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Planning a hen party in Edinburgh for your best girl? Let us help you!
Our guide to hen doos in Edinburgh reveals the best things to do during the day for groups and where to party at night.
As with most cities in the UK, it is sometimes a struggle for groups to get into venues in Edinburgh so it is vital that you book ahead to avoid disappointment.
I’m guessing you know it rains in Scotland, right? Have some indoor hen ideas up your party dress just in case the weather rains on your parade.
You may also like our weekend in Edinburgh guide.
Hen Parties in Edinburgh Ideas
Cocktail Making Class
Mojito! Espresso Martini! Daiquiri! What’s your poison?
Learn how to make your favourite drinks at a cocktail masterclass in Edinburgh.
While not the most unique hen party idea, it fills a couple of hours on the schedule and gives the group a chance to bond over the mixology process.
The Voodoo Rooms, just off St Andrews Square, is known for its cocktail menu!
Your group can learn from the best during a personalised cocktail class at the gothic-style venue.
You may recognise The Alchemist from its viral social media content.
This UK-based cocktail bar chain really knows how to put on a show with its smoking glasses and you can learn how to make some of your own during a 60-90 minute class at the St James Quarter bar.
Revolution, across from the National Museum of Scotland, offers a 90-minute cocktail-making masterclass that includes games and giveaways.
Since whisky takes a while to mature, gin has become a big industry in Scotland and features on many bar menus.
Find out how gin is made through an Edinburgh gin tour at one of the many distilleries in the city.
Holyrood Distillery is located on the Southside of the city, near Holyrood Palace and Park.
The tour features a welcome drink and samples throughout while you learn about the craft distilling methods used by Holyrood gin makers.
It also includes the story behind whisky which is made here so it is ‘buy one get one free’ hen activity!
Pickering’s Gin Distillery is located at Summerhall, also on the Southside, and offers a 1.5-hour tour of the 150-year-old distillery and four samples of gin.
Finally, 56 North is an award-winning gin distillery in Newington which is around a 20-minute walk from Waverley Railway Station.
This tour includes a glass of South Loch Gin and tonic, a cocktail, and the story behind its botanics.
Gin also features in our guide on what to eat and drink in Edinburgh.
Gin Boat Tour
Edinburgh has a canal called Union Canal!
I know! I was as surprised as you when I found out the city had a unique waterway, making the gin canal tour a lesser-known hen party idea in Edinburgh.
During the cruise, you will try five different gins and if you don’t like gin, you can book a cocktail cruise instead.
The Union Canal boat tour also features in our guide to unusual things to do in Edinburgh.
If your bride-to-be is a fan of whisky, whiskey, or scotch, consider this evening whisky tasting session along the famous Royal Mile.
During the session, you will try four classic single malt whiskies and hear about whisky’s folklore.
Johnnie Walker Tour
An exceptional hands-on whisky experience takes place at Johnnie Walker Princes Street.
It is an immersive tour that takes place in a variety of spaces and includes four straight whiskies or cocktails.
Fun fact! I’m Scottish and I don’t drink whisky but I genuinely enjoyed the Johnnie Walker highballs.
You can expand the tour into a full sesh by booking space at the rooftop bar too.
Here’s our guide to rooftop bars in Edinburgh for more.
If you have a small hen party, it isn’t too difficult to organise an independent pub crawl in Edinburgh but it is recommended you reserve tables ahead of the day.
You’ll find cocktail bars and upmarket venues along George Street.
The Dome is a favourite at Christmas for its festive lights and decor, Le Monde has stunning interior design, and Copper Blossoms is popular with cocktail fans.
You’ll also find Supercube private karaoke rooms on George Street, one of our preferred hen activities in Edinburgh!
Rose Street is tucked just behind George Street and has pubs on either side of its cobbled street.
Rose Street Gardens is a trendy beer garden with sofa seating areas, The Black Cat plays folk music, and Fierce Beer has a stellar craft beer menu.
Most of the Rose Street bars have outside seating but it isn’t known as one of the city’s sun traps so consider that when creating the packing list.
Side note: We dig the vegan cinnamon buns at Rose Street Theatre.
The Grassmarket in the Old Town is more of a low-key pub area kind of vibe and is usually packed on a sunny day with tourists taking a break from sightseeing and locals catching up with friends.
Some of our favourite Old Town pubs are located on The Grassmarket including The Last Drop and Cold Town House.
If you don’t fancy creating your own pub crawl in Edinburgh consider this organised event which features stops at seven bars and includes 2-3 shots.
Note: Pub crawls tend to be attended by younger crowds.
Boozy Life Drawing
Get out your pencils while the model gets out his pen…
Hen party life drawing sessions feature sketching, fizz, and lots of giggles.
This kind of hen party idea is mobile so you need to provide the venue.
This could be at your apartment or in a private function space which we’ll discuss below.
We like to celebrate every life event with a karaoke party!
Edinburgh has two locations offering private karaoke rooms – Supercube on George Street in the New Town and Supercube Cowgate in the Old Town.
Bookings also include room service and the cocktails are pretty cheap compared to other city bar prices!
The best tip that Supercube ever gave us was to add all of the songs your group wants to sing to notes on your phone and load up the tunes as soon as you get in.
That way there is no time-wasting, straight on the mic until you are ushered out while singing Usher. Yeah!
Karaoke rooms are notoriously hot and sweaty and you can’t open the door for soundproofing reasons so book a bigger room than you need.
It is more expensive but believe us, you need the air to circulate while you belt out Take My Breath Away.
Silent Disco Tour
Hands down one of the best things to do in Edinburgh with friends is a silent disco tour.
If you’ve spent any time in Scotland’s capital you will have had the honour of listening to, and laughing at, the not-so Silent Disco Adventures gang and their merry ways.
At the start of the tour, you tune into the radio frequency controlled by the guide before dancing your way around popular Edinburgh locations, singing to the crowds, and doing dance-offs.
We’ve done this tour sober and tipsy and during all seasons and it still leaves us on a high!
Hen Highland Games
While the thought of high school sports day may bring you out in hives, a Scottish Highland games event might just be an absolute hoot for your hens.
During this hen activity, you’ll take part in traditional Highland games challenges such as the caber toss and Highland dancing as well as some loosely related Scottish games like welly hurling and haggis rolling.
Previous hens have given rave reviews for Highland games sessions.
Sticking with the fitness theme but dropping the Scottish aspect, consider a hen bootcamp run by personal trainers in Edinburgh.
Bootcamps are perfect for the bride-to-be who prefers punchbags over punch bowls and it is a great way for hens to get to know each other through team challenges.
It doesn’t have to be all burpees, hen party bootcamps can include old-school games like the classic egg and spoon race.
Did you know you can take part in an assault course in Edinburgh like the one you see on the TV show Ninja Warrior?
There is a challenging course which includes a variety of obstacles and a fun run, just a 20-minute walk from The Shore in Leith.
It’s harder than it looks and you’ll be sore for days after it but it is such a laugh.
Reward the hens with cocktails and lunch at a Leith restaurant and pub after it!
We love the Roseleaf and Pitt Street Market at the weekends.
Lights! Feathers! Action!
Enrol your bride tribe in a sassy burlesque session for your Edinburgh hen.
All props and Prosecco are included, all you need to do is choose the style of dance class from showgirl, cabaret, Charleston, or Moulin Rouge dancing.
A rainy day Edinburgh hen activity could be an indoor rock climbing session at Alien Rock.
Scotland’s first dedicated indoor climbing centre is located near Leith in Newhaven and provides a safe climbing environment for all levels.
Also caters for group bookings.
Other indoor climbing places include the EICC and Eden Rock.
Freedom of Flight Aerial
If you’re looking for a hen party idea that no one has done before, consider a trapeze class in Newhaven.
The Freedom of Flight Aerial studio offers a safe and encouraging space for you to release your inner Zendaya in The Greatest Showman!
Even if the bride squad is local, the chances that they’ve experienced Edinburgh’s underground world are pretty slim.
They might not even be aware that the city has a dark, damp history of debauchery lurking beneath the cobbled stones of the Old Town.
This spooky Edinburgh Vaults tour takes groups underneath the South Bridge arch to learn about body snatchers, brothels, and The Source Coven Of The Blue Dragon whose temple still stands in these vaults.
Read our full review here.
Edinburgh Comedy Horror Bus Tour
If you prefer a little more comedic relief while still engaging the brain, go for the Comedy Ghost Bus Tour which races through the city streets while sharing stories of Edinburgh legends.
The tour takes place on a vintage Routemaster bus and includes an optional walk through one of the city’s graveyards.
If you want to find out more about Edinburgh’s dark tourism, read our spooky tours guide.
Harry Potter Tour
Which Hogwarts house is your bride-to-be from? Let the sorting hat work that out!
Edinburgh is the birthplace of Harry Potter.
It is where She Who Cannot Be Named took inspiration for her books.
This Harry Potter tour takes muggles to the most important Harry Potter locations including Greyfriars Kirk, Victoria Street, and She Who Cannot Be Named’s golden handprints.
Alternatively, create your own self-guided tour with our Harry Potter locations guide.
Harry Potter is an easy theme for hens!
Think gowns, glasses, owls, and wands.
An unusual tour of Edinburgh is this witches walking and museum tour which shares stories about the country’s most famous witches from 1590 until 1690.
It even includes an attempt at witchcraft.
Play with your food, Wednesday!
Edinburgh Chocolatarium gives groups the opportunity to make their own chocolate using Scottish moulds, a nice souvenir for hens to take home.
The tour includes an informative session about how chocolate ends up in our shopping bags from seed to supermarket shelves.
It also features a tasting session where you can try as much chocolate from around the world as you want!
Edinburgh Treasure Hunt
When I planned my best friend’s hen weekend in Edinburgh we did a treasure hunt around the Old Town.
While you can definitely try this yourself, it does take a bit of preparation and hope that the clues are still attached to when the teams finally get there!
To do the independent treasure hunt, we split the hen party into two teams, gave everyone a netball bib and sent them away with the first clue with team A going one way and team B the other.
Hours before the treasure hunt I had a friend drive me around Edinburgh so I could place the clues at each location and hand in the prize to the pub at the end.
If this sounds like too much hard work, book this guided treasure hunt instead.
The theme is mythical creatures, hint Scotland’s national animal is the unicorn, and the challenge takes place around the Old Town.
Note: treasure hunts require a lot of walking and not all hens are up for it – speaking from experience here!
Sherlock Holmes Challenge
Dig out the flat caps and dust off your looking glass Watson, it’s time to explore Edinburgh through a series of clues as Sherlock Holmes.
This guided challenge includes maps, clues, and props.
Most of the locations have a connection to Sherlock Holmes’ creator, Arthur Conan Doyle who was born in Edinburgh.
The average group usually takes 2.5 hours if they don’t take a break.
Locked In Edinburgh differs from escape rooms you’ve been to before because the location is real!
Hens are trapped in a building in Summerhall and they have to solve clues related to Edinburgh’s history to escape.
There are four unique rooms that cater for 2 to 29 players.
Lane 7 is a boozy bowling alley that serves burgers and it is located at the top of the swanky St James Quarter.
The venue is also has pool tables, darts, shuffleboard, ping pong, and mini-golf.
Lanes open from 11 am until late so this could be a daytime hen activity or an evening event.
This is an option for groups that don’t want to rely too much on drinking or those who have a mix of booze hounds and sober hens.
Down a shot, while you putt a ball at Edinburgh’s over 18 crazy golf course.
The course is Edinburgh inspired so you’ll see recognise some of the city’s landmarks as you play.
Fore Play caters for groups and serves street food and signature cocktails.
What about a golf-themed hen?
Private Movie Screening
Is our bride-to-be a movie buff or are you planning a film-themed hen?
You can hire a private movie screening with drinks at the vintage Dominion or luxurious Scotsman Picturehouse.
What do you want to see on the big screen? Tell us in the comments.
Forth Bridges Cruise
South Queensferry is a picturesque town close to the Kingdom of Fife but still within the EH postcode, just.
It is a little outside of the city but you can get there by bus or train and it would make the perfect day trip for wayfaring hens who love cute towns, architecture, and food.
Hop aboard the Firth of Forth Three Bridges Cruise which sails by Scotland’s iconic Forth Bridge, Forth Road Bridge, and Queensferry Crossing, enjoy lunch at Oroco Pier or Scotts, and cakes at The Little Bakery.
Outlander Day Trip
Follow in the footsteps of Jamie and Claire, the most complicated love story on our screens, during this Outlander day trip.
The bus tour leaves from Edinburgh and takes groups to filming locations, castles, and scenic stops around Scotland.
Where’s my raring to go, throw every challenge at me hens?
Foxlake in Dunbar has to be the group challenge for you!
Get ready to get wet, test your strength, and have a rage time at Scotland’s five-star adrenaline-filled outdoor activities hub.
Food Ideas For Hen Parties
Since Scottish licensing laws make bottomless brunches illegal, your Edinburgh hen party will need to look at boozy brunch options instead but the good news is there is a lovely selection to choose from!
Rabble, The Bonham, Slug and Lettuce, Badger & Co, Tigerlily, Las Iguanas, Bar Soba, Barologist, Guacho, Copper Blossom, The Huxley, The Basement, and Cold Town House are all options for brunching with booze.
Edinburgh is the place for afternoon tea with sittings ranging from £35 to £65 per person.
The Balmoral and The Signet Library are God-tier afternoon tea options but you do pay the upper price point for them.
Check out our guide to afternoon teas for more.
Private Chef Dinner Experience
If your accommodation permits, host a private dinner party event and have a chef cook for you or order a home delivery that you can prepare yourself.
Edinburgh School of Food & Wine offers everything from breakfast platters to finger buffets.
The Party Duck does BBQs and specialised menus that they build with your input.
Paella Chef cooks an amazing paella and a range of tapas according to reviews.
Butlers in the Buff
It might not be Gerald Butler that turns up to pour your glass of ‘secco but the server might not be that far off it!
Cheeky butlers are a popular addition to hen parties in Edinburgh.
Polite note: You can look but you can’t touch. Unless they give consent!
Private Rooms in Edinburgh
Hiring a private room keeps everyone in the group together and removes the stress of trying to get around the city and into bars.
Some private rooms offer dining options as well as full bar service.
Private spaces also provide room for you to play games such as quizzes such as Mr and Mrs/Mrs and Mrs, toilet paper wedding dresses, pin the d on the partner/pic of a celeb, etc.
Angel’s Share in the West End has a boutique basement bar called The Devils Cut.
Here you can book a sit-down meal or a more casual drinks and buffet hen party.
Angels With Bagpipes
Angels With Bagpipes is a Scottish fine dining restaurant located in a 16th-century building on the Royal Mile.
It has four dining areas, with the upper dining room equipped for small groups.
Badger & Co
Badger & Co is a fun Wind In The Willows themed bar just off George Street.
Their private dining space can host up to 12 people and has its own bar.
Chaophraya is one of the most popular Thai restaurants in Edinburgh which locals visit time and time again.
The food is fresh, the cocktail menu is stacked, and the staff a polite.
Their private spaces can accommodate from 16 to 300 diners.
The Mad Hatter
The Mad Hatter is a low-key venue and this is where the first half of my hen party in Edinburgh was held.
The White Room is located underneath the main bar and has its own private bar.
This function space is free for parties with under 50 people so a great budget hen option in Edinburgh.
The Three Sisters
The Three Sisters is an Old Town institution, popular with lads watching the footy on the big screens and Scots praying that their national team win the rugby.
However, like many Cowgate buildings, this pub is a Tardis and some of the nooks and crannies are ideal for large groups.
There’s a private upstairs dining area with a bar and space for cocktail classes.
Hens also have access to a pod with a karaoke machine.
This is where the second half of my hen day in Edinburgh was hosted as they could accommodate a much larger group who joined us for dinner and karaoke!
When the pub we were supposed to go to before dinner let us down, the excellent staff at The Three Sisters found us space to drink and chat before dinner and our official kick-off time.
Clubs in Edinburgh
Not ready to end the party quite yet?
The following clubs in Edinburgh are great for groups of all ages so you won’t feel out of place if you are the youngest or the most mature.
The Shack is an ‘unashamedly cheesy nightclub’ in Edinburgh located on Rose Street which is sandwiched between Princes Street and George Street in the New Town.
It plays belters from the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s so you can shake off your Spice Girls routine while dancing around your handbag.
Brewhemia is one of the wildest nights out in Edinburgh.
It is located across from Waverley Train Station which is perfect if any of the hen party needs to catch the last train home, all they need to work out is the three-minute stumble to the platform.
Expect a live band on an elevated stage, professional dancers on tables, and lots of revellers dancing on seats.
It’s a sweaty affair in a very nice establishment.
Brewhemia has lots of areas including private rooms with a bar.
Every weekend, Club Tropicana serves up 80s music on Lothian Road close to Edinburgh’s West End which is walking distance to the Grassmarket area for walking home.
DJs play nostalgic pop songs and the hen party package provides reserved seating to rest your wee feet in between Madonna and Erasure bangers.
Not quite a club but if your hen likes live music, Bannerman’s Bar puts on a show every weekend and it is located just off the Royal Mile.
Expect sticky floors and limited seating.
This is an option for smaller hen nights in Edinburgh who love loud music but not clubbing.
Which of the hen parties in Edinburgh suggestions will you go for? Tell us in the comments.