Five Tips for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival

By Megan Trimble

One of the biggest events of the summer, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival has been delighting visitors for over 70 years, since its inception by an uninvited group of theatre groups performing at the Edinburgh International Festival which had recently been formed in the wake of the Second World War.

Built on the ethos that “the Society was to take no part in vetting the festival’s programme”, the fringe remains a stalwart of underground, unique, and engaging shows. As such, the plethora of different entertainment can at times be overwhelming, so here are our top tips to navigating the Fringe:


Be flexible

It is tempting when handed the official programme to spend hours sorting through all of the options, building a schedule, and attacking the Fringe like a military mission. But those in the know, go with the flow. Select the shows you don’t want to miss out on and make a note of these times and locations, otherwise, leave yourself open to spontaneity and see where it takes you.


Pack your snacks

As with most popular events and festivals, Edinburgh during the Fringe is wonderfully covered in tempting food stalls galore. However, if you are keen to attend several shows with varying costs, this can quickly add up to a pricey adventure. Save costs by packing drinks and snacks, maybe a picnic for lunch even, to maintain energy throughout the day and keep those pennies ready to tip street performers and acts instead.


Weird is wonderful

Bearing in mind the original inspiration to develop the Fringe coming out of a desire to exhibit non-traditional material, this is the perfect opportunity to expand your horizons and see something really out there. From silent disco dancing tours, to axe wielding jugglers, 7ft ginger bearded drag acts, you really can find a bit of everything in Edinburgh!


Explore and escape

After a few days tramping the streets between venues and performances, it’s time to take a slower pace. Hike up the famous Arthur’s Seat for stunning views over the city below, find some peace in the Royal Botanic Garden, or venture further to the sandy shores of Portobello and breathe in that fresh Scottish air.


Stay in comfort

The last thing you need after a long day exploring, is to come back to your accommodation and not get adequate rest in time for your new day. Selecting somewhere to stay that is centrally located, keeping you closer to the action, and provides that extra bit of comfort is well worth it. The myth that Edinburgh is completely sold out of hotels six months ahead of the festival is not true. Shop around and book direct for the best deals. We highly recommend Hotel Indigo Edinburgh, a neighbourhood hotel with storytelling at its heart as a boutique gem. Or, Piries Hotel Edinburgh, a delightfully friendly option with fresh and inviting accommodation at affordable rates.


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