12 things to do on rainy day in Edinburgh
Forth Bridge storm clouds

Let’s face it, you’re not in Auld Reekie for the tropical climate

As nice as Edinburgh is on a sunny day, there’s bound to be more than a few wet ones throughout the year too.

But that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty you could still enjoy in the city without the aid of sunshine. Here are some of our favourite rainy day activities to help inspire your own day. Pack the mac and get out there, Edinburghers.


Grab breakfast at Checkpoint

We’re all for al fresco dining where possible, but a warm pot of tea and Checkpoint’s delicious hash brown and egg breakfasts more than make up for a grey sky.

3 Bristo Place, EH1 1EY – checkpointedinburgh.com

10 more of the best breakfasts in Edinburgh

Take a wander around Fruitmarket Gallery

A photo posted by Finlay Geddes (@fgeddez) on

Edinburgh’s art galleries are an impressive bunch with more than a helping of history to discover, but what makes the Fruitmarket gallery a stand-out is its committal to fresh and new art – with the walls literally moving to make new way for exhibitions.

45 Market Street, EH1 1DF – fruitmarket.co.uk

Get lost in the National Museum of Scotland

National Museum of Scotlandgeneralising / Flickr / CC

And when we say lost, we literally mean lost – the NMS is a staggering three floors of exhibitions with more than enough to while away a dreary morning.

Chambers Street, EH1 1JF – nms.ac.uk/national-museum-of-scotland


Take in an afternoon screening at an art-house cinema

The Cameo Edinburgh
Neil H / Flickr / CC

Okay, so our music scene has never quite reached the dizzy heights of our cousins in the West, but if you’re looking to stay dry and see something compelling on the silver screen – Edinburgh is the best.

The Cameo, 38 Home Street, EH3 9LZ – picturehouses.com/Cameo / Filmhouse, 88 Lothian Road, EH3 9BZ – filmhousecinema.com

Warm up at Union of Genius

Nothing quite makes a rainy day bearable like a warm serving of soup with roll on the side, and Union of Genius are an Edinburgh establishment committed to the best possible comfort eating.

8 Forrest Road, EH1 2QN – unionofgenius.com

10 of the best Edinburgh eateries for soup and a roll in Edinburgh

Sip a cold one at Brew Lab

Brew Lab West EndBrew Lab

No, we’re not talking booze just yet. Even without alcohol, Brew Lab’s trademark ice cold coffee is sure to put a pep in your step if you’re mustering the strength to walk Edinburgh’s cobbled streets with an umbrella – or even if you’re just planning to stick around and peruse a good book.

6-8 South College Street, EH8 9AA – brewlabcoffee.co.uk

Change your perceptions at Camera Obscura

Discovery isn’t exclusive to the great outdoors – the illusions and power of science are all on show at the Camera Obscura. There are even telescopic views of the city on offer, all without venturing outside.

549 Castlehill, EH1 2ND – camera-obscura.co.uk

Get climbing at the EICA

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Another option for those who still want to get active, without getting soaked in the process. Edinburgh’s Climbing Arena includes a huge climbing wall and an assault course 30 metres above the ground. One for the thrill-seekers.

South Platt Hill, EH28 8AA – eica-ratho.co.uk

Shoot some pool at Marco’s

Marco's Pool Hall, EdinburghFacebook / Marco’s Pool Hall and Pizza Bar

Looking for something a little more low-key? Marco’s on Grove Street is a pool hall with all the American trimmings. You can shoot pool with your friends, sip some beers and even wolf down a slice or two of stone-baked pizza if the competition is getting you hungry.

79 Grove Street, EH3 8FG – marcos.uk.com


Prop up a craft beer bar

Speaking of beers, the city really has become spoilt for choice when it comes interesting drinks on tap in the last decade. From the switching barrels of The Hanging Bat, to the taste of Deutschland at The Brauhaus – there’s more than enough to see you through a wet evening. Check out our guide to 10 of the best places for craft beer in Edinburgh for inspiration.

Settle in at a ‘proper’ pub

A photo posted by Sara Caglieri (@caglietta) on

Auld Reekie is the pub capital of the UK, and with every new-fangled boozy offering that comes along, there’s still a plethora of cosy old-school pubs where you can sink in to a chair and pass the time.

12 of the best ‘proper’ pubs in Edinburgh

Get physical with Wiff Waff

Wiff Waff WednesdayFacebook / Wiff Waff Wednesday

A monthly ping pong night which is more about the social aspect of smashing paddles than heated competition. The Leith event attracts crowds of all ages, with food and drink on offer too.

Drill Hall, 36 Dalmeny Street, EH6 8RG – facebook.com/WiffWaffWednesday

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Main image: Chris Combe / Flickr / CC