Although many of Edinburgh’s best festivals run all year round, the summer months - particularly August - are when festival activities reach fever pitch. The Edinburgh International Festival, founded in 1947, is the official centrepiece of Edinburgh’s festivals. Running for four weeks, this world-renowned performing arts festival has world-class displays of theatre, dance and music which culminate in a spectacular firework display above Edinburgh Castle.
The Edinburgh Festival Fringe runs alongside the International Festival. The Fringe is the world’s largest art festival with strong ties to comedy and drama, as well as featuring more unusual acts such as cabaret and circus performers. For those who want their money to go a little further, there are also hundreds of free events that take place every year as part of the Fringe.
The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is another August must-see. Almost a thousand musicians, pipers, drummers, singers and dancers from around the globe perform on Edinburgh Castle Esplanade. This unforgettable spectacle is brought to an emotional and poignant close each evening as a lone piper, high on the castle ramparts, plays a haunting lament. For a fantastic multicultural flavour, don't miss the Edinburgh Mela which celebrates the city’s cultural diversity with world music, dance, exhibitions and more.