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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.

If you like your jazz, you need to get here early - the Jazz and Blues Festival runs from Friday 19th to Sunday 28th July. Stay on a little longer, and you can take in the start of the Fringe as well.

Bibliophiles will have to wait a little longer; the book festival starts on the 10th August and wraps up, together with the Fringe, on the 26th.

If you're a patron of the high arts, the International Festival from 9th August to 1st September might be more your cup of tea. The city will be a lot quieter after the Fringe ends on the 26th August, and if you stay right though to the 1st you'll get to see the spectacular end-of-festival fireworks.

If you're on a budget, get here from Wednesday 31st July and take advantage of cut-price Fringe previews. Stay until Tuesday 6th, when the introductory 2-for-1 deals generally run out.

If you love to plan ahead, hold off for a while and get here around Saturday 17th. You'll have time to check this year's reviews for free online, from the comfort of home, and you can even book your tickets on the Internet in advance - so while you're here you can concentrate on enjoying the show.

Finally, for the most intense Festival experience, come slap-bang in the middle. All the major festivals except Jazz & Blues overlap from 10th to 25th August.  But the sweetest spot's probably "Week Two" - 10th to 17th - when the buzz has started to pick up around the very best shows, and the city's not yet slumped into the inevitable Festival fatigue.

Detailed Edinburgh Festiv... >>

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 >>