Things to do | Posted 27 Jun 2019

As any culture fan will tell you, the place to be in August is Edinburgh.

For four weeks in August, Edinburgh’s population doubles in size as people from across the globe descend to experience the Edinburgh Festival, the world’s largest art festival, get a taste of what the city has to offer.

The Edinburgh Festival is a made up of six events that take place across the city during August. The biggest is the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, a monumental celebration of the arts and culture. Other amazing displays include the Edinburgh International Book Festival, the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo and the Edinburgh International Festival.

In short, the city is teaming with amazing stuff to see, do and experience during the festival. To help, we’ve compiled some top tips from Edinburgh veterans to make sure you make the most of your Edinburgh experience.

1. Be prepared for the weather

August may well be the height of summer, but this is summer in Scotland. Think layers, think waterproofs, think mac-in-a-sac. With over 500 venues showcasing events across the city, you’ll be spending a lot of time outside, commuting from show to show. The forecast is as spontaneous as the festival itself, so make sure you have clothes for all weathers – at all times! Layers are your best friend at the festival, allowing you to dress warmer or cooler accordingly.

2. Pack your bag well

Another practical tip here. Along with a very comfortable pair of walking shoes, make sure you have a bag full of festival essentials, so you don’t burn out before you’ve had your artsy fill. Take a bottle of water to keep you hydrated, hand sanitiser, snacks (in case you miss out on Lunch between shows) and a trusty Festival programme. Pick up a free programme from one of the numerous locations across Edinburgh, or pre-order before you arrive.

3. Research well... but don't over plan! 

There are literally tens of thousands of things to see across hundreds of venues during the festival, meaning you couldn’t enjoy everything even if you were there for the full month. The trick is to do a spot of preplanning before you arrive, so you have an idea of what takes your fancy and what you might need to book ahead for.

But don’t go crazy on the planning! The fun of the festival is the spontaneous discoveries you make and the word of mouth recommendations. Have a rough idea of what you’d like to do but make sure its flexible.

4. Location, Location, Location 

An element that has a big impact on the success of your trip is where you decide to stay. Whether it be the city centre or in the suburbs, there are benefits to either option. If you stay near Edinburgh Old Town, the heart of the festival, then you’ll be right in the hubbub and chaos of the happenings.

If you choose slightly further out, locations 30 minutes outside the centre such as Murrayfield, you’ll find yourself in a more relaxed environment away from the action, but still with easy transport links in. Deciding what you want from your festival experience will help you figure out where you should stay and will make the world of difference to your time in the city.

5. Stay updated

The free Fringe App is really handy to stay updated on what gigs are taking place shortly or nearby, and for purchasing tickets, helping you to plan your day. Available on iTunes and Android, the app is a must have for any festival goer.

To figure out which shows you should be aiming for, head to Twitter and check out the Festival hashtag #edfringe. Twitter will have up-to-date recommendations from other festival goers and will help you navigate the mayhem of the Fringe!

Take the first step to having a great Edinburgh Festival and book your accommodation today. Looking for somewhere to lay your head in the heart of the city centre? Stay in our Edinburgh City Hotel, or for a home-from-home that’ close to the airport, our Murrayfield Hotel will tick all your boxes. Located in the historical heart of the city, the Royal Hotel Haymarket is perfect for anyone wanting to explore everything Edinburgh has to offer.

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