Guide to Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Edinburgh Fringe Festival 4 – 28 August 2017

Edinburgh Fringe Festival is Edinburgh’s most well-known festival and has grown to become the largest arts festival in the world! Part of the wider Edinburgh International Festival, performers and visitors travel from all over the world to experience the buzz that the city has to offer from morning through to night, catch some up and coming performances and support well-known acts throughout August. Edinburgh is at its busiest at this time, more than 3000 shows of music, comedy, theatre, dance and cabaret will take place in over 290 venues across the city.

As you’d expect, hundreds of thousands of visitors come to Edinburgh during The Fringe and tickets sell quickly so start planning your trip with us now. The Fringe official programme launches in June 2017, but most shows will be available to book online beforehand at

Getting around

You’ll reach each of our hotels easily whether you arrive by plane, train or car. The simple tram route makes getting from the airport into town easy and our Apex Haymarket Hotel is just 100m from the Haymarket stop. If you’re driving and staying at Apex Grassmarket Hotel, our car park is handy, but spaces are on a first come, first-served basis. If you’re arriving by train, Apex Waterloo Place, Apex Grassmarket and Apex City of Edinburgh are just a short walk from Waverley Station.

Once you’re here, Edinburgh is best explored by foot. The city is quite compact, if you’re short on time, buses are frequent. Wear comfy shoes and grab your local map from our reception desk.


Milk Presents, the company behind the fantastic show Joan, accepting their Fringe First Award this morning!

A post shared by Underbelly (@underbellyedinburgh) on

One of our favourite things about Edinburgh Fringe Festival is the chance to experience small shows with small, intimate audiences. Big acts test the waters with new shows and up and coming acts use these smaller spaces as a platform to start out. Shows take place in over 290 venues spread across Edinburgh so you won’t go far without finding one.

We’re close to big venues like the EICC, Edinburgh Playhouse, Assembly Hall, Underbelly, Festival Theatre and Gilded Balloon where multiple shows tend to take place including big acts such as Jimmy Carr and Ed Byrne.

If smaller shows are your cup of tea, The Stand Comedy Club, Just the Tonic at The Tron and Sweet Venues at Apex Grassmarket Hotel are likely to have schedules packed full of acts who thrive on a small audiences.

Top tips

  • Remember to book your accommodation early
  • Experience some variety. Don’t stick to the big names, uncover new acts or even some local talent
  • Make a timetable, plan and book early. As the largest arts festival in the world, lots of shows sell out before August. The Ed Fringe app is free to download and is great for finding and booking shows
  • Don’t forget the Free Fringe. A trip to Edinburgh during August can be expensive, take advantage of free shows and try new things

Images Ⓒ Marketing Edinburgh.