The best time to visit Scotland is undeniably over the summer. More specifically – Edinburgh in August is the place to be as you can enjoy both the beauty of the city and the largest arts festival in the world – The Fringe.
The Fringe Festival was started in 1947 by eight groups of performers who were excluded from the Edinburgh International Festival. They still wanted to show their skills so they simply staged their own performances on the side of the big festival even though they were not included in the official line-up.
Today, The Fringe hosts performances from thousands of artists from all over the world spread around 250 venues around the city. Last year, 2,453 shows were staged with up to 40,254 performances. Most of these were comedy and theatre, but dance and music comprise more than a third of the performances.
Most venues are located around the centre so it is easy to get around. It’s not uncommon to see bars, cafes and shops turned into impromptu performance venues, and there’s bound to be a show at almost any time of the day, be it a children’s play early in the morning, a late night jazz session, or even a comedy all-nighter (we’ve been there, they’re a very surreal experience, but highly recommendable).
Make sure you experience a variety of shows, some of which are free. For others, discounted tickets are available. If you are out early each morning, you’ll have a better chance to get the tickets you really want.
Finally, if you can’t decide what to see we recommend that you get a hold of the ThreeWeeks Magazine which is the only publication that reviews literally every single show. They’ve been doing this for many years now and have gained a reputation of being the best publication to provide a wide coverage of the Fringe.
Another great way to spend your time in Edinburgh is by walking around the historic Old Town and New Town, both UNESCO World Heritage sites. The capital of Scotland and its second largest city has been one of the major centres of the Enlightenment and is the most visited destination in the UK.
Not to miss:
Edinburgh Castle – ancient castle built on top of an extinct volcano
Calton Hill – Athenian acropolis on one of Edinburgh’s main hills
National Museum of Scotland – stunning contemporary architecture hosting a great collection of history and art
Make sure you don’t miss the experience of a traditional Scottish pub – they offer a range of seafood and meat dishes.
Otherwise, we recommend: