Edinburgh is best known for its festivals, and if you’re visiting the city while one of them are going on, attending them is a great way to get to know the feel and pulse of this beautiful historic city.
Each summer, beginning in early August, the city hosts the Edinburgh Festival, a collection of official and independent festivals. The most famous festivals during this time are the Edinburgh Fringe (the largest performing arts festival in the world), the Edinburgh International Festival (another arts and drama festival), the Edinburgh Military Tattoo (military displays), and the Edinburgh International Book Festival. Other events held at other times of the year include Burns Night (which honors the great Scottish author), the Hogmanay (New Year’s) street party, and the Beltane Fire Festival (celebrating ritual drama).
Regardless of the time of year you visit Edinburgh, we highly recommend that you purchase an Edinburgh Pass, which offers up to £155 worth of passes to the city’s top attractions, a 90-page guidebook, coupons and discounts for stores and restaurants, free public transport, and free airport transfers. You can purchase the Edinburgh Pass online or at Tourist Information Centres for £24 for a one-day pass, £36 for two days, and £48 for three days. It’s a great money-saver for the budget-conscious tourist.
Remember that Edinburgh is a large city, so knowing about its many districts will help you decide how to spend your three-day weekend. Founded in medieval times, Old Town is the oldest part of Edinburgh, contains the most famous and historic sites of the city, and runs from the Castle to Holyrood Palace. New Town, called because it’s younger than Old Town boasts Georgian architecture and is the commercial centre of the city. Stockbridge and Canonmills is an exclusive neighbourhood north of New Town, and contains the picturesque Royal Botanic Garden. Leith is Edinburgh’s port area. The eastern part of Edinburgh has the beach area of Portobello and the historic village Duddingston. To the south are many interesting places to eat and drink, to the west is the Edinburgh Zoo and the city’s rugby station. If you are planning on visiting for a weekend and need a hotel, check out Jurys Inn range of hotels in Edinburgh.