Pubs for a musical session in Scotland

Catch a live music performance at one of these pubs in Scotland while you enjoy a lovely glass of Scotch whisky.

1) Captain's Bar

Definitely worth popping your head in at the Captain’s Bar to see what the craic is. With folk music on most nights it can be a real treat. It is a small pub so wait around if you don’t find the spot you want when you first arrive. Look out for the book swap near the musicians at the back of the bar.

total red façade of the Captain's bar in Edinburgh

4 South College Street, Edinburgh

+44 (0)7493 555 702

2) The Royal Oak

This wee, unassuming, warm and friendly pub is where you’ll witness some of the best folk music in Edinburgh and Scotland. Hosting live traditional music every night, there’s plenty to be had. Everyone’s welcome to join in with the pub providing guitars, a piano and plenty of encouragement... especially after sampling their great selection of whisky and beer. There’s something quite special about connecting to the culture through song and this is the place to do it. Don’t be offended if you are told to quieten down by the locals as there are plenty of other bars where you can chat in Edinburgh. Etiquette here is to enjoy the music, and to get out of the way of the bar staff in this small pub on busy nights. Please tip the musicians if you can, especially if you request, they’re not a jukebox.

black and white picture of a folk band at The Royal Oak

1 Infirmary Street, Edinburgh

+44 (0)131 557 2976

3) The Ben Nevis Bar

A piece of the Highlands comes to the hipster area of Finnieston with this wee cracking bar. Part of the ‘Teuchter Triangle’, including The Park Bar and Islay Inn – also worth a visit while you are here. There is an impressive selection of Scottish whiskies to sip away and a great choice of beers. Famous for its trad music sessions on a Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday but they can occur any time, it just depends what musicians are around Glasgow.

wall full with bottles of scotch at Ben Nevis bar

1147 Argyle Street, Finnieston, Glasgow

+44 (0)141 576 5204

Buy this book

Hidden Scotland reveals off-the-beaten-track places and interesting details for anyone who's keen to explore Scotland's best-kept secrets.

Go to bookshop

Join the community

Sign up for free to gain unlimited access to the website. Plus, you'll receive a 10% discount in our online bookshop.

Sign up