Theatres in Edinburgh are easy to find no matter what kind of performances you're looking to enjoy, including plays, musicals, dances and operas. From world-class concert halls to intimate local venues run by amateur troupes, the theatre scene in Edinburgh is bustling. Additionally, many of the local theatres are nearly a century old if not older, and rumours of ghosts add a bit more excitement to your evening. Check out all the best theatres in Edinburgh for world-class, unforgettable performances.

    1

    King's Theatre

    Visit a traditional theatre

    King's Theatre is a historic theatre that features an intricately designed building with brilliant architecture and art and stunning live performances. While this theatre certainly offers plenty of opulence and dazzle, it ultimately remains a community theatre. Most of the productions are put on by amateur operatic and musical societies, but you'll be able to see high-end touring performances as well. The building itself is quite impressive, as it's more than a century old. The interior and exterior were designed separately, with the outside looking similar to offices while the inside features extravagant plasterwork carvings and painted ceilings. The theatre is located in the city centre just north of Bruntsfield Links.

    Location: 2 Leven St, Edinburgh EH3 9LQ, UK

    Open: Most shows begin at 7.30 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)1315 296000

    Map

    photo by Mike Murry (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    2

    Edinburgh Playhouse

    Visit the UK's largest non-sporting theatre

    The Edinburgh Playhouse is a massive theatre with more seats than any other non-sporting theatre in the UK and hosts a wide variety of performances. Youth projects are particularly popular here, with some productions allowing kids as young as 10 to take part in shows on this historic stage. The building itself dates back to the early 20th century and has since obtained a Category A historic listing. While the historic grandeur is present with every visit, there's another presence you may witness as well: For years, the theatre had been rumoured to be haunted by a ghost named Albert. You'll find this theatre just north of Calton Hill.

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    Location: 18-22 Greenside Pl, Edinburgh EH1 3AA, UK

    Open: Hours vary by season

    Phone: +44 (0)3330 096690

    Map

    photo by Dancewear Central (CC BY 2.0) modified

    3

    Traverse Theatre

    Experience the spirit of the Edinburgh Festivals

    The Traverse Theatre is a festival-themed theatre that's particularly popular during the Edinburgh Festivals in the summer, but you'll find performances held all year long. These performances can take many forms including plays, dances and even puppetry. The plays in particular are a satisfying mix of classic favourites and brand-new productions. Given its connection with local festivals, the busiest time of the year for this theatre is August, so keep that in mind if you plan on travelling during the high season. You'll find this theatre just west of Edinburgh Castle.

    Location: 10 Cambridge St, Edinburgh EH1 2ED, UK

    Open: Hours vary by season

    Phone: +44 (0)13 1228 1404

    Map

    photo by Dancewear Central (CC BY 2.0) modified

    4

    Royal Lyceum Theatre

    See profound dramas and operas

    The Royal Lyceum Theatre is a historic theatre known primarily for its intimate showcases of drama performances with a few opera productions included as well. This is a theatre that takes itself very seriously, and it holds its operatic productions in high regard. After all, this was the venue in which 'Madama Butterfly' and 'Manon' made their Scottish debuts. When you visit this theatre, you'll be visiting a piece of history. It opened in 1883 and has only undergone minor refurbishments in the century and a half since, making it one of the best examples of architect C.J. Phipps' work. You'll find this theatre just west of Edinburgh Castle.

    Location: 30b Grindlay St, Edinburgh EH3 9AX, UK

    Open: Showtimes vary

    Phone: +44 (0)1312 484848

    Map

    photo by Dancewear Central (CC BY 2.0) modified

    5

    Bedlam Theatre

    Visit a church turned theatre

    The Bedlam Theatre is an intimate theatre set in what was once a neo-Gothic church that's student-run by the talented Edinburgh University Theatre Company. While you'll find several types of performances held here, especially during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, it's most widely known for its improv performances put on by the appropriately named 'Improverts'. The building itself seems grand from the exterior, but you'll find just 90 seats inside, which caters to a more intimate theatre experience. You can see it all for yourself just south of the National Museum of Scotland near the University of Edinburgh campus.

    Location: 11B Bristo Pl, Edinburgh EH1 1EZ, UK

    Open: Showtimes vary

    Phone: +44 (0)1316 290430

    Map
    6

    Church Hill Theatre

    Explore amateur theatre

    The Church Hill Theatre is a haven for amateur theatre where you can see aspiring actors and performers showcase their talents through plays, musicals and dances. Drama productions are the most popular here, but you'll also find musicals and other performances catering specifically to youths. The building itself is a former church that was built in 1892. It has since been transformed into a theatre that underwent a massive refurbishment in 2006. You'll find 353 seats inside as well as a cafe offering delicious treats. You'll find this theatre in Holy Corner southwest of Bruntsfield Links.

    Location: Morningside Rd, Edinburgh EH10 4DR, UK

    Open: Showtimes vary

    Phone: +44 (0)1312 204348

    Map

    photo by Magnus Hagdorn (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    7

    Festival Theatre

    See large-scale opera and ballet performances

    The Festival Theatre is a relatively large theatre with room for 1,915 people that primarily focuses on opera and ballet performances along with touring groups and big musicals. It's also the primary venue for the Scottish Opera and the Scottish Ballet, as well as numerous touring West End shows including favourites like 'Les Miserables' and 'War Horse'. The theatre opened in 1892 but has been altered significantly since then, with the most recent changes happening in 1994. You can see it for yourself just east of the National Museum of Scotland.

    Location: 13-29 Nicolson St, Edinburgh EH8 9FT, UK

    Open: Showtimes vary

    Phone: +44 (0)1315 296000

    Map

    photo by Dancewear Central (CC BY 2.0) modified

    8

    Summerhall

    Explore a comprehensive arts complex

    Summerhall is a popular destination to see theatre shows and performances of all kinds where you'll also find workshops, art studios and other things related to the arts. The plays held here are often complementary to its visual artwork collections, especially during the Festival Fringe. In addition to plays and musicals, you'll also find themed events here during the Edinburgh Science Festival and the Edinburgh International Magic Festival. Still, you'll find performances held here all year long. You can visit this venue in Newington just to the east of The Meadows.

    Location: 1, Summerhall, Newington, Edinburgh EH9 1PL, UK

    Open: Sunday–Thursday from 9 am to 11 pm, Friday–Saturday from 9 am to 1 am

    Phone: +44 (0)1315 601580

    Map

    photo by Kim Traynor (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    9

    Usher Hall

    Experience world-class acoustics

    Known primarily for its stunning acoustics, Usher Hall is an iconic concert hall that hosts a wide variety of musical performances, including those that utilise its stunning organ. The organ is appealing to audiences and performers alike as it allows stunning classical music to echo with so much power that it makes the experience downright unforgettable. The design of the hall is renowned by visitors and architects alike. The curved walls are crafted from reinforced concrete using methods that were relatively new when it was built in the early 20th century. On the exterior, you'll find statues of famous Scots like Sir Walter Scott and Allan Ramsay. Usher Hall is just west of Edinburgh Castle.

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    Location: Lothian Rd, Edinburgh EH1 2EA, UK

    Open: Most shows begin at 7.30 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)1312 281155

    Map

    photo by Ham (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    10

    Leith Theatre

    Visit a lesser-known theatre

    Leith Theatre is a modest theatre that's undergoing a bit of a revitalization and mostly hosts special events like performing arts festivals and local talent. It's one of the best places in town to experience work from local Edinburgh artists, whether through plays, musical performances or concerts. The building features an art deco design inside that's reminiscent of the 1930s when it was built. You can enjoy advanced light and sound equipment that makes modern theatre so much more appealing. You'll find Leith Theatre on the north side of town next to the Leith Public Library north of the Water of Leith.

    Location: 28-30 Ferry Rd, Edinburgh EH6 4AE, UK

    Open: Showtimes vary

    Phone: +44 (0)1316 290810

    Map

    photo by Tom Parnell (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

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