10 Things to do in Edinburgh This Summer
There are a million things to do in Edinburgh this summer, so we’ve asked our staff what they recommend you all do while visiting our beautiful wee city this year.
Enough chat. The sun is oot and it’s taps aff weather. Enjoy!
1. Go to the Edinburgh Castle, obviously.
Arguably our city’s most famous attraction. The Edinburgh Castle is worthy of your first stop in the city. Smack bang in the middle of Old Town, Edinburgh Castle sits on top of an extinct volcano and is easily visible from The Royal Mile.
Don’t just visit at any time. You should plan your visit so you can catch one of the castle’s many actor-led historical events, like the shooting of the cannons every day at 1pm.
Where: Castlehill, Edinburgh EH1 2NG
Find out more: https://www.edinburghcastle.scot/
2. Climb a volcano in the middle of Old Town
Yes another volcano, but this one is pretty epic.
Arthur’s Seat sits in the city centre of Edinburgh and stretches out across Holyrood Park (which is the Queen’s backyard, fyi). If you want to climb Arthur’s Seat yourself, we recommend popping on some suitable boots and heading down the the base of the seat, which you can find at the bottom of the Royal Mile.
It’s 250 metres or relatively easy hiking, and at the summit, you’ll be rewarded with an unbeatable, 360 degree view of Edinburgh.
Where: Old Town, Holyrood Park
3. Enjoy some proper Scottish scran at The Royal McGregor
Our wee city is famous for a lot of things, but haggis and whisky are close to the top of the list.
The Royal McGregor is a Scottish pub in Edinburgh’s old town and it specializes in traditional food and single malt whisky tastings. At the McGregor you’ll find haggis served up in six different ways, and a single malt list that spans nearly 100 different malts.
It’s the perfect stop off to recharge your batteries in between sight seeing.
Where: Old Town, 154 High Street, Edinburgh
Find out more: You’re already here! Click here to find out more and book a spot.
4. Get Jazzy at the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival
The Edinburgh Jazz Festival was set up in 1978 by banjo-player and guitarist, Mike Hart. Mike's initial focus was on traditional jazz and a host of events taking place for free admission in pubs.
By the mid-80's the Festival had added ticketed events, and had broadened its musical policy to encompass swing and mainstream jazz and occasionally some more modern groups.
Catch it from the 12th to the 21st of July.
Where: Various venues all over the city!
Find out more: http://www.edinburghjazzfestival.com/
5. Go full Harry Potter with a walk down Victoria Street
Did you know Diagon Alley was based on a real-life street? Victoria Street, just off The Royal Mile in Old Town, was the inspiration for the famous alley in the Harry Potter series. The winding Victoria Street swoops from George IV Bridge down to the historic Grassmarket, and it’s there you’ll also find some of the city’s coolest independent boutiques.
Some of our favourites include The Old Town Bookshop and the Aha Ha Ha joke shop!
Where: Victoria Street, Old Town
6. The event that needs no Introduction: The Edinburgh Fringe
Obviously the Edinburgh Fringe has to be on the list. From the 2nd to the 26th of August this year, Edinburgh will once again host the largest arts festival in the world.
This year’s program will feature a wide range of theatre, music, comedy, dance and children's events. The Fringe started life as a nefarious alternative to the more high brow Edinburgh International Festival with a notorious ‘anything goes’ attitude.
Today it hosts both more mainstream comedy acts, as well as challenging and topical performers who often don’t shy away from controversy.
Where: It literally takes over the whole city, but the ticket shop is in the heart of Old Town, 180 High Street
Find out more: http://www.edfringe.com/
7. Bask in The Meadows like a local
If you can find a spot, that is.
The Meadows is where every Edinburgh local heads when there’s a glimmer of sun in the sky.
It neighbours the Edinburgh University’s central campus, so you’ll probably see a sea of sunbathing students there this Summer. The best part? This massive green space is just footsteps from Old Town and also connects to the calmer suburbs of the Southside, where you can find local cafés and boutiques.
Where: The Meadows, Tollcross
8. Catch some contemporary theatre at the Traverse
The Traverse is one of the most contemporary theatres in the city and was originally built to try and keep the spirit of the Fringe alive all year round.
It’s best known for commissioning and developing new plays or adaptations from contemporary playwrights. Plus, it also presents a large number of productions from visiting companies from across the UK.
Where: 10 Cambridge St, Edinburgh EH1 2ED
Find out more: https://www.traverse.co.uk/
9. Go to the famous Red Raw Mondays at The Stand
For a couple of quid, you can see some of the best (and worst) comedy every Monday night at The Stand.
The club is best known for being the springboard for Frankie Boyle and Stewart Lee (who now use The Stand venues to practise new material), but a Red Raw Monday will treat you to a new talent who are making their stand-up debuts.
Where: New Town, 5 York Place
Find out more: https://www.thestand.co.uk/
10. Head to the Leith Festival in June
Last but not least, the Leith Festival is on again this Summer from the 8th to the 16th of June.
It’s organised for the people of Leith by the people of Leith, but of course, anyone is welcome.
Get down to the lesser explored side of Edinburgh and you’ll find exhibitions, artworks, song, dance, music, theatre and much, much more.
There will also be loads going on during the Festival week in various venues in and around the heart of Leith.
Where: Various venues around Leith
Find out more: http://leithfestival.com/
Got anything to add to the list? Comment below!
Find The Royal McGregor in the heart of Old Town. 154 High Street, Edinburgh.