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Best dance clubs in Edinburgh: dance until you drop



If you feel like dancing we’ve got you covered. The dancing never stops in Edinburgh. Well, actually, it generally stops at around 3 AM when most of the clubs close - although you will find the odd late license during the festival that will keep you on the dance floor until 5 AM if you have the energy!

There are a lot of Edinburgh dance clubs to choose from and so we’ve compiled a list for the discerning clubber. You’ll find most of the venues in the Old Town and some of them are underground in more senses than one. The Liquid Room is one of the best in the caverns of the Old Town, hosting both dance clubs and live music.

In terms of musical styles, you’ll find everything from nostalgic indie (the Citrus Club) to house, R & B and classic pop (Lulu). Each venue offers a range of different club nights so always check what’s on before you go. Most of them are casual when it comes to dress codes but it pays to do your research to avoid disappointment. The later you go, the better the atmosphere will be but you’ll run the risk of queues.


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Shanghai Club


The Shanghai Club nestles in the basement of an upscale boutique hotel, Le Monde. It has recently been refurbished and boasts a state of the art sound system as well as a variety of areas to fit your mood. The dancefloor is ringed by more intimate booths suitable for smaller parties. There is also a VIP area overlooking the dance floor, the more secluded and chilled Jiading Lounge and a private bar which also offers karaoke packages. The music is generally R & B, Hip Hop and Garage, but specific club nights offer a wider range of tunes. Check out their website for details.

Recommended for Dance Clubs because: The Shanghai Club has a state of the art sound system and a lively atmosphere

Simon's expert tip: The VIP area, booths, Jiading Lounge and private bar all have a minimum spend and offer drinks packages - but they are not cheap!

Read more about Shanghai Club →


The Hive
Photo courtesy of Simon Hill


This labyrinth club is very popular with students and it offers a couple of dance floors and several bar areas. It tends to be very cheap in comparison with most of the other clubbing options in the city but it is also loud, crowded and sweaty. The music is a mixture with an occasional live performance but generally, you'll find pop and chart, indie and electro, rock and metal or drum and bass so check what's on before you go. It does get raucous so it definitely won't be to everyone's taste but it's good for a fun-seeking group on a budget.

Recommended for Dance Clubs because: The Hive is big enough to cater to different tastes on the same night out.

Simon's expert tip: If you go out, be prepared to be herded into a small designated smoking area. Don't argue with the bouncers.

Read more about The Hive →


El Barrio


El Barrio is a lively Latin themed bar, grill and dance club located in the heart of the city center, on Rose Street. The decor is rustic chic with a polished wooden floor, beautiful dark wooden tables contrasted with brightly painted panels and more sombreros than you could shake a stick at. The in-house DJs play a blend of chart hits, club anthems and Latin and Hispanic tunes to create a heady mix fueled by their excellent mojitos. While it is not exactly authentic, and some of the cocktails have very silly names, the atmosphere is great and there is no entry charge.

Recommended for Dance Clubs because: El Barrio has a lively, welcoming ambiance and the dance floor is always jumping

Simon's expert tip: They run salsa classes from 8-10 pm on Friday and Saturday so you can confidently strut your stuff on the dancefloor

Read more about El Barrio →


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If you like to get dressed up for a big night out and you're looking for a trendy venue then Lulu on George Street might just tempt you. The club is underneath the popular Tigerlily and it features a classic Saturday Night Fever style lighted dance floor. There are plenty of sofas and seating areas for a rest between dances and there's also a VIP area and private rooms for hire. You'll find the music is generally chart, house and RnB. It tends to get more expensive the later you go. Some people may find it a bit pretentious and it tends to attract a professional crowd.

Recommended for Dance Clubs because: Lulu is probably the best option in the center of town where decent clubs are scarce.

Simon's expert tip: If you want to avoid waiting then try and get yourself guest listed by messaging their Facebook page. Some of the individual club nights will respond to requests.

Read more about Lulu →


The Wee Red Bar


This small venue can be found in the Edinburgh Art College and it offers a mixture of indie nights and live gigs. It may be small but it's also cheap, comfortable and has a great student vibe although it is not restricted to students. If you want indie or rock at knockdown prices and you don't mind a lot of students then The Wee Red Bar is worth a visit. There's a good range of club nights on here so if you pick the right time you'll find everything from punk to acid house. If you get here before midnight then you'll find entry is even cheaper, in fact, this is a great club for anyone on a budget.

Recommended for Dance Clubs because: The Wee Red Bar is intimate, lively, full of students and very cheap.

Simon's expert tip: Their website is not the easiest to navigate - it is often better to just turn up and see what is on. It could be anything from a club night to stand-up to an LGBT musical!

Read more about The Wee Red Bar →


La Belle Angele


La Belle Angele has been a fixture on the Edinburgh clubbing scene for many years. It burned to the ground in the disastrous Cowgate fire of 2002 and only reopened twelve years later in 2014. Since then it has gone from strength to strength, hosting club nights and live artists. The music is an eclectic mix of soul, rock, house, disco and almost everything else in between. The venue is small and friendly with an intimate dance floor and a great sound system. Outside there is a smoking area which is also very welcome if you need to cool off!

Recommended for Dance Clubs because: La Belle Angele is a lively club offering a great range of club nights and live music.

Simon's expert tip: Check their website often, they host great one-off club nights (like Taste, Reggaeton, and California Love) as well as more regular fixtures.

Read more about La Belle Angele →




You'll find drum and bass, hip hop, electronica, funk and soul, house, disco and the occasional live gig at The Bongo Club. Club nights are regular and various different clubs run at this venue, so always make sure to check their website or Facebook page to see what's on before visiting. The club has recently moved to a new location, just off the Grassmarket under George IV Bridge, and seems to be settling in very happily. Leaving behind the rather shabby, but charming Moray House, the Bongo Club has found new confidence and it's a great place to dance the night away.

Recommended for Dance Clubs because: The Bongo Club is always a safe bet for a night of dancing.

Simon's expert tip: This is a casual laidback venue with a friendly atmosphere and so there's no need to dress up and you should expect to get hot and sweaty.

Read more about The Bongo Club →


4042


From the ashes of the Citrus Club a new late-night bar, club and ping pong hall has arisen. That's right, ping pong hall. This odd, but strangely appealing, combination is called 4042 after its address (40-42 Grindlay Street). The music is mostly hip-hop and R & B with a touch of house and disco, and they pride themselves on their inventive drinks menu. There is a massive screen in the seating area where sporting events are regularly screened and an intimate dance floor but the ping-pong hall is the true spark of genius. Who knew it would be so popular?

Recommended for Dance Clubs because: 4042 is not strictly a club, but a 3 AM hang-out. Give it a try!

Simon's expert tip: Ping-pong is free on Mondays. The rest of the week it costs £5 for half an hour

Read more about 4042 →




Just off the Royal Mile, Cabaret Voltaire has long been one of the best underground dance clubs in Edinburgh. With a string of popular DJs playing sets to packed dance floors, it has always been a popular venue with locals. A friendly atmosphere and great music made it one of the top choices for most clubbers in the area. With a warren of cavernous caves, a plethora of comfortable booths, surprisingly reasonably priced drinks, and a great chill-out room, it ticks all of the boxes for a great night out. It is open from noon and offers a stylish bar environment with club nights running until 3 AM.

Recommended for Dance Clubs because: Cabaret Voltaire has attracted some big names on the dance scene over the years.

Simon's expert tip: If someone big is playing you can expect long queues so get there early to avoid disappointment.

Read more about Cabaret Voltaire →


The Liquid Room


This club is one of the busiest in the city and it attracts a really diverse mixed crowd of fun-seekers. Descend down the staircase into the underground venue and you'll find a massive dance floor with plenty of room to roam. Some of the best new bands on the scene took the stage here before their big break. Well known acts from Scotland and beyond are also regular performers, but this venue isn't all about live music, there are plenty of club nights. This venue has one of the most impressive sound systems in the country. Doors generally open about 7 pm for live music gigs.

Recommended for Dance Clubs because: The Liquid Room is a great venue with plenty of atmosphere and some really good dance club nights.

Simon's expert tip: The smoking garden out back is a good place to cool off and have a chat if you need a break from the music.

Read more about The Liquid Room →


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Meet Simon Hill

Simon has lived in various corners of Edinburgh over the last 18 years. He fell in love with the city as a small child after visiting the castle and returned to study Scottish History.

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