Edinburgh Entertainment

The city of Edinburgh includes a range of entertainment options for visitors; the city is well known as a cultural hub and includes a choice of theatres, film and cinemas, a range of live comedy venues and dance productions from traditional to opera, ballet and contemporary. There are also a number of local festivals that take place throughout the year in the city including the famous Edinburgh International Festival.

Our quick guide to entertainment in Edinburgh outlines a range of entertainment venues offering a choice of productions throughout the year:


The Edinburgh Playhouse theatre is one of the best known theatres in the city, it is located at Greenside Place next to the Omni Centre. The theatre first opened back in 1929 and over the years has staged many acclaimed performances. The theatre presents a varied programme of works including comedy, drama, musicals, music concerts and more. A capacity of approx 3,000 makes it one of the UK’s largest.

The Festival Theatre Edinburgh is located on Nicolson Street next to the University of Edinburgh. The venue is one of the principle venues in the Edinburgh International Festival and is used by both the Scottish Ballet and Scottish Opera. The theatre includes a year round programme of performing arts including dance, music, comedy, family shows and ballet. The Café Bar serves both drinks and a choice of snacks and light bites. The varied programme means the theatre appeals to a range of tastes.


Edinburgh includes a number of cinemas located in the city including cinemas from larger cinemas chains such as Odeon and Cineworld to smaller and independent cinemas showing a range of British, Hollywood and International films.

The Odeon Edinburgh is located on Lothian Road and includes a total of 4 screens showing the latest film releases including British, Hollywood and International releases.

The Vue Omni Centre is located inside the Omni Centre in the heart of Edinburgh, a 5 minute walk from Waverley train station. The multi-screen cinema features 12 screens; visitors can a choice of British, International and Hollywood films. The Omni Centre includes a range of leisure and entertainment including a choice of restaurants and bars.

The Filmhouse Cinema Edinburgh is located on Lothian Road in Edinburgh. The independent cinema shows a wide range of films including British and International films, documentaries, classics and art house cinema. Here visitors can see the latest film releases including smaller releases, art house productions and brings the best in world cinema making it a favourite among film aficionados.

Cineworld in Edinburgh is located in the Fountain Park Leisure Complex in Edinburgh. Alongside the cinema the complex includes a number of eateries, Tenpin bowling, casino and children’s activities. Cinema goers can see the latest in British, Hollywood and International films at the cinema that includes 13 screens.


For fans of gigs the Edinburgh Corn Exchange is located on Newmarket Road, a few miles west from the city centre. The building dates back to the early 20th century, starting out as a Corn Exchange, currently the venue is a music venue and conference and exhibition hall. Over the years the venue has hosted many well known artists including Oasis, Blur and Radiohead. There is a capacity of approx 3,000 making it one of the largest music venues in Edinburgh.


The Stand Comedy Club is located on York Place in Edinburgh. The venue is located in the basement of a Georgian tenement providing a compact area with plenty of atmosphere. The club features comedy every night of the week and features a fully licensed bar. There is a Red Raw beginners showcase, stand up comedy, touring shows and sketches on various nights. The venue offers food and drink at reasonable rates.

Other Events

There are plenty of events going on in Edinburgh, it is best to check before you visit to see if the timings fit in with your schedules.

Edinburgh's football loyalties are spilt between the maroon and white of Hearts FC and the green of Hibernian FC. The rivalry is intense and in a local derby game between the two you can witness the passion, commitment and will to win displayed by both sides and their supporters. The derby game known as the ‘Edinburgh Derby’ and is one of the longest running rivalries in world football. It is advisable to book well in advance if you wish to go to a game as games can be sold out.

Edinburgh has a packed events schedule with plenty of events to choose from. Visitors can choose to visit the city in time for one of the events to see them first hand. The city is famous for its festivals The city hosts the Edinburgh International Science Festival, the Leith Festival, Edinburgh International Festival and the centrepiece of the festival season the Edinburgh International Festival and Festival Fringe. The festivals take place at located across the city. There are many others and you can check before you visit see Edinburgh Festivals for more details on a range of festivals taking place in the city.

Edinburgh is synonymous with the international acclaimed Edinburgh International Festival, a long established festival of performing arts that takes place over three weeks from around the middle of August. The International Festival brings a number of world class performers of music, theatre, opera and dance from around the world to perform at the festival.

The Edinburg Festival Fringe is the world's largest arts festival, starting back in 1947 with the official festival with eight theatre companies that arrived uninvited. The festival fringe now attracts a huge range of arts performers and also takes place around the middle of August each year.

The New Year celebrations in Edinburgh are internationally renowned, the centrepiece of the celebrations are the Hogmanay Celebrations. Edinburgh's Hogmanay is a 4 day festival that ensures the city hosts one of the most spectacular New Year celebrations in the world. Hogmanay is the New Year in Scotland and in Edinburgh, Hogmanay has evolved into a four day Winter Festival that annually takes place from 29 December to 1st January. The events include the Torch Light Procession where a Viking warship is taken up to Carlton Hill. On arriving at the hill firework displays light up the night sky.

The Hogmanay street party in Edinburgh is the principle reason visitors come from around the world spend New Year's in Edinburgh. Over the years, this centrepiece of Edinburgh's Hogmanay has become a huge event with all tickets sold out well before the night itself.

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