Brace yourself for a city break like no other, as the clamour, colour, comedy and chaos of the festival season hits the Scottish capital
How to have an incredible time in Edinburgh
TO DO LIST EDINBURGH CASTLE
You can’t visit Edinburgh without spending a few hours roaming the ramparts of its architectural centrepiece. Standing atop an enormous rock which is known to have held some form of settlement since the Iron Age, most of the current buildings date to the 16th century and offer a fascinating glimpse into Scotland’s gripping royal and military history.
Top tip: Beat the queues by buying your tickets online in advance, and get there early in the day for the best viewing opportunities.
Daily 9.30am to 6pm, Dhs90, Dhs50 for under15s, under-fives free. edinburghcastle.scot
THE EDINBURGH FESTIVAL FRINGE
The biggest and most allencompassing of Edinburgh’s summer festivals, the infamous Fringe brings musicians, comedians and performers of every kind to venues across the city. Running under a theme of Into The Unknown for 2018, an open mind is key – you’ll find outrageous, thought-provoking and downright hysterical entertainment on makeshift stages everywhere you look.
Top tip: Hit up the city’s ticket booths early in the morning for returns to the best-selling shows, or take a stroll down the Royal Mile – the stretch of road between Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace, where you’ll find dozens of free street performances every day. August 3 to 27 edfringe.com
PRINCES STREET GARDENS
Running the length of the city’s famed Princes Street and nestling in the former moat of the spectacular Edinburgh Castle, these picturesque gardens house a carousel, bandstand, a couple of small food and drink stalls and the Scottish National Gallery. Take a picnic and prepare to spend hours people watching.
Home to both the Scottish Parliament and Holyrood Palace, one of HM Queen Elizabeth II’s official Scottish residences, this spectacular park is dominated by Arthur’s Seat, one of the city’s four hill forts dating back around 2,000 years. A popular spot for hillwalkers, with some reasonably easy routes for less practised climbers, the peak of the extinct volcano offers indisputably the best aerial views of the city you’ll find anywhere.
Park, free entry, Palace of Holyrood House, Dhs64. historicenvironment.scot
The Edinburgh Fringe
Princes Street Gardens