Edinburgh has a surprising number of clubs hidden up its winding streets, some of which you may never even have heard of before.
But how can you try somewhere new for a night out while still ensuring you don’t end up in a dire dive?
We’ve selected the city’s most varied, exciting and best value clubs – with something for everyone – to get you started on your search for your perfect late night venue.
The safe (but fun) bet: Lulu
High end shopping haven George Street comes alive at night, with cocktail bars and classy clubs galore. If you’re in the area and have a hankering for chart tunes, chic club Lulu is bouncing nearly every night of the week with a different theme up its sleeve – from fairground fun to prohibition parties. Weekend clubbing here will always be busy, but the atmosphere is worth it and – if you’d rather not wait in line – you can always pre-book a table for VIP treatment.
Lulu, 125b George Street, EH2 4JN – more info
The alt-cheese-fest: The Hive
Love it or loathe it, The Hive is now an infamous part of Edinburgh club folklore. Open seven nights a week, this dark and somewhat sticky yet still fabulous establishment caters to both nostalgic emo kids and lovers of cheesy pop on a regular basis, with an occasional look-in for chart and hip hop fans. For those who love to sing their heart out to mid-2000s alt-rock anthems on a night out, The Hive is a dream come true. During the Edinburgh Festival and the festive period you can even ‘Hive ’til five’ as the club’s extended licence allows it to stay open until 5am.
The Hive, 15-17 Niddry Street, EH1 1LG – more info
The throwback: The Shack
Whether you’re longing for club nights gone-by or just prefer to strut your stuff to a retro soundtrack, The Shack is the mother ship calling you home. Much more than just a tired ’80s themed club, The Shack plays classic tracks from the 1950s right up to the ’90s – as long as you love pop there will always be some appealing gems on the playlist. Fun and completely chart music free, this club is one of Edinburgh’s underrated assets.
The Shack, 119 Rose Street, EH2 3DT – more info
The trendsetter: Cabaret Voltaire
Cabaret Voltaire (more commonly known as Cab Vol) regularly showcase heaps of DJ talent from across Scotland, the UK and wider Europe. The music played is varied – from deep house to disco – but always cutting edge. Move between rooms to soak up the sounds on offer, or book a table or booth in advance and watch the clubbing world go by. The café-cum-club feel of Cab Vol gives it a unique and relaxed ambiance, and they pride themselves on their cocktails so make time to sample one or two if you visit.
Cabaret Voltaire, 36 Blair Street, EH1 1QR – more info
The alternative option: Bongo Club
For something a bit different, you can count on The Bongo Club to deliver. This slightly off-the-wall establishment runs regular soul, hip hop and breakbeat mash-up nights, reggae celebrations and – our personal favourite – a monthly rock ‘n’ roll ping pong session. You can partake in a friendly match as in-house DJs Ding and Dong (probably not their real names) spin an inspirational soundtrack in the background – what better way to spend a Sunday night?
The Bongo Club, 66 Cowgate, EH1 1JX – more info
Main photo: Getty Images
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