For those in the UK who are dreaming of a nearby getaway, this article will revisit some of Edinburgh’s best spots to take a city break.
Apart from gorgeous cafes, historic architecture, and boutique hotels, Edinburgh actually has a wide variety of nightlife that caters to a wide variety of preferences. During the current pandemic, many of these places might still be closed to visitors but will hopefully be up and running again soon.
While this is by no means a comprehensive list of what the Edinburgh night scene has to offer, here’s a quick overview of some wonderful spots to help you plan an exciting nighttime adventure:
Grosvenor Maybury Casino
Housed in an original Art Deco building, The Maybury is located only a mile away from Edinburgh Airport. As well as traditional casino games such as American roulette, blackjack, three-card poker, the casino has a large selection of video slot machines, which Gala Spins notes have become a staple in brick-and-mortar casinos. The casino features £4,000-jackpot slot machines and hosts Texas Hold’em cash games and tournaments six days a week. If you’re feeling hungry, there are also some relaxed dining options such as the Charleston Restaurant as well as the Madison Bar which is a great place to watch live sports.
Located in the Cowgate area, Pilgrim Bar is a vintage-inspired bar that features a totally unique interior. The highlight of the space is the bar lined with old school suitcases, along with 1930’s cinema seating along one wall and original 1950’s sinks in the women’s toilets. There are also walls lined with vintage wooden doors and reclaimed wood, alongside quirky lighting fixtures. Depending on the week, they also host quiz nights and karaoke events for those looking for additional entertainment. If you’re feeling up to it the next day, you can visit some nearby vintage shops compiled by The Green Edition, as Edinburgh is also known for its extensive secondhand scene.
As one of The Times’ ’25 Coolest Restaurants in the UK’, Checkpoint is a hybrid resto-bar and coffee shop that’s inside a beautiful church dating all the way back to 1899. If you’re a fan of minimal furniture, some of the tables are located inside a converted shipping container and illuminated by industrial lighting. The menu is inspired by dishes from around the world, as well as an interesting twist on local favourite, haggis-stuffed pork belly. Depending on your needs, it’s a versatile space for both day and night that offers seating for up to 120 people.
The Bongo Club
If you’re planning to dance the night away, The Bongo Club is a melting pot for creatives of all types. It’s been operating since 1996, under the local arts charity Out Of The Blue. Expect electric performances from live bands, notable DJs, along with the occasional films, theatre events, comedy shows, or art and music events. Prices tend to be lower throughout the week, so it’s well suited for those who are travelling on a budget. It’s decorated with stunning street art installations and graffiti, but it’s truly known for its eclectic mix of reggae, rock, hip-hop, soul, and pop music.
For those who are looking for something more low key, the Royal Observatory offers astronomy evenings for the public to gaze up at the night sky. Group sizes are limited to 10 participants or less and are available throughout the whole year.