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Al Fresco Drinking in Edinburgh

al-fresco drin king in edinburgh

There’s nothing quite like sitting outdoors with a chilled drink on a sunny day in Edinburgh. Whether you’re after a quiet, traditional pub or a stylish terrace with views of the sky, the city certainly isn’t short of al fresco drinking establishments. Here’s a list of some of our favourites…

Black bird

This recent addition to the Edinburgh drinks scene has really made its mark. We here at Informed Edinburgh think their beer garden is outstanding!

At the end of an old Edinburgh Close on Leven Street, this dog friendly beer garden catches the sun at all the right times. Enjoy one of their many summery cocktails or wind down after work with a glass of wine in the beautiful summer evening hue.

Joseph Pearce

 As part of the Boda Bar group, Joseph Pearces at the tail end of Elm Row is an ideal place to sit and watch the world go by.

 Sip on one of their many cocktails or imported Beers and just take in the beauty that is Edinburgh on a sunny day.

The Pear Tree House

The Pear Tree House is an Edinburgh institution and in the summer the large beer garden is one of the city’s most popular outdoor venues. Situated close to the university it attracts both students and locals alike. The lovely walled courtyard comes into its own with a lively and cheery atmosphere. Be sure to get there early as it fills up quickly and stays packed way beyond the sun setting.

The Cumberland Bar

Come summer, there are few places in the city that can match the idyllic atmosphere of the Cumberland beer garden. With very little traffic noise, it’s the perfect spot for a peaceful, leisurely drink in the sun. It has a great atmosphere on busy summer nights too.

Hotel Du Vin

The hotel has a lovely little enclosed courtyard and is a surprisingly tranquil haven from the bustling city centre. An exceptional wine list and a comprehensive selection of ales served in traditional pewter tankards make this a wonderful place to catch some rays.

Maxies Bistro

Located on a fabulous garden terrace overlooking the lively Victoria Street, Maxies has a great atmosphere especially on summer evenings. A perfect place to sit and watch the world go by.


The people-watching mecca on fashionable George Street, Browns is an elegant choice for alfresco drinks. Sit out front and choose from the extensive wine-list, the wide selection of continental beers and a cocktail list to die for.

Black Bull

One of Edinburgh’s oldest pubs, the Black Bull is the perfect spot for a bit of people-watching on the historic Grassmarket.  The atmosphere is fantastic on a summer evening with all sorts of clientele including students, families, tourists, and hen nights out having a good time. The Bull has plenty of real ale as well as a great selection of whiskies and cocktails on request.