The creative soul of Edinburgh comes out to play after dark, with the city’s nightlife brimming with great live music acts, theatre shows, comedians, and a trendy art scene. The city which is soaked in history and culture by day, is vibrant at night, with no shortage of entertainment options, regardless of what you are looking for. From the local pubs in unassuming neighborhoods that serve up delicious warm meals along with cold beers on tap, to the trendiest live music venues that have an air of exclusivity about them, Edinburgh has it all. Be sure to make your way through our list of nightclubs in Edinburgh to really get a feel when you visit the city.
1. Tokyo Bar & Nightclub
Editor’s note: There’s no photo available at the time of writing
Edinburgh’s biggest LGBTQ bar and nightclub is always buzzing with theme nights, special events, and the best DJs in town. Known for its lively atmosphere and music that is guaranteed to keep you dancing through the night, Tokyo Bar & Nightclub is the venue to spice up your weekend. The bar is well known for its themed nights and special events, hosting different DJs across their two rooms, usually playing a variety of music. Entry can be free if you sign up on their guest list so follow them closely on social media channels for an easy way into a fine evening.
2. Sneaky Pete’s
Sneaky Pete’s always has something going on, from clubs to live shows, the cozy space caters to a variety of music genres and fans of all identities. Many of their shows are 14+ and have a 10 pm curfew, enabling the younger music lovers of Edinburgh to enjoy the live-action. Don’t let age allowances keep the adults away, club nights at 18+ and start at 11 pm daily. Always loud, brimming with live music and one of the best places in Edinburgh to discover new bands, Sneaky Pete’s makes for an eclectic night in town.
3. The Mash House
In the midst of the vibrant Cowgate district is The Mash House, three floors of music dance, and mayhem. Within its industrial space and exposed brick walls are an array of different events that you should keep an eye out for, from nightclubs and live music to chess classes and theatre performances. The Mash House sets the tone for the best of Edinburgh’s music scene, attracting the country’s best DJs to play sets in between Glastonbury Festival or international tours. Be sure to check out the loft on the third floor which usually hosts live music and DJ sessions.
4. The Bongo Club
The Bongo Club is a well-established space in Edinburgh, having first opened their doors in 1987, they have been a film, theatre, comedy, dance/fitness, and drama workshop venue throughout the years. Their specialty comes alive at night, with live music and a nightclub feel that is level-headed. Club nights range from hip hop, funk, soul, house, disco, and good-time party rockers and weekly events are a well-established routine. Don’t miss Mumbo Jumbo nights when resident DJs take the tunes up to a level you may not be able to keep up with.
5. The Wee Red Bar
Located on the grounds of Edinburgh College Of Art, The Wee Red Bar is frequented by those looking for cheap drinks along with a great selection of club nights, gigs, and performances. An institution that has been around for decades, the bar hosts regular events, intimate performances with everyone from up-and-coming live bands to established DJs. Come for the great music and stay for the even better atmosphere.
6. The Street
The chicest gay bar in the city, The Street is not your average bar and nightclub. Having become a cornerstone of Edinburgh’s Pink Triangle, not only do they host quiz nights and DJ sessions in their downstairs nightclub space but they have a great selection of food- ‘Street Food’ and ‘Mexican Street Food’ menus are not to be missed, and ideal to be washed down with a choice from an extensive cocktail list. The Street attracts a lively, trendy crowd throughout the night and is an ideal space to come with friends to enjoy a laid-back vibe in the city.
7. La Belle Angele
An atmosphere made for live music gigs, La Belle Angele was opened in the early nineties and was an institution representing underground art, music, and clubbing culture in the city. Having been destroyed in a 2002 fire and rebuilt 12 years later, the resurrection of La Belle Angele has been formidable, attracting the likes of Oasis, Radiohead, and The Libertines. If you have a favorite band playing in Edinburgh, chances are they may be at La Belle Angele.
4042 is a bar and nightclub space with the added advantage of having ping pong tables around. The music combinations of hip-hop and R&B with the house and disco added in for good measure, combined with an intimate dance floor and the ping pong hall make for a fun and sociable evening out with friends. Keeping you on your toes all evening, 4042’s interior and the atmosphere is always lively and upbeat, the best kind of place to grab even a Monday night drink at.
8. The Liquid Room
The Liquid Room is a spacious venue, usually featuring live shows, touring bands, tribute nights, and club nights. Check out their space and events calendar to ensure you know what the latest happenings of the city are, as space attracts artists from every music genre, from hip hop to rock, country music to pop. Over the last 10 years, Liquid Room has earned a great reputation for its ability to create an intimate atmosphere in such a large space.
9. Lively Edinburgh
Edinburgh is a vibrant city, mixing art and history with music and theatre. At night, the city comes alive in pockets, from the live music venues to the bustling club nights. Be sure to venture out of your comfort zone to discover a different side of this city, which can surprise you with just how much you enjoy it.
By Divya Hundlani