Edinburgh is pretty magical this time of year, and is a must-visit city if you haven’t seen it in all its festival glory. The Scotch Whisky Experience’s Jacqualin Taylor talks us through why Edinburgh is the place to go for a city break during summer…
1. The festivals themselves
My first point may seem fairly obvious, but bear with me. When you hear “festival season” in Edinburgh, you think of the Fringe, but there is so much more going on here during the summer months. We have the Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival in July, with August bringing the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, the Edinburgh Art Festival, the Edinburgh International Book Festival, and many more, smaller festivals going on in and around these larger ones. Of course, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the largest international arts festival in the world and just recently we discovered it’s actually the third most attended event in the world, after the Olympics and the Football World Cup. My point is, whatever you’re looking for, be it action, burlesque, comedy, drama, fire breathers and even further into the alphabet, you can bet you’ll find it in Edinburgh in the summer
2. The people
International festivals mean international visitors. You can meet people from all over the world in just a few weeks. You can sit with them in bars, watch them perform on the street and just generally make some incredible friends with people that you’d never normally meet. And if you’re from outside of Scotland, you’ll also get to meet plenty of wonderful Scottish folk! I might sound biased here, but Edinburgh dwellers are some of the friendliest people. They are well accustomed to festival season, and while they might grumble that it takes them a little longer to get to work in the morning, they’ll (usually) still be happy to give you some directions or a recommendation for a good bar.
3. The foodie opportunities
Being a self-confessed foodie myself, I can assure you that festival season comes with many foodie perks. Restaurants and bars run special promotions and while you might not be able to reserve a table (many don’t take reservations during August), the wait is usually worth it! As well as these promotions there are a lot of food and drink markets that open up during July and August, full of street food stalls giving you the chance to try something new.
4. The weather (no, really.)
While you might think this is some kind of joke, we really do get some nice weather in Edinburgh over festival season. Okay, so it’s no Barbados, but it will be a lot warmer than usual even if there are a few light showers! These summer months are definitely your best chance to see Edinburgh and the surrounding areas in the sun.
5. The experience
I can pretty much guarantee that you won’t find anything like Edinburgh in festival mode anywhere else in the world. Thousands of tourists flood the capital during July and August and have been doing so for decades, so that’s got to count for something, right?
Whether you stay in a youth hostel or one of Edinburgh many five star hotels, whether you want stand-up comedy or serious literary talks, if you’re young or old, Scottish or not, our wonderful city will have something for you during festival season.
Find out what’s going on in Edinburgh throughout the rest of the year – catch up on our post all about what the city gets up to month by month…