Your Guide to Summer in Edinburgh

It may not be the sunniest city in the world, but Edinburgh is a fantastic place to visit in summer. The city is always busy, but in summer it really comes to life with a whole range of festivals and activities to enjoy.

Festival City

For 6 weeks of every summer Edinburgh is transformed into a hive of activity with performances of every type you can imagine in every corner of Scotland's Capital. Whatever you're into there is sure to be something here to delight you and maybe a few treats that you would never expect to enjoy. Out-with the peak summer season there are other festivals that make the city an attractive destination throughout the year for visitors from around the world.

  • International Film Festival

  • Jazz and Blues Festival

  • Art Festival

  • Festival Fringe

  • Edinburgh International Festival

  • Book Festival

  • Children's Festival

Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

An Edinburgh institution that is an total sell-out every year. It features music, dancing, precision displays of massed pipes and drums, different cultural troupes from every corner of the globe, culminating in the iconic refrain of the lone piper set against the stunning backdrop of Edinburgh Castle. Every year the Tattoo is unique and different from those that have went before, embracing fresh themes and inspiration to create an incredible spectacle. Over 14 million people have attended the Tattoo, with the annual audience at around 220,000 people.

Climb Arthur's Seat

The volcanic rock looms over Edinburgh imposingly, bringing a taste of rugged Scotland into the heart of the nation's capital. The summit can be reached at a fairly leisurely pace in less than 30 mins to enjoy stunning panoramic views across the city and beyond.

Portobello Beach

This Victorian seaside resort to the east of Edinburgh is a great place to visit on a warm summer's day for a stroll along the promenade. You can also enjoy a host of other events held here such as volleyball competitions, triathlon events, or the annual Big Beach Busk. There is no shortage of stops for refreshment while you are here with several bars and cafes to choose from, or you can make your way to Portabello's busy High Street to enjoy the many restaurants and gift shops.

Enjoy the View From Calton Hill

From Waterloo Place you can climb the steps to Calton Hill to take in one of the best views in Edinburgh. The hill itself is covered in a number of unusual monuments, including 'Edinburgh's Disgrace', the twelve columns of the unfinished National Monument that was intended to replicate The Parthenon in Athens, however, funds ran out in 1829 and it was never completed.

Princes St Gardens & The Meadows

Princes Street Gardens bridge the Edinburgh's Old Town and New Town, providing some leafy greenery in the centre of the capital. Stretching the length of Princes Street they are the perfect place for a gentle stroll away from the hustle and bustle of the street. The Meadows, to the south of the city are an expanse of grassy park that are an oasis for sunbathers when the weather is just right. A great place to play casual sports, have a picnic, or just chill out with friends.

Edinburgh Zoo

Fantastic to visit for adults and kids alike, Edinburgh Zoo is home to a wide range of exotic animals, including the ever-popular Pandas. There are a number of talks and displays throughout each day, as well as the famous penguin parade. The zoo also provides keeper experiences and other workshops for kids that will ensure a fantastic day out.