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Edinburgh may be so picturesque that it resembles a film set at times, but trust us: there’s nothing fictional about its potential for a legendary stag do.
Edinburgh is one Scotland’s liveliest party cities, promising you and your group of stags a weekend bursting with booze, mayhem and good times.
Alright, Scotland’s cultured capital might be a little colder when compared to some other stag destinations, but take our word for it, you'll barely notice the drop in temperature once you get going. You’ll find some great bars and clubs here to fuel your night-time antics, along with top daytime activities, and a generally welcoming atmosphere for stags. So what are you waiting for? Head north of the border and party away the stag's last weekend of freedom with the Scots!
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Edinburgh is a compact city, making it very easy to get around on foot. In fact there’s a lot of fun to be had wandering its side nooks, hidden crannies and medieval alleyways. But, this being Scotland, the weather can turn on a pin, so this guide to getting around Edinburgh will give you all the details you need to know for navigating Scotland’s capital in case it rains or gets a little chilly.
Firstly, how to get to Edinburgh. If most of you are coming by car, your best bet is to arrange car sharing between you to save on petrol and parking costs. There are several public car parks around the city (the NCP at Castle Terrace has 750 spaces alone) so you'll have convenient options of where to leave the motors safely and securely, with fair and comparable prices for 24 hours. Alternatively, plenty of Edinburgh stag hotels offer car parking for their guests, though often for a supplementary charge. Let us know when you book how many spaces you think you will need and we'll do our best to sort it out for you.
If you’re flying, Edinburgh Airport is just seven miles from the city centre. There’s a regular, 24-hour Lothian Bus service from the airport, or it takes half-an-hour by tram. However, we recommend travelling by train if you can. As an example, it’s just over five hours from London to Edinburgh by train. When you think about airport check-in, and the transfer into the centre, it’s almost as quick to go by train as it is by air. And of course a more pleasant, more eco-friendly journey.
Once there, getting around in Edinburgh is very easy. Besides the 24/7 bus network which offers a reliable and frequent service, there are plentiful local taxis, and there's also a decent tram service, which was inaugurated in 2014 and services several city centre stops. Download the Transport for Edinburgh app before you arrive, because it allows you to purchase tickets and check timetables in advance. Alternatively, you can use the ticket machines on platforms. If you want to pay for bus travel with cash, note that only the exact change can be accpeted by drivers, so it's best to go digital if you can.
Edinburgh's cycle hire scheme sadly closed its figurative doors in late 2021, so you'll need to research independent bike hire companies if you want to cycle around during your stay. Lastly, look out for the occasional rickshaw ferrying tourists around - they're not cheap though, and may not be inclined to pick up rowdy groups of drunken stags. Not your lot, of course - we mean the others.
Edinburgh is probably most famous for its renowned Fringe Festival, one of the greatest celebrations of arts and culture in the world. Every August, tens of thousands of events span hundreds of venues across the city over 25 days. During this time, the city bursts with talent as it hosts different types of entertainment from hilarious comedy shows to strirring musical performances. Obviously, this lends itself perfectly to interesting stag do ideas in Edinburgh, but it also has its downsides. Accommodation during Fringe season is super-expensive and fills up very quickly, so if you want to incorporate both into your weekend, our advice is book as early as you possibly can. And the same goes for other popular events throughout the year, such as Six Nations rugby fixtures for example.
As for your more traditional Edinburgh stag do activities, you’ve got an amazing amount of choice. All the classics can be found here, like Paintballing, Quad Biking and Go Karting, plus modern day classic, Bubble Football. Our expert team knows all the best things to do here, and will have all the advice you need.
Famously, Edinburgh is brimming with stunning views, which is perfect if you’ve all had a heavy night out and need some fresh air to clear your heads! Clear the cobwebs by taking a walk up to the Scott Monument, a finely constructed piece of Gothic architecture dedicated to the memory of Sir Walter Scott. You can make your way up its narrow staircase for an awesome panorama. Or, how about washing your face in the dew of Arthur’s Seat? Don’t worry, it’s nothing seedy, we promise. It’s actually Edinburgh’s extinct volcano, and a pretty easy hike after which you’ll be rewarded with some truly breathtaking views.
Then there’s stunning Edinburgh Castle, looking down on the city from Castle Rock. The lads might enjoy a tour of one of Europe’s finest castles one morning before you get going with the festivities on your Scotland stag do.
And, if sightseeing isn’t really for you, then why not indulge in some hair of the dog and sample a wee dram at one of Edinburgh’s many excellent whisky bars? We can arrange for you to go Whisky Tasting to discover aromas and flavours which could lead you to find your favourite malt whisky.
Lively enough in the daytime, Edinburgh gets even crazier at night. We’ve done our research, listened to feedback from past customers, and put together a guide to some of the best haunts for you to hit up and flaunt your signature moves! Don’t forget, when you book your stag do we’ll connect you with on of our Event Planners who’ll be an expert on Edinburgh nightlife, and therefore able to offer you tailored advice on where to go when.
But first, let’s be responsible. It’s always a good idea to line your stomach before a big night on the town, so why not enjoy a hearty and delicious meal at one of Edinburgh’s many stag do-friendly restaurants such as Las Iguanas, the Slug & Lettuce, or Revolution. We’re more than happy to take the hassle away and organise this for you.
Most stag do's in Edinburgh base themselves around the historic Old Town. The two best places for stag groups are Cowgate and the Grassmarket, both of them lined with brilliant nightspots where the good times flow. Fancy dress is allowed in many pubs and bars, which are used to hen and stag groups and happy to welcome well-behaved groups of lads through the door. Just bear in mind that some places might not embrace some of the more inappropriate outfit choices you're considering forcing the stag to wear, so choose outfits and venues wisely!
In terms of stag-friendly Edinburgh nightclubs, there are plenty of options to choose from, including the popular multi-room venue, ATIK, where every member of the group will find something to suit their music tastes. Well, maybe not Erik the Death Metal enthusiast, but he’ll just have to lump it and get on board. We can even arrange for you to jump the queue and organise a super stylish VIP booth.
Just a note on your Edinburgh stag do hotel. We know how important it is for you to be close to the action, and not have too far to travel back at the end of the night. That’s why we aim to find accommodation that’s within a 10-15 minute walk of the city centre, or a short and inexpensive taxi journey away.
Is Edinburgh good for a stag do?
You can’t see us, but we’re nodding our heads frantically. Edinburgh is without a doubt one of the best cities in the UK for a stag weekend, with great entertainment options, all the classic stag activites - plus some that are uniquely Scottish, of course - and a wide range of suitable stag do accommodation. Oh and by the way, the nightlife is EPIC.
Are there Edinburgh stag do apartments?
Absolutely. We have a wide range of stag weekend accommodation in Edinburgh, and centrally located self-catering apartments are part of that mix. We also work with a number of excellent Edinburgh stag do hotels so whether you’re on a budget, or you want something a little more luxurious for your group, we confident that there's something for you in our portfolio.
What are the best Edinburgh stag do ideas?
Our knowledgeable Event Planners are loaded with reliable advice for your trip to Edinburgh and they've tried and tested many of our activities themselves, from the funny Highland Games experiences, to classic stag choices such as Quad Biking and Paintball. As for stag do entertainment in the evening, there is no end of bars and clubs in Edinburgh ready and waiting to welcome your group and ply you with drink. We’ve got plenty of tips on where’s hot right now.
Do you sell Edinburgh stag do packages?
Our various Edinburgh stag weekend packages are designed to give you a head start, and ensure your weekend runs nice and smoothly. A typical stag package for Edinburgh will include one or two activities for the daytime, a two-course meal in a restaurant such as Revolution that welcomes stag groups, and then nightclub entry.
Is our money protected?
Yup - have no concerns about that. The Stag Company is an ABTA member, which means that your money, and that of your mates, is fully protected when you book a package through us. Our aim is to give you complete peace of mind when arranging a stag do, because you know you're in safe and experienced hands, from deciding on your itinerary, through to departure.
Do you have any Edinburgh stag do bar crawl advice?
Are you kidding? We’re Edinburgh bar crawl specialists. In fact we can even arrange a Party Bus tour that escorts you from bar to bar if you’re so inclined. Upon booking, our team will give you all the advice and support you need on what to do for a first-class stag weekend in Edinburgh, with information on all the best stag-friendly pubs, bars and clubs. We can also arrange dinner for you beforehand to steady your stomachs.
Can we wear fancy dress on an Edinburgh stag weekend?
We’d probably advise against wearing comedy kilts and tam o’ shanters on an Edinburgh stag, as they don’t always go down so well with the locals. But generally speaking, fancy dress is fine in Edinburgh. Some bars, clubs and restaurants don’t allow it; if you have any concerns, you can either check with them directly based on exactly what you're planning to wear, or ask your Event Planner for their expertise.