I recently went to Edinburgh, and when people asked how it was, I responded, “It was a very goth trip.” So, as a self-proclaimed adult emo, you can imagine that I had a great time. So, for other alt people, here are some goth things to do in Edinburgh.
Goth Things To Do In Edinburgh
1. Visit The Graveyards
There’s nothing more goth than hanging out in graveyards. It should go without saying, but be respectful. These were real people.
One of the most well-known Edinburgh graveyards is Greyfriars Kirkyard. It’s near Victoria Street so is right by lots of other tourist attractions.
Outside the graveyard, you’ll notice a statue of a dog. Greyfriars’ Bobby belonged to the poet, John Gray. After Gray died, the dog stayed by his owner’s grave.
The graveyard is also famous for another reason. So, you’ll notice a lot of fans of a certain franchise hanging around too.
You can find Greyfriars Kirkyard on: 26A Candlemaker Row.
2. Admire The Architecture
I don’t know all that much about architecture, but I do know that people see old looking buildings and throw around the word goth, when that’s not the style.
In the Old Town, you’ll see lots of medieval architecture. The New Town is mostly Georgian and neo-classical. Even if it’s not technically goth, it’s still stunning.
You’ll notice a heart outside St. Giles’ Cathedral, known as the Heart of Midlothian. It marks where the Old Toldbooth, which was a jail, used to stand. People spit on it for good luck – but also, to show disdain because executions used to take place there.
3. Go On A Ghost Tour
Believed to be one of the most haunted cities in the world, there are no shortage of spooky things to do in Edinburgh. Ghost tours as a must for goths.
We took one in the afternoon so it was a nice mix of historical and spooky, but later on, you can find tours that are fully about the darker things. Pretty much all of the tours will lead you through the Edinburgh Vaults where you’ll learn about dark spirits, witch craft & witch trails, and serial killers.
4. Have A Drink In The Frankenstein Pub
I spotted the Frankenstein pub by chance and couldn’t pass the opportunity up.
This horror pub is based in a 19th century church! There’s fun themed cocktails and food, so you can drop in for a bite or attend events like karaoke and quiz nights. I only got a cup of coffee, so I can’t comment on what the food is like but I was happy to see they had vegan options.
They play the original Frankenstein movie in the bar, and there are even shows some nights.
You can find The Frankenstein Pub on: 26 George IV Bridge.
5. Have A Fright At The Edinburgh Dungeons
For those who love a fright, the Edinburgh Dungeons is one of the top spooky things to do in Edinburgh. Like the vaults, you’ll learn about Edinburgh’s dark history, but this attraction features actors to give you a scare.
You can find the Edinburgh Dungeons on: 31 Market Place.
6. Reminisce At The Museum Of Childhood
The Museum of Childhood is about preserving the history of childhood through the ages. You can find old toys, clothes, and books going all the way back to 1740. Some features are sweet, but other’s are pretty unnerving.
You can find the Museum of Childhood on: 42 High St.
7. Eat In The Hard Rock
Before anyone starts; I know goth is a music based subculture, with bands like Siouxsie & The Banshees, Joy Division, and debatably The Cure at the helm. For the sake of this article, I’m using the word goth to mean alternative or spooky. So, no, the Hard Rock Café doesn’t just play goth music. You’ll also hear classic rock, metal, emo, and even Taylor Swift!
With that said, if you love alternative music it’s well worth a visit to see the memorabilia. The food is also great!
You can find The Hard Rock Café on: 20 George St.
8. Shop At Black Moon Botanica
In their own words, Black Moon Botanica is a “candlemaker and purveyor of esoteric and magickal goods.” There are a lot of “magical” themed things around Edinburgh, presumably, to cash in on Harry Potter, but if you’re into witch craft or just spooky décor & art supplies, Black Moon Botanica felt like the real deal
You can find Black Moon Botanica on: 50 Candlemaker Row.
9. Have A Drink In The Banshee Labyrinth
You might be thinking, “aren’t Banshees Irish?” You wouldn’t be wrong, but they’re also found in Scottish folklore too.
The Banshee Labyrinth considers itself Edinburgh’s most haunted pub, so it is a must for spooky things to do in Edinburgh. To start with, part of the club was part of the Edinburgh vaults. Then, when it was being refurbished, the workmen taught they heard a scream, hours later, one of them was informed a relative passed away.
The bar has karaoke and open mic nights.
You can find the Banshee Labyrinth on: 29-35 Niddry Street.
10. Become A Potion Master A The Cauldron
The Cauldron has locations around the world; including this gothic Edinburgh spot. Not only is it a quirky bar, but you can experience magic themed cocktail making classes.
It’s not affiliated with Harry Potter. Check out these Harry Potter alternatives.
You can find The Cauldron on: 57a Frederick Street.
11. See The Botanic Gardens
You might think the botanic gardens isn’t something alternative people would be into; but we’re not allergic to colour or the outdoors. Lots of alt people are weirdly obsessed with plants – we even left the botanic gardens at the same time as another alt couple. I had a series dedicated to a cactus once.
You can also find botanic gardens in London.
You can find the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh on: Inverleith Row.
Bonus: Goth Things To Do In Scotland
The Gothic Market
Although this is a list of goth things to do in Edinburgh, Glasgow is only an hour train journey away. If you’re spending some time in Glasgow while you’re in Scotland, see if the Gothic Market is hosting an event. It’s exactly what it sounds like; a market with alternative vendors. I went to the New Moon market and spent a lot of money.
We also saw Fearless Vampire Killers play at King Tut’s and had a drink before the show. Actually knowing every song being played at a bar – and not standing out – is something I never experience at home, so I loved it!
What do you think of these goth things to do in Edinburgh? Have you ever been there?