Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland, is famous for its summer festivals. 

Edinburgh is the world’s festival city. There are twelve festivals throughout the year, half of which are celebrated during the months of July and August. Hundreds of thousands of people visit the Scottish capital during the summer. Here are some of the events they can enjoy.

The Edinburgh International Festival

This is the original Edinburgh festival which began in 1947. Actors, musicians, dancers and opera singers from all over the world perform to huge audiences. You need tickets for most events which take place in theatres around the city.

The Edinburgh Art Festival

This festival is modern and has been celebrated for around ten years. It is a fantastic opportunity to see some of the city’s best visual art in art galleries and museums. Most events are free and include events such as fashion shows and art exhibitions.

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe

This is the largest arts festival in the world with thousands of shows which take place across the city. Anyone can perform in the festival and over 20,000 artists take part, so there is always a huge variety of acts to choose from. Go to the Royal Mile, one of Edinburgh’s main streets, to watch performers such as magicians, acrobats and comedians for free. However, it can get very busy as thousands of tourists and local people fill the city streets to enjoy the shows.

The Edinburgh International Book Festival

The largest book festival in the world began in 1983 and takes place every year in Charlotte Square Gardens in the centre of Edinburgh. There are over 700 events for children and adults who love books. You can meet many authors, talk to them, ask them to sign a book or listen to them talk about their stories. Children can listen to stories and watch illustrators draw pictures of the stories.

The Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival

Music lovers come to this festival to enjoy music shows around the city. One of the highlights of this musical festival is the street carnival which is free to all. Artists perform street theatre, dance and circus shows in amazing costumes and everyone can enjoy the music and join in the dancing.

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

This show is 65 years old and takes place every evening during the festival outside Edinburgh Castle. You can listen to pipers and drummers in military bands, watch traditional Scottish dancing and enjoy a firework display in the Edinburgh night sky. More than 200,000 people buy tickets to watch the show live and around 100 million people watch it on TV all over the world.

Total votes: 207
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Which of Edinburgh's summer festivals would you most like to see? 


Youjiro's picture
Youjiro 20 February, 2019 - 07:43

I'd like to go Edinburgh international book festival to read book.I'm book lover so I want to see illustrator draws of pictures. some book store have book festival during holiday that take place in city park.I visited 2 weeks ago ,I bought three books myself.

0 users have voted.
Batgirl's picture
Batgirl 6 January, 2019 - 16:47

I would really love to visit the Edinburgh Art and Book Festivals because I love listening to different stories and I'm really into art.

1 user has voted.
QueenPinkBluebel's picture
QueenPinkBluebel 3 August, 2017 - 15:41

I would really like to see the Edinburgh Summer Festivals because it's a great occasion to discover a new tradition and to take a look at musicians, dancers, museums and a lot of other things. I would really like to see the Edinburgh Military Tattoo because it will be a great occasion to listen to the pipers and the drummers, as well as the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and the Edinburgh International Book. It will be amazing to meet and to tap to popular authors.

24 users have voted.
BigBen6464's picture
BigBen6464 10 December, 2015 - 17:23

I would like to go to Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival, as well as the Edinburgh Fringe Festival (just to know it was too hard to decide because all of them sound great!)

60 users have voted.
Ken's picture
Ken 6 July, 2015 - 12:29

Wow, what a great summer festival! I'd like to see the Royal Military Tattoo! Sounds fun!
♪ *॰ْ✧ً⋆。˚٩(´͈౪`͈٩)⋆。˚*ْ✧ं॰*

67 users have voted.
rella2307's picture
rella2307 5 July, 2015 - 15:24

I'd really like to see The Edinburgh International Book Festival. I visited Edinburgh last summer but I didn't know anything about these festival.

67 users have voted.
jagalskarfotboll's picture
jagalskarfotboll 1 October, 2014 - 17:56

I would like to visit The Edinburgh Festival Fringe because I want to enjoy the specially environment and of course to say that I have visited the biggest festival in the world, but I think that all of them are good and everyone has a beautiful schema and totally different from the other.

68 users have voted.
Jenny_Greece's picture
Jenny_Greece 28 September, 2014 - 11:12

I would really like to see The Edinburgh Art Festival and The Edinburgh International Book Festival :D

63 users have voted.
jwkim0306's picture
jwkim0306 28 August, 2014 - 20:22

I would like to see The Edinburgh international book festival. I want to get sigh a book from authors, and i really want to meet authors.

66 users have voted.
ahmedonly's picture
ahmedonly 2 August, 2014 - 00:03

I hope to live in Scotland especially in Edinburgh I love these festivals especially the book festival and the music festival. unfortunately we don't have like these festivals in my own country we have some festivals but not as interesting as Edinburgh festivals

74 users have voted.
Raven's picture
Raven 1 August, 2014 - 19:49

It's such a good idea to celebrate festivals in the summer. What a pity that I don't have anything like this in my town. I would really like to visit most of these festivals and especially The International Book Festival.

66 users have voted.
cklj's picture
cklj 27 July, 2014 - 12:59

I would like to see The Edinburgh Art Festival and The Edinburgh International Book Festival. I love reading and talking about books. The art is also one of the things I love the most and I can't imagine my life without art. These festivals would be wonderful experience because as I mentioned I love art exhibitions, photographs, paintings and I also love the literature, which is an art too.
I must say that The Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival sounds great. Oh, I so want to be in Edinburgh right now!

69 users have voted.
Niluh's picture
Niluh 24 July, 2014 - 13:28

I would like to see The Edinburgh Festival Fringe and The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. Anyway, what does fringe means in The Edinburgh Festival Fringe?

71 users have voted.
Jo - Coordinator's picture
Jo - Coordinator 24 July, 2014 - 15:38

Hi Niluh,
Good question! The fringes of a group or an activity are far from the centre of it, or at its margins. For example, if the Edinburgh International Festival is the central event, the Fringe festival is everything that happens around it. The Edinburgh Fringe Festival wasn't an official event at first; it just started to happen spontaneously, at the fringes of the official festival. People like it exaclty for that reason - there are no rules, everyone can take part and you can see lots of experimental and exciting things there.

(LearnEnglish Teens team)

63 users have voted.
Niluh's picture
Niluh 24 July, 2014 - 15:58

So, The Edinburgh Fringe Festival is the opposite of The Edinburgh international Festival? I see, thanks Jo!

69 users have voted.
Jo - Coordinator's picture
Jo - Coordinator 24 July, 2014 - 16:10

Yes! The Fringe is the stuff that is not part of the official festival but happens at the same time. Glad that explanation helped! :)

64 users have voted.
saba's picture
saba 24 July, 2014 - 13:06

i would like to see the art festival because i'm a very artistic person and i get inspired by other peoples art exhibitions which let's me create a new and unic thing

67 users have voted.
Zuzanna's picture
Zuzanna 19 July, 2014 - 14:59

I very would like see the The Edinburgh International Book Festival. I love read a books and I want meet autors of my favourite novels. Edinburgh is great! Certainly is huge fete for reader.

70 users have voted.