Edinburgh after hours: What to do when the sun goes down

Things to do in Edinburgh at night

Looking for things to do in Edinburgh at night? Here, we’ve put together a few suggestions to help our guests plan their evenings. Based at Parliament House Hotel, you’re in the heart of the action! So, let’s take a look at some ideas for what to do when the sun goes down …

Places to eat

Of course, eating out is a popular evening activity in Edinburgh. There are so many wonderful restaurants, where you can sample cuisine from all over the world, including our own traditional Scottish fare. From fine dining restaurants to laid-back eateries, there’s something for every taste and budget. See our guide to the best restaurants near our hotel. We advise booking in advance where possible, especially during busy times.

Couple eating dinner in a restaurant

Places to drink

After a delicious meal, there are lots of fantastic venues in Edinburgh, where you can relax with a drink. From traditional Scottish pubs to secret cocktail bars, you’ll find the perfect watering hole. Read our guide to the best pubs and bars near our hotel. And don’t forget, our cosy snug is waiting for you back at Parliament House Hotel, where you can enjoy a nightcap.

Making a cocktail in a bar

Night time walks

Edinburgh looks different by night, and it’s a great time to go for a stroll. Take a walk up Calton Hill in the early evening to watch the sun set, for spectacular city views. Explore the Royal Mile’s narrow cobbled streets and see Edinburgh Castle all lit up after dark.

There are plenty of guided walks, which start from the Royal Mile. Such as historical and themed walks. And for those brave enough, check out these spooky ghost walks and tours.

People walking down the Royal Mile at night

Comedy Clubs

Visiting a comedy club is a great evening activity in Edinburgh. See famous comedians, local stand-ups and up-and-coming stars at venues such as The Stand, Monkey Barrel Comedy and the Beehive Inn. Plus, during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August, there is a comedy club on every corner!

Comedy Show neon sign on the wall

Museum Lates

The National Museum of Scotland sometimes opens its doors after hours for themed adult-only party nights. Previous themes have included A Highland Fling, Night of the Mammoths and Victorian Sensation. These are great fun and unique experiences, so keep an eye out for the next one at what’s on at the NMS.

Close up of a glass of Champagne at an evening event

Festivals, Events & Shows

Edinburgh really knows how to put on a show, famous for its year-round programme of festivals and events. Each with an array of evening entertainments.

Not forgetting our wonderful theatre and concert venues, such as the Edinburgh Playhouse, just around the corner from our hotel. See the shows coming up later this year and book a magical theatre break with us!

Close up of guitar on stage at a concert


At certain times of year, for example during the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, at the end of the Edinburgh International Festival and at the stroke of midnight on Hogmanay, the sky is lit up above Edinburgh Castle with a magnificent display of fireworks. One of the best things to see at night! Here are some of the best places to view them.

Fireworks over Edinburgh at the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

Book your stay at Parliament House Hotel and enjoy Edinburgh by day and night! View our special offers and contact us here for more information.