The most celebrated arts festival in the world has officially started. The Edinburgh Fringe will run from August 1st-25th and play host to everything from dance to street theatre. This sedate and calm city will once again explode with atmosphere! We have put together our ultimate guide to make sure you get a slice of the action.
What to See
With over 2,500 shows and 40,000 performances, there is something for everyone and with so many free acts on offer you have to make sure you try a variety. You never know, you might just be watching the next big name!
If you were a fan of Fawlty Towers then The Fawlty Towers Dining Experience is always a winner. Eat a 3 course meal served to you in true Fawlty Towers style.
Have you always fancied making it big on the stage? Budding actor or just after a giggle, head to Blind Hamlet where the audience is invited on stage to tell the famous story. Also, don’t forget to stop off at The Famous Spiegeltent to enjoy entertainment, food stalls and the al fresco terraced area.
After dark: When the Fringe is on it only means one thing, Hot Dub Time Machine is in town. The sell-out travelling dance night channels music from throughout the decades to create dancefloor time-travel.
Where to Stay
With many boutique hotels to choose from, Edinburgh has the perfect hotel for every budget. We suggest Hotel Du Vin if you want to stay right in the heart of the action. Don’t worry though, there will still be time to relax as once you walk off the street and into their courtyard, you will feel the tranquillity.
Where to Eat
There are enough eateries in Edinburgh to keep any foodie happy. With all restaurants busy during the festival, it is always best to book ahead. The unique addition to Edinburgh’s restaurant scene, Timberyard, will be sure not to disappoint your taste buds and if the sun breaks through the clouds, their south facing yard is a hidden treasure.
If a quick snack is what you are after then stop off at Urban Angel for a tasty slice of home baking and a freshly-squeezed green juice or smoothie.
There’s no need to book our final suggestion: local secret turned tourist attraction, the Mosque Kitchen, offers homemade curries at cheap prices to sit in or takeaway. Trust us – the queue is worth the wait!
Where to Drink
Edinburgh is bursting with unique cocktail bars and pubs. Need a central cocktail pit stop? Head straight to Bramble. It may not look much from the outside but this candlelit bar is a firm favourite with celebs (Gerard Butler has been spotted!). Plus, this basement bar definitely knows its cocktails – we recommend a ‘Red Rum’.
If it’s a quirky drink setting that attracts you then hop further along the street to Panda and Sons and find the entrance to the bar hidden behind a traditional bookcase.
Soaking up the atmosphere in the Grassmarket? Make sure you step away from the pubs to sip a cocktail on the balcony of Dragonfly.
After dark: If you’re still going strong into the early hours, Cabaret Voltaire just off the Cowgate area will keep your feet dancing until 5am.
Where to Shop
To get a break away from the bustling streets of the city centre, head out to the Gyle Shopping Centre where you will find the perfect store for some retail therapy, M&Co! Also, if the sun starts to shine, head towards Musselburgh where you will not only find the beach but also another local M&Co store.
Plus, don’t forget to pack the essentials:
- Comfortable shoes
- Waterproof everything
- Sunglasses (Scottish weather is unpredictable!)
- Pre-booked tickets
- Your Edinburgh Festival Guide
You can shop for your last minute essentials right here.
Photo credits: Martina Salvi/REX and Steve Black/REX