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When to come

The multiplicity of events and festivals competing for your attention during the summer means there's no single answer to the question of when to come to Edinburgh. In 2013, it all gets started on 19 July with the Jazz and Blues Festival, and runs right through until 1 September when the International Festival signs off with its famous firework display. But - unless you're lucky enough to be within range of Edinburgh for the whole of this six-week period - you'll need to choose your time in the city well.

Choosing when to come

With the different festivals all running to subtly different schedules, and a few major one-day events punctuating the programme as well, the best time to come to Edinburgh depends largely on what you want to see. There's more to it than that, though - the right choice also depends on your budget and, to an extent, on how much Festival madness you're ready to take on.

Detailed Edinburgh Festivals calendar

Without doubt, most visitors to Edinburgh are primarily here for the Fringe. This nominally runs for three weeks from 2 to 26 August - although the emergence of a "preview" week means it's been bursting at those particular seams for years. Following a schism some time back, the International Festival starts and ends a week later; the other festivals generally overlap with the Fringe period, with the notable exception of the Jazz and Blues, which is all over by the end of July.

Public holidays

Edinburgh's approach to public holidays, known in the UK as bank holidays, is deeply confused. Some businesses observe the Scottish system of local holidays, where different cities take breaks at different times; others hold to the fixed calendar of dates observed across the border in England.


When August comes

FringeGuru's How-To Guide is packed with in-depth practical advice, heping you make the most of the Festival this year.

Find out more >>