Top 12 Pubs On and Around Royal Mile in Edinburgh

Top 12 Pubs On and Around Royal Mile in Edinburgh

Edinburgh is a vibrant city with abundant nightlife and no shortage of places to go after dusk. The Royal Mile alone, in the very heart of Edinburgh, is laden with character spots craving to be discovered by the first time visitors to the city. This is the highlight of some of the most notable bars and pubs on and around the Royal Mile. A fantastic array of places with their own atmosphere and personalities.
Image Courtesy of: Bernt Rostad

1. The Beehive Inn

The Beehive Inn
Image Courtesy of: kim traynor
The Beehive Inn sits in the historic part of Edinburgh City since as early as 1860, boasting a fantastic view of the Castle. The 2-storey building houses a bar and a comfy sitting area that is often used for private parties and family events. The wooden clad interior invites visitors to sit back and enjoy a great selection of drinks, as well as fabulous food (hand-battered fish and chips, British beef pie paired with 1730 special pale ale gravy are just some of the delights on offer). A truly great pub in a dramatic location!
Where to find it:
Address:
18-20 Grassmarket
Edinburgh EH1 2JU
Tel.: 0131 225 7171

Opening Hours:
Monday - Saturday: 09:00 am - 01:00 am
Sunday: 12:30 pm - 01:00 am
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2. The White Hart Inn

The White Hart Inn
Image Courtesy of: kim traynor
Part of Edinburgh's historic Grassmarket, The White Hart Inn has been in place since 1128. Its history is said to have something to do with an incident involving King David I while hunting down a white stag; hence the name. To learn more about it, make sure to attend one of the pub's folk music nights where singers can reveal more of the inn's and the city of Edinburgh's turbulent past. The majority of the building dates back to the 16th century; the rest was added in the 18th. Other than the great ambiance and friendly atmosphere, the place greets customers with a rich variety of real ales (Belhaven IPA, 80 Shilling, and Dark Island) and malt whiskies. It is much quieter here during a week than on the weekends.
Where to find it:
Address:
34 Grassmarket
Edinburgh EH1 2JU
Tel.: 0131 226 2806

Opening Hours:
Monday - Friday: 11:00 am - 11:00 pm
Saturday - Sunday: 11:00 am - 12:30 am
Offline reading and travel directions:
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3. Biddy Mulligans

Biddy Mulligans
Image Courtesy of: Nicholas Mutton
Biddy Mulligans is an Irish bar in the heart of Edinburgh, not far from the Castle, affording great view thereof. It is unique in a sense of preserving the spirit of a true Dublin bar both, aesthetically and in terms of hearty atmosphere. The pub is named after a street vendor from Dublin who made a name for herself with the fabulous cooking of Dublin Coddle and Irish Stew and easygoing character manifested in her much loved singing sessions (although she herself had no much of a singing voice) with lots of food & drink. In keeping with that legacy, Biddy Mulligans of Edinburgh lives up to the motto: Eat Well, Drink Well, Sing Badly. It is located right on the tourist trail, and offers guests an assortment of hot meals and cold drinks, plus occasional live folk music. All of this makes Biddy Mulligans a rather cool place to pop in for a drink and, perhaps, a bit of a song.
Where to find it:
Address:
94-96 Grassmarket
Edinburgh EH1 2JR
Tel.: 0131 220 1246

Opening Hours:
Monday - Sunday: 08:00 am - 01:00 am
Offline reading and travel directions:
You can carry this article in your mobile device to read offline and create a self-guided walk to visit the venues featured herein with the GPSmyCity App (available on iTunes App Store or Google Play Store).

4. Greyfriars Bobby

Greyfriars Bobby
Image Courtesy of: This is Edinburgh
Greyfriars Bobby's pub is located on the ground floor of one of the Georgian houses adjacent to the historic Candlemakers' Hall. It has been open since 1722 and owes its name to the legendary Skye terrier Bobby who lived in Edinburgh and belonged to John Gray, the policeman. After he died in 1858, Bobby kept vigil on his grave and, eventually, was buried alongside his master in the Greyfriars Kirkyard, just behind the pub, in 1872. Other than this story, the place is famous for its diverse range of real ales and hearty meals served, just as they're supposed to be, with a good chunk of famous Scottish hospitality.
Where to find it:
Address:
30-34 Candlemaker Row
Edinburgh EH1 2QE
Tel.: 0131 225 8328

Opening Hours:
Monday - Thursday: 11:00 am - 11:00 pm
Friday - Saturday: 11:00 am - 00:00
Sunday: 12:30 pm - 11:00 pm

5. Frankenstein Pub

Frankenstein Pub
Courtesy of the Frankenstein pub, one can enjoy Oktoberfest in Edinburgh all year long! German beer, sausages and schnitzels are never in short supply here, much as the dancing on the tables to the tune of the local Oompah band!

In fact, there are three bars here under one roof. The main bar, occupying the ground floor, is a bit on a dark side in terms of atmosphere (dark wooden panels and furniture). The second bar sits in the basement, which was once part of an old church, and the third one - overlooking the main bar from above - appears in the form of a gallery with tiered seating. The list of drinks at Frankenstein is long and includes a range of wines, beers and cocktails, much as hot drinks. Their food menu is just as extensive and served seven days a week until "real late" at night. The pub enjoys great popularity, particularly among students, for its striking atmosphere.
Where to find it:
Address:
26 George IV Bridge
Edinburgh EH1 1EN
Tel.: 0131 622 1818

Opening Hours:
Monday - Thursday: 12:00 pm - 01:00 am
Friday- Sunday: 12:00 pm - 02:00 pm

6. Ensign Ewart

Ensign Ewart
Image Courtesy of: Kim Traynor
Part of Edinburgh's Royal Mile, this pub enjoys a fantastic location, being the highest pub in the city and closest to the Castle. Its history starts all the way back in 1680. The building has changed a bit since but nonetheless preserved the original charm and memories of the many famous people who drank here over the years. Named after Charles Ewart, sergeant of the Scots Greys, famous for capturing the standard of the French 45th Regiment during the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, the pub interior maintains a military theme and features a large painting, depicting the actual capture of the standard, on one of the walls. Overall, the decor produces a rather comfortable feeling.

Other than that, the place offers a lavish choice of real ales (including four cask ales) and Scotch whiskies, as well as Scottish gins, live music (several nights a week), a freshly cooked (right on the premises) food. And, of course, this comes alongside the famous Scottish hospitality present here in great supply!
Where to find it:
Address:
521 - 523 Lawnmarket
The Royal Mile
EH1 2PE Edinburgh
Tel.: 0131 225 7440

Opening Hours:
Sunday - Thursday: 11:00 am - 11:00 pm
Friday - Saturday: 11:00 am - 01:00 am

7. Deacon Brodie's Tavern

Deacon Brodie's Tavern
Image Courtesy of: Werner Bayer
Deacon Brodie's Tavern is superbly located in Royal Mile Edinburgh, just a short walk from Edinburgh Castle, Waverley Station and George IV Bridge. This tavern is spread over two floors with a restaurant occupying the upper floor.

The tavern is named for William Brodie, the prototype of Robert Louis Stevenson's Jekyll and Hyde character. Born in 1741, Brodie led a dual life - a deacon and respectable man by day, and by night, a passionate gambler and criminal who was eventually apprehended and hanged in 1788. Despite such association, the pub's interior is rather attractive and features distinctly Scottish thistle and red rose motifs. Apart from the decor, the wonderful atmosphere of the tavern is sustained with a lavish choice of real ales and matching selection of whiskies.
Where to find it:
Address:
435 Lawnmarket
Edinburgh EH1 2NT
Tel.: 0131 225 6531

Opening Hours:
Monday - Sunday: 10:00 am - 01:00 am

8. The Mitre Bar

The Mitre Bar
Image Courtesy of: Brian McNeil
Inside this traditional bar is much larger than you think it is from the outside; as you enter, you can see it stretched way back into the building, leaving sufficient space for everyone to find a comfortable spot to park themselves. The place is so full of character and, just as any other respectable venue in Scotland, has a ghost of its own, in the cellar. The age of the ghost is hard to determine, whilst the street plan hereabouts is said to be dating back to the 1500s. Mitre is equally enjoyed by the local white collars and, due to its central location, visitors to the city as well. The bar offers a grand selection of ales and wines to choose from, plus food available throughout the whole day. A nice place to have a drink on the Royal Mile.
Where to find it:
Address:
131-133 High Street
Edinburgh EH1 1SG
Tel.: 0131 652 3902

Opening Hours:
Monday - Sunday: 10:00 am - 01:00 am

9. The Royal Mile

The Royal Mile
Image Courtesy of: Werner Bayer
As you can guess from the name, this bar is named after where it is, the Royal Mile. A selection of beer, craft ales, wines and cocktails here, not forgetting, whiskies (over 100) is enormous. Many call this pub home for a good reason. This is a truly great place to have a taste of what the Royal Mile has to offer. With live music every night, one hardly needs to look elsewhere for a decent place to spend an evening.
Where to find it:
Address:
127 High Street
Edinburgh EH1 1SG
Tel.: 0131 557 9681

Opening Hours:
Monday - Sunday: 09:00 am - 01:00 am

10. Whiski Bar & Restaurant

Whiski Bar & Restaurant
Image Courtesy of: Gianni Sarti
As you might be able to tell, this is predominantly a whiskey bar (with over 300 malt whiskies on offer), but there are also ales, beers, wines and soft drinks available, if whiskey is not your thing. A brilliant atmosphere to go with great surroundings. Other than a whiskey bar, there's also a restaurant serving the best of Scottish cuisine - fresh seafood, beef, venison, and finger-licking haggis. A definite must try, whilst in Edinburgh. A winner of many awards.
Where to find it:
Address:
119 High Street
Edinburgh EH1 1SG
Tel.: 0131 556 3095

Opening Hours:
Monday - Thursday: 11:00 am - 10:00 pm
Friday - Sunday: 10:00 am - 10:30 pm

11. The World's End

The World's End
Image Courtesy of: Lukas Koster
A great location for a bar which has so much character and old-fashioned feel. The name comes from the old stone wall that was once built to protect the city and the end of it would lie in this spot, hence the world's end, as Edinburgh was their world in those days. There's a great range of real ales and drinks available. Here, you can drink in relative peace as the bar fervently upholds its 'old style' status, keeping presence of television at a minimum.
Where to find it:
Address:
4 High Street
Edinburgh EH1 1TB
Tel.: 0131 556 3628

Opening Hours:
Monday - Friday: 11:00 am - 01:00 am
Saturday - Sunday: 10:00 am - 01:00 am

12. The White Horse Bar

The White Horse Bar
Image Courtesy of: Shadowgate
This small bar on the Royal Mile is very traditional in its Scottish heritage. Despite referring to themselves as a cellar, inside you will find a rather bright cozy bar area with an array of drinks on offer, including 15 gins and circa 40 whiskies, plus a number of craft beers and wines which, complete with the snug atmosphere, create a truly welcoming mix. Still, one can easily pass this place by totally unaware of what's behind its narrow black frontage, as the keepers of the White Horse deliberately avoid putting on anything fancy to attract tourists. The food list is relatively modest, featuring macaroni cheese, chili con carne and a couple of soups, but the local pies - homemade, authentically Scottish - are an absolute killer!
Where to find it:
Address:
266 Canongate
Edinburgh EH8 8AA
Tel.: 0131 557 3512

Opening Hours:
Monday - Thursday, Sunday: 12:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Friday - Saturday: 12:00 pm - 01:00 am

13. Tolbooth Tavern

Tolbooth Tavern
Image Courtesy of: Shadowgate
Although the Tolbooth building has been in place since 1591, the actual tavern was established here only in 1820. The whole complex underwent renovation in 1879 and what it looks like today was created back then. This is yet another pub that looks smaller on the outside than it is inside, until you actually pass through the door to find it stretched way into the back. The hind part of the tavern is used mainly for dining, and it is here that one can feel the presence of the tavern's ghost, habitually knocking things over. Other than that, a visitor to Tolbooth is guaranteed to get a warm feeling from the traditional pub atmosphere and a range of real ales and malt whiskies served.
Where to find it:
Address:
167 Canongate
Edinburgh EH8 8BN
Tel.: 0131 556 5348

Opening Hours:
Monday - Thursday, Sunday: 11:00 am - 11:00 pm
Friday - Saturday: 11:00 am - 00:00
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