With 12 entertaining festivals throughout the year, it’s no wonder that Edinburgh has the second highest number of visitors in the UK, behind London. By far the quickest and easiest way to travel to Edinburgh is by plane; just 1 hour 25 minutes after leaving London, you’ll have landed in Scotland’s thriving cultural capital.
Edinburgh’s most famous event is the International Festival. This celebration is held for 3 weeks in August every year and turns the city into a hub of entertainment and activity. During this time the population doubles, with an influx of hundreds of thousands of visitors and performers from across the globe – it’s a great time of year to visit.
These 3 festival weeks are crammed full of music, theatre and arts. With more than 2000 shows and exhibitions to choose from, the hard part is deciding what to see!
Tickets for the festival go on sale around five months before the event, in March. Top acts sell out quickly so you’ll need to book ahead. That said, if you’re short on time, many websites offer Edinburgh Festival ‘passports’. These are pre-prepared packages that can save you time, and often money, with discounts for accommodation, shows and more.
Most of the festival is held in ‘The Hub’, a historic building close to the castle. The city is well equipped to deal with the crowds of festival-goers and there is a good variety of accommodation on offer to suit all budgets and tastes.
If you have a bit of time between performances, or just fancy a break from all the festivities, there’s plenty to see and do around the city, from wandering around the array of bars and shops in the city centre, to visiting the number one attraction, Edinburgh Castle. The castle sits majestically in the old town at the top of the Royal Mile, with spectacular views across the whole city.
Also, with its 7 surrounding hills, Edinburgh has many fantastic views to be enjoyed – try a trip out to Arthur’s Seat, in Holyrood Park. Edinburgh is also the only city with an extinct volcano within its boundaries! And it’s a relatively gentle walk to discover the remains of Scotland’s volcanic history.
Edinburgh mixes city and country in style, with plenty of nearby coasts and parks in which you can enjoy the crisp Scottish air. The city is also compact and easy to explore, with its cobbled, windy streets the perfect place to potter. August is undoubtedly the most popular time to visit this traditional yet cosmopolitan city, but it’s a beautiful place for a vacation at any time of year.
After all the festivities are over, get back to the traditional for a moment and enjoy a glass of Scotch whisky. Inspired by years of tradition, both Edinburgh and this tipple are infused with character and are experiences to savour.