The Best Nightlife Recommendations in Edinburgh

As Scotland’s second most populous city, Edinburgh is alive day and night, filled with places to dine out and to dance in, to listen to music and take part in gaming. This is as true on Princes Street at the heart of the city, as it is at the outskirts of Edinburgh. The first step on a night out is, of course, to eat and you will find cafes and restaurants that cater for a variety of tastes.

O’Oliviero at Grassmarket, Old Town, is open until 11pm. Its menus include steak, fish and chicken dishes, in addition to Mediterranean recipes based on Parmesan cheese, olive oil and tomatoes. It also offers patrons a comprehensive wine list. Hendersons Vegan Bar on Thistle Street is open until 9pm, Sunday to Thursday, and until 10pm on Friday and Saturday. It offers a range of meatless and delicious dishes, accompanied by vegan wine and beer, coffee and cake. For a truly unusual dining experience, go to The Witchery by the Castle, which offers an incomparable range of starters and main courses, seafood and local meats.

Combine dining out with throwing dice at the Genting Casino Fountain Park. Do not forget to register online before you go and be aware that everyone under 25 must carry ID. Book a table for the Fahrenheit Restaurant, the latest booking 11pm, and choose from a variety of Scottish dishes. The restaurant price includes a bar drink and a complementary £5 bet. Gaming patrons have access to the Late Bar, and activities include American roulette and blackjack. Learn to Play packages are available to gaming novices or you could practice beforehand at an online casino such as The casino stays open until 6am.

Situated in the atmospheric vaults of its South Bridge premises, is Whistlebinkies Live Music Bar. It opens at 5pm every evening and entry is free. Live bands play every night and events include the Open Mic contest on Monday, when patrons provide the entertainment. The bar serves a wide range of draught and bottled beers and lagers, and Highland, Islands, Islay and Speyside whiskies, not to mention whisky blends. Join the young night time revellers flocking to the Lulu Bar and Nightclub on George Street. Opening at 10pm, the bar serves over sixty cocktails and a range of wines, beers and vodka. DJs play house, hip-hop and disco music, and dancing ceases at 3am.

The nearby Why Not nightclub opens at 10.30pm and dancing lasts until 3am. DJs play RnB, dancehall and club classics. A dress code is in operation, with no sportswear, boots or tracksuits allowed. Less trendy but still stylish is the Jazz Bar on Chambers Street. In spite of the name, various types of music are played, including funk, soul, electric, blues and roots. The bar opens at 5pm on weekdays, but you can enter at 1.30pm on Saturday. Patrons hand over cash at the entrance (no cards), which goes directly to musicians. There is a continuous bar service.

Other evening entertainment in Edinburgh includes theatre and live music. The Royal Lyceum, King’s Theatre and the Edinburgh Playhouse offer year-round programmes. The Traverse Theatre offers more contemporary and experimental productions. Classical music lovers will find programmes at Usher Hall, the Assembly Rooms and Queen’s Hall.