May is an anticipatingly exciting month: the cherry blossoms are in full bloom, the weather is getting a lot sunnier and the beer gardens are in full swing again. The appreciation for some of the longest days in the year is real, so we are excited to share some of the very best things to do in Edinburgh this May to make the most of it.
1. Watch the Eurovision final at this independent cinema with comfy couches
Watching Eurovision has become a yearly tradition for many, and is a must on our May list of things to do in Edinburgh. Well, Everyman cinema in Edinburgh’s St James Centre is throwing a Eurovision final live watch party on May 13, as Europe’s most popular song competition is coming to Liverpool this year. So, you can still enjoy a night of Eurovision chaos from the comfort of soft couches and armchairs, even if you had a nightmare trying to get a hold of those Eurovision tickets. The live watch party tickets are £21.40, and guests will receive a drink, snacks and a scorecard, so they can join in on judging the performances. Eurovision lovers will be encouraged to show off their best dance moves, as well as come in their best fancy dress.
2. Get lost in the soft melodies of Hans Zimmer’s best works at this candlelight concert
The historic St Mary’s Cathedral will be coming alive with the best movie scores of all time from the one and only Hans Zimmer this May 19. Both music lovers and cinephiles alike will be able to immerse themselves in the soothing melodies of a string quartet surrounded by the dimmed hues of candlelight. Guests can expect to hear The Lion King, Gladiator, Inception, Dune, and more, at the candlelight concert. You can get your tickets on Fever.
3. Try the newest restaurant in town known for glittery décor and an Indian chip butty
Indian street food restaurant Mowgli is the most recent addition to Edinburgh’s food scene, opening its doors on April 28. Known for its “fuss-free” Indian food, Mowgli hopes to break the unhealthy curry stereotypes that we have seen in takeaways all around. Mowgli is taking over a beautiful building on Hanover Street and has already finished with its famous decadent décor, so we expect to witness all the glitz and more.
4. Check out Strictly Ballroom: The Musical starring Strictly’s champion Kevin Clifton
Baz Luhrmann’s smash-hit musical Strictly Ballroom will get spectators tapping their feet during the new 2023 tour, coming to Edinburgh Playhouse from May 8 to 13. Strictly Come Dancing followers are also thrilled to see that champion Kevin Clifton stars as Scott Hastings, and Dancing on Ice finalist and Coronation Street star, Faye Brookes, is playing Fran. Strictly Ballroom: The Musical tells the tale of Scott, who ends up in conflict with the Australian Federation with his non-traditional dance choices. So, the dancer begins a brand new journey with Fran instead, who is a complete beginner.
5. Start the day right at Edinburgh’s best breakfast spots
Die-hard breakfast lovers will love this ‘Best Breakfasts’ list, as there is no better satisfaction than finding that new delicious place to start the day right. Check out our favourite cafes and restaurants that serve a wholesome breakfast in Edinburgh. Try a mouth-watering pancake stack or crepe, a colourful Buddha bow or an Acai bowl, or just go with a freshly-made pastry, making the things to-do list this May even tastier.
6. Dance at ceilidhs, celebrate traditional music and storytelling at this cultural festival
Edinburgh Tradfest is coming to celebrate traditional music, storytelling and dance, with workshops, talks, ceilidhs, and special events taking place at various venues across the city. Supported by The National Lottery through Creative Scotland and the William Grant Foundation, the festival will take place between April 28 and May 8. The festival will over 11 days, celebrating a myriad of artists and musicians with shows, including the UK’s foremost tenor banjo players, as two-time winner, and six-time Grammy nominee Rhiannon Giddens is joined by Francesco Turrisi, who will also start TradFest off with a bang at the Assembly Rooms on Friday, April 28.
7. Try out the new seasonal menu at this restaurant decked in cherry blossoms
Tattu is a family-run business located on West Register Street that focuses on providing a dining experience that indulges all five senses. The restaurant’s modern Chinese-inspired seasonal menu has just been updated, so might as well treat that special someone to a meal out. The new menu offers some well-thought-out dishes, such as the tender Tuna Sashimi Blossom with Nori, sesame, and wasabi mayo, or the Red Snapper Tom Yum, infused with lemongrass and kaffir lime. And the Satay Beef Ribeye is served with a papaya and tomato salad is expected to be a favourite amongst guests, just like the existing Japanese Black Wagyu Beef.
8. Discover a secret garden near Holyrood Park
What if we told you there is a secret hidden garden just behind Arthur’s Seat that not even some locals are aware of filled with some unique plant species – Dr Neil’s Garden. The garden was created by Drs. Nancy and Andrew Neil in 1963 and is situated between Dudingston Kirk and Dudingston Loch. Come check out all the fabulous plant species present within the little oasis and take in the beautifully landscaped space.
9. Get transported to the Dark Side at this Star Wars-themed cocktail bar
The Cocktail Geeks have transformed their bar into a Star Wars-themed Cantina, open from May 1, and for the remainder of the Summer. So, go ahead and sip on a themed out-of-this-world cocktail under the Edinburgh Arches. The bar has an ever-changing list of themes, and the next one is set to be inspired by the show who took the world by storm, The Last Of Us, starting in September.
10. Attend unique events at this speakeasy boutique lounge in central Edinburgh
A cute boutique lounge, Counter at Native Edinburgh, has just released a new menu, as well as more innovative events. Guests can indulge in a selection of seasonal plates, natural wines, and signature cocktails, on top of attending events such as Lounge Listening Sessions, painting classes and bouquet-making workshops. For example, Counter is hosting a paint-and-sip workshop called Paint A Pic: Golden Hour on May 13, where art lovers will get the chance to paint the perfect sunset, accompanied by good vibes, drinks and some decent music. You can check out the events programme on Counter’s website.
11. Enjoy a night of ballet at A Streetcar Named Desire
Scottish Ballet is bringing the award-winning production, A Streetcar Named Desire, to Edinburgh’s Festival Theatre between May 3 and 6. The show returns to Scotland for the first time since 2015, bringing stylish ballet at its very best, with meticulous dance, a captivating plot, beautiful design and an iconic score to tell the wholesome tale of Blanche and Stella.
12. Attend a Coronation party filled with dogs and raise money for charity
We think this one’s the most exciting out of all the things to do in May because there will be dogs. A King Charles Pooch Coffee Morning is coming to McLaren’s On The Corner in Bruntsfield on May 8, sure to make dog lovers happy. The party will take place between 10am and 1pm, filled with Coronation cakes and bakes, local business stalls and a raffle, as well as goodie bags for the first 30 furry friends to turn up, sponsored by Doffos Pet Store. There will even be a red carpet and dog thrones fit for the most regal pooches. What is more, all profits and donations will go towards the Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home. Plus, the McLarens On The Corner’s indoor space and outdoor terrace will be fully decorated for the occasion, offering themed food and drinks.
13. Listen to live saxophonists and live DJ sets at this boutique lounge
Counter at Native Edinburgh is a modern neighbourhood lounge, restaurant and bar, offering a selection of seasonal plates, natural wines, signature cocktails and cultural events such as paint and sip workshops and live music. The tastefully decorated neighbourhood spot on Queen Street is launching Counter Sessions, a monthly social gathering hosted on the last Friday of each month where the space welcomes creative talents including saxophonists, DJs and performers from across the city and beyond. The first Counter Sessions launches on Friday, May 26, and you can book a free ticket through Counter’s website.