Discover the Best Live Music Venues in Edinburgh

As the offices and shops shut and the tourist attractions close for the day, the mood of the capital changes as revelers prepare for a night of drinking, dancing, and fun on the streets of Edinburgh. The cobbled streets and wynds of the old town fill with the sound of music and laughter and all over the city pubs fill up with locals and visitors. Before long a wide variety of live acts and bands strut their stuff in a range of venues of all sizes.

As the crowds in the Grassmarket swell, those in the know make their way towards the Liquid Rooms where up and coming indie, electro and alternative acts prepare to entertain in a relatively intimate and always vibrant subterranean maze. Fans of traditional Folk music are spoiled for choice by a variety of bars and clubs where professional musicians and gifted amateurs rub shoulders.

Others seeking the exhilarating experience of a headliner act and a larger crowd head to the faded Art Deco splendor of the HMV Picture House to dance and drink the night away. There are many great venues to enjoy the glorious sound of a full symphony orchestra or the inspiring swell of a professional choir, but it is hard to beat the beautifully refurbished Usher Hall. Check out our list for more options.



Tucked snugly away under the catacombs of the Royal Mile near the trendy Grassmarket nestles Bannermans Bar, a fixture in the Edinburgh rock scene for many years. The venue still sports the original rough-hewn stonework of the original building...  Read More



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...  Read More



The HMV Picture House (formerly the Caley Palais) has been hosting live bands since the seventies, but in 2008 it received a much needed refurbishment which included the renovation of many of the original Art Deco features such as the beautiful...  Read More

Henry's Cellar Bar
Photo courtesy of Simon Hill


Henry's Cellar Bar is perhaps best associated with jazz and blues, but is actually home to a much wider variety of musical styles. It is one of the capital's lower cost venues and only has a small stage and fairly basic décor so it is less...  Read More



The Voodoo Rooms is composed of six large rooms: the main bar, the dining room, the speakeasy, the ballroom, and the ballroom bar. Each is decorated in opulent fin de si?cle style with rich dark mahogany, black leather and ornate gilded...  Read More



The Queen's Hall was originally known as Hope Park Chapel. It was built in 1823 and converted into a live music venue in 1979, with many of the original Georgian features retained. It has a beautiful auditorium with excellent acoustics which...  Read More



Whistle Binkies is a cavernous bar that offers live entertainment seven nights a week. Descend the steps from the Old Town and you'll find yourself in a large bar with a few private seating areas carved out of the rock. Whistle Binkies hosts...  Read More



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...  Read More



For musical performances of every description, the Usher Hall is one of Edinburgh's most popular venues. It is also one of the most dramatic structures in the city. It was funded by the son of a whisky distiller who donated 100,000 pounds and,...  Read More



This club is a bit more accessible than many of the crazier places in Edinburgh, but it still maintains its hip edge. Head down the cobbled Victoria Street towards the Grassmarket and you'll descend into the underground venue. Inside there...  Read More


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.

After...  More About Simon