The biggest, most highly anticipated festival of the season is here. Crowds of locals and international visitors will be flooding the streets of Edinburgh over the next four weeks, trying to make the most of the entertainment provided. But heading to the capital without a plan might not be the best idea. You will walk down the Royal Mile and it will take approximately five minutes before you realise you are holding about a hundred different flyers. All the shows seem interesting, are free and they start at the same time. What will you do? We have a few suggestions that might help.
First of all, if you are travelling to Edinburgh during festival season, you might want to consider finding a place to stay that is located outside of the city. Not only because it will be cheaper, but also because the constantly loud and busy streets might make your stay more tiring than it could be. Staying in the countryside will allow you to get the best of both worlds: the peaceful, stunning landscapes of the Central Belt and the buzz of the capital just a short drive/train ride away.
Whether the Fringe will be your main focus or just a one-day activity, planning is necessary. There are tens of thousands of shows, tours, performances, workshops and exhibitions available everyday. Yes, the amount of information in the official programme is quite intimidating, but if you do not flip through it you might miss some very interesting opportunities.
The Royal Mile
The Old Town is where most events take place, but at such busy times strolling down this beautiful street can become very overwhelming. That is why you should make this your first destination: most visitors will probably still be in bed after a night spent in and out of pubs. Dedicate your morning to admiring historical buildings and gathering new information about the shows that will take place on the day. Enjoy the relatively quiet atmosphere of a city that is still waking up.
One of the best things about festivals is the street food. Despite not being one of the Fringe’s main attractions, you will still be able to find a few stalls and food trucks on the streets, usually by Princes Street Gardens. These little kiosks are cheaper than any restaurants nearby, have better quality products than fast food chains and you will be able to enjoy your lunch while sitting in the park or walking through the stalls. If you are looking for something different, you will have plenty of choice in the city centre, but once again you might want to avoid the crowded Royal Mile (unless your hobbies include queuing for hours!).
And finally, the general festival guidelines: wear comfortable shoes and layered clothing (do not forget a waterproof jacket, after all this is Scotland); stay hydrated, keep your bags on you at all times and most importantly, have fun!