We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
Win Big When You Book on TripAdvisor

Bow Bar

Certificate of Excellence
Old Town
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Get directions
Address: 80 West Bow, Edinburgh EH1 2HH, Scotland
Phone Number: +44 131 226 7667
12:00 - 00:00
Closed now
See all hours
Sun 12:30 - 23:00
Mon - Sat 12:00 - 00:00

Small quiet bar with a large selection of whiskey.

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 195 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 106
  • 43
    Very good
  • 4
  • 3
  • 25
Small bar often crowded but worth sticking around for the great whisky and ale selection

We came here during festival time and expected it to be busy. Was less busy during the week than the weekend but got busier later on all days. Can't really see the complaints... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 30 August 2016
Washington DC, District of Columbia
via mobile
Add Photo Write a Review

195 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
  • More
Showing 181: English reviews
1 review
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW via mobile

We were recommended this place as a real scottish pub but what we found here was just the opposite. If you are looking for the best bar to try a good beer go elsewhere because here you are not welcome the waiter seems like he does not like serving foreigners. The scottish are very nice but this bar is not.

Thank Xavier V
Leeds, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

You can imagine Burke and Hare popping in here for a pint, the place being so drenched in auld reekie atmosphere. Laconic barman, obviously wanted for murder somewhere, but very informative on the beer front when prompted. Came in here last year and it has not changed. May it always be so.

Thank Robert O
Milton Keynes, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
40 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

I write this after two weeks working in Edinburgh. The city is littered with wonderful pubs and bars and I have been most days to the Oxford Bar and Cafe Royal which I will continue to visit (good food at the latter) . I have also visited the Bow Bar most days this past fortnight and cannot speak too highly... More 

Thank MartynGriffiths
Chichester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
95 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 October 2016

This small traditional bar can get crowded at times, so if you don't like a crowded bar as I don't go at a different time to enjoy the beer selection, it always has a great selection of real ales and this augmented by a selection of bottle beers, mind you some of the bottle beers can be expensive if you... More 

Thank David M
Level Contributor
49 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 October 2016

The Bow Bar is the best traditional bar in Edinburgh - real people - locals mixing with tourists - bar staff friendly and professional. Good selection of beers and wines and not overcharging like some bars on The Royal Mile. Perfect Scottish bar in a great location.

Thank Mary S
Bolton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 October 2016 via mobile

Great bar with a fantastic atmosphere with a great choice of beers. Having said that I did get in trouble off a very irate barmaid for standing on a small wooden stool to take a photo of a large group of some lovely Irish people. Thank godness it didn't spoil my birthday night out.

Thank Jan T
Level Contributor
16 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 October 2016 via mobile

I love this traditional Scottish pub. Staff was so friendly and helped me to choose a drink as they hadn't had my favourite in, so I'm now hooked on hoxtons gin... My boyfriend tries to propose to me in the pub but he was extremely merrily :). We will be visiting back in November :)

Thank Jenna J
Level Contributor
38 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 September 2016 via mobile

Superb place to while away an afternoon tasting whisky with the knowledgeable and friendly staff. Excellent value for money as well.

Thank MJMaw
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
91 reviews
46 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 August 2016 via mobile

We came here during festival time and expected it to be busy. Was less busy during the week than the weekend but got busier later on all days. Can't really see the complaints about the staff, one went back to fetch a bottle quickly after one of their whiskies featured ran out. Paid £3.50 for a dram of solid scotch.... More 

Thank Anthony_B_02
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 August 2016

After finally making it to the bar through the small but densely packed punters, I gave the barmaid my order, it was only 2 pints, not difficult. As she poured the first my phone rang, it was a friend I was meeting in this bar so I answered it in case he was cancelling or there was some problem. After... More 

2 Thank Kevin G

Travellers who viewed Bow Bar also viewed

Edinburgh, Scotland
Edinburgh, Scotland

Been to Bow Bar? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Bow Bar and other visitors
1 question
Ask a question

See all questions (1)

Questions? Get answers from Bow Bar staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?

Staying in Old Town

Neighbourhood Profile
Old Town
Few Edinburghers live in the Old Town, but its labyrinth of dank alleys and steep streets suggests this was not always the case. Today, it’s mostly visitors, tartan-flavoured souvenir shops, and pipers that you’ll find on its cobbled streets. This is the place to get a feel for Auld Reekie (Old Smelly), as the town was once nicknamed, and stroll the Royal Mile, the thoroughfare that links the castle with the royal palace – two of Edinburgh’s great set-piece attractions. But there’s lots more exploring to do here down dozens of little alleys, or wynds, while at night the city’s busiest clubs erupt along the Cowgate which is closed to traffic for this purpose.
Explore this neighbourhood