Edinburgh is essentially two cities: one forFestival Fringe and the other for the remaining 48-and-a-half weeks of the year!

A hub of creativity, Fringe welcomes big performers and unknown talent alike, to entertain and delight from August 7-31, 2020.

The best way to enjoy it is to go with a plan, but be prepared to stuff the schedule in your bag and follow your ears and nose wherever the music and mouth-watering aromas take you. With more than 3,500 shows on offer, there’s something for everyone at the Fringe.

Not sure what should be on your must-see list? Read our top tips on where to go, who to see and what to eat during the world’s greatest arts festival!

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Where to go

What kind of show do you like? Whatever you fancy, there’s a venue for it...


1. Intimate stand-up

If you love the no-frills buzz of a comedian with a mic, the sky’s the limit in Edinburgh, but some venues do stand out in stand-up. You’ve got to start at The Stand’s New Town Theatre, which is hosting an array of comedic events. There’s also the Gilded Balloon at Drygate, one of nine in the chain.


2. Crowd-pullers

For the main events, Edinburgh’s larger capacity theatres play host to the stars of TV and radio and maybe a few surprise guests. For these shows try the Underbelly, Assembly Hall, Gilded Balloon Teviot and the 700-seat Pleasance.


3. Avant-garde

Stray away from the comedy and you’ll find a range of innovative acts that will have you furrowing your brow and stroking your chin. Try the Summerhall, the 900 Club and Bob’s Blundabus.


 

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Who to see

Edinburgh attracts acts from all over the world, some trying to break through, others to stay in touch with their millions of fans. Take your pick.


4. Off the telly

You’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to talent. During the 2019 Fringe, festival-goers were treated to the likes of panel show and TV stand-up favourites including Paul Merton, Rosie Jones and Al Murray.


5. Fan favourites

Some acts might not fill stadiums (yet) but have enthusiastic underground followings and are regular EdFest faves, like Stewart Lee and Josie Long.


6. Out of the ordinary

Fancy something a little different? There are no shortage of breathtaking events taking place. Previous shows which wowed audiences included the amazing Racehorse Company’s Super Sunday, Ockham’s Razor, which beautifully combined physical theatre and dance, and for those who were pining for Central Perk, there was Friendsical: A Parody Musical About Friends, our favourite New Yorkers.


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Where to eat

From local favourites to one of those once-a-year experiences, you can be both entertained and fed up at the same time.


7. Good, cheap grub

All tourist guides tell you to “eat where the locals eat”, and that’s certainly true of Edinburgh if you’re on a budget. Where do the locals go for a meal that satisfies the taste buds and leaves you with your bus fare home? Head to Tupiniquim Brasil crepes, Quick & Plenty Café, @Pizza and Sugar Daddy’s Bakery for brunches and awesome desserts.


8. Decent dishes

As with all major cities, Edinburgh has all the high street chains you’d expect, but try some of the local competition and you won’t be disappointed. Ostara, Contini, Pickles and Kanpai Sushi are all loved by the fine folks of Edinburgh when they want a great meal.


9. Pushing the boat out

If you intend to experience the very best in dining that Scotland’s capital has to offer and are prepared to pay for it, well you’re a very lucky festival-goer. The critics favourites include Aizle, The Table, Purslane Restaurant and Number One at The Balmoral.



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So, whether you’re staying for a few days or have taken the whole summer off to be entertained, informed and inspired in Edinburgh, you’re sure to have a summer you’ll never forget!


To get more of a feel for the city, read our previous posts: An Insider’s Guide to Edinburgh, Things to Do in Edinburgh and our Guide to Cultural Edinburgh.


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