Rose Street

Famous for centuries of drinking establishments, Rose Street is one of Edinburgh's most famous places for a pub crawl or a few after-work drinks.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Edinburgh
Edinburgh Castle
For nearly 1000 years Edinburgh Castle has shaped Scottish history as both a royal residence and a military stronghold.
Princes Street Gardens
The lovely Princes Street Gardens lie in a valley previously occupied by the North Loch, drained during the construction of the New Town of Edinburgh.
St Giles’ Cathedral
St Giles’ Cathedral has been at the spiritual heart of Edinburgh for over 900 years.
Charlotte Square
This prestigious square is the architectural jewel of the New Town.
Situated below Edinburgh Castle, the Grassmarket area was not only used for trading throughout the centuries but also for public executions.
Dirty Dick's
Over the last century, Dirty Dick's has become an establishment of myth. Enjoy its candlelit ambiance and traditional amber ales.

Related Tours

Private Tour of Edinburgh's Rose Street Pubs
A rich rich brewing and distilling tradition ensures Edinburgh is home to many of the UK’s oldest drinking establishments with local pubs (or ‘locals’) at the heart of communities city-wide. On your private, guided tour of Rose Street:

  • Soak up the cosy, old-fashioned atmosphere of Edinburgh’s historic pubs
  • Learn from your expert private guide about Scottish whisky culture on one of the city’s busy pub-lined streets
  • Imbibe the pub aroma of brass polish, yeast, hops and malt intermingled with the honeyed smell of Scotch whiskey and smouldering, smoky embers.
  • Visit three of the city’s 700 pubs (that’s one every 83 metres) in a population of 500,000.
  • Sip a pint of Scottish beer such as Belhaven Scottish Ale and Scottish Oat Stout.
  • Taste Scotch whiskey from independent distilleries, from single malts craft blends and more.
  • Hear fascinating tales of Edinburgh’s centuries-old pub culture
  • Enjoy a tasting of either a local beer or a wee dram of whisky at each of the three pubs.
From the Middle Ages’ spit-and-sawdust pubs that provided merriment for the poor to 19th century inns that offered an ear to life’s successes and misfortunes, pubs have been a cornerstone of Scottish society for centuries, serving as default venues for every occasion. Rose Street, a narrow traffic-free stone stretch running parallel to the main thoroughfare, is Edinburgh’s drinking heartland. Every pub in Rose Street has a tale to tell, from the bizarre and macabre to the curious. It is also famed in local lore for its drinking game – the Rose Street Challenge – in which pub-goers are dared to take a wee dram at every bar.

On your Tour of Edinburgh’s Historic Pubs, swerve the mediocre and over-hyped to seek out pubs with authentic character. Your tour guide - a local expert - will take you to three of the best pubs on Rose Street, where you will enjoy a pour of whiskey or a pint at each stop.  Nothing evokes bygone bars like the unmistakable smell of brass polish, yeast, hops and malt intermingled with the honeyed smell of Scotch whiskey and smouldering, smoky embers in the grate. Perchance you’ll enjoy a tipple at The Abbotsford Bar, built in 1902, and is famed for its eye-catching centerpiece island bay crafted from dark-brown Spanish mahogany, divided into small serving ports by intricately carved railings. Another curious haunt, Milnes of Rose Street, has been a popular poetic pitstop with generations of quill-wielding Scottish writers since 1910. With its mind-boggling array of whiskeys, Scotts is the oldest drinking establishments on the block, pouring its first pint in 1790 - when George III was on the throne. Bar yarns prevail at Dirty Dick’s, a dimly-lit beer joint built in 1859. Quirky artifacts ensure the decor is as oddball as its name, which honours a thirsty local man from centuries past who shovelled horse dung off the streets. No matter where you choose to pop into, each Rose Street pub will have a rich story to share with you 


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