Edinburgh festival
Travel, Destination

Edinburgh Festivals Guide: Discover Scotland’s Vibrant Arts Scene

August 28, 2023

Edinburgh is an amazing city, and it is my favorite city of the UK. With its rich history, the warm welcome of the Scottish people, the magnificent architectural style and the ever-growing creative scene, it’s an absolute rival for London to make your UK trip. There are amazing Edinburgh Festivals This year.

While most people are aware of Edinburgh Fringe Festival it is 11 distinct Edinburgh Festivals that are held all year round, so should you be planning your trip to Edinburgh Festivals make sure to plan your visit to be able to see one.

1. Edinburgh International Science Festival

The calendar for the year starts by hosting one of the biggest science festivals in Europe that includes workshops as well as performances, screenings, and exhibits for everyone. If you’re looking to keep your kids entertained, are a tech enthusiast or simply are interest in learning about the latest technology, this two-week festival is the perfect location to learn about it.

In addition, they will be hosting GastroFest which is a food festival that focuses on the connection between science and food. It includes classes in cocktail making and an array of unique dining experiences.

2. International Childrens Edinburgh Festival

The best thing about the Edinburgh Festivals is that it caters to everyone of all ages and tastes in the field of arts. Specially designed for young and children, the festival showcases talent all over the world. Theater, Dance and Music are all represented, so if you have children with an interest in the arts, this is an event you must attend.

Childrens Festival
3. Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival

If you’re a fan for the smooth sound of Jazz then you must purchase tickets to this July concert. From rock through into Samba and soul, and with numerous free concerts in the open air (weather permitting) you will be able to hear well-known and seasoned artists as well as newcomers at more than 150 concerts all over the city.

4. Art Edinburgh Festival

August is the month when the magic really begins to take off in Edinburgh with four Edinburgh Festivals taking place in conjunction with each other. Edinburgh Art Festival Edinburgh Art Festival isn’t just limited to galleries that display classic art but spans the entire city, and some of the towns in the countryside.

Modern art can be seen in underground passageways and walking tours of art installations and some exclusive artist-run spaces, this provides a fantastic space for all types of art to be displayed. While walking around the city, I was awestruck at the amount of art that had been put up for all to view without cost.

5. Edinburgh Festival Fringe

The Edinburgh Fringe Festival is likely the one you’ve seen or heard about. It takes over basements of pubs theatres, basements The royal mile, and almost everywhere else you could call a performance space.

While some of these shows are completely free, a donation at the conclusion is always appreciated. The size and quantity of shows presented each year, allowing the new talents to be discovered is what makes this festival truly unique. If you’re into the arts, comedy, interactive theatre, or traditional shows there is something for you to take pleasure in the large guidebook. Then, just get ready 30 minutes prior to when the show begins.

Edinburgh Festival Fringe
6. The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

The show was awe-inspiring and if you spend money on one thing during your summer vacation take it to The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. With a spectacular fireworks display and army bands from all over the globe and a fantastic atmosphere, this outdoor spectacle takes place in the backdrop of Edinburgh Castle. Check out the video below to see some clips.

7. Edinburgh International Festival

The International Festival runs alongside the Fringe however most of the performances are ticket and carefully curated rather than being free. This year’s festival included a stellar program that included Alan Cummings. Every year, the program changes so make sure to check their website prior to the event since it is recommend to reserve tickets in advance, in contrast to the fringe.

8. Edinburgh International Film Festival

Celebrating its 70th birthday in 2017 The Film Festival is famous world all over the world for its influence on filmmaking on a worldwide scale. With some innovative documentaries, short films and distinctive styles of cinema to choose from, this is an amazing opportunity to witness emerging talent taking to the stage.

9. Edinburgh International Book Festival

Book festival? It may sound boring, but this vast garden and tented space does much more than selling paperbacks.

There are daily talks as well as Q&A’s with authors and workshops for everyone if you love to sift in the pages, this is the perfect location to find novel books and meet new authors. Certain talks are free, but access to the space itself is free (as is browsing books).

10. Scottish International Storytelling Edinburgh Festival

As an author in a time in which fewer and fewer people are reading to be inspired and instead focus on facts, The Storytelling festival is an absolute delight. With international and local stars performing songs, tales and poems, it’s an absolute celebration of all that is that is important about writing and keeping the wonder of the stories in motion.

Storytelling Festival
11. Edinburgh’s Hogmanay

If you are looking for a truly unique New Years Eve look no further than Edinburgh Festivals with its three-day Hogmanay celebrations that span the entire city.

The non-stop entertainment, the renowned Shetland Vikings fire-lit torch procession and the bustling Christmas market and of course, the fireworks. This is a party that ring the new year in elegance and deserves being on the bucket lists of yours.

Edinburgh Basics

The cost of accommodation can skyrocket in cost during the Festival time, so making reservations in advance is a good option. If you’re looking to explore Scotland take a look at these unique locations to stay in Scotland.

SYHA Edinburgh Metro Hostel: Don’t panic! This isn’t your usual dorm-style hostel. I found it more affordable than a hostel because you’ll still have a private room that has plenty of space, a desk and wardrobe as well being able to access the flat kitchen, so you don’t need to go out for meals every day.

Motel One: There are two chic German-own hotels in the city that offer stylish rooms at less than boutique hotels. Don’t think the Motel name make you believe that it’s a luxury hotel, with luxurious bedding, modern amenities incredible showers, and a delicious breakfast menu, this is more of a 4-star hotel experience than motels. Rooms start at PS59 per night in the off-season however they can go up when booked at the last minute prior to or towards the event.

How To Get There?

By train: If you have already begun your journey in the UK and you are looking for a train, then it could be the most efficient method to get to the top of the hill. Trains in the UK can be expensive and crowded, but when you reserve your tickets in advance you are likely to get an affordable price and secure an appointment for a seat (try to book one with a table and charger since it can be an extended ride). I like making use of The Train Line as a source for great prices.

by Air Edinburgh is home to a fantastic airport that is located close to the city, and there’s also an airport located in Glasgow. Both airports serve International routes that go as far as Asia with both traditional and budget fares. Take a look at Skyscanner because it allows you to find the lowest flights – I’ve got an extremely useful post on the best methods to find cheap flights as an excellent starting point.

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