One of the most popular destinations for traditional music in Edinburgh, the world renowned Sandy Bell’s welcomes musicians and music lovers, offering folk music sessions seven days a week. In this small pub, locals and people from all over the world mingle as the music mixes with lively conversations. Every night of the week is different here, and the sessions vary in style: from Scottish and Irish folk music to blues and bluegrass. The place tends to get very busy, especially during the music sessions, so it’s recommended to get there a bit earlier in the evening.
Sessions at 9:30pm Mon-Sun; Monday 6pm-8pm beginners session; Saturday early session from 2/3pm to 6/7pm; Sunday early session 4pm-8pm. Times may vary.
Address: 25 Forrest Rd, Edinburgh, UK
It’s worth taking a walk down to the Leith area to attend the concerts organised by the Leith Folk Club every Tuesday evening at the Victoria Park House Hotel. Their events welcome a mix of locals and visitors who gather in a friendly and intimate environment to enjoy quality local and international acts. The club features folk, blues and country music from all over the world.
Located in the trendy neighbourhood of Stockbridge, The Antiquary is a traditional pub rustically decorated with wood furnishings, candles and stone walls that hosts open folk sessions at 8:30pm on Thursdays. The cosy cellar bar welcomes all musicians and singers to join their sessions. For those who would like to eat something before the music starts, they serve some great homemade dishes prepared using fresh ingredients from local suppliers.
Address: 72-78 St Stephen St, Edinburgh, UK
The Black Cat Bar hosts traditional Scottish live bands and sessions on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 9:30pm to 12:30am, and on Sundays from 4:30pm to 7:30pm. Located close to the main shopping street, Princes Street, and offering a great selection of Scottish whiskies, the tastefully decorated bar is a great place to kick back and listen to music after a day of shopping and sightseeing. The pub tends to get busy in the evenings, attracting visitors with its warm atmosphere and friendly staff.
Address: 168 Rose St, Edinburgh, UK
Ideally located in the heart of the Old Town, the Whiski Bar offers traditional Scottish music most nights of the week in an atmospheric and carefully decorated space, with fairy lights, old pictures and exposed stone walls. Traditional bands play here from Monday to Friday and on Sundays from 10pm. The bar not only features Scottish music but visitors will also be able to choose from a list of over 300 malt whiskies and sample some traditional Scottish dishes, including their award-winning haggis. The friendly staff make all visitors feel warmly welcomed.
Address: 119 High St, Edinburgh, UK
This spacious bar decorated with wooden tables and colourful chairs hosts folk sessions on Wednesday evenings. They offer a range of six Scottish craft beers which change regularly alongside other beers and drinks. The food menu includes some quality pub meals, including the traditional haggis, fish and chips and a range of burgers. This is the ideal place to come after work in the middle of the week. Relax in the laid back atmosphere of the bar with a meal and a beer as you see numerous musicians arrive throughout the evening to join the lively session.
Address: 232 Canongate, Edinburgh, UK
The Edinburgh Folk Club is an organisation which has been promoting folk music since 1973. They organise weekly shows on Wednesday evenings. Their concerts are held in the Pleasance Cabaret Bar, and they include both local and international acts. The Folk Club is a great place to catch some good music surrounded by folk lovers – check their website for upcoming events.
Address: 60 Pleasance, Edinburgh, UK