Nightlife for International Students in Edinburgh: a list of bars, pubs, and clubs to have fun and practice English in the Scottish capital.

Nightlife in Edinburgh is exciting, and it may also be educational for international students who have just arrived in the Scottish capital. But without a “how-to-enjoy-your nights-out in Edinburgh” essential guide, the chances of them having fun are limited, and the opportunities to meet English speakers to practice the language are limited too. With a helpful list of the coolest bars, pubs and clubs, you’ll know where to meet people to practice the English language, enjoy nice beer, or watch a sports match.

Practice and improve your English language skills while having fun.

Edinburgh Nightlife can be very exciting all year, but during the weekends it is thrilling, especially for students. English school has started, and you need to improve your English language skills to get good marks. But even if you know that you can achieve goals by studying hard, you can also reach them while having a lot of fun. This is not a joke - you should take this very seriously. A spectacular night out is also valuable for improving your English skills, and you don’t have to struggle so much when you are enjoying a good ale or a chat with a local. 

An essential guide to enjoying Edinburgh. 

Walking around The Old Town, you can head to the area in and around The Grassmarket, and enjoy a drink and some food at Frankenstein’s, or maybe drop in at the alternative Opium or at The Wee Pub, Scotland’s smallest pub. You can also decide to go to the Grassmarket Bar, and watch live sports. You may decide to stop at The Last Drop or Maggie Dickson’s, located right next to the scene of public hangings, which took place there back in the 18th century.

On South Bridge, between the Cowgate and The Royal Mile, you might like to listen to good music, played all night, at WhistleBinkies. Or if you want to visit Scotland’s most haunted nightclub, you cannot miss The Banshee Labyrinth, where you can watch movies until 3am and listen to live bands, playing anything from metal to punk. The Royal Oak and Sandy’s Bell are historical venues, ideal for enjoying live folk music and meeting locals from Edinburgh. And if you like Funk, Blues, Soul, Fusion, Roots or Acoustic events, The Jazz Bar venue is the answer.

Finally, after a few drinks and new friendships, you might like to dance, so here are some of the most popular clubs for student nights out with the best drink deals: if your favorite music is Drum & Bass and Techno, try The Lane; if you prefer Hip Hop or R&B, The Bongo Club, Shanghai, Silk, Lulu or Why Not? are the best choices for you; otherwise, you might like to dance to Indie Rock Music at Cabaret Voltaire, The Liquid Room, The Hive, or Sneaky’s Pete’s

Keep in mind that the Scotland’s licensing laws mean clubs close at 3am, except during the Fringe Festival, when they close at 5am.

So enjoy your Edinburgh nights out guys!


English Courses in Edinburgh, UK

General English - IELTS - FCE - CAE - Young Learner

Some interesting vocabulary:

Thrilling (adj) = very exciting. Some common collocations are “thrilling adventures”, “thrilling movies” and “thrilling holidays/days out”.

Spectacular (adj) = wonderful and impressive. We often use this for beautiful views or large, exciting events. The Edinburgh Festival Fireworks were spectacular.

Valuable (adj) = we can use “valuable” to mean worth a lot of money, but it can also mean that something is very useful or worth doing. “Profitable” is usually used in a business context.

To drop in (phrasal verb) = visit briefly. You can drop in to visit a friend or drop in to a pub for a quick visit. But you will only stay for a short time.

Hanging (noun) = execution by rope around the neck. Read the crazy story of Maggie Dickson’s hanging here.