Plan your visit to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Each August Edinburgh is transformed for the annual Fringe Festival – the month-long event is famous around the world for promoting the arts in all its forms.

From comedy to theatre, musicals, improv, dance, puppetry, and literally everything in between, there are thousands of shows to choose from over the course of the month, and now is the perfect time to get planning – if you’re thinking of trying the Edinburgh Fringe, here’s all you need to know before you go.

Getting to Edinburgh

There’s a few different ways you can get to Edinburgh and now is a great time to book before the last seats on the train are taken and the flight prices go up. The East Coast Mainline from London takes you right along the coast, offering some beautiful views along the way. If you’re flying in, Edinburgh Airport is just a short distance from the city centre and easy to get to by taxi, tram or bus.

A word of caution if you decide to drive: the centre of Edinburgh is notoriously difficult to drive through during the festival when many of the major streets are closed to traffic – parking can be a hassle and the roads are often slow, making it an inconvenient rather than convenient way to travel through the city. Check to make sure there’s parking options nearby your accommodation to save any unnecessary hassle.

Getting around Edinburgh 

One of the easiest ways to get around Edinburgh during the festival is on foot – the compact city centre is easy to navigate if you’re prepared to be on your feet, and much of the festival takes place in the heart of the city in a very small grid.

Edinburgh’s bus system – Lothian Buses – has an excellent online travel planner and app you can use to plan your journey if you’re staying further away, and the city’s tram system is also a great link between Princes Street, the West End and the Airport. 

Bicycle rickshaws and taxis are another easy option and can help you quickly get from A to B if you’re tight on time or need a break from all the walking.

Planning your shows & buying tickets 

Edinburgh Fringe Performers

Edinburgh Fringe Performers

Now the fun part! The Edinburgh Fringe Programme is your essential source during the fringe. Inside there are listings of every show playing and from the website you can save a list of favourites and buy tickets before you arrive. Many of the most popular shows sell out in advance, so if there is something you really want to see it’s always good to book tickets before you go – if you’re open to seeing anything, initiatives like the half price hut will help you find discounted tickets to shows each day. The website also has a useful venue map so you can get an idea of how far you will need to travel between venues if you’re booking shows back to back.

Over the course of the festival there are a handful of other great events on as well – the Edinburgh International Festival, Edinburgh Book Festival and Edinburgh Military Tattoo all run in August and are a highlight of the celebrations, so be sure to check if there are any shows you’d like to see from there as well. These events tend to sell out earlier than the Fringe, so now is the time to book.

Finding the right accommodation

Hotels book up quickly in Edinburgh during the month of August and can be pricey – if you want to stay in the centre of the city be prepared to spend more or stay further out if you want a hotel that’s more affordable.

Hotel booking sites like and are a great place to start to see what’s available in the city’s hotels. You can find comprehensive listings of guest houses and B&Bs from the Visit Scotland website, along with details about how to book.

Airbnb is another excellent option if you need somewhere to stay – many people offer up spare bedrooms or will rent their entire flat out over the course of the festival, and this is a great way to stay in the heart of the city without breaking the bank. There are more than 1000 listings on Airbnb’s Fringe section of the website, so if you’re looking for an alternative to the standard hotel room there’s no shortage of options.

Have you ever been to the Edinburgh fringe? Share your top planning tips with us in the comments below!

The following two tabs change content below.

Rachel - Silversurfers Assistant Editor

Hello there! I’m Rachel and I’m the Assistant Editor for Silversurfers. I work behind the scenes to bring interesting, informative and entertaining subject matter to the Silversurfers community. I hope you enjoy the features we have shared with you. Please feel free to comment below and share your thoughts with us, we love to hear from you!

Latest posts by Rachel - Silversurfers Assistant Editor (see all)

Leave a Comment!

Not a member?

You need to be a member to interact with Silversurfers. Joining is free and simple to do. Click the button below to join today!

Click here if you have forgotten your password
13th Mar 2021
Thanks for voting!
A really easy way to visit the Edinburgh Festival, is to book a coach holiday. My pickup was local in the South West, it saved me 6 hours driving, and I sat back at let the driver take the strain, we had service breaks along the way, one of which was at Gretna Green, which had resplendent piper entertaining us. Our hotel was based just outside Glasgow, which positioned us well for our trip to Loch Lomond and a tour of the Trossachs National Park. We had a full day in Edinburgh included a tour of the city, before dropping us off centrally, to explore the city at leisure, early evening we were picked up and driven to the Castle, the reason became apparent when the driver parked up, amongst hundreds of others, we needed to know where to find him after the Tattoo! We had decent seats, but had an option to upgrade when booking, but were happy with the included seats. All in all a great way to do the tattoo, and get a taste of Scotland.

Community Terms & Conditions

Content standards

These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.

You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.

Contributions must:

be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.

Contributions must not:

contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.

Nurturing a safe environment

Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.

We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!