Your Guide to Festival Season in Edinburgh

Call us biased, but we think Edinburgh is an incredibly cultured, historical and creative city - a wonderful place to visit all year round. However, it is true to say that, with so much activity and talent swarming to Edinburgh during August, this is when the city really comes alive.

The Edinburgh Fringe Festival

2nd - 26th August 2019

Did you know that the Edinburgh Fringe is not just a place to see fringe theatre, it is the place and originator of the term. It all started in 1947 when eight uninvited theatre companies arrived at the Edinburgh International Festival, bypassing the conventional route to the stage, they put on their own performances in unconventional spaces...and The Fringe was born!

Where to start?

Let’s face it, it’s the world’s largest arts festival so planning your visit could easily get a little overwhelming. Sure, you’ll have acts that you’ve earmarked from the beginning, but how do you choose from 50,000 plus other acts!

To help you plan your trip, when you book tickets, you’ll have access to a personalised planning calendar, favourites list and advanced search tool. If you’re more of a ‘wing it and see’ type, then download the free festival app, where you can sync your favourites and use the handy ‘nearby now’ feature.

Getting around

While there are trams, buses and even rickshaws freely available in the city centre, if you’re mobile we think that the best way to get around the Edinburgh Fringe Festival is on foot. The majority of venues are within walking distance of each other, plus with so many street acts and the city buzzing with creativity, to bypass this on a bus would be to miss out on half of the fun.

Make sure to have easy access to the interactive venue map on your phone so you’re never late for a show!

Half price tickets

Seasoned fringe festival go-ers will know that if you head to the Virgin Money Half Price Hut on the day of showing you can bag yourself a half price ticket. Thousands of half-price tickets go on sale here and considering the sheer number of acts at The Fringe it’s an ideal way to see more for less. The hut is open daily from 10am until 9pm.

Best spots for street performances

If you’re looking to enjoy some free entertainment in the sunshine, head to the Royal Mile where there are two vibrant street performance spaces. You’ll find one between Cockburn Street and George IV Bridge, also known as High Street and the Mound Precinct. Acts travel from all over the world to perform here so it’s a not-to-be-missed part of the fringe experience.

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

2nd - 24th August 2019

Running almost simultaneously with the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is a world-famous celebration of the British Army through a performance of colour, music and light within Edinburgh’s castle walls. This year promises to be ‘more technically thrilling than ever before’. Find out more here.

Edinburgh International Festival

2nd - 26th August 2019

Edinburgh’s International Festival takes things global. Six of the biggest theatres and concert halls from the area will play host to the world’s top musicians, actors, opera singers and dancers.

Scouting the stages of diverse genres and stages, the curators have handpicked ‘the most exciting and creative artists working today’, and it shows. You’ll find the finest international performers and ensembles in a world-class line-up like no other.

Each year, the festival culminates in a spectacular fireworks display and concert on the 26th August. Find out more here.

Take centre stage at Prestonfield

To complement your colourful Edinburgh Festival experience, you’ll want a hotel to match. Opulence, theatre and luxury are combined at 5-star Prestonfield House, making it the perfect choice.

Edinburgh’s most exclusive hotel showcases dramatic décor and wickedly indulgent dining in Rhubarb Restaurant, all within the tranquillity and privacy of a country estate right in the heart of Edinburgh.

What’s more, when you book your stay direct, you’ll receive a complimentary bottle of Champagne in your room on arrival. Choose your room and book your stay today.