If you’re heading to Edinburgh this summer then you’re in for a real treat. Whether you’re a music lover, avid bookworm, food fanatic or all of the above, the Scottish capital is home to some of the best festivals in Europe over the next few months. Not sure where to start? We’ve listed a few that you absolutely don’t want to miss…
Edinburgh Food Festival (19 – 28 July)
Held in George Square Gardens, this free festival brings together food and drink producers, street food vendors and culinary masters from across Scotland. During the 10-day event, you will have the opportunity to sample freshly caught Scottish seafood, old school fish and chips as well as sip on a local ale (or three). If you’re more likely to choose sweet over savoury, you won’t be disappointed as the guys from award-winning Alandas Gelato are back and most likely, the queues to their stall will be too (but it’s so worth it!). With a jam-packed line up of over 20 food and drink stalls, chef demos and more, this foodie festival is not to be missed during your time in the city. There’s one condition though… you must come hungry.
Foodies Festival (2 – 4 August)
When one door closes, another one opens… That’s right, another food festival is in town and this one is dubbed the biggest in the UK. Taking place in Inverleigh Park, Foodies Festival combines tasty street food, creative cocktails and live music for one of the best long summer weekends you could wish from. Dance the day away to headliners The Hoosiers, enjoy performances from some of Edinburgh Fringe Fest’s best acts and tuck into some sweet treats from none other than Bake Off winners. With food challenges (if you’re brave enough, there’s a chilli eating competition), a Pimms teapot and a vintage cider tent to quench your thirst and more, it’s safe to say there is something for everyone at this festival. Tickets are £29 and can be bought here.
Edinburgh International Book Festival (10 – 26 August)
Edinburgh is a city with a rich literary history – it’s no surprise to us that it was named the world’s first UNESCO City of Literature back in 2004. It’s the birthplace of some truly amazing writers including Robert Louis Stevenson and Irvine Welsh as well as the city that inspired JK Rowling to pen the most famous wizarding world on the planet. It’s little surprise then that the city is home to Edinburgh International Book Festival, the biggest celebration of words and stories in the world. Taking place from the 10th to 26th August, the festival welcomes around 900 authors to the city for days of talks, debates and events. With renowned writers including Fatima Bhutto, Malorie Blackman, Ali Smith, Matt Haig and more attending, there really is something for everyone to enjoy.
Edinburgh Art Festival (25 July – 25 August)
Since launching in 2004, this month-long festival has grown into the largest annual celebration of the visual arts in the UK. If you consider yourself an art lover, then you’re bound to be inspired as you browse work from Edinburgh’s leading galleries, museums and artist-run spaces. Those in the know can catch exhibits from leading international and UK artists and the festival also showcases the best work from emerging talent (who knows, you might spot some work that will become the next big thing in the art world). The exciting programme also includes evening tours, talks from artists and curators and live performances. Most of the exhibitions and events are free, just check the programme before you go!
Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival (12 – 21 July)
Are you a music fan? Well, if you’re in the Scottish capital at the moment you need to head to the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival. From New Orleans jazz of the 20s to the freshest sounds from New York and London, the 10-day programme has something that’s guaranteed to get everyone’s feet tapping. As well as big names like Jools Holland returning to the stage, the festival also debuts local acts that might be performing for the very first time. So, who’s ready to dance the nights away with us?
Edinburgh Summer Sessions (7 – 18th August)
We don’t know about you but we’re super excited for Edinburgh Summer Sessions this year. Returning to Princes Street Gardens after a successful debut last year, Summer Sessions – one of Scotland’s biggest music festivals – is taking things to the next level. With a huge line up including Scotland’s very own Lewis Capaldi, Florence + the Machine and CHVRCHES it’s set to be a big one so hurry up and secure your tickets.
The Fringe (2- 26 August)
We’ve saved the most famous until last – how could we forget the world-renowned Edinburgh Fringe Fest? Edinburgh is a great place to visit at any time of the year but for these three weeks every August, the city is transformed for the Fringe. Whether you’re a fan of comedy, theatre, dance or something totally different, you are guaranteed to find a show to fit your niche. One of the best quirks of the festival is how anyone with a story to tell and a venue willing to host them can get involved so as you walk around you will see acts performing in bars, tents and unique pop-up venues. We’ve never met a single person who’s visited during Fringe Fest and not loved it – it’s the ultimate Edinburgh bucket list event and we couldn’t recommend it more. Coming to experience Fringe for the very first time? Be sure to take a look at the official programme (you can download it on their handy app) and plan ahead for the shows you don’t want to miss.
Who’s excited for their summer trip to Edinburgh? If you’re looking for an affordable stay in a prime city location, we’ve got you covered. Be one of our first guests at our brand new boutique pod hostel, The CoURT, opening on the Royal Mile on 5th August – book via our website and get an extra 10% off too.