10 Brilliant Bars In Edinburgh City Centre For Students To Visit
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Moving to a beautiful city like Edinburgh as a student is really exciting. You’ll find plenty of culture, historic buildings and sightseeing, art, music, theatre, and plenty more in a city that is one of the most revered in the world, all within easy walking distance of your Edinburgh student accommodation.
If you are looking to sample some of the fantastic student nightlife, we are here to help. This guide is aimed at showing you some of the best bars in Edinburgh city centre. There are many student-friendly bars in the city, and we’ve done our best to show you a range of options, showcasing the friendly nature of the city, and student bars that are riotous as part of a bar crawl, a place for a quiet pint after uni, and some of the grand old pubs of the city.
1. Belushi’s – Market Street
Belushi’s is one of the best bars in Edinburgh city centre for students, because it is so ridiculously cheap!
It’s one of those places that fits the bill for a few occasions, whether that’s a post workday pint or three with a small group of course mates, a big night out with your society, or a place to watch the big match on one of the big TV screens around the bar.
Located just a few seconds from the Royal Mile, you’ll be hard pressed to find a cheaper big night out than Belushi’s!
Chase down a pint of beer with a Jägerbomb. keep your belly filled with a juicy burger from the bar and listen to hit after hit from the rock ‘n’ roll playlist.
2. BrewDog – Cowgate
BrewDog is a company that epitomises the ‘work hard, play harder’ mantra. Since opening back in 2011, this Cowgate location has become one of the best bars in Edinburgh city centre for craft beer and it continues to be a brilliant place for students to visit.
The bartenders and brewers are known in the city for trialling new flavours and combinations and there are also some pretty good discounts and offers for students when it comes to the food menu. These include free treats if it’s your birthday, £15 bottles of fizz, 2-4-1 pizzas Monday to Thursday, and vegan Mondays with discounts on all vegan and veggie mains.
BrewDog is also a good bar to grab some food, with sourdough pizzas, cheese boards and juicy burgers.
3. McSorleys – Forrest Road
Every student loves an Irish pub, and McSorleys is one of Edinburgh’s finest examples!
Any day of the week you can walk into McSorleys and see why it is one of the best bars in Edinburgh city centre. It is always packed out and is a favourite haunt of the university societies and sports teams.
If you’re looking for a perfect pint of Guinness, some tasty bar snacks, and a lot of fun, this is certainly the place for you. Live sport on the big TV screens, live music 7-nights-a-week, and the largest Irish bar in the city, combine to make this a great place for a drink as a student in Edinburgh.
4. Bar Soba – Hanover Street
Bar Soba is a success story in Glasgow and it has become an equally loved bar in Edinburgh since it opened in 2015.
Just a short hop from the cobbled streets of the old town, Bar Soba is a student haven spread over a glorious two-floors. A restaurant and event space are hidden downstairs, whilst the upper floor has a busy bar and ping pong tables.
If you want to hire one of the mezzanines for an intimate event, Bar Soba is the place for a celebration. They also offer a Soba Student membership, where you can get a whopping 50% off food and 25% off drinks from Sunday to Thursday. For a bar that serves up some of the most exciting cocktails in the city, that is important information that you need to know!
5. Pilgrim – Robertson’s Close
Pilgrim is located in the Old Town, really close to most of the University buildings! This makes it one of the best bars in Edinburgh city centre for students who are looking for a post-lecture pint at a decent price.
When you show your student card you’ll get some good discounts too, with drinks from just £2.25 on a Monday and 50% off the burger menu. Not only that, but it’s the day where Pilgrim offers out free KitKats, coz we all need a break after a hard day of uni!
Pilgrim is a calm, laid back, industrial-chic bar with a student-friendly price tag for most drinks. It’s the perfect place to start a big night out or just for a quick pint or two at the end of a long day studying.
6. Revolution – Chambers Street
If you’re going out to Revolution for the night, you’ll have to prepare to miss your 9am lecture the next morning. It’s the perfect bar in Edinburgh for students looking to have a wild night out.
It’s spread over two floors and there’s even a specialist bar if you love all things vodka. A tasty cocktail whilst you’re sitting in a comfy leather seat, underneath a flashy neon sign, makes it a dark, cool, party hangout.
Open until 3am every day, Revolution has a weekday Happy Hour at 5-7pm (2-4-1), shuffleboard tournaments, filled burritos and stone baked pizza on the food menu, and a staggering 25% off for students! The food and drink and student discounts are fantastic, but it’s the party vibes, the music and the dancefloor that will keep you here until the wee small hours of the morning.
7. Frankenstein – George IV Bridge
One of the oldest bars in Edinburgh, Frankenstein is at the heart of the city. It is housed within a 19th-century church and has the perfect mix of a relaxing, comfortable atmosphere, and a dance floor in the centre once the drinks are flowing.
The biggest attraction to Frankenstein though is the massive monster that descends from the ceiling every single hour, with smoke pouring from its body and flashing lights accompanying it. It is well-worth seeing in person, and when you first move to Edinburgh as a student make sure you visit.
Frankenstein also offers trivia nights in the week, and a giant TV screen that plays black and white movies from the early days of classic cinema.
8. Tigerlily – George Street
Located on George Street in the New Town of Edinburgh, Tigerlily is a modern bar that has a calm, civilised appeal. It is certainly a place that isn’t a regular haunt for students in the town, due to the price of the hard drinks on offer, and the older crowd does point to this. Despite this though, it is a place where you’ll see university students, and there is a friendly combination between the two types of crowds.
If you’ve got parents visiting it would be a good bar to visit for a drink or two in the evening after a meal at a nearby restaurant. It even offers Afternoon Tea if you’re feeling spicy in the daytime, so why not check it out?
9. 56 North – West Crosscauseway
A Southside bar that specialises in gin, 56 North is located really close to the University of Edinburgh campus, and draws in punters of all types, from students to an older crowd and those that love gin.
The menu showcases this gin obsession, with over 400 gins available, coming from all round the world, each with a recommended mixer and garnish. The attention to detail is something else, and the cocktail, wine, and whisky menu is pretty damn impressive too.
A secret garden at the back of the venue and a terrace out the front, make 56 North one of the better bars in Edinburgh for an outside drink when the sun is out during the summer months. A posh pub grub menu is full of the best of Scottish produce in steak and burger form, including veggie options.
10. Hoot the Redeemer – Hanover Street
A very cool basement bar in the centre of Edinburgh, Hoot the Redeemer is a quirky dive bar, with arcade games, vintage pinball, alcoholic ice cream, boozy slushies, and a funfair theme. You can also create your own drink with flavours from a claw machine, adding that extra something special to your time at the bar.
It might be a bit of a ‘hipster’ joint, but it is a lot of fun in here, and is a great place for a big student night out, especially when you first move to the city and want to get to know your new course mates.
Once you’ve moved to the city as a student, you’ll soon realise what a beautiful and fun place it is to live. From casual bars to have a quick pint after lectures, to wild nights dancing till the early hours, there are some incredible bars in Edinburgh to enjoy as a student. What do you think of our list of the best bars in Edinburgh city centre for students to visit? If you think brunch is more up your street, we have the top 10 places in Edinburgh to visit here.