The original and the biggest, Edinburgh International Festival dominates the city for three weeks in August. It showcases world-class theatre, performing arts and music across all Edinburgh’s major stages (and some of its smaller ones). Many plays debut at Edinburgh International Festival before going on tour so catch them here first.
As the UK’s largest annual art festival, Edinburgh Art Festival is an important platform for established and up-and-coming artists. Exhibitions and events take place in many of the Edinburgh’s galleries but keep your eye out for permanent commissions dotted around the city.
Taking place in October, this festival is great for kids. Inspired by the Scottish ceilidh, it brings together storytellers and musicians from around Scotland who share songs, ballads and anecdotes.
The Mela is Scotland’s biggest celebration of music and dance. Drawing inspiration from different cultures and countries, it takes placea little outside the city centre in Leith Links. People love it for the food it has to offer.
Edinburgh Tattoo is a celebration of pomp and ceremony. Taking place in front of Edinburgh Castle, it’s based on a different theme each year. Amidst all the singing, dancing, cultural troupes and fireworks, the massed pipes and drums, massed military bands and the Lone Piper are always the highlight.
Feature films, documentaries, shorts, experimental cinema, and new talent from around the world are the focus of Edinburgh International Film Festival. Many famous films have debuted at EIFF and you may recognise a face or two on the red carpet.
The International Science Festival has a programme for kids, and one for adults. It features discussions, workshops, performances, screenings and interactive events that encourage discussion and new ways of thinking about all things scientific - from digital technologies to the human body.
Imaginate is a festival dedicated to performing arts, theatre and dance for young people and kids. It opens with Family Fringe, a weekend of free performances and arts activities at the National Museum of Scotland.
Edinburgh Festival Fringe is a riot of theatre, comedy, dance, circus, cabaret, musicals, opera, spoken word, physical theatre, exhibitions and events. It’s open to anyone so you might bump into a talent scout or discover the next big thing!
> More about The Fringe
As a UNESCO City of Literature, it’s only right that Edinburgh has its own book festival. Over the course of the festival, there are more than 750 events featuring writers and thinkers from around the world. Expect thought-provoking discussions, idea sharing and lively debates - for adults and children.
For ten days in July, Edinburgh’s clubs, theatres and concert halls are alive with the sound of jazz, blues, bop, boogie woogie, blues rock, samba, swing and soul. There are almost 200 gigs plus the Mardi Gras and Festival Carnival events.
Hogmanay is a three-day celebration made up of the Street Party, the Old Town Ceilidh, the Candlelit Concert, the Concert in the Gardens and fireworks every hour on the hour from 9pm. The Hogmanay festivities culminate with the Torchlight Procession up Calton Hill followed by the Midnight Moment (the bit everyone gets to see on TV).
Whether it's the city centre, next to Edinburgh Castle, or Princes Street, or on the outskirts of town, we have the right hotel for you. Flying in for a business trip and we've hotels next to Edinburgh Airport. And if you're looking for a family-friendly hotel for a weekend break we have those aswell.