With its eerie cobblestone lanes, crackling neon signs and dramatically floodlit castle, exploring Edinburgh at night is like stepping back in time, and there are few more atmospheric ways to see the city. Whether you’re joining the city’s summer or New Year festivities, braving a tour of underground Edinburgh or spending an evening at the zoo, here are some ideas for discovering the Scottish capital after hours.
With its reputation as Scotland’s party capital, there’s rarely a dull moment in Edinburgh, but with a trio of world-famous arts festivals descending on the city and a plethora of other summer events, August is the busiest and most atmospheric time to visit the Scottish capital. 2014 is also Scotland’s Year of the Homecoming and this year’s festivals are set to be some of the biggest and best ever, so for those who are braving the crowds this summer, here’s a rundown of what’s on in Edinburgh in August: festivals, events and things to do.
If you’re visiting Edinburgh in the summer, you’ve likely planned a schedule of festival shows and all-night partying rather than sunbathing, but the Scottish capital is also located on the North Sea coast and the seafront is just a short journey from the city center. Whether you’re looking to escape the crowds of the Edinburgh Festival and Fringe or just need to cool off from the city heat, there are a number of great beaches around Edinburgh where you can make the most of the good weather.
With the rainy spring months finally over and festival season hitting the capital, what better way to celebrate the arrival of the sun than drinking with the locals at one of Edinburgh’s summer beer gardens? Despite it’s legendary drinking culture and abundance of historic pubs, Edinburgh is actually not renowned for its beer gardens, so those looking to drink alfresco need to know where to look – thankfully, we’ve provided a round-up of the city’s best outdoor drinking holes.
With its steep cobblestone streets and maze of alleyways, wandering around the Old Town of Edinburgh feels like stepping back in time and if it wasn’t for the modern shop fronts and neon bar signs, the historic centre would still largely resemble its 18th-century counterpart. It’s not just the aging buildings and haphazard town planning that hint to the city’s past though. Historians have also long been fascinated with what lies beneath the streets of Edinburgh – a forgotten underworld of vaults, cellars and buried passageways that provide a fascinating glimpse into the old city.
After frequenting many of the authentic pubs and fine dining establishments that the Leith of today has to offer, I’ve put together a list of favorites that should not be missed by visitors to this lovely shore-side community.