McEwan Hall is open for events!

Located in central Edinburgh, the McEwan Hall can seat up to 1,700 delegates in its tiered auditorium (pre-pandemic). Our other venues nearby - including Appleton Tower and 40 George Square, located less than five minutes' walk away – can increase delegate numbers further by utilising their lecture theatres, breakout and catering spaces.

McEwan Hall boasts a Main Hall and full basement access, where there are six seminar rooms equipped with state-of-the-art audio visual equipment and accessible facilities.

Please note that due to the nature of the space, McEwan Hall must be hired as an exclusive venue.

The McEwan Hall was presented to the University in 1897 by William McEwan, not only as a ceremonial hall for graduations but also as a gift to the people of Edinburgh. This iconic Grade A listed building was designed by Sir Rowand Anderson, with lavish interiors by William Palin. The building was actually completed in 1894 but took another three years to complete the interior designs, the centrepiece being the 15 beautifully painted mural panels that make up the vast dome. 

The hall was reopened in 2017 following a painstaking 3-year, multi-million pound refurbishment. This was meant to not only 'refresh' it's beautifully intricate painting and stonework; but also to expand the function of the hall to meet the modern ceremonial and commercial demands of the University of Edinburgh. New spaces were created for conferences, exhibitions, events and education - particular highlights being access to the upper gallery to increase seating capacity and a new expansive basement space that can hold up to 578 people.

At a glance - pre-pandemic capacities

1,700 Delegates
250 Reception
6 Seminar rooms
Tiered auditorium
Other Edinburgh First venues nearby
State of the art audio visual facilities

Suitable for

  • Conferences
  • Residential conferences
  • Annual general meetings
  • Presentations
  • Lectures
  • Launches
  • Concerts

Venue address

  • George Square area
    Bristo Square

Room Capacities

Following the Scottish Government announcement on 13 July, Scotland will move to Level 0 from 19 July.  With this, physical distancing requirements for business events drop to 1m.  Please see below for our revised capacities in McEwan Hall which are compliant with 1m physical distancing. These are subject to change as restrictions ease.

No catering in room
Catering in room
No catering in room
Catering in room
No catering in room
Catering in room
No catering in room
Catering in room
Main Hall: Ground Floor (Flat)614642.231.8202100
Main Hall: Ground Floor (Tiered)500000000
Main Hall: First floor (Tiered)420000000
Foyer 1201828228800
Foyer 222174243121200
Foyer 322174243121200
Foyer 428284639161600
Foyer 522174243121200
Full hire basement (Foyers 1-4)9280158147202000
Full hire basement (Foyers 1-5)11497200190606000

Technical Info

Room Size sqm
Ceiling Height
Stage Area
Blackout Possible
Disabled Access
Induction Loop
Main Hall: Ground Floor2262.5mYesYesYesYesYesYes
Main Hall: First Tier--------
Main Hall: Second Tier--------
Foyer 1662.5m--YesYesYesYes
Foyer 2992.5m--YesYesYesYes
Foyer 3992.5m--YesYesYesYes
Foyer 41312.5m--YesYesYesYes
Foyer 5982.5m--YesYesYesYes
Full hire basement--------

Our Location

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Our Accreditations