Edinburgh is Scotland’s capital city and one of the worlds leading travel destinations. Built on seven hills and steeped in history and modern charm, you will never get tired of exploring the narrow streets of the Old Town or elegant Georgian New Town. It’s a city where you can visit a castle that sits on top of an extinct volcano, and immerse yourself in hearty Scottish food and culture.
If you’re planning a visit to Edinburgh this year, here are eight exciting events taking place throughout the year. From whisky events to ancient Celtic festivals- there is something for everyone!
The Beltane and Samhuinn Fire Festivals
The Beltane Fire Festival takes place on the April 30 on the top of Calton Hill.
The word ‘Beltane’ roughly translates as ‘brightfire’; this ancient Celtic event sees members of communities come together to celebrate the return of summer. It is a procession which starts at the National Monument and is driven by the beat of drums and offers an immersive celebratory ritual/performance.
The Samhuinn Fire Festival marks the changing of the season and the rise of winter and takes place on the 31st October. It is a modern re-imagining of an ancient Celtic festival and the story follows the overthrowing of summer by winter.
This immersive festival takes place in Holyrood Park under the magnificent Arthurs Seat. You can expect spectacular fire-play, acrobatics and otherworldly
creatures descending upon the night.
Edinburgh Foodies Festival
The Edinburgh Foodies Festival takes place on August 2-4 in the beautiful Inverleith Park.
You can expect tasty food, delicious drinks, demonstrations from top chefs, and live entertainment.
Learn how to make cakes in the Cake and Bake Theatre, sample new drinks in the Drinks Theatre and let children explore their senses in the Kids Cookery Theatre. There really is something for everybody to enjoy here!
Edinburgh's Whisky Festivals
There are two Whisky Festivals which take place in Edinburgh: one in summer and one in autumn.
The Edinburgh Whisky Festival is a one day event on June 15 in the grand Georgian Assembly Rooms on George Street. Sample some of the best home grown whiskies from Scotland as well as other areas of the globe. The festival attracts distillers from as far afield as India, Japan and the USA!
Edinburgh’s Whisky Festival takes place on the October 5 at Murrayfield Stadium. You can expect samples from hundreds of whiskies from around Scotland (and beyond), hear directly from distillers, attend live demonstrations and experience some of Scotland's key whisky heritage from the early 1700’s.
The Edinburgh Fringe & Royal Military Tattoo
The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is a three week festival of performing arts that takes place annually in Edinburgh each August. With over 3000 shows including comedy, theatre, children’s entertainment, dance and more, this is not something to miss if you’re planning a trip to Edinburgh during August!
The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo also runs for three weeks in August and provides a fantastic display of military tattoos performed by British Armed forces, Commonwealth and international military brands.
The show is held on the esplanade of Edinburgh Castle and has an incredible fireworks finale.
Edinburgh Cocktail Week
Edinburgh Cocktail Week is a ten day event which runs from October 11-20.
Wristbands for the event cost just £5 and gives you access to £5 cocktails at 100 bars across Edinburgh and free access to the Edinburgh Cocktail Village.
Enjoy cheap cocktails from 22 pop up bars, live music and food from the street food trucks.
The Royal Highland Show
The Royal Highland Show is a 4 day event and runs from June 20-23.
The show celebrates the best of Scotland food, farming and rural life. It is Scotland biggest agricultural show and attracts over 1000 exhibitors.
You can expect to enjoy a brilliant day out of equestrian events, traditional skills displays, livestock competitions, food and drinks sampling, and so much more.
It takes place at the Royal Highland Centre in Ingliston.
Are you planning to attend any of these events in Edinburgh this year?