The best after-show hang-outs and pop-up bars at the Fringe
edinburgh festival fringe

When you’ve done all your Fringe-going for the day, where to next?

Everything changes during the festival season in Edinburgh.

It may have a tendency to irk locals, but it brings a spirited atmosphere with plenty more places to drink and hang out.

We’re sharing this guide to keep you clued up on the pop-up bars and hang-outs to kill some time.

Tron Kirk

May @Jesus pardon us #concert #beers #church #fringefestival #2015

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It frequently turns into a market outside of the festival, but the doors to the Tron Kirk are open for the whole of August.

This intimate stamping ground comes equipped with a full bar, heaps of live music and a perfectly positioned La Favorita van outside the venue that takes orders from inside the former parish church.

It may be jam-packed most of the time, but the atmosphere in the 17th century former church is tranquil – unless there is some obscure burlesque show going on, which can happen in August.

Hunter Square, EH1 1QW 

Pear Tree House garden

Enjoying some live blues and a pint at the Fringe

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It normally operates as a standard pub throughout the year, but when the weather gets semi-good, the benches are brought out and The Pear Tree suddenly becomes lively. The best thing about it is the live music, which features a stage tucked in the corner, organised and maintained by local company Fortune Promotions.

38 West Nicolson Street, EH8 9DD / more info

Cow Shed


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This makeshift garage-type hangout has become so popular during the Fringe that organisers decided to bring it back for the month of June to show Euro 2016 along with all-day acoustic music to accompany the atmosphere. People carouse in the packed venue during the whole of August, with attention geared towards the acoustic acts and little fun fair games that pop-up.

It does supply plenty of drink and the seats are made of hay bale. Based in the middle of the Cowgate – we see what they did there – you will immediately know where the venue is when approaching it, as the live music sounds cavernous in the long, dark street.

Cowgate, EH1 1JH

Assembly George Square Gardens

#EdFringe 💕

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This is a huge chunk of land located in George Square Gardens, which hosts a few bars and is handily located near the many Assembly George Square venues and the Gilded Balloon at Teviot. Fitted with various benches dotted all over the garden, it’s a decorous hub to perch at after hours of walking and sitting in sweltering venues.

George Square, EH8 9AL / more info

Gilded Balloon at Teviot


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The Teviot Students’ Union is already a maze with numerous rooms and bars, but the place transforms into oodles of venues ranging in size and intimacy from spacious to minuscule. What’s more, the area outside is temporarily renovated into a beer garden filled with bars and street food vans. You may even spot the odd Fringe star busking or flyering nearby.

Bristo Square, EH8 9AJ / more info

Pleasance Courtyard

What a pleasure

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This spot is like the epicentre of the Fringe: always rammed wall-to-wall with festival clientele, because, like Teviot, it’s another Edinburgh University owned venue and it’s home to numerous venues.

But the extent of land at the Pleasance is greater, meaning there’s always space to stand around and sip a pint while scrolling through the large board that details the scheduling of shows.

60 Pleasance, EH8 9TJ / more info

Stand in the Square


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A festival fixture for the third year running, The Stand Comedy club has the laughs spilling from its usual York Place home and out into St Andrew Square – complete with the iconic Famous Spiegeltent too. Stand in the Square proved itself to be a hub of activity last year, complete with pop-up bars, food stalls and music on till late. No disappointing sequels here.

St Andrew Square, Edinburgh, EH2 / more info

Whiski Rooms

This is one of Edinburgh’s best hidden gems. What better way would to spend your festival time than trying many different nips of Scotland’s finest export?

It hosts folk music on a nightly basis during the Fringe, with traditional meals and various whisky accoutrements – from whisky cocktails to desserts. It’s the perfect position to finish a night or serve as a pit-stop between shows.

4-7 North Bank Street, EH1 2LP / more info

Brass Monkey

A pub with beds? #edinburgh

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If you really need to put your hard-worked feet up, Brass Monkey just off South Bridge has a room dedicated to fitting as many cosy beds and sofas as possible.

With a movie playing in the background and a full bar by the front entrance, it’s the ideal location to have a quick drink – and perhaps a power-nap.

14 Drummond Street, EH8 9TU

The Free Sisters

Easter weekend food festival with a sprinkle of rain. #edinburgh #thisisedinburgh #thethreesistersfoodfestival

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The Three Sisters is normally a busy venue throughout the year – especially during the Six Nations or any major football tournament – and its outdoor area is a popular destination.

And during the festival the Cowgate venue is the hub for the Free Festival – hence ‘The Free Sisters’ – where it hosts theatre and comedy performances, live music, bars, food stalls and a hotel.

139 Cowgate, EH1 1JS / more info


It’s always busy throughout the year but the large arts complex at Summerhall comes into its own during August with a sizeable outdoor space.

Before you know it, you could be witnessing a piece of live theatre in the courtyard, before dashing off to one of the many shows that Summerhall’s impressive programme hosts.

Summerhall Place, EH9 1PL / more info


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