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Edinburgh Bars & Clubs Guide

on Thursday, 10 May 2012.

Edinburgh is a city of many colours and one of the most vibrant colour of the city is its rich and historic drinking culture. This varied aspect of Einburgh has been buzzing since times. If we look back to the glorifying past of the city, we can find many historical pubs and bars adding its flavour to the rich drinking culture of the city. The famous Cafe Royal is one such oldest and historic Victorian pub which dates back to 1862.

Edinburgh has more bars per square mile than any other European city. That may just be the drink talking, but the city does boast an inordinate amount of watering holes, from centuries-old pubs brimming with history, to the latest in contemporary chic.

As the city grew bigger with the course of time, new style bars and countless cafe-bars flourished adding to the cities rich drinking culture. Now there's a bar for everyone in this town. And if that weren't enough, the city is blessed with liberal licensing laws, which are relaxed even further during the Festival in Aug and over Christmas and New Year. It is not a problem finding bars open till past midnight any night of the week and some are open till 0300 at weekends. Edinburgh may not be quite the city that never sleeps, but it's doing pretty well in the insomnia stakes.

A good area for bars is around the Grassmarket, in the Old Town, which gets very lively at weekends and is particularly popular with students, as are the bars in the Southside, near the University. There are also lots of bars around the Tollcross. Those looking for more hip and happening places should head for the cluster of cool bars around Broughton Street, at the east end of the New Town. This is in the 'pink triangle', the centre of the city's gay scene, though many of the bars are not exclusively gay. An area with a diverse mix of drinking holes is Leith. Here you'll find everything from the roughest spit-and-sawdust joints to the trendiest waterside warehouse conversions. Edinburgh's most famous drinking street is Rose Street, a narrow pedestrianized lane between Princes Street and George Street, but it has seen better days and only one or two of its many hostelries are worthy of note.

Edinburgh's' pre-club bars are mainly situated in the area between George IV Bridge and the High Street in the City Centre and at the area at the top of Leith Walk, formerly the 'Pink Triangle'. These are open from 1100-0100 Mon-Fri and 1230-0100 Sun. During the Festival and the Xmas/ New Year period all premises get the opportunity to open an extra 2 hours, so many stay open till 0300.

An excellent way to explore some of the city's more notable pubs is to take the Edinburgh Literary Pub Tour . Or, if you want to investigate the strange smell that permeates the city, then head along to Edinburgh's own independent Caledonian Brewery, 42 Slateford Road, Tel: 6238066, where you can take a tour and see traditional techniques and equipment in use and sample some of their fine ales. Mon-Fri at 1100, 1230, 1400. £5. The other breweries are the giant Scottish and Newcastle, who produce McEwan's and Younger's, and the tiny Rose Street Brewery, which has its own pub.