Festivals in Edinburgh
International Festivals for a Global Audience
It’s safe to say the residents of Edinburgh are spoilt when it comes to festivals. The summer festival season plays host to dozens of varied festivals, from the huge Edinburgh Festival Fringe, to the many smaller festivals. There are also countless other festivals during the rest of the year, including the very popular Hogmanay festivities.
Unsurprisingly, the festivals are hugely important to the Edinburgh tourism industry, with ticket sales of over four million for Edinburgh Festival Fringe alone. Edinburgh International Festival, Edinburgh International Book Festival, Edinburgh Art Festival, Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo and Edinburgh Highland Show also attract thousands of visitors from around the world.
Other festivals that aren’t quite on the same scale as the main festivals, but still have a dedicated following include the Edinburgh Mela, a festival of world culture; iFest, a technology-centric festival; and the Leith Festival, which mostly focuses on art and entertainment by the local community. All of these festivals have carved out their own little niche in the wide-ranging Edinburgh festival scene.
Edinburgh is always jam-packed by the time festival season rolls around, and every hotel in the city will be fit to burst. This is why it’s essential to book your hotel well in advance of the festival you’re attending. However, even if you’re only able to make it to one of festivals for the day, it’s definitely worth making a visit to the Scottish capital.
We’ve put together a guide to the biggest and best festivals that take place in Edinburgh every year...
Edinburgh Festival Fringe
The World’s Biggest Arts Festival
Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the largest festival in Edinburgh, and is widely regarded to be the world’s biggest arts festival. It was originally a sideshow to the International Festival but has since far surpassed the original.Edinburgh Festival Fringe
Edinburgh International Festival
The Original Edinburgh Arts Festival
First held in 1947, the three week festival was originally designed to ‘provide a platform for the flowering human spirit’. It primarily showcases classical music, opera and theatre, with each of the show’s performers invited to the festival.Edinburgh International Festival
Edinburgh International Film Festival
The World’s Oldest Continually Running Film Festival
Shown alongside the Edinburgh International Festival since its very first year in 1947, the EIFF has been the opening festival of the season since 2008. The EIFF includes documentaries, foreign films and short films.Edinburgh International Film Festival
Edinburgh International Book Festival
A Gathering of Many of the World’s Best Authors
Held since 1983, the Edinburgh International Book Festival takes place in the picturesque Charlotte Square, and brings together many of the world’s leading authors for lively debate and discussion.International Book Festival
Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo
Amazing Displays of Skill, Precision and Teamwork
Taking place in resplendent surroundings at Edinburgh Castle, the Royal Military Tattoo is a series of displays by Scottish, British and foreign military regiments. It is one of the most consistently well received festivals in the city.Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo