Edinburgh has everything for the tourist, especially pubs, and more than necessary. Some are more local than others, and some have large numbers of tourists. Mostly, they are just pubs for folks and a place to have a relaxing good time.
The pubs of Edinburgh are special. They are filled with character (and characters), good beer, great whisky (Scotch, that is), music of all kinds, plenty of "craic" and laughter, and smoke (read "heavy" on the smoke). All you have to do is to plan on having a good time.
On the subject of accents, when we from the US are in Scotland, we are the foreigners. However, Robin Williams says, "If you want to have a linguistic adventure, go drinking with a Scotsman." There is a lot of truth in that statement. The Scots have a number of "languages." There is Broad Scots, Old Scots, Low Scots, plus Gaelic, which is spoken in some areas. It takes a little time to understand the local dialects, but it is truly fun if you approach it properly. In the summer, Scotland is overrun with tourists. One of my favorite pastimes, when I am not making photographs, is to go to a local tourist pub and listen to tourists try to speak with a Scottish accent. Anyway, it only takes a few days to become accustomed to rolling "rrr's," and other parts of the language. There are parts of Scotland that I still have a difficult time understanding. In Glasgow, many years ago, I asked a Glaswegian if he was speaking Gaelic. He made it a point to let me know that he was speaking English, and what language was I speaking? He was having a good time at my expense until someone told me that he was just "having me on." It was a good joke, but I still didn't understand him.
Each pub has it's own distinct personality and clientèle. Some pubs specialize in soccer, some in rugby, etc.. They all specialize in fun. I should also say that I include the traditional pubs as opposed to the more modern, rock music pubs. These are some of my favorites, not in any order of preference. It's how they came up on the roll of film. There is one other pub for which there is no picture. "The Scotsman" was frequented by the pipers of the regiments billeted at the castle. The last time I was there was a night before the Scotland-Wales rugby match. I don't know to this day how many Welshmen were in town, but a lot of them were at The Scotsman. If John Kelly still owns the pub, he will remember the night. Ask him about it.
In this section I am assigning numbers to the images for the sake of clarity. Unfortunately, igougo is currently unable to allow a pre-determined order of images. Sorry.
Photos 1, 2 and 3. The Last Drop Inn is located just outside the small square that once held the gallows of Edinburgh. Hangings were usually pretty gruesome, but the public showed up. Photo 2 is some artwork (?) inside the pub. Photo 3 is the site of the gallows outside the Last Drop Inn.
Photos 4 and 5. Greyfriar's Bobby's Bar is a landmark to the little Skye Terrier that slept on his master's grave for 14 years. The pub was originally a cafe whose owners fed the little dog every day after the 1:00 PM gun. Photo 5 is a statue of Bobby. He died at the age of 16 and is buried in the same cemetery as his master. His tombstone reads: "Greyfriar's Bobby - died 14th January 1872 - aged 16 years - Let his loyalty and devotion be a lesson to us all."
Photo 6 is the White Hart Inn which has been in this location since 1516 making it the oldest pub within the Old Town walls of the city. It has historical artifacts and Scottish folk music.
Photo 7 and 8. Deacon Brodie's Pub is named after a man who was a very popular member of the town council during the day, and a thief by night. He was caught and hanged at a gallows of his own design. He was the person (along with Burke and Hare) said to be the inspiration for Robert Lewis Stevenson's tale, "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde." The plaque on the outside wall gives a full description.
Photo 9 and 10. This is the World's End Pub. The people of Edinburgh, following the loss of Battle of Flodden to the English in the 1500's, built a wall at the end of the town and called it the end of the world. The plaque explains.
Photo 11. The Tollbooth Tavern. As the name implies, taxes were paid here. It was also the council chamber, as well as the court and the jail for the burgh of Canongate, which was outside the Edinburgh border at the time.
Photo 12 is the Beehive. Edinburgh Castle is overlooking.
There are a couple of pubs that I don't have pictures of that should be mentioned. I always enjoyed the Royal Mile Pub. Everyone treated me like a local. The other is Sandy Bells. This is quite possibly the best pub in Edinburgh if you are looking for traditional music. Food is good as is the craic. Sandy's is always a fun place. I don't know where the best traditional music is found now that the Tron Club has closed. I just assume that it is Sandy Bell's. Let me know if I'm wrong.