When Adam and I booked to go to Edinburgh for the Foodies Festival last August, it happened to fall conveniently on the first weekend of the world’s largest arts festival – Fringe Festival. The month-long event celebrates the arts in every way you can think of, displaying the most diverse performances of comedy, dance, music and exhibitions you will ever see.
The Fringe Festival was first founded in 1947 and has since got bigger and better year on year. In 2017 there was a record-breaking 53,232 performances of 3,398 shows in 300 venues and this year there’s going to be even more. As a nation who loves to be entertained, Fringe is the perfect place to discover amazing talent from around the world from the well-established performers to up and coming artists making their debut.
Whether you are visiting Edinburgh in August primarily for the annual Fringe or happen to have booked the city break without knowing about Fringe (like we did), Fringe is definitely something to get involved in. Today I thought I’d share some of my tips to help you get the most out of your trip to the incredible capital of Scotland during the three week Fringe fest.
What to expect at Edinburgh Fringe Festival
What makes Edinburgh Fringe even more appealing is that most of the shows are actually free with a voluntary donation box at the end if you want to support the up and coming artists. Pre-booking is not always necessary either which gives you increased flexibility and the freedom to roam and go with the flow as there is so much to see you can quite easily lose track of time.
Although the main purpose of our trip wasn’t to attend the family-friendly event, we made a good attempt to go to a few shows to see what its all about. Everywhere you turn in Edinburgh you are likely to find a show to watch, there are hundreds of venues hosting brilliant events with bars, churches and art galleries amongst the confirmed for the event.
Top tips for visiting Edinburgh Fringe Festival
- Wear comfortable shoes! With shows spread across the city, you will find yourself walking for miles.
- Check out the programme for this years event on the Fringe website to see what shows take your fancy. The programme is split into categories so you can narrow it down by the type of entertainment you want to see.
- Don’t overplan and be flexible with your time, Fringe is more enjoyable this way!
- Be prepared for queues. August is Edinburgh’s biggest month for tourism so expect more crowds than usual.
- Book restaurants in advance. We really struggled to get into any restaurants for food on the Saturday night as it was just so busy. We walked for miles and finally managed to get seated in Ask Italian very late on in the evening!
- Head to The Royal Mile for street entertainment. Whilst killing some time on our last day we stumbled across The Royal Mile which seemed to be where all of the main action was. We wished we had found this spot sooner.
The atmosphere at Fringe is incredible as it brings so much creativity which is really inspiring! Admittedly the crowds make moving around the city slower than usual but the performances you will see on your way makes it hard not to stop and watch yourself!