City guide: Edinburgh

Erynn Blansjaar | January 2019 | 6 minutes

Dry January doesn't mean a boring month of sitting home, staring at the wall and feeling sorry for yourself! There are tonnes of alcohol-free activities (for adults!) right outside your door. Here are just a few of the amazing things you can get up to in Edinburgh that might just make this your best January ever.

1) Cinema

You’ll definitely be feeling the winter chill if you live in Scotland, so it’s perfectly understandable if you’d rather stay indoors this January. Why not go and see a film in one of the many cinemas around Edinburgh? Dominion, Filmhouse and Cameo are all good places to start!

2) Board game café

Indulge your competitive side by going to a board game café! Bring your friends or family for a great afternoon out that won’t break the bank. Check out Noughts and Coffees here.

3) Camera Obscura

This gallery has so many optical illusions you may feel a little dizzy… But thankfully that’s not due to alcohol! Check out what’s on, and book your visit here.

4) Comedy clubs

In August, Edinburgh turns into one great big comedy and theatre festival. But you don’t need to wait until summertime to get your giggle on – there are plenty of comedy clubs you can visit throughout the year. Maybe you’ll even discover the next big name. See what’s on at Monkey Barrel or The Stand to get you started.

5) Visit a gallery

There are plenty of big museums to visit in Edinburgh (e.g. the National Museum of Scotland), but why not look around some smaller galleries instead? There are so many options! Check out Stills if you love photography and Doubtfire Gallery, The Fruitmarket Gallery or the Scottish Gallery if you like contemporary art.

6) Bar-hopping

There are plenty of alcohol-free friendly bars around in Edinburgh, so you don’t have to miss out on any socialising if you don’t want to! BrewDog has a bar on the Cowgate, where you can find Nanny State as well as the new Raspberry Blitz. Juniper also has plenty of choice if you’re not drinking, as does Timberyard, so definitely check those out!

Whatever you decide to do this Dry January, make sure you have a great time doing it! Sobriety does not equal boring and you can be the living proof. What have you been up to this month? Let us know in the comments or @dryjanuary on Twitter – we’d love to know! Plus share any tips you have for alcohol-free activities near you.

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