Surrounded by seven hills, Scotland’s capital is one of the world’s most beautiful cities. Winding cobbled streets, breathtaking architecture and historic landmarks sit alongside a thriving bar, restaurant and cultural scene. The UNESCO World Heritage Site at the heart of the city combines the medieval Old Town, the Georgian New Town and award winning modern architecture. Explore Edinburgh at your leisure – you’ll see mysterious winding streets, elegant terraces, as well as an abundance of shops, bars, restaurants and views that make for perfect picture postcards.
The Edinburgh Festivals are like nothing else on earth. The world’s greatest party takes place on these streets for the month of August and a year round programme of festivals means the party never ends. Peak season in Edinburgh as a guide runs from April to mid September and December to January. Within these dates the two weeks across Christmas and Hogmanay and the four weeks of August are the busiest periods and hotel and other accommodation prices increase accordingly.
If you’re visiting the summer festivals it’s never too soon to book a place to stay. As there are seven festivals taking place in the month of August, demand is high, so we recommend booking accommodation at least six months in advance. Many of the festival programmes are not released until nearer August but don’t wait until then, the Festivals have been wowing audiences since 1947, so you are guaranteed a good time.
Edinburgh is compact and easy to find your way around. Most festival venues in the city centre are within walking distance and there is an excellent bus service across Edinburgh. There are taxi ranks dotted around the city centre and black cabs with an ‘available’ light on can be flagged down in the street. Walkers and cyclists will need to be aware the city is quite hilly in parts!
Edinburgh is currently developing its city transport network and a new tram system will be in place in 2011. Until then access to some city streets will be restricted and those getting around the city by car will need to prepare for re-routed streets and some traffic delays. For the most up to date information pick up a copy of the Official Edinburgh Festivals Map available throughout the city, at most Festival box offices and major venues from August.
The best ways to discover Edinburgh and get around the city is on foot. Walking from the Scott Monument on Princes St to venues such as the Royal Botanic Gardens, the King’s Theatre and the Pleasance takes just 20 minutes, and venues outside of the city centre, such as The Shore in Leith, can be reached with a comfortable 45 minute walk.
For additional information on shopping, dining, nightlife and additional entertainment options including a vast array of city attractions, please visit:
Download and print this easy-to-use map of the city's downtown core where the Festivals come alive.
Edinburgh is a terrific base from which to explore greater Scotland. Please visit the link below for practical advice and travel inspiration.