Edinburgh’s special charm makes it a perfect place for a whole host of festivals covering a wide span of cultural and lifestyle themes. We thought we would put together this Top 5 Festivals list to help our visitors pick from some of the best and help them plan their trip to Edinburgh.
Edinburgh’s Christmas & Hogmany
Between November 20th 2021 and January 2nd 2022, Edinburgh becomes a festive hub, complete with Christmas markets and family friendly events and activities.
2021 sees the return of the popular Ice Rink and skate-up food and drink. With panoramic views of the city available from the Big Wheel, Edinburgh will be hosting a range of European and Scottish food, drinks and unique crafts at the Christmas Market.
A festive trip would not be the same without a visit to Santa’s Grotto, which is available in West Princes Street Gardens. Take a look at Edinburgh’s Christmas website for more booking information.
Edinburgh Fringe Festival
There is so much going on in the city during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival that it is hard to summarise it all. There’s theatre, dance, cabaret, comedy, exhibitions, events, musicals, opera, children’s shows, music and much more. Edinburgh Fringe is undeniably the biggest arts festival in the world.
Did you know that many household names got their big break at the Fringe, the likes of Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, Emma Thompson, John Cleese and Rowan Atkinson, to name a few. But enough of the name dropping, there are more than enough established and non established names to make this fantastic festival a hit with the family.
It takes place through out August, giving you many opportunities to get on up here and enjoy!
Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival
Taking place in July, find your groove with the Edinburgh Jazz & Blue Festival, an event that has been entertaining fans since 1978. With a wide range of musical styles and events that are both free and ticketed, they take place in a plethora of music venues across the capital and have something for everyone.
Some of the festival’s events take place in open air, firstly the Mardi Gras over in the Grassmarket area where crowds come in their thousands to be entertained by this fantastic party. The following day sees the Edinburgh Festival Carnival winding its way through the city streets. People line the streets to see hundreds of street performers from around the globe, performing amazing acts from acrobatics to singing.
Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo
Another summer event for the calendar, the iconic Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo takes place against the backdrop of Edinburgh Castle. The Tattoo celebrates the skills and talents of military bands and display teams from the British Armed Forces, the Commonwealth and military teams across the globe.
Watch hundreds of dancers, marching and drumming and more bagpipes than you can ever imagine playing and performing in perfect harmony. It really is a sight to behold. Taking place through out August and culminating in a spectacular firework display which illuminates the sky and cascades over the castle.
Edinburgh International Festival
The Edinburgh International Festival has been ongoing since 1947! 3 weeks of intense cultural and artistic expression from around the world with top class performances in opera, theatre, dance and classical music.
Tasked with the job of ‘flowering the human spirit’ in a post-war Scotland, the International Festival has brought the best in human creativity and an uplifting spirit. This, along with all the other festivals mentioned, has earned the city it’s nickname ‘Festival City’ and it is this festival that started it all!
Performers come from as far as Australia, South Africa, Russia and Canada, creating a truly international festival. Accessible to all, there are a range of prices and concessions available, ensuring that everyone and anyone can enjoy the wonderful productions. Click here to find out more.