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Best Ways to Enjoy Edinburgh in the Rain

Best Ways to Enjoy Edinburgh in the Rain

In Edinburgh, us locals don’t need weather forecasts; we just assume it’s raining until proven otherwise. In fact, when rain clouds gather over the city, this Scottish capital doesn’t lose its charm, it simply takes on a different one.

Embrace the city’s rainy days by exploring its rich indoor offerings. Whether you choose to participate in indoor activities or lose yourself in comfy hidden gems, rainy days in Edinburgh promise fun and cosy moments to remember.

Play with sweet chihuahuas

Venue: Edinburgh Chihuahua Cafe


Address: 15 Frederick St, Edinburgh EH2 2EY, United Kingdom

Operating Hours: Mon, Thurs-Fri: 12 PM–4:20 PM

                   Sat-Sun: 11 AM–5:20 PM

Contact Details: +44 7960 777132

Duration: 50 minutes per session

Price: £10 per person, £6 – Add-on soft drinks and cake

What’s better than cuddling a cute chihuahua when it’s raining outside? Why, cuddling seven chihuahuas, of course!

Escape the Edinburgh rain at the Chihuahua Cafe, where seven adorable chihuahuas await your affection. Book a 50-minute session for just £10 and let these lovable pups bring joy and warmth to your day –  for an extra treat, add tea/soda and cake for £6. 

Sadly,  this experience may not be wheelchair accessible due to a flight of 10 steps. As a whole, however, the happiness and stress relief these pups provide make it a perfect rainy-day retreat. 

Pro tip:
If you’re planning to go to another place later on, we recommend avoiding fully black outfits since their dogs do shed. This will ensure you have a fur-free experience during your visit.

Cuddle with cute cats

woman carrying a cat
Image by Maison de Moggy

Venue: Maison de Moggy


Address: 17 West Port, Edinburgh EH1 2JA, United Kingdom

Operating Hours: Mon-Sun: 10:30 AM–6:30 PM

Contact Details: +44 131 629 5530

Duration: 1 hour per session

Price: £12 per person 

If cats are more your style, Maison de Moggy offers the purrfect escape on a rainy day in Edinburgh. With a delightful menu of teas, coffees, and delectable offsite-baked cakes, this cosy café invites you to relax in feline company. 

You can capture memories with these supermodel cats but remember to be gentle; no flash photography or intrusive phone approaches. Feel free to stroke and play with the cats when they’re in the mood while still respecting their personal space. 

We just love these 12 feline residents, raised by Laura since kittens, who call Maison de Moggy their permanent and loving home. For us, it’s a perfectly fun escape from the downpour outside.

Pro tip:
Always make a reservation because due to their limited space, entry can’t be guaranteed without one. Also, keep in mind the maximum group size is currently capped at six people to ensure a cosy and comfortable visit.

Explore a luxury yacht

inside a luxurious yacht
Image by Klook

Venue: The Royal Yacht Britannia


Address: Ocean Dr, Leith, Edinburgh EH6 6JJ, United Kingdom

Operating Hours: Mon-Sun: 10 AM–4 PM

Contact details: +44 131 555 5566

Facilities: Toilets, Royal Deck Tearoom, Gift Shop, Free Parking at the Ocean Terminal Car Parks

Duration: 1.5 to 2 hours

Price: From £18/person

If you’re tired of splashing into puddles outside, a visit to The Royal Yacht Britannia, TripAdvisor’s No. 1 UK attraction in 2023, is a regal choice. Step aboard this former floating palace, which served Queen Elizabeth II from 1954 to 1997. 

We recommend you explore its five decks with audio guides revealing the royal life; the ship is also highly accessible via a central lift. After your tour, indulge in refreshments at the Royal Deck Tea Room within this great ship museum.

Ideal for families, be sure to pre-book tickets online to secure your entry. 

Pro tip:
While there’s no formal dress code for visiting The Royal Yacht Britannia, we suggest you wear sensible shoes (no high heels) for navigating the ship’s decks. Additionally, opt for comfortable, weather-appropriate clothing to fully enjoy touring all five decks.

Have afternoon tea on a bus

drinks and food on a table
Image by Red Bus Bistro

Venue: Red Bus Bistro


Address: Bus Stop outside, Malmaison Hotel, St Andrew Square, Edinburgh EH2 2AD, United Kingdom

Operating Hours: Mon-Fri: 9:30 AM–5:30 PM

Package: Afternoon Tea with Fizz

Duration: 90 minutes

Inclusions: Classic Afternoon Tea serving per person

          A glass of prosecco per person

          A serving of fresh tea or coffee per person

Price: Cost per child up to 9 years old: £20

Adult – Front pair upstairs: £6

Guaranteed upstair: £4

Exclusive use of table for four: £10 per unused seat.

Indulge in a unique experience on a drizzly day in Edinburgh by joining the Red Bus Bistro’s city sightseeing tour. For 90 minutes, you’ll explore the city’s landmarks while enjoying afternoon tea, complete with fragrant tea or coffee and snacks.

You’ll have stunning views from the top deck of their iconic red bus and a feast of sweet and savoury treats, including home-baked scones, sandwiches, quiches, and more. This is one of our favourite city tours, making a rainy day a delectable adventure.

Pro tip:
If you prefer to secure your own table during the Red Bus Bistro experience, you can do so for a fee of £40 per table or £10 per unused seat. Simply reach out via email at [email protected] or call 01355 229448 to make the arrangements.

Hole up in a coffee shop

young woman eating
Image by The Milkman

Venue: The Milkman


Address: 7 Cockburn St, Edinburgh EH1 1BP, United Kingdom

Operating Hours: Mon-Sat: 8 AM–5 PM

         Sunday: 9 AM–5 PM

Contact Details: +44 7772 077920

What better way to enjoy the pouring rain than with a lovely visit to The Milkman, where your furry friends are welcome – though big ones may find it snug. 

This quaint, restored, brick-walled coffee shop offers free Wi-Fi and collaborates with local bakeries for a diverse range of vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free treats. Sip on a delicious flat white in the charming ambiance of a former candy shop.

It’s the ideal spot for a warm and inviting refuge on a drizzly day in the city. If you find that the Milkman is full, you can visit the other top-notch coffee shops we reviewed in the city.

Pro tip:
You can help reduce waste and save 10% on your coffee at The Milkman by bringing your own reusable cup. This is an excellent way to support sustainability while enjoying your brew.

Catch a fun show

inside an empty theater
Image by Tripadvisor

Venue: Edinburgh Playhouse


Address: 18-22 Greenside Pl, Edinburgh EH1 3AA, United Kingdom

Operating Hours: Opens 90 minutes before the start of the performance

Contact Details:

Price: From £13 up

On a pouring day, seek refuge in Edinburgh Playhouse, the UK’s largest all-seated theatre, with a grand capacity of 2,286. A Grade A-listed building since its establishment in 1929, it’s the perfect venue for touring musicals, plays, comedy, and concerts. 

You can catch world-class productions like Les Misérables, The Phantom of the Opera, and The Lion King. Whether you’re a tourist or local, a show at the Edinburgh Playhouse promises a captivating escape from the drizzle outside.

Pro tip:
Edinburgh Playhouse offers a variety of refreshments with five bars, four kiosks, and an at-your-seat service. You can also bring unopened soft drinks and refill empty water bottles at any of the bars for added convenience during your visit.

Try gin and chocolate pairings

a bottle and a glass of beverage
Image by Edinburgh Gin

Venue: Edinburgh Gin Distillery


Address: 1A, Rutland Place, Edinburgh EH1 2AD, United Kingdom

Operating Hours: Mon-Sun: 10 AM–4:45 PM

Contact Details: +44 1316 562810

Package: EG x Coco Chocolate pairing experience

Duration: 75 minutes

Price: £35 per person

Treat your senses to a sumptuous gin and chocolate pairing experience at the Edinburgh Gin Distillery. Led by distillery ambassadors, this 75-minute adventure will immerse you in London dry gins, artisanal gin liqueurs, and Coco Chocolates. 

The exquisite pairing will enchant your palate as you savour the harmonious fusion of flavours. While the rain drizzles outside, we suggest you bask in the charm of the distillery and sample delicious gin from its award-winning collection.

Pro tip:
If you’re following a vegan lifestyle, simply inform Edinburgh Gin Distillery in advance, and they’ll offer thoughtfully crafted alternatives. This will make your gin and chocolate pairing experience tailored to your preferences.

Burrow in a cosy library nook

inside National Library of Scotland
Image by Nathaniel Chew

Venue: National Library of Scotland


Address: George IV Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1EW, United Kingdom

Operating Hours: Mon-Tue, Thurs: 9:30 AM–7 PM

                   Wednesday: 10 AM–7 PM

                   Fri-Sat: 9:30 AM–5 PM

Contact Details: +44 1316 233700

When it’s raining, I just love hanging out at the National Library of Scotland. It’s one of the UK’s largest libraries, housing artefacts like Shakespeare’s First Folio, the final letter of Queen Mary, and the world’s most extensive collection of Scottish Gaelic material. 

Among its prized possessions are copies of the Gutenberg Bible and Charles Darwin’s manuscript of “On the Origin of Species.” One can explore this sanctuary, attend public events, and indulge in its cosy reading rooms, making it a sublime rainy-day haven.

Pro tip:
To make the most of your visit, check their website in advance for any special exhibitions, events, or workshops. This way, you can plan your rainy day adventure to enjoy additional enriching experiences they have to offer.

Score a strike

inside Lane 7
Image by Lane7

Venue: Lane 7 


Address: Floor 4, 02b St James Square, Edinburgh EH1 3AD, United Kingdom

Operating Hours: Mon-Thurs: 11 AM–12 AM

                    Friday: 11 AM–1 AM

                    Saturday: 10 AM–1 AM

                    Sunday: 10 AM–12 AM

Contact Details: +44 131 373 0003

Price: Per Person Per Game

Peak (Thursday – Saturday): £9.15

Off Peak (Sunday – Wednesday): £7.25

Kids & Nus: £7.00

Bowling in Lane 7 is another fun indoor activity you can do while it’s pouring outside. Located in the heart of Edinburgh’s St James Centre, this social bowling alley redefines entertainment with neon lights, graffiti, and an array of activities. 

From full-length walnut lanes to arcades, mini golf, cocktails, and a restaurant, Lane 7 offers an unbeatable blend of social gaming. Open from 11 a.m. until late, it’s the perfect rainy day activity with friends, family, or colleagues. 

Whether you prefer bowling, darts, pool, or batting cages, Lane 7 Edinburgh promises an unforgettable day out in the heart of the city.

Pro tip:
If you’re planning a night out with friends, consider group packages or special deals for larger parties. Lane 7 often offers group discounts and packages that can enhance your experience while saving you money.

Visit a climbing gym

woman rock climbing
Image by: alien rock

Activity: Alien Rock


Address: 8 Pier Pl, Newhaven, Edinburgh EH6 4LP, United Kingdom

Contact details: +44 131 552 7211

Price: Peak times (evenings and weekends): £10.50

Off-peak times: £9.50

Monthly membership: £60 

Shoe rental: £3

If you’re feeling stir-crazy after being cooped up indoors due to the rain, then go to Alien Rock, an indoor climbing centre in Newhaven. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced climber, this facility offers a safe climbing environment. 

Group bookings are welcome, making it an excellent choice for rainy-day gatherings. We suggest fueling your climbing session with teas, flapjacks, and chocolate bars available at the reception. 

This hidden gem’s cosy atmosphere and dedicated staff ensure an enjoyable experience, and the spectator area offers scenic views of Newhaven Harbour. Don’t let the rain stop your ascent at Alien Rock.

Pro tip:
We recommend taking advantage of their courses for beginners to learn essential skills like rope tying and proper climbing form. For intermediate and advanced climbers, explore the diverse range of short yet challenging routes.
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