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Bow Bar

Certificate of Excellence
Old Town
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Address: 80 W Bow, Edinburgh EH1 2HH, Scotland
Phone Number:
+44 131 226 7667
12:00 - 00:00
Open 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 197 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 107
  • 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
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197 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 182: English reviews
County Westmeath, Ireland
Level Contributor
74 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Very friendly barstaff and locals when we were in for a few drinks. Locals chatted away to us and recommended different drinks to try. Real old-feel to the place gives it a traditional, comfortable atmosphere. Would definitely recommend dropping by.

Thank LaurenDevine95
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 December 2016 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.

1 Thank Xavier V
Leeds, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 November 2016 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 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 November 2016 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 19 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
18 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 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

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  • 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.
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