THE BLOG

50 Things to Do This Summer in Edinburgh

With the world's biggest arts festival and dozens of accompanying events, you're unlikely to get bored in the Scottish capital over the summer months. But just in case, here are 50 great things to do this summer in Edinburgh.
07/21/2015 02:15pm ET | Updated December 6, 2017
This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.


Edinburgh Castle.

With the world's biggest arts festival and dozens of accompanying events, you're unlikely to get bored in the Scottish capital over the summer months. But just in case, here are 50 great things to do this summer in Edinburgh.

1. Join the crowds at the Edinburgh International Festival, the world's biggest arts festival.

2. Buy an ice cream and stroll around the seafront amusements at Portobello Beach.

3. Watch a free performance beamed live from the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, London, on the BP Big Screens in Edinburgh's Festival Square.

4. Get up before dawn and climb Arthur's Seat to watch the sunrise from Edinburgh's highest peak.

5. Take the kids to a sing-along screening of Frozen at the Playhouse.

6. Stock up on fresh, seasonal produce at the weekly Edinburgh Farmers Market on Castle Terrace.

7. Prepare to be tricked, surprised and amazed at the Edinburgh International Magic Festival in July.

8. Sample local brews at the Scottish Real Ale Festival, held in July in the Edinburgh Corn Exchange.

9. Get dressed up for the Mad Hatter's Midnight Tea Party in Inverleith Park in June.

10. Hike the scenic Fife coastal path.


Climb Edinburgh's seven hills in one day.

11. Take a masterclass or tasting with a top chef at the Foodies Festival in Inverleith Park in August.

12. Swap Scotch whiskey for gin at the Scottish Juniper Festival in June.

13. Join the Edinburgh Night Ride in June and cycle 50 miles around the floodlit city in aid of charity.

14. Stroll around the food and crafts stalls at the Saturday market on Grassmarket.

15. Cheer on the participants at the annual Seven Hills of Edinburgh race...

16. ...or if you're looking for a challenge, try hiking all of Edinburgh's Seven Hills.

17. Spend a morning at a 'pick your own' farm near Edinburgh and pick a feast of fresh raspberries, blackcurrants or strawberries to take home with you.

18. Make the most of the sun with a hop-on hop-off bus tour of Edinburgh.

20. Enjoy a cold beer at one of Edinburgh's summer beer gardens.


Highland Games, Scotland.

21. Visit nearby Stirling Castle, where seasonal events include jousting and archery displays, reenactments and medieval banquets.

22. Check out the free stand-up comedy, music concerts and performances at the legendary Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

23. Pack a picnic and spend the afternoon sunbathing in Princes Street Gardens.

24. Cool off at one of the many beaches around Edinburgh.

25. Attend a reading at the Edinburgh International Book Festival in August - you might just discover the next J.K. Rowling!

26. Watch the dramatic fireworks at the Grand Finale of the Edinburgh Festival.

27. Check out the weird and wacky street entertainers performing daily along the Royal Mile.

28. Attend a live concert at the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival in July.

29. Play a game of golf on the famous St Andrews Links.


Edinburgh Military Tattoo at Edinburgh Castle.

30. Join Scotland's most fashionable for a catwalk show or special exhibition as part of the Edinburgh International Fashion Festival.

31. Take a day trip to watch the legendary Highland Games in the Scottish Highlands.

32. Indulge in all things Scottish at the Royal Highland Show in June.

33. Secure tickets to the spectacular Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo at Edinburgh Castle.

34. Spend a night at the zoo - the Edinburgh Zoo Nights (adults-only after hours parties) are held at various dates over summer.

35. Join the vibrant Edinburgh Festival Carnival parade.

36. Enjoy a host of free exhibitions, film screenings, music concerts and street art installations at the LeithLate Festival in June.

37. Take a bike tour of Edinburgh...

38. ...or join a free bike tour during the Edinburgh Festival of Cycling in June.

39. Join locals to browse the Stockbridge Sunday Market Edinburgh in the Jubilee Gardens.

40. Take a Segway tour of the magnificent Newhailes Estate.

41. Celebrate music, dance and food from all around the world at the colorful Edinburgh Mela festival in Leith Links park on August bank holiday weekend.

43. Indulge in afternoon tea at the Royal Deck Tearoom onboard the Royal Yacht Britannia.

44. Float downstream with a boat ride on the Union Canal.

45. Join locals to sunbathe on the Meadows.

46. Walk or cycle the seafront promenade at Cramond beach.

47. Go bird-watching at Duddingston Loch.

48. Admire the seasonal blooms at the Edinburgh Botanic Garden.

49. Attend a special gallery exhibition at the Edinburgh Art Festival in August.

50. Learn to surf at Belhaven beach in Dunbar or try sea kayaking along the Firth of Forth.

-Contributed by Zoe Smith for Viator.

Also on HuffPost:

Under-The-Radar Vacation Destinations