Edinburgh sets the stage for romance and enchantment with its blend of ancient cobbled streets, cosy pubs and sensational skylines. There’s no shortage of fabulous backdrops to stir emotions and take couples on a sentimental journey of time gone by.
The romantic setting of the Old Town fuses beautifully with the elegance and charm of the Georgian New Town. The city is revered for its famous landmarks, most notably Edinburgh Castle, perched atop a volcanic rock with sweeping views over the city.
The beating heart of Edinburgh includes its world-class festivals. The Fringe Festival, Military Tattoo and International Book Festivals are unlike any other, filling the streets with infinite creative flair and artistic energy. Not to be missed.
It’s safe to say Edinburgh offers unlimited fun things to do and activities for couples to enjoy.
Where are the romantic places in Edinburgh?
A romantic stroll on the famous Royal Mile is a great place to start. The mile-long walk between Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace is like stepping back in time. Lined with hidden narrow alleyways (closes), unexpected gardens, charming shops and ancient architecture, it’s a feast for the senses. The abundance of cosy pubs, charming tea rooms and award-winning restaurants makes it the perfect setting for love to flourish.
Princes Street Gardens is an oasis of serenity, ideal to escape the city’s hustle and bustle. At the east end of the gardens is the soaring Scott Monument, a neo-Gothic masterpiece dedicated to the romanticised writer and poet Sir Walter Scott. Those with a head for heights can climb the spiral staircase, worth it for the breathtaking views across the city. In the gardens west end, nestled beneath Edinburgh Castle is the impressive and ornate Ross Fountain. It’s the perfect backdrop and romantic setting to steal a kiss, or two.
There’s an abundance of open green spaces in Edinburgh, in fact, there are seven glorious hills to be discovered. Calton Hill is the closest to Princes Street, with an exceptional vantage point overlooking the city and beyond to the Kingdom of Fife. A climb to the summit as the sun sets is spectacular, make sure to pack a blanket and Champagne.
Fun things for couples to do in Edinburgh
With so many options to choose from couples can dive headfirst into their playfulness and sense of adventure in Edinburgh. Set tongues wagging back home with a fake wedding or a renewal of vows at Camera Obscura. The Autowed handles everything and costs just one pound. You even get a certificate and rings!
Opposite Camera Obscura is the Scotch Whisky Experience. A favourite haunt for whisky lovers. The tour is interactive and fun and includes a ride in a whisky barrel to learn the story of barley to bottle. Of course, there’s the opportunity to taste a whisky, or two. Discover more about whisky culture and its incredible legacy at the Johnnie Walker Experience on Princes Street. This is a fully immersive and fun experience, and don’t forget to visit the rooftop bar to sample delicious whisky cocktails.
Arthur’s Seat is the perfect pocket of privacy where couples can steal quiet moments away from the city’s hustle and enjoy uninterrupted quality time together. As you climb the breathtaking panoramic vista of Edinburgh’s skyline gradually unfolds. Watching the city’s lights sparkle at sunset or witnessing the sunrise with your beloved is a real moment in time. The ideal backdrop to share a romantic moment and create forever memories.
Comedy shows and live stand-up performances take place year-round, not just during the Fringe Festival. The Stand Comedy Club is the perfect setting for couples to enjoy a few giggles and some light-hearted fun. As the saying goes – couples who laugh together last together!
Synonymous with romance is chocolate and Edinburgh has the perfect paradise for chocolate lovers, namely the Chocolatarium. Couples indulge all their senses whilst exploring the magical origins of chocolate. See and smell chocolate being made, and create your very own dream chocolate bar to take home. Mouthwateringly good.
Date night ideas in Edinburgh
There’s never a shortage of live music sessions and shows in Edinburgh. Couples are guaranteed an evening of full-on entertainment at the city’s favourite hot spots including The Queens Hall, The Corn Exchange or Usher Hall. Spontaneous visits to pubs such as Whistle Binkies, Brewhemia and Stramash will have you toe-tapping and singing along with live bands and singers who always pull in the crowds.
Celebrate the joy of Scottish dance and community at the Burly Ceilidh Club in the Ghillie Dhu. This is a lively, fun and energetic evening. Learn the steps of traditional Scottish dancing, as you ‘‘wheek’ and twirl your beloved around the dance floor. The live band gets everyone moving and dancing, perfect for all dance levels. Guaranteed fun, laughs and potentially tired feet!
Serenade your beloved like a rockstar or croon like a pop icon at Supercube, Edinburgh’s karaoke club. The rooms are private so there’s no judgement and total creative freedom, so you can sing to your heart’s content. Drinks are served to the room meaning you can unleash your inner Elvis, Ed or Ella all night long. Tune up, let loose, and enjoy!
Movie buffs get ready to snuggle at Edinburgh’s classic 1920s picture house. The Dominion is considered an institution these days with its vintage charm and luxurious setting. Couples are transported back to the golden age of cinema, to moments of pure nostalgia. The Scotsman Picturehouse also enjoys a rich history dating back to its beginnings in 1912. Through the decades its historic charm has been preserved, and it’s the perfect spot for couples who want a taste of cinematic magic.
Romantic dinner in Edinburgh
No.35 at The Bonham Restaurant is not your ordinary hotel restaurant. The wood-panelled restaurant is an intimate, distinctive and cosy retreat reflecting the hotel’s original Georgian influence. The menu is a fusion of the finest European and Scottish produce, sourced locally and served fresh. No.35 is open for dinner and lunch, make sure to check out our Boozy Snoozy lunch offering. Not to be missed!
If you want to venture further afield during your stay there’s a wonderful variety of romantic dinner venues in the city, from charming bistros, to fine dining restaurants and in recent years, a surge of gourmet street cuisine, bringing sensational flavours to open-air settings. With so many options, let’s consider a few of the most notable.
The Witchery by the Castle serves exquisite Scottish cuisine in a thoroughly decadent and historic setting. Couples dine by candlelight amidst the rich, gothic interiors and lavish tapestries. The menu focuses on locally sourced ingredients, consistently delivering a symphony of sensational flavours.
Perched atop Calton Hill, The Lookout restaurant offers an exceptional dining experience. The floor-to-ceiling windows frame the city’s skyline with panoramic splendour, whilst the menu showcases the best of Scotland’s natural larder. Each plate is a masterpiece of rich diverse flavours. A real showstopper dining experience.
Aizle is a neo-bistro pursuing the concept of ‘bistronomy’; quality fresh local food in informal surroundings, although the standard of the tasting menu could easily be compared to fine dining. On the wall is a board detailing the latest ingredients that will be used to rustle up a sensational six-course dining experience.
ShrimpWreck on Portobello Beach is a testament to Edinburgh’s culinary creativity. A gourmet street food outlet serving deliciously fresh seafood including succulent shrimp, tender calamari, and zesty sauces. Finish off the evening with a gentle wander arm-in-arm along the pretty promenade. An evening for the memory books!
Perhaps the real reason Edinburgh is so romantic is its ability to bring people together. Whether it’s gazing at the city’s lights from Calton Hill, sipping whisky in a cosy pub, or simply wandering hand in hand through the charming streets. The unique ambience invites couples to slow down, appreciate each other and make memories to last forever.