Edinburgh's Festivals

Edinburgh's Festivals

The city is considered the world’s leading festival city and is the world’s largest cultural phenomenon.

Edinburgh's Festivals refers to the various festivals that take place in Edinburgh, especially during the summer and in particular in August. Scotland’s capital has a long history of these types of events, organizing the first Edinburgh Festival in 1947.


The four most famous festivals and what have now become a cultural sensation are:

  • Edinburgh International Festival: This festival, precursor of the rest of the city’s shows, takes place every summer during three weeks and offers visitors opera, theatre, dance and classical and contemporary music concerts and acts.  
  • Edinburgh Festival Fringe: Very similar to the Edinburgh International Festival, the Fringe was inaugurated the same year by eight theatre companies that didn’t want to participate in the Edinburgh International Festival.
  • Edinburgh International Film Festival: Edinburgh’s film festival is the oldest in the world. It was created in 1947, like the two festivals mentioned above.
  • The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo: In front of Edinburgh Castle, on the Castle Esplanade, the British Armed Forces and various military bands organise a series of Military tattoos throughout the summer. It is one of the most popular ceremonies. It was first introduced in 1950.

There is also a book, art, jazz & blues, science and storytelling festival, among others.

Dates and more information

Check out the official Edinburgh Festival City website for more information on the several festivals and when these each take place: 

Book in advance

Prices of hotels in summer, especially in August, soar and the number of people in Edinburgh increases by 50% or more.

If you’d like to go to Edinburgh when it is most lively and during the warmest months of the year, we recommend getting your plane tickets and hotel as soon as possible.