Edinburgh Fringe Festival: Everything You Need to Know
Every year, the world’s biggest arts festival takes over the small and beautiful city of Edinburgh. Spanning the whole month of August, the Fringe features over 30,000 performances in over 300 venues across the city, and caters to every possible audience you could imagine.
Planning a visit to the Fringe is a must-do when in the UK, there’s just nothing like it anywhere in the world. Many cities have their own fringe, but none have managed to capture the sheer size and awe that the Edinburgh Fringe has. The Fringe has its roots in 1947, when a few of companies were left out of the Edinburgh International Festival – but rocked up to perform anyway.
There is a common idea that the Fringe is a super expensive trip to make, and this I have to disagree with. So many of the events are entirely free, lots of venues don’t charge cover, and heaps of the performances happen right on front of you in the street; with the stunning Edinburgh skyline for a backdrop. Of course, big names in comedy and art are kicking about, and these shows can be costly, but getting into the weird, wacky and wonderful elements of the Fringe is really what it’s all about.
Edinburgh is practically bursting at the seams through August, with performers, tourists and locals alike filling the streets to take in the festivities, and have a couple of pints along the way. Pubs and clubs get extended licences, festival-specific venues open their doors and the atmosphere is absolutely pumping with joy and creativity.
Pubs and restaurants are always rammed for lunch and dinner, but there’s some really great places to eat that aren’t going to break the bank. Down along Leith Walk, Edinburgh’s up-and-coming neighbourhood, are many quirky pubs and lovely eateries, without the Old Town price tag. Check out the Black Fox for a killer burger or Woodland Creatures if you’re needing a good pint (gluten free on draught as well!). As far as cities go, Edinburgh can be one of the more expensive ones, but with good reason; it’s bloody brilliant.
Don’t let this throw you off though, it runs cheaper than London, and the best part is you can walk everywhere; or jump on a bus if your feet are feeling a bit worn out. The summer weather is stellar, the air is clean and the place is so vibrant; music and art and people all celebrating for a whole month.
Edinburgh is already a very popular place with tourists, so there is stacks of accommodation, but be aware, it does all get snapped up during the Fringe. Booking a bed in advance will ensure you a decent price, because the closer it gets to August the more expensive it’ll get. A bed in a hostel could cost you upwards of £30 per night, but even that’s not outrageous compared to some other places in Europe and the UK, considering the sheer size of the event.
Edinburgh Backpackers has a brilliant location if you’re wanting to get stuck in to the festivities; tucked in just off the Royal Mile. If you prefer a more quiet place to chill out away from the crazy town centre, check out the Belford Hostel, an 18th Century converted church; stained glass windows included. Edinburgh has a hoard of hostels, and if you’re keen on sticking around, most of them take live-in volunteers; which is a pretty great way to really get involved in Edinburgh life and the Fringe, and save on the accommodation costs!Being a part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival is definitely something to put on the bucket list. Yes, you’re going to have to fork out a bit extra but the vibrant colours, people and endless performances are well worth it. Click To Tweet
Being a part of the Fringe Festival is definitely something to put on the bucket list. Yes, you’re going to have to fork out a bit extra for accommodation (and the drink prices aren’t exactly cheap) but the vibrant colours, people and endless performances are well worth it. There’s always things to do and see, and even if you decide to pop up last minute, you’ll be able to find somewhere to stay and witness the biggest arts festival in the world. Not to mention the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, which sees a massive grandstand go up on the Castle forecourt, showcasing the Military marchers, bands and tattoos by the Commonwealth’s militaries.
Hotels and other apartments all have spaces available, or you can always source something from Couchsurfing, or, if you’re really not wanting to pay for accommodation, just stay out all night! Some places will hold your bag for a fiver, so there’s always that option, which to be fair, could be worse.
So don’t wait – go ahead and book your accommodation, and have an amazing Fringe!