Where to go in Edinburgh on Hogmanay outside the street party zone

We've picked a few of the best places to hang out in Edinburgh for Hogmanay

Published 30th Dec 2015
Updated 8 th Aug 2023

Don't have tickets to the street party? Partying with 150,000 people not your thing? Here are a few ideas on where (else) to hang out in Edinburgh for Hogmanay, far from the madding crowd, and still catch a glimpse of the fireworks between rounds.

Bursting with bars that straddle the line between cosy local and stylish hangout, Stockbridge is also in perfect proximity to Inverleith Park, and its uninterrupted view of the fireworks.

Take your pick from The Bailie, a neighbourhood institution for closing in on 150 years, replete with all the trappings of a proper pub (carpets, dark wood, real fire, cosy nooks); the gimmick-free but perfectly serviceable, lively, large and friendly Hamilton's on Hamilton Place; the Stockbridge outpost of the New Town's best bar, the classic and classy Bon Vivant, on Dean Street; The Last Word Saloon on St Stephen Street if your tastes run more cocktails with the cool kids than a dram with your dad, or choose stylish stalwart Hector's or the neighbouring Stockbridge Tap, with its 70-plus whiskies, and you can tumble out the door and round the corner and be at the park in three minutes.

Picture: Bon Vivant
Picture: Bon Vivant

The People's Republic of Leith can feel removed from the rest of the city – a blessing or a curse depending on your point of view, but if removing yourself from street party madness is a priority there's no better place to do it. Down at The Shore you're spoiled for choice, with sweet Swedish haven Sofi's, the always packed out Carriers Quarters, contender for most beautiful bar in Edinburgh Nobles or the mighty King's Wark, keeping it real since 1432.

kings wark
Picture: King's Wark

On Leith Walk itself the Swedish empire of Boda and Victoria's (sister bars to Sofi's and Joseph Pearce's, more of which later) are reliably fun, friendly and stocked with an excellent drinks selection, as is the tiny Tourmalet just off the main drag on Buchanan Street.

Picture: Boda

Or head a little further up towards Hillside to neighbourhood favourite Joseph Pearce's; the enormous Jeremiah's Taproom on Elm Row, with its 16 taps and 50 bottled craft beers or rock 'n' roll institution The Black Bull up on Leith Street and as a bonus you can wander up Calton Hill (if you dare defy the City council to see the fireworks).

Picture: Joseph Pearce's
Picture: Joseph Pearce's

An unimpeded – and unregulated – view of the display can be obtained from Bruntsfield Links, and there are plenty of bars around Bruntsfield and Tollcross in which to pass the time beforehand.

Relative newcomer The Blackbird helped set the tone for a neighbourhood revival, with its hipster-approved décor and extensive cocktail list, while the much-loved Golf Tavern, Scotland's oldest golf pub has been supremely unconcerned with issues of transience since 1456 – with Chesterfields and a roaring fire plus a choice of 15 gins, it's open till 3am on Hogmanay.

Picture: The Golf Tavern

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