The Best Alfresco Drinking in Edinburgh

alfresco bars edinburgh


here’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 alfresco drinking establishments. Here’s a list of some of our favourites…

The Blue Goose Country Pub

27 Lanark Road, EH14 1TG  |  0131 629 4143  |

alfresco bars edinburghNestling cosily on the banks of the Water of Leith, The Blue Goose offers the perfect mix of elegance and relaxation. Whatever your reasons for visiting, their friendly and helpful staff are on hand from the moment you walk in the door.

Relax in their spacious and enchanting beer garden with an abundance of flora and bohemian bird houses – the perfect place for alfresco drinking on warm summer nights!


The Pear Tree House

alfresco bars edinburghThe 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

alfresco bars edinburgh

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.



Malmaison Hotel

alfresco bars edinburghThe Edinburgh Malmaison offers the alfresco drinker an extensive an exciting wine and cocktail list. Sit and enjoy your drink as you watch the sun go down over the waters of the Forth.

Great place to people watch and to soak up the atmosphere on the ‘Shore’.



The Garden Cafe (back of Dome)

alfresco bars edinburghIn the city’s secret garden, if the rain does start, an electronic cover shelters you from the elements. Sit back, relax and enjoy your wine and coffee in this lovely sunken terrace.

Coffees from 10am and  food and drink from 12 noon, tables are allocated on a first come, first served basis. The entrance is on Rose Street (at the back of the Dome building).


Hotel Du Vin

alfresco bars edinburghThe 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

edinburghMaxies_bistro1Located 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.

The Yard

This hidden gem may be tucked away in a quiet corner of Leith but once you make the effort to find it you certainly won’t be disappointed. The large courtyard catches rays throughout the day – and drinks are reasonably-priced and the staff friendly. If you do happen to get peckish the food is very good too.

The Waterline

The seating area at this popular, maritime-themed pub looks out onto the attractive Shore area of Leith and is a relaxing choice for a few beers in the sunshine. Hang out with locals, families and tourists alike and discover why so many people come here to make the most of that famous ‘sunshine on Leith’.

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.

Café at the Palace

This tranquil café is set in the historic mews courtyard adjacent to the Queens Gallery and is a great place to relax during or after a hard day’s sight-seeing. Savour a glass of wine or two and drink in the dramatic Holyrood atmosphere of this picturesque location.

Old Chain Pier

Perched right over the Forth , with outdoor tables that preside over panoramic views toward the Kingdom of Fife, this cosy pub is a great spot for a sunny afternoon. If you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city centre then this is the perfect choice.


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