Edinburgh Things to Do

Getting to the Fringe Festival on a Budget

Visiting a city when it’s in the midst of a celebration always makes a trip more interesting – and when the celebration is a world-famous month-long festival of arts, that’s even better. In other words, a visit to Edinburgh during the Fringe Festival is a trip you won’t soon forget.

As the name suggests, the Fringe Festival isn’t about the arts in the usual sense. Yes, there are theatre, music, and dance performances scheduled at venues throughout the city during the month of August, for which you can buy tickets and sit in the audience like you would in any similar venue around the world. In addition to that, however, there are street performances everywhere you look – and it’s this kind of artistic expression that the festival is perhaps best known for. Buskers are on every street corner, performance artists attract crowds on every pedestrian street, and the crowds that fill the city are never without entertainment.

Unfortunately, the month when all of this is going on is also one of the most expensive times to visit Europe in general. It’s more challenging to find good deals on airfare to Edinburgh or cheap hotels in Edinburgh during the summer when the city’s weather is most conducive to visiting. This is compounded by the popularity of the Fringe Festival, since people often book up the best budget accommodation months in advance. There are Edinburgh Festival Fringe travel deals to be had, though, if you’re willing to do your research.

It’s advisable to begin your search for accommodation at least six months before your trip (more if you’re on a tighter budget), and for a good deal on a flight you’d be smart to start looking at airfare even more than six months beforehand. Just by keeping an eye on what airfare costs you’ll know when the prices are going up or down, and you’ll know whether a so-called “deal” is all it claims to be.

As for tickets to the events themselves, if you’re intent on seeing specific performances then be sure to sign up on the official site so you know when tickets go on sale. Otherwise, you’ll never lack for entertainment even if you never buy a ticket to a show just by walking through the city and stopping to watch any street performers that catch your eye. Just remember to bring small change for tips.

photo by Shadowgate

Edinburgh Things to Do

It’s Not Too Late to Plan a Trip for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland, is one of the most popular places in the country to visit. And at no time is it more popular than during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, an annual event that takes place each August and is one of the best outdoor festivals in the world.

The festival is an open-air arts fest that brings together theatre, visual art, music, comedy and performance art that spills out onto the streets of the city. The festival developed “on the fringe” and continues to be a venue for lesser-known and more avant-garde artists.

Visiting during the Fringe Festival is difficult, but worthwhile. Hotels and hostels book up well in advance and rates are much higher than during other times of year, but the trade off is the chance to see random art just about everywhere you look in the city.

With large city-wide events like this, we tend to notice two trends. In order to score good Fringe Festival deals, you either need to book very far in advance, or you need to wait until a month or so before the date. Waiting until the last minute like this is a gamble and there’s a good chance all the best hotels are sold out, or priced far beyond your reach. However, it is still possible to find cheap Edinburgh hotels willing to cut a deal on some unsold inventory. The hotels may not be your first choice – they may be located farther out of the city center or may be more basic that what you prefer – but when there is so much going on in the city, you won’t be spending much time in the hotel room anyways.

Likewise, you can often find some excellent deals on flights to Edinburgh if you wait till just a a few days or weeks out. Low cost carriers like RyanAir are notorious for waiting until the last minute to slash their fares and get rid of unsold inventory, and in those circumstances, it definitely pays to wait until the last minute to finalize your travel plans.

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