This charming little drinking hole is an interesting mix of the old and new. At first glance, it's a very traditional pub with a dark-wood...Read More

  • 8. The Holyrood 9A

    Old Town

    This warm, wood-paneled hipster hangout has a fine array of craft beers on tap, as well as an impressive whisky collection. It also serves some...Read More

  • 9. The Jazz Bar

    Old Town

    This basement music venue delivers exactly what the name promises: jazz, in all its many weird and wonderful forms. Blues, funk, acoustic, electric—there's something new...Read More

  • 10. The Jolly Botanist

    West End

    Gin lovers are spoiled for choice at this self-proclaimed "liquor emporium." Take a seat amid the quirky period furnishings and flick through a menu of...Read More

  • 11. Whiski Rooms

    Old Town

    This venerable establishment offers one of Old Town's most enjoyable whisky tastings: an informative and interactive experience with an expert guide. The 90-minute Premium Whisky...Read More

  • 12. Bramble Bar & Lounge

    New Town

    This easily walked-by basement bar on Queen Street—take the stairs down to a clothing-alteration shop and you'll see a small sign—is one of Edinburgh's great...Read More

  • 13. Cabaret Voltaire

    Old Town

    The vaulted ceilings of this subterranean club reverberate with dance music most nights, with an ever-changing lineup of cutting-edge DJs on the decks. The club...Read More

  • 14. Cask and Barrel

    New Town

    A spacious, traditional pub on trendy Broughton Street, the Cask and Barrel serves hand-pulled ales from a horseshoe-shaped bar, ringed by a collection of brewery...Read More

  • 15. CC Blooms

    New Town

    Modern and colorful, CC Blooms is a club spread over two levels, playing a mix of musical styles and with regular cabaret nights. Open nightly,...Read More

  • 16. Cloisters


    Set within an old church parsonage, Cloisters now offers a very modern form of sanctuary: real ales, fine whisky, and good food at reasonable prices,...Read More

  • 17. Joseph Pearce's

    New Town

    One of eight Swedish bars and restaurants in Edinburgh owned by the Boda group, Joseph Pearce's has a distinctly northern European feel, despite its solidly...Read More

  • 18. Kay's Bar

    New Town

    Housed in a former Georgian coach house, this diminutive but friendly spot serves 50 single-malt whiskies, a range of guest ales, and decent bottled beers....Read More

  • 19. Leslie's Bar

    South Side

    Retaining its original mahogany island bar, the late-Victorian-era Leslie's Bar is renowned for its gorgeous interior and for serving a range of traditional Scottish ales...Read More

  • 20. Malt & Hops


    First opening its doors in 1749, Malt & Hops has a fine waterfront location and serves microbrewery cask ales—with a selection good enough to be...Read More

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