For sixty-eight years, the city of Edinburgh has played host to a festival celebrating the arts. When it began in 1947 who could have envisioned how large it would grow…
Today the festival, known as the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, is the biggest arts festival in the world.
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Visitors from all over the world flock to Edinburgh every August to view dramatic performances, listen to music, attend exhibits, and wander the lively, crowded streets.
This year’s three-week festival will see around 4,000 different performances.
The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is a great time to plan your trip to Scotland.
The Fringe has just begun, and continues through to August 31st. For any travelers deciding on a last minute excursion to The Fringe, the ASF has provided a guide below, helping you find the best restaurants, pubs, and hotels the city has to offer.
Your Guide to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe!
The Edinburgh Festival Fringe has countless plays, acts, performances, and exhibits to see. Order your tickets now so you don’t miss out. Visit the Edinburgh Festival Fringe box office page here.
Tickets ordered? Now that your schedule is full of festival fun, we can help with the rest!
First thing’s first: you need a place to stay!
Edinburgh is known for its huge variety of hotels. There are luxurious boutique hotels, sophisticated, posh hotels, and comfortable bed and breakfasts galore. There are so many different places to stay- even during Festival time!
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Airbnb is a great last minute accommodation option that connects people with space to spare to those who are looking for a place to stay. Airbnb is a wonderful resource for any world-traveler.
This year, Airbnb is the official accommodation partner of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, which means there are a lot of online booking options, from entire houses with castle-views to comfortable rooms in student flats.
Book with Airbnb here.
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The Witchery by the Castle is a decadent and bewitching boutique hotel. If you’re looking to splurge on a hotel, The Witchery is a fantastic place to do so. The setting is absolutely idyllic, right on the Royal Mile with the Castle in full view.
The Witchery is lavish, with dark gothic decor and has a number of suites, each decorated in the same lush gothic style – huge four-poster beds, clawfoot tubs, chandeliers glistening on the ceiling and oil paintings adorning the walls you will truly feel as if you have been transported to another, magical, world.
Book with The Witchery here.
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The Balmoral is one of Edinburgh landmarks sitting in the heart of the City on Prince Street. Offering five-star, luxury, the Balmoral offers timeless elegance with comfortable suites ranging in price and size, all with marble bathrooms and lush decor.
The hotels brasserie and bar are always busy and a popular business meeting place.
There is also a luxurious spa with a pool, a gym, and a sauna, as well as steam rooms and beauty treatment rooms.
Book with The Balmoral here.
In between shows? Time to grab a cuppa and a quick bite!
Edinburgh has countless coffee shops and tea rooms, so you wont need to wander far to get your caffeine fix.
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The Elephant House is a gourmet tea and coffee shop located in the heart of Edinburgh. It is one of the very best tea and coffee shops in Edinburgh.
The cafe is famous for its literary connections; JK Rowling, author of the beloved Harry Potter series, began penning her famous children’s novels there. Besides its wizardly links, The Elephant House is notable for its beautiful castle view and wide array of delicious coffees and nibbles. It makes a perfect spot for a tasty cuppa, or a quick lunch.
Learn more about The Elephant House here.
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Lovecrumbs is a quirky café made for your sweet-tooth. Delicious cakes, tarts, brownies and scones are complemented by artisan roast coffees and fine teas.
The cozy cafe is decorated with vintage furniture and colorful cushions. A great spot for a time-out from all of your city exploring and show-going.
Refuel with a delicately flavored violet and bramble cake, or else an orange fig and hazelnut scone paired with homemade Raspberry Jam. The possibilities are endlessly exciting.
Learn more about Lovecrumbs here.
After a long, exciting day of performances it’s time to head to a pub for happy hour.
Edinburgh is a drink destination for beer and whiskey lovers. There are countless fun cocktail and wine bars as well. So just pick your poison!
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The Jolly Botanist Gin Bar and Dining Room is a new addition to the West End that opened this past February.
The restaurant itself has a rustic vibe, with thatched walls, deliberately peeling paint, and crystal chandeliers.
There is a large bar with lots of beers, ciders, and drinks to choose from. Their gin menu is especially extensive, and they work closely with Edinburgh gins. They boast 70 different gins to choose from, but their house gin is Tanqueray. Each gin in served with a different, unusual garnish, such as grapefruit or orange and cinnamon.
Learn more about The Jolly Botanist here.
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Bennets Bar is a must if you are looking for that quintessential Edinburgh whiskey-tasting experience. The Victorian building has hosted whiskey-tastings since 1839.
The pub is beautiful, yet cozy, with glossy wood paneling and fire-side seating.There are over 150 malt whiskies and a variety of blends and international whiskies to choose from. There is also a menu of delicious Scottish pub fare.
This historic pub is well worth the visit, even just to peek at the beautiful architecture and overwhelmingly large drink menu.
Learn more about Bennets Bar here.
Exploring Edinburgh really works up your appetite. Ready for dinner?
Edinburgh is a foodie-haven, boasting some of the very best restaurants in the UK. Whether you’re in the mood for a gourmet five-course meal or some tasty pub grub, you’ll be spoiled for choice.
Photo via 21212restaurant.co.uk
21212, Paul Kitching’s well-loved restaurant, opened in 2009 and received a Michelin star less than 8 months later. The restaurant has a quirky, fun feel and the food is exciting and innovative.
Chef Kitching has a contemporary French cooking style which he approaches with an innovative twist. The menu never has more than three choices for any of its five courses, but it changes weekly. There is a beautiful wine list and a professional sommelier available to help you select the perfect wine for your meal.
Learn more about 21212 here.
Photo via foodanddrink.scotsman.com
is a new and promising addition to Edinburgh’s restaurant scene. It is Scotland’s first communal craft beer and curry bar.
The head-chef and co-owner, Hardeep Singh Kohli, was a finalist on the television show “Celebrity Masterchef.” He has created an extensive Indian curry menu of 21 unique dishes.
The menu takes a fresh, Scottish-inspired twist on traditional Indian meals. It includes dishes such as haggis and apple pakora, punjabi BBQ wings, and pork cheek vindaloo. The extensive bar offers a variety of bottled and draught beers, which are constantly rotating. Uniqueness, fun, and flavor abound.
Learn more about V Deep here.
Now it’s time to head back to your hotel and rest up for your next day of festival fun in the beautiful city of Edinburgh!
Visit the Fringe homepage to learn more.