25 Fun, Quirky & Romantic Date Ideas in Edinburgh [2023]


Scotland’s capital city is without a doubt one of the most romantic places in the country.

So it’s no surprise that there are a ton of fun date ideas in Edinburgh!

Not only does Edinburgh have beautiful architecture, dreamy cobbled streets, and breathtaking views, but it also has a warm, friendly, and fun vibe that will start any date off on the right foot.

Whether you’re looking for a first date to impress or a romantic evening with a long-term partner, this list has you covered.

All you have to do is scroll through and pick out your favourite date!

So from romantic rooftop bars and retro bowling alleys to gorgeous gardens and pottery painting, here are the 25 best date ideas in Edinburgh.

1. Grab a coffee at Fortitude Coffee in Stockbridge


Address: 66 Hamilton Pl, Stockbridge, Edinburgh EH3 5AZ

Phone number: 0131 225 3245

No matter the occasion, you can’t go wrong with a cosy coffee date!

Fortitude Coffee is one of the city’s most-loved coffee shops so it’s no surprise that it’s one of my favourite date ideas in Edinburgh.

It’s located in Stockbridge, a dreamy little neighbourhood with cobbled streets, plenty of greenery, and a small river running through.

Romantic, huh?

House-roasted beans make proper good coffee, and there’s always a plentiful stock of snacks and pastries from local bakers.

There’s very limited seating inside, so you’ve got to be lucky to grab a table.

But if not, just grab a takeaway cup and wander the charming lanes, shops, and walkways around Stockbridge instead!

2. Have a picnic at The Meadows


Address: Melville Dr, Edinburgh EH9 1ND

Maybe you fancy a bite to eat and a chat, but don’t want to sit in for food?

Well, taking a little picnic to The Meadows (ideally on a sunny day) is the perfect solution.

Known to be a bit of a student hotspot, with local university sports teams getting their training in and off-duty students taking a lunchtime stroll, this park is one of Edinburgh’s liveliest green spaces.

Simply pop into a supermarket on your way there to grab a few bits and bobs to enjoy cross-legged on the grass.

Or, if you’re feeling a bit boujee, pack everything into a picnic basket and do it properly on a little tartan blanket!

Ultimate summer date vibes.

3. Wander the Royal Botanic Gardens


Address: 20a Inverleith Rw, Edinburgh EH3 5LR

Phone number: 0131 552 7171

Now this one might require a somewhat rare good-weather day in Scotland…

However, there aren’t many date ideas in Edinburgh that are more wholesome than a stroll around the Royal Botanic Gardens.

Founded in 1670 and covering over 70 acres of land, Edinburgh’s Royal Botanic Gardens are acknowledged to be one of the finest in the world.

Beautiful in all seasons, you can wander (hand in hand) through pristine gardens and glasshouses, home to plant collections from ten different climates.

4. Go on a pub crawl at the Grassmarket


Address: Edinburgh EH1 2HY

There are plenty of great areas for a pub crawl in Edinburgh, but the Grassmarket has to be one of the best for a date.

Situated right behind the historic Edinburgh Castle, choose from cosy pubs like The Beehive Inn and The Last Drop to more modern, lively rooftop bars in Edinburgh like Cold Town House.

This area gets really busy at the weekend, so expect to hover around the bar at times when you’re moving from place to place.

If your pub crawl happens to fall on a sunny summer’s afternoon, the Grassmarket always has plenty of outdoor seating to enjoy a nice cooling drink!

5. Get competitive at NQ64


Address: 25 Lothian Rd, Edinburgh EH1 2DJ

There seems to have been a renaissance of retro gaming bars in the last couple of years, but boy do they make for one of the best date ideas in Edinburgh.

NQ64 has just about everything you could look for when it comes to gaming, all under funky neon lights and retro décor.

Think Mario Kart and Guitar Hero, Pac-Man and pinball, and you’re on the right lines!

Plus, the cocktail and craft beer menu is impressive, and the tunes are great.

Challenge your date to your favourite game – loser buys the next round?

6. Go whisky tasting at Whiski Rooms


Address: 4-7 North Bank St, Edinburgh EH1 2LP

Phone number: 0131 225 7224

Price: From £30 per person

Scotland is known to be the home of whisky, so why not make that the theme of your next date at Whiski Rooms?

With over 300 whiskies to choose from as well as a gorgeous food menu, Whiski Rooms offer a range of tasting packages. 

My favourite is their whisky and cheese tasting – what a combo!

With a cosy atmosphere and friendly, knowledgeable staff, this is the perfect spot for an afternoon or evening date for whisky lovers.

Plus, a bit of Dutch (or Scottish) courage helps when going in for a kiss! 

7. Catch a movie at The Dominion


Address: 18 Newbattle Terrace, Edinburgh EH10 4RT

Phone number: 0131 447 4771

Price: From £10.95 per person

Move over Netflix and chill, Edinburgh has a much better way to enjoy a good movie – The Dominion.

This art-deco picture house is a gorgeous place to watch the newest releases, as well as repeats of old classics.

And don’t worry, you can still have a little movie cuddle, as the comfy sofa seats at The Dominion fit two!

You can even order snacks and drinks from the fully licensed bar before the film starts, to be delivered by sharp-looking servers in tuxedos.

How classy!

8. Go bowling at Roxy Lanes


Address: 26 Rose St, Edinburgh EH2 2QA

Price: From £9 per person

Bowling might sound like the kind of lame first date you’d go on back in high school.

But Roxy Lanes really updates the whole experience into a fun, flirty date night – with much more than just bowling on offer.

Choose from pool, shuffleboard, beer pong, batting cage, and loads more, all with the option of mouth-watering American-style food and fun drinks, too.

You won’t get bored at a place like this, so prepare for a date like no other!

9. Climb Arthurs Seat


Address: Arthur’s Seat, Edinburgh EH15 3PY

If you want to impress your date with some of the most breathtaking views of Edinburgh, then get your hiking shoes on and head for Arthur’s Seat.

An ancient volcano and the highest peak in Edinburgh’s Hollyrood park, this relatively easy hike offers views of the city’s famous landmarks and the beautiful green landscape beyond.

Why not pack a little picnic into a rucksack to enjoy at the top?

You can’t beat good food and good views!

10. Get childish at Ballie Ballerson


Address: 14 Forrest Rd, Edinburgh EH1 2QN

Price: From £4.50 per person

One of Edinburgh’s newest themed cocktail bars, Ballie Ballerson is a date night that lets you release your inner child.

(But with alcohol involved, too!)

Ballie Ballerson is a massive adult ball pit with fun lighting and house and RnB tracks from live DJs.

So it goes without saying that it’s a truly fun night out and an unforgettable date!

They run multiple events throughout the year, too, from Valentine’s nights to Full Moon parties and even Ballie Bingo.

As you might expect, this place can get seriously busy, especially at the weekend, but that’s all part of the fun!

11. Grab brunch at Montpeliers in Bruntsfield


Address: 159-161 Bruntsfield Pl, Edinburgh EH10 4DG

Phone number: 0131 229 3115

If good food is a love language for you and your date, why not take them for brunch at Montpeliers?

A European-style café-bar, Montpeliers sits on a busy little corner of Bruntsfield and has a really nice vibe.

Great food, great service, and fantastic value for money make this spot a total winner on a date.

They also have a fantastic cocktail menu if you want to make your brunch a little boozy…

12. Visit Camera Obscura


Address: 549 Castlehill, Royal Mile, Edinburgh EH1 2ND

Phone number: 0131 226 3709

Price: From £19.95 per person

Found right at the top of the Royal Mile, Camera Obscura is a weird and wonderful world of illusions to get your date’s head spinning – hopefully in more ways than one!

With five floors of over 100 mind-boggling illusions, tricks of the mind, and brilliant photo opportunities, you and your date could easily spend a few hours here.

Plus, if you want to take things a silly step further, you can have a fake wedding (complete with a wedding certificate!) to give your parents and friends a bit of a shock.

Not your average date…


13. Enjoy the views from Calton Hill


Address: 32 Greenside Rd, Edinburgh EH1 3AJ

Phone number: 0131 529 5151

Another incredible viewpoint, Calton Hill is one of the most beautiful date ideas in Edinburgh – especially if you time your date right for sunset.

Calton Hill is home to many attractions including the National Monument of Scotland and the Nelson Monument (also known as Edinburgh’s Acropolis), making it perfect for history lovers, too.

It only takes five minutes to walk up the hill, and it’s within close proximity to the city’s main shopping street, Princes Street.

Because of this, Calton Hill is a very popular tourist spot, so brace yourselves!

14. Stargaze at the Royal Observatory


Address: Blackford Hill, Edinburgh EH9 3HJ

Phone number: 0131 668 8100

The silver screen has always told us that stargazing with your loved one is one of the most romantic things you can do.

And Edinburgh lets you do this from its very own Royal Observatory!

Located on Blackford Hill, The Royal Observatory is home to the largest telescope in Scotland and offers panoramic views of Edinburgh, as well as some of the best views of the skies above.

Take part in astronomy talks, telescope dome tours, and have astronomers take you on a special journey of the stars.

But make sure to book in advance!

15. Visit Portobello Beach


Address: 1 Promenade, Portobello, Edinburgh EH15 2DX

Did you know Edinburgh has its very own beach, with plenty of adorable date spots?

Portobello Beach is famous for its quaint boardwalk and two miles of sand, full of walkers, runners, and cyclers as well as brunchers, drinkers, and sometimes (if you’re lucky) sunbathers!

Depending on the time of year, the beach also hosts a number of popular events including sports tournaments and the annual Big Beach Busk.

There’s even a little high street packed with independent restaurants and shops, as well as a local market appearing each month.

Better pencil in a few hours (at least) for a date here!

16. See a show at the Festival Theatre


Address: 13 – 29 Nicolson St, Edinburgh EH8 9FT

Phone number: 0131 529 6000

If you’re looking for some good old-fashioned entertainment for your date night, look no further than the Festival Theatre.

Home to some of the best musicals, ballets, and operas that Scotland has to offer, a trip to the Festival Theatre is one of the best date ideas in Edinburgh.

As the largest seated theatre in the entire UK, the Festival Theatre has a truly impressive programme including large touring productions like My Fair Lady, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and Aladdin.

Guaranteed to be one of the best performances you’ll see in the city, get ready to sit back and enjoy the show with your date!

17. Have a giggle at Monkey Barrel Comedy


Address: 9-12 Blair St, Edinburgh EH1 1QR

Phone number: 0131 225 5149

Price: From £10 per person

There’s no better way to break the ice than with a good joke, and you’ll find plenty of those at Monkey Barrel Comedy.

This award-winning comedy club brings top-notch comedy to the heart of the city, just about every week of the year.

From total comedy newbies to established headliner acts that you’ve seen on the telly, you’re guaranteed to find a winning act for you and your date.

Who said Edinburgh only did comedy during the Fringe Festival?

18. Catch a live band at Stramash


Address: 207 Cowgate, Edinburgh EH1 1JQ

Phone number: 0131 623 4353

Edinburgh is well known for its live music scene.

And Stramash is one of the best spots to take your date for a late evening of great bands and an even better atmosphere.

This converted church in the Old Town showcases some of the best bands from across Scotland, as well as new and local Edinburgh acts.

This is a really lively, friendly spot that always gets busy at the weekends (particularly with students).

It’s also a good spot to watch live sports thanks to the largest HD screen in Scotland!

For one of the most fun date ideas in Edinburgh, you can’t go wrong with Stramash.

19. Get creative at Doodles Ceramics


Address: 29 Marchmont Crescent, Edinburgh EH9 1HQ

Phone number: 0131 229 1399

Price: From £4.50 per person

If your partner has that creative touch, take them to a pottery painting class at Doodles Ceramics!

At Edinburgh’s longest-established ‘paint your own’ pottery studio, you can choose from mugs, bowls, plates, plant pots, tile coasters, and other decorations.

The venue is BYOB and even dog-friendly.

However, if you don’t fancy sitting in to paint your pottery you can always try one of their home kit options, letting you get creative from the comfort of your own home.

Please note you won’t get your finished item right away, as they take between 7-14 days to be glazed.

Let your imagination run wild at Doodles Ceramics!

20. Indulge your sweet tooth at The Chocolatarium


Address: 3-5 Cranston St, Edinburgh EH8 8BE

Phone number: 0131 556 7005

Price: From £22 per person

Some say chocolate is the way to a person’s heart, so why not put that to the test at The Chocolatarium?

Edinburgh’s only chocolate tour takes you on a 90-minute guided tour of the process of making chocolate, from the cacao jungle to the kitchen itself.

At the end of the tour, you even have the chance to create your very own chocolate bar with as many toppings as you like!

Or, as the ultimate test of trust, get your date to pick your toppings for you – and find out how well they really know you.

Let’s hope they don’t pick the haggis flavourings…

21. Go for afternoon tea at Palm Court


Address: The Balmoral, 1 Princes St, Edinburgh EH2 2EQ

Phone number: 0131 556 2414

Price: From £60

If your date happens to be a bit of a Tea Jenny, you’ll seriously impress them with an afternoon tea at Palm Court.

Located within the Balmoral Hotel, Palm Court is a truly breathtaking room.

Think palm trees, luxurious furnishings, an incredible glass-domed roof, and a sparkling chandelier.

The award-winning afternoon tea experience brings tasty sandwiches, fresh cakes, and loose-leaf teas (and champagne if you want it!) to the background of harp music and light chatter.

An afternoon fit for a royal, this afternoon tea is a little on the pricy side.

But why not treat your date like the king or queen that they are?


22. Be art critics at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery


Address: 1 Queen St, Edinburgh EH2 1JD

Phone number: 0131 624 6200

Edinburgh’s certainly not short of museums and art galleries.

And a visit to the Scottish National Portrait Gallery is one of the most cultured date ideas in Edinburgh.

Not only is the building itself quite remarkable with its gothic architecture and stained glass windows, but what’s inside is even more impressive.

Housing some of Scotland’s most important exhibits of art and photography, as well as some modern classics, too, this is a gallery that almost anyone will enjoy.

Just try not to use a cheesy line about your date being the finest piece of art in the room…

23. Sing your heart out at Supercube


Address: 58a George St, Edinburgh EH2 2LR

Phone number: 0131 226 4218

Price: From £20 per room

Fancy serenading your date (sober or otherwise)?

Then head down to Supercube, Edinburgh’s best karaoke bar!

Rent your own private room where you can sing love songs as loud and obnoxiously as you like, without anyone else hearing you.

Supercube is reserved per room, so this is perfect for a double or group date to keep the costs down and the liveliness up.

(You might need a break after screaming Taylor Swift’s All Too Well 10-Minute Version, though!)

They even bring your drinks to the room so you don’t have to think about queuing up at a bar, and can instead enjoy your night in full.

24. Join a ceilidh at Ghillie Dhu


Address: 2 Rutland Pl, Edinburgh EH1 2AD

Phone number: 0131 222 9930

Price: From £15 per person

Grab your partner and swing them around to some live Scottish music at a ceilidh at the famous Ghillie Dhu!

Though ceilidhs are traditionally held at weddings and formal events in Scotland, Ghillie Dhu wants to put the fun and spontaneity back into this Scottish dancing.

And that’s why they hold regular events right in the heart of Edinburgh!

Plus, after your heart rate has finally slowed down from all the jumping around, there’s a gorgeous little snug downstairs to finish off with a nightcap.

The perfect Scottish date night if you ask me!

25. Go indoor climbing at Alien Rock


Address: 8 Pier Pl, Edinburgh EH6 4LP

Phone number: 0131 552 7211

Price: From £11 per person

For a bit of adventure on your next date, Alien Rock is an impressive venue to take your date bouldering and leave with your hearts racing.

With a fully matted bouldering wall reaching up to 4.8 metres in height, this place is not for the faint-hearted.

We’re talking 45-degree overhangs, over 300 routes, and more!

However, if you and/or your date are completely new to bouldering, you can always book a taster session with the experienced staff who will take you through the skills of the sport.

This is definitely one to tick off the date bucket list!


So, after 25 exciting options, it turns out Scotland’s capital city is a pretty great place for a date.

There are date ideas in Edinburgh to suit the creatives, the competitors, the explorers, and the food and drink lovers.

And it’s all amongst the beautiful cobbled streets of this ancient city.

Now the only difficult thing to work out is which date will you go on first!

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