Guide to Edinburgh Festival
Guide to Edinburgh Festival
Royal Mile Entertainment
The Edinburgh Festival is the collective name for a number of arts and cultural festivals held in the Scottish capital each summer. They’re technically all separate events, but are usually regarded as one big annual festival.
There are seven events held through the summer, starting with Edinburgh International Film Festival, which is on right now until 30th June, to a number of events that end on 1st September.
- Edinburgh International Film Festival: 19-30th June 2013
- Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival: 19-28th July 2013
- Edinburgh Art Festival: 1 August- 1st September 2013
- Edinburgh Festival Fringe: 2-26th August 2013
- Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo: 2-24th August 2013
- Edinburgh International Festival: 9th Aug- 1st Sept 2013
- Edinburgh International Book Festival: 10-26th August 2013
Where to stay
Edinburgh is flocked with visitors during the summer, whether it’s to be a part of the festivals or just to enjoy the atmosphere in the city during the summer, it makes finding accommodation quite difficult.
Don’t get me wrong, there is plenty of choice in Edinburgh; from budget hostels to luxury boutique hotels, but the problem is that the vast majority will be fully booked months in advance and you’ll probably find that the rates have been hiked too.
To avoid an accommodation dilemma, we recommend hiring a campervan for the festival period. Not only will you be able to benefit from your own private space, but you’ll also be able to hit the road and explore the rest of Scotland.
Find out where the nearest campsites are at the Visit Scotland website.
If you want to experience the magic of the Edinburgh Festival, but simply don’t have the budget to splash the cash on tickets, accommodation, eating out and getting around, here’s a guide to what you can do without spending a penny.
- Free Fringe: this non-profit organisation promotes the free shows an venues in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. It started in 1996 when there were complaints of expensive tickets and has gone on to become one of the highlights of the summer.
- Fringe on the High Street: Edinburgh’s Royal Mile is packed with street performers every single day and you can watch them busking for absolutely nothing.
- Edinburgh Art Festival: this particular festival is held throughout the whole of August and most of the exhibitions and events are free.
- Edinburgh Festival Fireworks: although you can buy tickets to this 45-minute spectacular, you can also hang around on Princes Street, Castle Street, Waverley Bridge and Calton Hill to see the pyrotechnics light up the summer skies.
Top festival tips
- If you’re dining out, don’t bother booking a table as they’ll usually be full, just allow plenty of time and roll up to the restaurant in the evening – be prepared to go somewhere else if it’s a long wait
- Don’t be afraid to talk to the locals – taxi drivers are some of the most knowledgeable people around and will be able to give you an idea of the best shows to see.
- The festivals are often sold out in plenty of time, but if there’s a show you really want to see, you might still be able to bag tickets. Turn up to the venue earlier in the day and ask if there are any cancellations.
What to see
Edinburgh is the Scottish capital, so there is plenty to see and do in the area as well as spending time at the festival. Make the most of your time in the city by visiting some of the local attractions, including:
The capital is also a great base for exploring the rest of the country. Scotland is a fantastic place to visit, whether you want to spend a couple of days island hopping in your camper, hiking up to the top of Ben Nevis, the UK’s tallest mountain, visiting Edinburgh’s noisy neighbour, Glasgow, or relaxing on an isolated beach.