20 things to do in Edinburgh this summer

20 things to do in Edinburgh this summer

Shows, festivals and marathons galore!

There is plenty to see and do in Edinburgh at any time of year, but it’s hard to deny that the Scottish capital really comes alive in the summer.

To make sure you don’t miss out, here are all the best happenings taking place in Edinburgh over the coming months.


Scottish Juniper Festival

When? 1st June

Where? Summerhall

Summer in Edinburgh is all about festivals, and starting us off is the Scottish Juniper Festival which celebrates all things gin! There will be a variety of top producers to try, as well as cocktails, food stalls, handmade crafts and gin talks.


Meadows Festival

When? 2nd – 3rd Jun

Where? The Meadows

There’s no better way to shake off the headache left by the Juniper Festival than by attending the Meadows Festival the next day. The famous city green plays host to dance groups, local bands, workshops, activities, outdoor markets and even a dog show.


Edinburgh Festival of Cycling

When? 7th – 24th June

Where? Across the city centre and beyond

We warned you there were going to be a lot of festivals, didn’t we? For bike enthusiasts, the Edinburgh Festival of Cycling is one of the biggest cycling festivals in Europe, celebrating all aspects of cycling in and around the city centre.


Simply Connect

When? 6th June, 4th July, 1st August

Where? The Granary

Simply Connect is something a bit different — a monthly meet-up throughout the summer for female entrepreneurs. Simply Connect aims to create a relaxed, friendly atmosphere where business women can get together and network without a sales-y undertone. The aim is to bring women together and get them motivated.



When? 9th June

Where? Holyrood Park

Why not use this summer to walk for a great cause? Edinburgh’s MoonWalk aims to raise money for breast cancer awareness and treatment through the simple act of walking. There are even several distances to choose from — from the 6.55-mile New Moon walk to the 52.4 mile Over the Moon walk — so everyone can take part.


Edinburgh Night Ride

When? 16th June

Where? Throughout Edinburgh

Here’s another one for cycle fans! The Edinburgh Night Ride is a scenic bike ride which lasts throughout the night, beginning in the early evening with a steep climb up Arthur’s Seat and followed by hours of Edinburgh’s most iconic sites.


Edinburgh International Film Festival

When? 20th June – 1st July

Where? The Filmhouse and other cinemas across the city

From arthouse classics to the latest family favourites, the Edinburgh International Film Festival is a chance to soak up all things cinema in some of Edinburgh’s most beautiful theatrical venues. Inaugurated in 1947, the Edinburgh International Film Festival is the world’s longest running film festival, and it only gets better with each passing year.


Royal Highland Show

When? 21st – 24th June

Where? Ingliston

The Royal Highland Show may be located a little way out of the city, but it’s definitely worth the trip. Packed with entertainment, animals, food and shopping, the show is a fantastic day out for the whole family. Even better, children under the age of 15 go free.


Race for Life

When? 24th June

Where? Holyrood Park

The Holyrood 5K is a major feature of this year’s iconic Race for Life campaign. This is a fantastic chance for girls, women and children under 6 to raise some money for an important cause and have a great day out seeing the sites of the Scottish capital.


Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival

When? 13th – 22nd July

Where? Throughout Edinburgh

To find the finest jazz and blues talent from around the world, you don’t need to look any further than Edinburgh this summer. From blues-rock, bop and boogie-woogie to swing, soul and samba, there is something for everyone across these ten music-filled summer days.


Mardi Gras

When? 14th July

Where? Grassmarket

If you’re looking for a summer party like no other, Edinburgh is hosting its own swinging Mardi Gras this July. Come along and enjoy a host of bands of all genres taking centre stage throughout the Grassmarket, including Brass Gumbo, Hamlet, Becc Sanderson Trio and Kronendal Music Academy. Best of all, it’s completely free!


Edinburgh Food Festival

When? 25th – 29th July

Where? George Square

Let’s face it, we’re all food lovers deep down. The Edinburgh Food Festival is as pretty as it is delicious, creating secret gardens filled with some of Scotland’s greatest food accomplishments waiting to be sampled.


Edinburgh Art Festival

When? 26th July – 26th Aug

Where? Throughout Edinburgh

The Edinburgh Art Festival is Scotland’s leading annual visual arts festival, showcasing a vibrant and diverse collection of exhibitions across Edinburgh’s most famous museums and galleries, as well as pop-up spaces throughout the city.


Foodies Festival

When? 3rd – 5th August

Where? Inverleith Park

Another option for lovers of fine cuisine is the Edinburgh Foodies Festival. If you have a passion for delicious cuisine, make sure you don’t miss out during the first weekend in August. Award-winning and Michelin starred chefs will be cooking up a storm at this year’s festival dedicated to epicureans. There are also workshops and local produce to enjoy.


Fringe by the Sea

When? 3rd – 10th August

Where? North Berwick

This year marks the tenth anniversary of North Berwick’s own arts festival, and with over 100 performances and events confirmed it’s set to be bigger than ever. Hip hop stars, comedians and motivational speakers are all ready to take the stage by storm, including talks from Judy Murray and Ruth Davidson.


Fringe Festival

When? 3rd – 27th August

Where? Throughout Edinburgh

The Fringe is the largest festival in the world, and requires no introduction. There will be stand-up comics, theatre shows, art exhibits, cabarets, speakeasys, street performers, stalls, workshops, dance performances and variety acts to name a few, so make sure you don’t miss out!


Edinburgh International Festival

When? 3rd – 27th August

Where? Theatres and playhouses across Edinburgh

For the most highbrow culture the city has to offer, be sure to explore the shows at the Edinburgh International Festival. This festival is unparalleled in its celebration of performing arts from all around the world. The Edinburgh International Festival is committed to originality and virtuosity, so you’re sure to experience something you’ve never seen before.


Comedy Club 4 Kids

When? 3rd – 27th August

Where? Assembly Roxy

With so much festival fun happening across the capital in August, it would be a shame for the kids to miss out. Since 2005, the Comedy Club 4 Kids has been selecting their favourite performers to share their family friendly content with adults and kids alike, so the whole family can enjoy the fun of the Fringe.


Edinburgh International Book Festival

When? 11th – 27th August

Where? Charlotte Square Gardens

Edinburgh is widely known as a city of immense culture, and the Edinburgh International Book Festival celebrates this through the wonderful world of literature. There will be authors present, stories being shared, publishing advice given, workshops, readings and plenty more going on throughout August.


Tour of Britain

When? 2nd –9th September

Where? Starting in Edinburgh, route TBC

Rounding off the summer is the 2018 OVO Energy Tour of Britain. This increasingly popular bike race sees the world’s very best cyclists take to British roads, starting in the Scottish capital. There’s plenty of information to come about the Tour’s route, so be sure to stay tuned.

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