What's on in Edinburgh

what's on in edinburghEvery year, Edinburgh hosts several world renowned festivals. Whether you like visiting historic sites, taking in shows from up and coming artists, perusing artefacts from across the world, or joining up with others for a massive street party, Edinburgh festivals are sure to bring something for everyone.

Annual Events in Edinburgh

Edinburgh International Festival (Aug-Sept)
The world renowned Edinburgh International Festival is a constant and continuous flux of creative energy that takes hold of the Scottish capital for an entire month. The festival itself, now over 50 years old, is not so much one large celebration as it is many microcosms of artistic endeavour. Nearly every public place is transformed into a venue of some sort and plays host to either fringe performances, band stands, classic music components, comic routines or even freak shows.

T in the Park (July)
T in The Park is Scotland's largest and most well-known music festival. For three days musical madness championed by many of the globe's biggest and best musical acts reigns down upon the city. Each year seems to be more exciting than the last, and undoubtedly, Edinburgh's population volcanoes and explodes.

Hogmanay (Dec 31)
Nothing ushers in the new year like Edinburgh's Hogmanay celebration. Once a makeshift street festival, organisers have taken Hogmany by the horns and transformed it into a slick-style event headlined by international musicians and an ad hoc amusement park. Lately it's become necessary to purchase tickets in advance. A massive midnight fireworks display marks the New Year!

Open Doors Day
Every fall, Edinburgh opens its doors to some of their best (and some very unknown) attractions for free! A great way to take advantage of the free admission to see some of the great sites. Be prepared for longer lines, though. You can get a listing of open places by visiting Cockburnassociation.co.uk.

Edinburgh's Christmas (Nov-Dec)
Beginning on the last Thursday in November and continuing to the New Year, there is a fabulous German Christmas Market on the Mound. Princes Street Gardens East is also transformed into a winter wonderland, complete with carnival rides, food stands, and gift shops to celebrate Edinburgh’s Christmas. Check out their website, Edinburghschristmas.com, for events during the festival. The whole thing kicks off with a tree lighting and fireworks!

St. Andrew's Day (Nov)
Celebrate St. Andrew’s Day with a great fireworks display set off from the Castle (Princes Street and Princes Street Gardens are great viewing spots). Many of the Historic Scotland sites (including Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace) are free on the day, or preceding weekend.

Arts and leisure in Edinburgh

Edinburgh brings the stage to life with numerous concerts, plays, operas, dance, and international film even in between the larger and more vibrant festivals. For those wanting to explore the cultural side of Edinburgh, check out the following for performance schedules and ticket information.

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AmandaRivera's picture
the United States
Amanda is an American expat making her home in Edinburgh, along with her husband.  She works full time as a social...

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