This year’s Edinburgh Festival will be held from July 22nd to August 29th. The festival is the largest arts and cultural festival in Europe, and possibly the world. There is no “one” Edinburgh Festival. A number of festivals are actually held over this time period, and together they are referred to as the Edinburgh Festival.
First up is the Jazz Festival, from July 22-31. This jazz and blues fest will feature 120 concerts. The Art Festival runs from August 4th -September 4th and features modern and contemporary art from around the world.
The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo will perform at Edinburgh Castle from August 4-27. This year will be the Tattoo’s Diamond Jubilee, and they are planning a blow-out act. The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is August 5-29 and features performances of every genre of music, as well as comedy and dance.
Also in August are the Edinburgh International Festival and the Book Festival. The former is dedicated to theatre, dance, opera and classical music. There will be performers from almost every country in the world. The Book Festival is the largest festival dedicated to the written word anywhere in the world, and will feature 750 authors from 40 countries.
The Mela festival will wind down the season. This celebration of diversity in the arts will be held from September 2-4. Performers will come from both the UK and around the world.
Hundreds of thousands of people will descend on the Edinburgh during the festivals. They will come from all walks of life and many different countries. Backpackers will make up much of the crowd.
The Edinburgh Festival is one of the best places to visit while backpacking. Being mobile and living inexpensively is a huge advantage; many backpackers will stay in the city for the entire six weeks. There is never a lack of things to do during the festival, and many of them are free or very inexpensive.
Edinburgh is home to a number of youth hostels that will be filled to overflowing during July and August. The Festival is not the time to show up and expect to find a room; reservations need to be made in advance.
The Edinburgh Backpacker’s Hostel is a two minute walk from Waverly Rail Station and is near Edinburgh Castle. It has 24 hour entry, lockable bedrooms, laundry facilities, internet access and a bar area. A cheap breakfast is available.
Belford Hostel is located in a converted church a short walk from Old Town and features internet access, central heating, a bar and a pool table. The Hostel at West End is near the Belford and has a back garden, a kitchen, internet access and a pool table. Both hostels offer an inexpensive breakfast.
The Cowgate Tourist Hotel is located in the old town, near the Grassmarket area. It is in a party area and offers internet access, a kitchen, towels for hire, lockable bedrooms and laundry facilities. Free tea and coffee are available, and there is also free luggage storage.
The Budget Backpacker’s Hostel is a 4-star hostel. It has a kitchen, common room and a games room. The hostel has 24-hour security and reception and features internet access, security lockers, key card access and a pool table. There is a mini-supermarket on site. It offers towels and hair dryers for hire and is wheelchair accessible. The Edinburgh Nights Hostel offers many of the same features as the Budget, but also has an airport pick-up service, cable TV and central heating.
Edinburgh has many other fabulous hostels that offer a wide range of amenities and the airport is very close to the city making it etremely easy to visit.