How to escape the Winter Blues in Edinburgh

Travelling around the world during winter can be hard. The days are short, the nights are chilly and every part of you just wants to just hide away somewhere warm. So we’ve done some first-hand research and compiled a bunch of ways to keep warm and toasty while exploring Edinburgh.

Winter in Edinburgh


There’s a reason so many cold countries have such strong whisky traditions. There’s nothing quite like warming your belly with that golden liquid after escaping the weather outside and Edinburgh is stocked full of great whisky hideaways to explore. Our favourite is the tiny Bow Bar at the top of Victoria Street where you can often find many a red-nosed local treating themselves to a dram or two after work. Their whisky list is extensive, their knowledge deep and the small interior a welcome escape from the cold. You can find them 80 West Bow.


Everybody likes a good boogie, but often we’re all too afraid to slip on those dancing shoes and get out there. Luckily, that’s where the events team of our 3 Edinburgh Hostels come in! Every Wednesday at 9:30 head up towards the top of the Royal Mile and then take a left to our Castle Rock Hostel to join our Weekly Celidh! Our team then leads you to Stramash for one of the best nights of the week as you are taught how to dance in true Scottish style with a traditional band. The drinks are cheap, the music is good and before you know it you’ll have enough courage to conquer any dancefloor.


If it’s music you’re after then Edinburgh has you covered. From the smooth sultry sounds of Jazz Bar to the more traditional music of Sandy Bell’s, there’s something for everyone. But our top spots for a bit of those sweet sounds that make us want to dance has to be Captain’s Bar and Fingers Piano Bar. Captain’s Bar is always a gamble, but a gamble worth taking. Every night different artists bring their instruments to the bar and the performances are often intimate and authentic. If you don’t mind the walk then head to New Town for a few cocktails en route to Fingers, a piano bar with a twist. We promise you won’t leave Edinburgh without hearing something you enjoy.


We can’t think of anything better than cosying up to watch a film, other than cosying up to watch a film in some of Edinburgh’s coolest bars. Banshee Labyrinth is Edinburgh’s premium horror bar and also the home of one of the city’s coolest theatres, right below it. So grab a drink at the bar and head down into the caverns below South Bridge to watch their selection of the day. If you haven’t had your fill just yet then head down South Bridge to The Brass Monkey, home to a tiny cinema room complete with bed seating. We bet you won’t find bars like this anywhere else!


Scotland is somewhat of a gin paradise. Whether you’re getting a gin flavoured with Brussel sprouts or sticking to a traditional London Dry, we guarantee Edinburgh has more than enough options to keep you busy. The gin experience at Edinburgh Gin is well worth the entry fee, but if you can’t get a booking (very likely on weekends) then check out the awesome Pickering’s Gin at Summerhall. Pickerings offers a friendly, fun and engaging tour with more than enough samples to get even the most hardened drinkers a bit tipsy. You can find out about their tours on


Want to learn something while exploring a new city? Then Edinburgh has you covered. The Museum of Edinburgh on Canongate (the bottom of the Royal Mile) explores the history of our beautiful city, while the National Museum of Scotland is a testament to Scotland’s role in the advancement of modern technology. If you want to learn about some of Edinburgh’s most famous authors then head to the Writer’s Museum just off the Royal Mile. The best thing about Edinburgh’s plethora of museums? They’re free! So get out there and explore!


To end your day in the capital try get off the Royal Mile a bit and find yourself something tasty to eat. Edinburgh’s Largest Nachos are always a good shout (find them at Auld Hoose on St Leonard’s Street). Alternatively, head to Teviot Place to try some student-priced food at Ting Thai Caravan (Thai), Le Saboteur (Vietnamese), El Cartel (Mexican) or Paradise Palms (Vegetarian). If you’re looking for something a bit more traditional then head to the bars on your hostel card for a discounted meal at George IV or the Royal Mile Tavern. The food options in Edinburgh are varied and close to our 3 hostels, so you won’t have to face the weather for long to get some great food.

It may be cold out, but Edinburgh is still the nicest place to be this winter. So book yourself a few nights in Scotland’s capital at our 3 Edinburgh Hostels and come see why winter is one of our favourite seasons!

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