Bottoms Up: The Edinburgh Pub Tour

Forget the tourist trap pub crawls and visit these off-the-tourist-map true Scottish pubs instead.


Welcome to Edinburgh! If you plan to go to this beautiful city in the heart of Scotland, you shouldn’t be missing to visit the great pubs – especially on rainy days you’ve got an excuse to skip the museum visit and have a cold Belhaven instead! There are thousands of pubs in Edinburgh, so it’s hard to make a decision but here are 6 breathtaking Pubs which are definitely worth a visit! The tour starts close to the Haymarket Station at The Mad Hatter and ends next to the National Museum of Scotland at Sandy Bell’s.

1. The Mad Hatter

The Mad Hatter, Torphichen Place, Edinburgh (interior, bar)

This place is small and cozy with lovely interior in a side street of the Morrison Street. The Mad Hatter offers a big variety of food so you can start your evening with a delicious dinner there. The staff is nice and friendly. There is a Burger Night on Monday where you get every Burger for £5 instead of £10 if you order any drink with it. The kitchen is open till 10pm so make sure you’re not coming too late. 

2. The Black Cat

The Black Cat, Rose Street, Edinburgh (exterior)

The Black Cat is the perfect bar for you if you like whiskey. There is a large selection of Scottish whiskies but also Scottish beer. It opens at 10:30 am every day so you can also start your day with a nice cup of coffee in a relaxed corner of the bar. Free Wifi is also provided. The Black Cat has a Scottish live band playing every Monday and Wednesday night from 9:30 pm on. Make sure you don’t miss the pub quiz on Tuesday evening at 7pm as it is a lot of fun!

3. Rose Street Brewery


From Monday till Wednesday you’ll get the Mid-Week Treats which is three craft beers for £10, £5 off for selected bottles of wine or just £3 for tipples as Gin Tonic or a glass of wine. What an exciting start to the week, right? During February and March there will be live screenings of the rugby from the Six Nations tournament now and then. So grab some friends and enjoy one of the 20 different cold ales and craft beers like the Camerons Tontine at the Rose Street Brewery!


4. The Standing Order

weatherspoons front door
Photo: Stuart Blaike

Close to the Rose Street Brewery you’ll find The Standing Order which is located in the George Street. It’s a big pub and the prices are phenomenal – a pint of Magners is £2.39! As this is hard to beat, you’ll find many students in this pub.The staff is funny and the service quick. All in all the perfect place to pre-drink if you’re planning to go out afterwards.


5. Greyfriars Bobby


Continue your walk through the city center along the Edinburgh castle. At the corner of Candlemaker Row right in front of the Greyfriars Kirkyards you’ll find Greyfriars Bobby. The pub is named after the well-known Scottish Skye Terrier Bobby, who became a landmark for Edinburgh as the most loyal watchdog in history. As the hall was built in 1722 the pub has a quaint atmosphere. Just like the Rose Street Brewery, the Greyfriars Bobby belongs to the Nicholson’s Freehouse so you will find the same menus there but still a must-visit.

6. Sandy Bell’s

Sandy's Bell
Photo: Tom Simpson

The tour ends next door at the folk bar Sandy Bell’s. It’s open till 1am and the place to be for traditional music lovers. They have music sessions every night and people are coming from all over the UK to listen to the music. Alike The Black Cat, Sandy Bell’s specializies on beer and whiskey. For people who like to try unusual things there is also Indian or Japanese whiskey on offer. Cheers!

Sophia is a 23 year old Berliner with a passion for fashion, film, good food and travelling. If she’s off for more than three days, chances are she’s booked a ticket to a city she’s never been to. Sophia has her eyes set on conquering London next!

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