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15th January 2020 Angela Upex

Edinburgh is a world-leading festival city

Edinburgh is considered the world’s festival city. If it’s worth celebrating, there’s probably a festival in Edinburgh dedicated to it!

Cultural explosion

The Edinburgh Festival is a generic term used to describe the cultural explosion which takes place in the city every summer. With not one but nine festivals to choose from between late July and early September, Edinburgh offers an extravaganza of world-class entertainment.

With the International Festival, Festival Fringe, Book Festival, International Film Festival, Military Tattoo, Jazz Festival, Art Festival, Edinburgh Mela and Festival of Politics, the city streets buzz with music and performers from around the world.

Springtime sees Ceilidh Culture and The Edinburgh Science Festival provide the entertainment, while the Beltane Fire Festival sets the city skyline alight with an exuberant mix of fire, costume, drums and pagan ritual.

During the summer festivals the city’s population doubles in size. Performers mill the streets in their stage costumes, street entertainers delight the bustling crowds on the Royal Mile and visitors from around the world arrive to enjoy this unique atmosphere with the non-stop cafe culture and nightlife adding to the buzz of the city. Enjoy music performances from jazz to classical; contemporary dance and ballet; cutting edge and traditional theatre, as well as sparkling wit and alternative comedy. And don’t miss the chance to view some of the finest films that the industry offers, and to hear internationally-renowned authors read from and discuss their latest work with a live audience.

Enjoy music performances from jazz to classical; contemporary dance and ballet; cutting edge and traditional theatre, as well as sparkling wit and alternative comedy

Winter warmers

Later in the year, the city comes alive during the Winter Festivals. With bright, crisp days and long, haunting nights, Edinburgh takes on a magical quality at this time of year. The month-long Edinburgh’s Christmas sees the city’s streets sparkle with the glow from half a million Christmas lights, creating a truly magical experience.

The climax of Edinburgh’s winter festivals is the celebrated Hogmanay street party in Princes Street, when thousands gather to enjoy music and fireworks and join in arguably the world’s best New Year celebrations. As home to the most vibrant calendar of international festivals and events, you can be sure that there’s something to tempt you during your stay in Edinburgh.

Dates for your diary

Edinburgh International Festival 7–31 August 2020

Edinburgh International Science Festival 4–19 April 2020

Edinburgh International Book Festival 15–31 August 2020

Edinburgh International Film Festival  17–28 June 2020

Edinburgh International Jazz and Blues Festival  17–26 July 2020

Edinburgh Art Festival 30 July–30 August 2020

Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo 7–29 August 2020

Everything you need to know about Edinburgh

Where to eat in Edinburgh

The best things to do in Edinburgh

The best shopping in Edinburgh

The best nightlife in Edinburgh

Your guide to arts and culture in Edinburgh

Image credits: ©Daniel Rannoch/Beltane Fire Festival; Ivica Drusany/Skully/; Ross Sneddon/Unsplash; VisitBritain/Andrew Pickett

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