What Happens to Edinburgh During the Fringe Festival?

Fringe Festival Takeover

During the Edinburgh Fringe Festival the whole city is taken over by a wide variety of performers. Edinburgh’s population pretty much doubles in size during this time of the year, expect a lot of crowds and a buzzing atmosphere. 

The city becomes one big advertisement for all things Fringe. If you’re short of something to do, just check the walls. Flyers are put up all over the place and there are people handing them out left, right and centre. You can’t miss them!

How Do You Get Around the Festival?

Walk! Walking is by far the best way to get around the city. And especially during the 25 days of the Fringe Festival. The city is compact and the floor is rustic and cobbled. You can get across the town and between venues in 20-30 minutes. Even reaching venues further away only takes about 45 minutes. Due to the sheer amount of people, public transport will be busier and take longer. Walk…you see much more that way and it’s good for you.

If walking isn’t your thing and you don’t mind trying to flag a car down, you can get an uber or a taxi cab across the city. 

Top tip: make sure you wear comfortable shoes, whether you jump in a cab or not you’re going to be on your feet all day.

Group of happy friends hanging out and enjoying drinks, festival

Edinburgh Venues

Almost everything in Edinburgh becomes a venue during the Fringe. Shows have been hosted in pubs, football stadiums, underground tunnels, on the beach and even in taxis. 

The famous Royal Mile becomes rife with performers and you can catch pretty much any kind of act along here.

Time Stands Still During the Fringe Festival

Traditional time zones tend to go out the window during the Fringe Festival. Edinburgh becomes a timeless city. Fringe Time becomes a real thing. Shows take place from the morning until the very early hours of the morning. Some venues only stop to close at 5am. Be prepared to be up 24/7 and to forget what day, time or year it is.

Edinburgh City Sightseeing

Although most of your time might be taken up by seeing acts perform, when you aren’t really in the mood, don’t forget that Edinburgh is a great city with some beautiful views and historic sites. So get out and about and make the most of your trip. You can read all about Edinburgh’s top sites in our previous articles. There’s something for everyone out there.

Edinburgh sightseeing


The weather doesn’t discriminate. And it doesn’t care that it’s festival time. So prepare for all kinds of weather. As it’s during the month of August, it’s the tail end of summer. Which means it might still be hot, but it might also rain. There are no guarantees when it comes to Scottish weather, so be prepared. Make sure you pack a raincoat and some sunscreen.

Accommodation During the Fringe Festival

As with any big event, hotel prices tend to go up during this time of year. Make sure you book ahead of time to keep costs low and to guarantee your place. There are plenty of hotels and hostels to choose from that will fit every price range. You don’t have to stay in the city either, there are plenty of commuter towns to choose from.

Hotel Around Town

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