Pubs in the festival city

If you're looking for a good old-fashioned pub, Edinburgh has more than enough to satisfy. We couldn’t possibly name all of our favourites, but here are three great spots to grab an uncomplicated drink.

An image of the Grassmarket with its array of pubs

For a city centre pint

Edinburgh is full of cosy basement bars and The Queens Arms is no exception. Alongside a varied menu of gastro meals, this cosy pub on Frederick Street has a great selection of cask ales and whiskies, perfect for a night cap after visiting the nearby Book Festival at Charlotte Square.

FE suggests: The award winning gastro pub also puts on live televised sport, so you won’t miss a thing between festival shows.

For a dramatic night out

If you want to combine a proper boozer with reminders that you're in a town full of artistry and performance, then the Theatre Royal at the top of Leith Walk is the place for you. It's right next to the Playhouse Theatre, home to both International Festival and Fringe shows, and is adorned with posters signed by stars who've played over the years. 

This is no theme bar though, this is a real, traditional pub, as likely to be showing the match as hosting the cast.

FE suggests: Try to find the most famous face on the walls to sit under!

For a festival pub crawl

We couldn’t possibly talk about pubs in Edinburgh without name dropping the ever popular Grassmarket.

Now largely pedestrianised, the Grassmarket has a huge array of restaurants, bistros and of course pubs to keep you entertained - and with the Tattoo taking place almost directly above, and lots of Art Festival activity nearby, fans are just a short walk (or steep flight of stairs!) away from a few post-show pints.  

FE suggests: The Grassmarket has a turbulent past and is steeped in history - head for a taste in The Last Drop and find out more! 

See more of our food and drink recommendations, or for lots more more top tips on where to eat and drink, check out The List's food and drink guide.

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