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Top 5 bars in Edinburgh

Saturday, December 17th, 2011

We all know they like a drop of whisky but where’s the best place to neck one?

Edinburgh is world famous for being the place for tourists to soak up the country’s heritage, but it’s cooler younger brother Glasgow has recently been ahead in terms of bars and pubs. So where can the Scottish capital fight back?

1. The Peartree

If you’re young and cool and like hanging out in a hip part of town with students then head to The Peartree where you’ll be welcomed into the enchanting beer garden with it’s namesake on centre stage – that being the pear tree itself. Get there after dark and you’ll see the tree lit up like a Christmas tree along with the rest of this sparkling garden. It’s worth taking note of the prices here though if you’re on a diet of beans on toast because it’s a wee bit more than surrounding watering holes, but it’s still one to spend all day in the summer at with the paper and a loved one.

2. The Penny Black

If you like whisky instead of milk on your porridge then you’ll be pleased to hear that there’s an early bird in the world of Edinburgh pubs and it’s called The Penny Black. Black might be the colour of your eyes when you leave if you start at that time though as it’s a pretty rowdy boozer that doesn’t win a huge amount of prizes for décor but more than compensates when it comes to friendly and proper Scottish drinking spirits, of all kinds.

3. The Jekyll and Hyde

Some people become different versions of themselves when they’ve had a few drinks, this pub is a different version of most pubs in Edinburgh. There’s a really fun sense of comedy about this place. The staff are all friendly and will be more than happy to talk you through the drinks they have on offer – which range from themed horror cocktails to seven deadly sins shot which will no doubt bring out the Hyde in all of you. The building doesn’t take itself too seriously either. There’s cobwebs everywhere, spooky skeletons propped up at the bar and various potions on the shelves all around…these things all being real in Glasgow by the way. Finally it’s worth taking note of the hilarious toilet door caper. It’s disguised as a bookcase so try not to look that stupid while you hold it in.

4. Whistle Binkies

What’s that we can hear? That’ll be the sound of the latest hip and trendy band playing at Whistle Binkies on South Bridge just near Cowgate. It’s one of the hotspots for live music in Edinburgh and regularly stays open until 3am and 5am during the August Festival – something worth looking into for all of these pubs by the way. Open mic nights are a regular fixture here so if you feel the need to get up and sing a Proclaimers song then you’re probably one of about a thousand to do it that week.

5. Le Monde

The fashionable place to strut ones stuff in Edinburgh is George Street, where the huge old stone buildings are all now banks, designer clothes boutiques, fancy hotels, plush cocktail bars, with Le Monde being one of the best. The drinks are all whizzed up by glamorous bar staff and the food is chic little dishes with more plenty of garnish. The central bar means you’re always being ogled at when you look your best. It’s a great place to go when you’re dressed up and are getting riled up to go for a dance elsewhere.

Top 5 Edinburgh Hotels with a bar or a pub onsite

Photo of Le Monde, Edinburgh, Scotland, by Squeezyboy

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About the author

Venere Travel Blog writer phil mcdonald

Phil is a freelance writer working on various writing and editing projects ranging from feature film scripts to travel writing. He enjoys writing from experience and sharing information on the many places he has visited over the years

One response to “Top 5 bars in Edinburgh”

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  1. Ang says:
    September 14th, 2009 at 8:40 pm

    Surely a joke as they are all such crap bars with the exception of Peartree (great is you are a student), Le Monde – ok George Street Hotel.

    The rest – simply forget it !


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