5 Things To Do at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival This Year

Today marks the first official week of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival!

Whether you're visiting us for the first time, a regular at the shows or a local like us, we wish you the best time in Edinburgh this year. The Fringe is the busiest time of year in Edinburgh, so the crowds and queues can be overwhelming. The best way around this is to have a good idea in mind of what you want to do, and we’re here to help! Here are 5 things to do at the Edinburgh fringe festival this year.


Free Shows

Eating and drinking out during the Fringe can be costly, but luckily experiencing shows and performances can be kept on a budget!


There is hundreds of Edinburgh Festival Fringe free shows placed around the city. Just hit ‘filtered results’, select ‘special pricing’ option then select ‘free’ here on the Edinburgh Fringe ticket website. However, it is still expected that you pay the show’s worth at the end of the performance, whatever you think that may be. Some insanely famous acts came from free fringe shows, so it’s definitely worth checking out. You might stumble across the next big thing! Many recommend dedicating a day to wandering the city, visiting as many free shows with variety as possible.



 Explore the Royal Mile


One the most iconic sights of the Fringe, you could spend hours entertained on the famous Royal Mile alone. Filled with musical performances, magic acts, demonstrations and show advertisements, the Royal Mile is known by most as the heart of the Fringe. If you’re prepared to stand in the busy crowds, the atmosphere and sights are definitely worth it.


The Royal Mile is also home to some of Edinburgh’s most central and popular hotels, gift shops, cafes and restaurants, so it’s worth staying close by to if you’re not familiar with Edinburgh. There are several information desks available to help out if you need assistance with navigating the festival.




Pop Up Bars


A huge bonus to Edinburgh hosting the fringe is the fun and interesting pop up bars that open in August!


We recommend checking out the very central Boxsmall Market, placed above the Princes Mall. Filled with charming wooden huts, Boxsmall Market hosts a variety of food trucks featuring diverse options such as Latin American arepas at Orinoco, or fried shrimp sandwiches at Shrimpwreck.


Alternatively, there is the Holy Garage at George Square Lane this year. For eleven months of the year, it's a lane of lock-ups and an electricity substation. But this is August, so the unassuming lane between the Meadows and George Square has been transformed into a half-inside, half-outside bar-slash-cafe. Coffee from Artisan Roast, beer from Barney's, meticulously prepared absinthe and a horsebox converted into a gin bar – it's the kind of place we wish we had all year round.



Take a Historical Tour


Taking a tour of Edinburgh is an absolute must if it’s your first time visiting the city. Edinburgh is bursting with spooky and fascinating history, and a diverse range of tours is put on over the fringe.


Fancy meeting some ghosts? We recommend the world famous Underground Ghost tour! At street level, Edinburgh is a peaceful and pretty city—but the subterranean tunnels below tell an entirely different story. On this ghostly walking tour, you’ll explore historic sites including Greyfriars Kirkyard and St. Giles’ Cathedral with your enthusiastic guide, and hear chilling tales of murder and revenge. Delve down into underground caverns normally closed to the public, and learn of Edinburgh’s grim and gruesome past.


Click here to buy tickets.


If you’re looking to explore less of the scary side of Edinburgh and more of the historical, there’s the Tale of Two Towns tour. This unique tour sets out to inform and entertain you walk into both the Old and New towns, giving you a real sense of the two sides of Edinburgh; revealing some of the secrets hidden within a city rich in culture and history. This tour will bring Edinburgh to life as you stroll along the narrow streets of the Old Town, revealing the secrets that lie hidden in its dark closes.


Click here to buy tickets.



If you’re into something a bit more lively, we recommend the Silent Disco Tours this Fringe. Following the last few years of sell-out, five-star shows, the Silent Adventures team are back with even more madness and brand-new adventures to boot. With the magical headphones you’ll feel your inhibitions evaporate as the tour leads you on a fun-filled silent disco tour of the capital. Expect song, dance, flash mobs and surprises in the most feel-good hour of the summer.


Click here to buy tickets.



Enjoy the Edinburgh Nightlife


One great thing about the Edinburgh Fringe is it extends the licences of the clubs in Edinburgh. Where most clubs must shut at 3am year round in Edinburgh, this often extends to 5am over the festival. If that’s your thing, we say this is the best time to check out the nightlife Edinburgh has to offer.


Known globally for its range of nightclubs, Edinburgh has a lot to offer. We recommend looking on club websites before hand to see if club nights have tickets to pre-buy, as the crowds can get pretty intense over August.