Edinburgh boasts an exciting array of theme bars and traditional pubs (some even supposedly haunted) that serve great selections of Scottish whiskeys and ales. Here’s a list of pubs that tourists and locals alike love to drink in and are guaranteed to make your nights out in Edinburgh all the more memorable.
Frankenstein Pub on George IV Bridge is one of the best theme pubs in Edinburgh. Down shots from test tubes and watch the Rocky Horror Picture Show or the pub’s very own Full Moon show during the Edinburgh Festival.
Dimly lit, the Last Drop Tavern in the Grassmarket is usually packed to the brim with students, locals and tourists alike – perhaps they are trying to catch a glimpse of the ghost that is rumored to haunt its cellar. Legend says that the pub was named the Last Drop because this was where those condemned to die by hanging would have their last drink!
The popular Maggie Dickson’s pub, is named after a fishwife from Musselburgh who was accused of being a witch. She was hung in 1728 in the Grassmarket (where the pub is fittingly located). But astonishingly, as her body was being driven back to Musselburgh, she awoke in her coffin. Under Scottish law she was considered legally dead and thus could not be hung again. Stick around here for quiz night on Mondays. Some days feature live music.
The Tolbooth Tavern on Canongate offers great food and drink at reasonable prices. The atmosphere is fun and chilled out. But beware…things keep getting knocked over at the Tolbooth and the resident ghost here is often blamed (even though it might not even be his fault, which seems a little unfair).
The Three Sisters, located on Cowgate, offers four different bars: A Gothic section, an American bar, an Irish bar with confessional booths and Guinness on tap, and the outdoor courtyard, where barbecues take place in the summer. The dance venue upstairs makes the Three Sisters a popular choice for stag and hen parties. The pub is named after three sisters said to have stayed here and performed at the Tailor’s Hall.
Hidden behind Waverley Station and across from the Fruitmarket Gallery, Doric Tavern is a gastropub and wine bar often solicited by members of the press. It’s cozy atmosphere is conducive to discussing politics, art, literature and more with its seemingly intellectual clientele.
The Malt Shovel on Cockburn Street in the New Town is located close to Waverley Station and offers more than 100 excellent malt whiskeys and ales. The friendly staff and comfortable wood and leather furniture make it a great place to eat and drink while you’re waiting for your train.
Greyfriars Bobby’s Bar is named after the famous skye terrier who allegedly stood vigil for 14 years at his master’s grave in the nearby Greyfriars Kirkyard. The pub is decorated in a Victorian style and serves a good variety of ales and whiskey. Outside, be sure to take a picture with the statue of the canine.