Plan your fringe

With thousands of shows in more than 250 venues, the Fringe is the largest arts festival on earth! So whether you’re a seasoned Fringe visitor, performer or this is your first experience of the festival, there is always a fair bit of planning required to make the most of what’s on offer.

The Fringe Society is here to help you plan your trip and get around. There’s loads of information in the Official Fringe Programme, including maps of all venues, and even more info here on edfringe.com. You can easily search and book tickets to every show on the Fringe at edfringe.com. Our planning tools can also be used to create a list of your favourite shows or to plan the performances want to go see.

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, a registered charity, works year round to develop and improve our services to make sure the world’s largest arts festival is an all-round better experience each time you visit.

Here’s our guide to help you get to Edinburgh, find a place to stay and navigate your way through this glorious historic city.


About Edinburgh

Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital city, is an historical city situated on the East Coast of Scotland on the Firth Of Forth. Edinburgh has been the Scottish capital since the 15th century. It has two distinct areas both UNESCO listed World Heritage Sites: the Old Town, dominated by Edinburgh Castle; and the neoclassical New Town.

Home of the Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh is enriched with culture and literature, fine architecture, beautiful parks and galleries, including The National Gallery of Scotland, and has a small city centre that’s easily walkable. Well-known visitor attractions include Edinburgh Castle and the Place of Holyrood House separated by the historical Royal Mile, the Royal Yacht Britannia, the Scott Monument, the National Museum of Scotland and the Royal Botanic Garden. With a population of almost 500,000, Edinburgh is Scotland's second largest city after Glasgow.

A festival city, Edinburgh hosts 11 festivals each year, including the Fringe - Science Festival, Imaginate Children's Festival, Film Festival, Jazz & Blues Festival, Art Festival, Edinburgh Military Tattoo, International Festival, Book Festival, Mela Festival, Storytelling Festival, Edinburgh's Hogmanay. More information is available at http://www.edinburghfestivalcity.com.


Getting to Edinburgh

We know that the Fringe will leave you wanting more, but the journey to Edinburgh is part of the fun too. Whether travelling by rail or road, via the Highlands or the Borders, the landscape is spectacularly breath-taking.

Your travel to Edinburgh has an impact on the environment and flying from cities in the UK can take as long as travelling by train when you consider check-in times, why not consider coming by train or bus.

 

Car share

The ultimate green initiative, car-sharing is one of the best options for travelling to Edinburgh. You save on costs while saving the planet! You can find more information about Edinburgh car sharing from the following links:

 

By air

Edinburgh International Airport is served by most domestic carriers and several international operators. The airport is easy to reach from the city, located just eight miles (12 km) west of Edinburgh city centre. For information on travelling to and from the airport, visit the Travel into Edinburgh page on the Edinburgh International Airport website, or check out Transport for Edinburgh where you’ll find details of bus and tram options.

Take a look through www.transportdirect.info to find out all the different ways you can travel to Edinburgh from anywhere in the UK, including fares and timetables.

 

By road

The journey to Edinburgh is a scenic treat by either car or bus. Edinburgh is connected to the East Coast of the UK via the A1(M); a short trip to Glasgow on the M8 connects you to most cities in the West via the M6 and the Lake District. Coach services run directly to Edinburgh from throughout Scotland and the rest of the UK. Start planning your journey with these tools:

 

By rail

Edinburgh is a scant four-and-a-half hours train journey from London King’s Cross. Waverley station (Edinburgh’s main railway station) is ideally positioned in the heart of the city, close to most festival destinations and the many bus routes servicing Princes Street (the main shopping street). For more information visit:

Be sure to plan your journeys now as cheaper advance tickets from many UK destinations go on sale 12–24 weeks in advance of travel.

 

Skyscanner – an official travel partner

Skyscanner compares flights, hotels and car hire helping you find the best options fast. Search everywhere from anywhere with the free easy to use app so you never miss a deal. Keep up to date with all the latest news in travel with Skyscanner’s handy guides and top tips on how and when to book your flights.


Getting around Edinburgh

Walking

Edinburgh is a compact city and the majority of venues are located within easy walking distance of each other. During August, the quickest way to get between venues can often be on foot. Some venues are literally within a stone’s throw of one another – particularly in the Old Town, where you wouldn’t need more than five to ten minutes to walk from the Royal Mile to many Old Town venues.

If you're looking for directions or more information on any of our venues, you can use our interactive venue map.

 

Cycling

Edinburgh has plenty of cyclists, so if you’re thinking of bringing your bike along you will be in good company. But remember the city is quite hilly! The Fringe Programme map includes information on some useful routes. A more complete cycling map of Edinburgh can be found on innertubemap.com.

 

Buses

Edinburgh’s Lothian bus network is excellent, covering not just the city but also its outskirts including Queensferry, East Lothian and Midlothian; most venues have a bus stop near by.

Single fares cost £1.70 but if you’re taking two or more journeys in a day then a Lothian Dayticket (£4.00) or a Day&Night ticket (£3.50) are the best value for you.

Lothian also offer a one-week or four-week bus pass (Ridacard), which allows you to travel 24 hours a day.

For more information on routes and timetables visit www.lothianbuses.com and download The Transport for Edinburgh app, for real time bus information and journey planning.

If you need any help you can visit any of Lothian’s Travelshop or tweet @on_lothianbuses.

 

Trams

We also have a tramline running direct from Edinburgh Airport to York Place via Princes Street and St Andrew Square. There are various ticketing options which work across both tram and bus. Timetable information can be found at Transport for Edinburgh, and also on the the Transport for Edinburgh smartphone travel app.

 

Taxis

There are a variety of taxi ranks dotted around central Edinburgh. Look for the unmistakable black cabs: an orange light on top means the taxi is available for hire.

Edinburgh at festival time wouldn’t be Edinburgh without the athletic rickshaw drivers who cycle around the city. It’s one of those unmissable experiences but remember to always agree the price of your fare in advance.

 

Cars

If you are bringing your own car please beware that Edinburgh has limited parking and strict restrictions in place. In the city centre the vast majority of parking is pay and display – always check the instructions on the meter and carry plenty of coins with you or register with RingGo and pay via a payment card.


Accommodation

Edinburgh has plenty of accommodation, and attractive options for different budgets. The offer is really diverse – from luxury hotels to B&Bs, youth hostels, university rooms, self-catering private apartments and camping sites.

You’ll also find accommodation providers listed in our services directory.

Airbnb

Airbnb has revolutionised the way people book and list accommodation spaces. A trusted service with 24/7 customer support, Airbnb is designed to quickly connect accommodation seekers with hosts, and has quickly become one of the premier accommodation booking services worldwide. For more information visit their website.

Edlets –  an official accommodation partner

Choose from a large selection of Edinburgh apartments, rooms for rent, hotels, B&Bs and guesthouses. Get expert assistance in finding your accommodation from the Edlets team. For more information, visit their website.

You’ll also find accommodation providers listed in our services directory.


Venue Map

You can use our interactive venue map to find details and directions to any of the venues hosting events at the Festival Fringe.


Festival Tips

How do you take in the whole of the Fringe in a short period of time? Try following these handy tips collated by our staff and friends...

Variety equals spice

The Fringe features many art forms so get stuck in! Don’t just stick to what you know. Take a chance. Variety is the spice of life, and the flavour of the Fringe is best experienced when you’re willing to dip into all the surprising options, from theatre to stand-up, from a staggering range of live music to one-on-one speed dating performance art.

 

Virgin Money Half-Price Hut

No particular plans for the day? Then swing by the Virgin Money Half-Price Hut during the festival and see what tickets are on offer that day for half of their usual price.

 

Go free

There are plenty of free shows on offer during the festival, not to mention all the discounted tickets and 2for1 ticket deals. You can search for free and discounted tickets by opening the Filter Results panel (located in the top right corner of the search results page) and opening the 'special pricing' filters.

 

Dress wisely

You are in Scotland, a country infamous for putting on a spectacular weather show that delivers four seasons in one day. Even though it’s August you’d best be prepared for sun, warmth, rain, cold and lots and lots of walking. Remember: there’s no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothes.

Pace yourself

With thousands shows on offer it would be hard to take it all in – the secret to the Fringe is to find a blissful balance between quantity and quality. If you hit the road early each morning you stand a better chance of getting the tickets you really want. And if you don’t.... well, take a chance on something else.

 

Respect the environment

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society is committed to minimising their impact on the environment – please help us by doing the same. Please give thought to how you travel to the Fringe and while you are here, please dispose of your rubbish in one of the many bins or recycling points dotted around the city.

 

Open your mind… and your heart

Edinburgh’s population doubles during the festival, so that means there will quite a few people around. The good news is that you can always rely on a good old British spirit – and queue – in the most unlikely of places! Queues are a great place to make friends and get festival recommendations, so make the most of your time in line. Keep a sense of humour about it all as you move around town and an open mind: swap any emerging ‘crowd rage’ for a lovely dose of ‘festival fever’.