There are so many great student bars in Edinburgh where you can hang out with your friends, but most people tend to revisit the same few places. If you’re looking for a bit more variety in your routine, I’ve created a list of some of the best student bars in Edinburgh. These include all sorts of establishments that offer a variety of unique activities, from darts games to cocktail classes! This list showcases some of the more unusual bars in Edinburgh, highlighting the ones with unforgettable menus or a fascinating ambiance. These are places you could easily spend hours hanging out in, and they offer an experience you just won’t find in some of the more mainstream bars. So start exploring these 10 top student bars in Edinburgh to see which ones you love the most.

1. The Raging Bull

The Raging Bull student bars in Edinburgh
Source: The Raging Bull Edinburgh

Located on Lothian Road, the Raging Bull is known for its amazing cocktail menu and its classy, stylish atmosphere. The manager recommends ‘Bounty on my Head’, saying:

“It is like drinking an alcoholic liquid form of the Bounty chocolate bar. The perfect drink for those with a sweet tooth!”

This popular student bar in Edinburgh is often full on Friday and Saturday nights, but you can book in advance to avoid disappointment. The Raging Bull also has private rooms are available for hire, making it an ideal meeting place for student clubs, and it even offers a cocktail-making class for £45 per person.

Address: 161 Lothian Rd, Edinburgh EH3 9AA

2. The Pilgrim Bar

The Pilgrim Bar
Source: Pilgrim Bar

Known for its unique aesthetic, the Pilgrim Bar creates a classic ‘old-school’ atmosphere with its 1930s cinema seats and denim jean sofas. If you’re all about the environment and doing what you can, then you might be happy to know that it uses 90% upcycled materials for its furniture and decorations, which is pretty unique.

Pilgrim Bar also boasts Edinburgh’s ‘biggest and best’ quiz night, so consider registering a team for a fun night out! If all of that wasn’t enough to tempt you, the Pilgrim Bar also offers a 15% student discount – definitely worth keeping in mind the next time you’re in Cowgate.

Address: 3 Robertson’s Cl, Edinburgh EH1 1LY

3. Flight Club Edinburgh

Flight Club is one of the best student bars in Edinburgh
Source: Flight Club Edinburgh

This is one for the darts lovers! Flight Club is a chain of bars offering social dart games and great drinks across the UK, opening in Edinburgh in 2023 to become one of the best student bars in the city. Who doesn’t love a bit of friendly competition mixed with cocktails and a beautiful bar to hang out in? It’s got it all. There are also organised tournaments, for those who like to get extra competitive! The bar itself is beautifully designed in vibrant colours, and offers brunch on the weekends. If you’re ordering food, you don’t have to disrupt your game either as they have a ‘push for service’ button if you’re booked in a group in one of their ‘oches’ (semi-private areas).

Address: 300-306 St James Cres, Edinburgh EH1 3AE

4. The Cauldron

potion making at The Cauldron Edinburgh - best student bars
Source: The Cauldron Edinburgh Facebook

In my opinion, this is one of the most unique bars in Edinburgh. It’s basically a Harry Potter fan’s dream come true. At The Cauldron, you can try  ‘potion-making’ classes where clients can brew a drinkable concoction. Recipes vary depending on the time of year, with special potions on offer during the Halloween and Christmas seasons. You even have the opportunity to put on a cloak and wield a wand as you brew! The Cauldron is located on Frederick Street, not far from the next bar on the list, so you could do a bit of bar crawl across a few of Edinburgh’s student bars in one go!

Address: 57a Frederick St, Edinburgh EH2 1LH

5. Lucky Liquor

Lucky Liquor
Source: Lucky Liquor Co. Facebook

 The cocktail menu of this unique student bar changes every 3 months, allowing you to try a large variety of interesting recipes. This is a hidden gem of the student bars in Edinburgh, with a charming and nostalgic ambience – music is played on a record player, and its small size creates a cosier atmosphere than some of the larger bars. Because of its size, you’ll probably need to make a reservation as they have limited seating space. Plus – don’t take cash with you as they’re card payments only!

Address: 9A Queen St, Edinburgh EH2 3NH

6. Hoot the Redeemer

student bars in Edinburgh
Source: Hoot the Redeemer Instagram

This quirky cocktail bar on Hanover Street has the aesthetic of a ‘vintage funfair’, with all its cocktails inspired by different tarot cards. It also offers ice cream with whiskey or Guinness syrup, for those in search of a unique dessert. Hoot the Redeemer supports local businesses and stocks only Scottish beer and cider. With its emphasis on promoting sustainable practices, it’s no wonder it made it onto the list of the best student bars in Edinburgh. As if all that wasn’t enough, they even have retro arcade games and live performances for entertainment!

Address: 7 Hanover St, Edinburgh EH2 2DL

7. The Pear Tree

The Pear Tree student bar beer garden
Source: The Pear Tree Facebook

Located in one of Edinburgh’s most historic buildings, The Pear Tree has been home to people as famous as Robert Burns and the Usher family. So when visiting, just remember you’re walking (or getting tipsy) on the stomping ground of famous Scots!

This student pub gets its name from the two pear trees at its front door, which still flower and bear fruit every year. Its huge outdoor terrace makes it an ideal spot in the summer, but it’s still super cosy inside when it’s cold. To top it off, The Pear Tree boasts the largest LED screen in any Scottish beer garden, making it the perfect place for sports fans.

Address: 38 W Nicolson St, Newington, Edinburgh EH8 9DD

8. Tipsy Midgie 

Tipsie Midgie Whisky and Gin student bar Edinburgh
Source: Tipsie Midgie Whisky and Gin Drinkery Facebook

Students interested in a truly Scottish experience should pay a visit to Tipsy Midgie. This whiskey bar offers ‘Discovery Thursdays’, where it showcases the different whiskey distilleries of Scotland. Or you could go to a combined whiskey and chocolate tasting event, in which whiskies and chocolates are carefully chosen to complement each other’s flavours. Perhaps the most Scottish of student bars in Edinburgh, this is a must for those who appreciate ‘the water of life!’ If you aren’t a fan of whiskey but still want to check it out, they also serve lots of gin!

Address: 67 St Leonard’s Hill, Edinburgh EH8 9SB

9. The Hanging Bat Beer Cafe

The Hanging Bat Edinburgh
Source: The Hanging Bat

Those who prefer beer should make their way down to Lothian Road, the home of The Hanging Bat. This bar imports craft beer from all over the world, and even has its own brewing area to produce flavours you’ll find nowhere else. They’ve also got great wines, spirits, cocktails and lots more. It also serves food, including vegan and vegetarian options. You could snack on chillis, burgers, or tacos, and even create a DIY hot dog.

The bar itself is full of colourful wall art and nods to their name (e.g. bat-shaped taps). It’s also full of comfortable sofas, making it a good place to hang out at night.

Address: 133 Lothian Rd, Edinburgh EH3 9AB

10. The Botanist

The Botanist Edinburgh
Source: The Botanist Edinburgh

This is surely one of the most beautiful student bars in Edinburgh, decorated with plants from all over the world. It’s perhaps a bit more fancy than some other Edinburgh student bars, so you might want to dress up slightly. There’s live music every night of the week, plus unique plant-inspired cocktails, and lots of local beers and wines.

Address: 1 Leith St, Little King St, Edinburgh EH1 3DX

Now that you’ve learnt about some of the best places to go out and drink among fellow students, why not go explore a couple? Don’t forget to bring your student card to take advantage of any discounts! On a related note, you could also check out where to get 2 for 1 cocktails in Edinburgh. And for students on a budget, why not check out our list of the 10 cheapest bars in Edinburgh?


Last Updated on June 19, 2024