Edinburgh is the world's festival city!
With a packed programme of events, Edinburgh’s festivals continue to be a unique showcase of Scottish and international creative talent for everyone. The festivals are excited to invite you back for 2023.
The Edinburgh Festivals 2023
27 May - 4 June
From 27 May to 4 June enjoy big ideas, epic stories and flamboyant physicality at the Edinburgh International Children's Festival.
See performances from top Scottish bands, international stars and festival favourites alongside new names at the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival.
The Edinburgh International Festival is the highlight of Scotland's calendar turning the capital into a cultural hotspot every August.
The Edinburgh Festival Fringe features famous comedians and professional musicians alongside student sketch troops and the stars of tomorrow.
There are few who can resist the stirring skirl of the pipes and the powerful crash of the drums at the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo!
Founded in 2004, the Edinburgh Art Festival is the only major annual festival dedicated to the visual arts within the UK.
Edinburgh is the world’s first UNESCO City of Literature, and home to the Edinburgh International Book Festival – the perfect fit.
18 - 23 August
Edinburgh boasts the world's longest continuously-running film festival. Actors, filmmakers and fans join together in the city for six days of film appreciation.
Make the most of Edinburgh Festivals with these top tips:
- Book accommodation in advance
Keep in mind whether you want a hotel, holiday let or to consider self-catering in the empty student accommodation in the summer months. Accommodation does book up fast so secure it as soon as possible.
- Pack for all weather
Scotland is a beauty, but even in August, the weather can be unpredictable. You'll be watching shows inside, outside, all kinds of venues, so packing wisely, think layers, comfy shoes and umbrellas, will give you a much more versatile wardrobe to tackle the festivals.
- Photograph the flyers
Flyers are a great way to discover shows you otherwise might not hear about, or wouldn’t have thought to attend. If you don't want to carry lots of flyers (and you do want to help the environment) simply photograph the flyers that interest you.
- Make use of the half price hut and free events
Festival season doesn’t have to be crazy expensive. Between East and West Princes Street Gardens is the Half Price Hut where you can pick up discount same-day and next-day Fringe tickets. Free events occur all day, every day across the city too. Whether it's a street performance or part of the Free Fringe, there are plenty of 'free' shows and performances throughout the festival. Likewise, the Art and Book Festivals offer plenty to enjoy without paying a penny.
- Explore the life around the festival
Colourful craft fairs showcasing local artists, delicious street food stalls and energetic silent-disco-walking-tours of the city are just a few of the experiences that come as part of festival season in Edinburgh.
Top Travel Tips from Lothian Buses
- Download the bus and tram app
Downloading Transport for Edinburgh’s bus and tram app is the easiest way to find out where you’re going and how to get there.
- Allow time for your journey
Some services, especially during festival season, can be extremely busy so it is wise to leave some extra time to complete your journey in comfort and with the peace of mind that you won’t be late for your favourite show.
- Use the correct change on buses (or use contactless!)
Have the correct fare to hand and please make sure it is the correct amount to avoid overpaying. If you will be a regular on Lothian’s services, tap your card or mobile device each time you board. After the fourth tap in one day, you will cap out at the price of an Adult Day ticket.
- Don’t leave your items on public transport
If you do think you have left an item on board a Lothian service the team will do everything they can to help to reunite you with your belongings. In the first instance and for more information you can visit their website for further information about Lothian Lost Property.
- Expect the unexpected
During August it is not at all unusual to catch a bus with a dance troupe, or a comedy act complete with wild and whacky props in hand. Throughout the festival, dogs may not be the only pets accompanying their owners on public transport, so keep an eye out for anything exotic!