For the past two years I’ve been lucky enough to holiday in Edinburgh – I’ve fallen in love with the city, and I would highly recommend you visit. There’s just so much to do and see, yes it is often chilly and rainy but it’s just lovely. I wrote a post about Things To Do In Edinburgh a few months ago, so if you’re planning a visit do check it out!
Last year I was even luckier and got to visit in August – during the Fringe Festival. Word of advice if you do plan to visit in August, its a lot cheaper to stay out of the city. We rented an absolutely gorgeous apartment (1 bedroom, slept 4) for around 1/3 of the price of what we would have paid in Edinburgh – we stayed on the coast in North Berwick, had a sea view, and it only cost around £4 for a return to the city centre. Staying outside of the busy city means we had time to relax, and we even managed to spend a whole day playing on the beach. It did limit us slightly as there was a last train, which meant no late shows, but we still saw all the ones we wanted to!
Tips for Visiting the Fringe
- Pack picnics. This will definitely keep costs down, mainly because I saw for myself that many places (Hula Juice bar, full review here, was not one of these though!) increased prices for the festival. Cafes are also likely to be extremely busy, so at least a picnic will allow you to eat as and when you need to. One of my favourite and cheapest picnics is to buy a baguette and a pack of chorizo slices – so thrifty, so tasty.
- Designate a meeting point. The city will be busy, scarily busy at times. The likelihood is you will lose someone, so have a place in mind to meet. I’d suggest a particular cafe or shop, as opposed to the station or tourist attractions.
- Avoid eating at venues. Ridiculously overprice in general, and the food wasn’t really that great. I do remember a really nice burger just before seeing Jay Foreman though!
- Buy tickets in advance. Seriously, the queues were just so, so long. Even the queue to pick up tickets was rather boring!
- Take all the leaflets you can carry! Don’t shun people giving out leaflets; take them, read them, and consider which ones you’ll see. We saw some of our favourite smaller shows this way!
- Work out where venues are. Even if you just glance at a map beforehand, it’ll probably ensure you won’t be late.
- Get to shows early. For bigger acts, this is a necessity. There’s no allocated seating, so the earlier you get there the best seats you have. I become a pro at getting to the front – we had front-row seats for quite a few, including Omid Djalili (who is hilarious).
- Book early. If there’s a big name there, tickets will sell out. I’ll never forgive myself for not getting Sarah Millican tickets. Especially now my boyfriend and entire family has seen her, my favourite comedian, and I haven’t. Not that I’m sore about it…
- Plan meals, book restaurants. As I said, the city is busy and so its best to book a table if you do want to eat out. I have a few detailed reviews coming up, but I highly recommend The Filling Station (American diner type of place), Just Burgers, Urban Angel, and of course there’s the usual chain restaurants too!
- Store luggage. Edinburgh is hilly, so you really, really don’t want to be pulling cases around. Its also busy (if I haven’t mentioned it) so you will just be in the way. However Edinburgh Waverley charges an immense £9 per item to store bags, which is ridiculous. The easiest and cheapest option we found (not taking advantage of the galleries lockers for visitors) was taking the short walk to the bus station and hiring a locker there. We hired a large locked for 12 hours at £8, which took our two medium suitcases, two large bags of shopping, and coats – we could have fit more too. An advantage of these lockers is there is also a 3 hour storage option, so you can chose something that will fit your needs. Highly recommended!
Are you going to the Fringe this year?