Best Festivals in Edinburgh this Spring/Summer

Our favourite spring/summer festivals, Edinburgh 2023

Edinburgh is famous for its festivals all year round. But particularly in the warmer months, when huge events, such as the Festival Fringe and International Festival, take over the city completely. And here at Parliament House Hotel, we are just a short walk from all the action. So, here’s our guide to some of the best spring/summer festivals in Edinburgh. Now all you need to do is choose your favourite, then book your tickets and festival accommodation.

Edinburgh Science Festival

1 – 16 April 2023

Taking place over the Easter holidays, Edinburgh Science Festival puts on a wide range of events, talks, shows and exhibitions. Held in venues across the city, such as City Art Centre, Dynamic Earth, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and National Museum of Scotland. With something for all ages, this is not just for the kids. There is a varied programme to explore, including evening events like Science Festival Lates for the adults.

Abstract polygonal background

TradFest Edinburgh

28 April – 8 May 2023

TradFest celebrates traditional music from Scotland and around the world, with a wide programme of events held mainly at the Scottish Storytelling Centre and Traverse Theatre. Enjoy music, dance, storytelling, drama, film and more.

Close up of violin being played on stage

Beltane Fire Festival

30 April 2023

Celebrating the beginning of summer, the Beltane Fire Festival is a modern interpretation of a Celtic ritual, taking place just around the corner from us, atop Calton Hill. Music, light, fire displays and dramatic processions tell the story of the May Queen and the Green Man, in this amazing late-night spectacle.

May Queen procession at the Beltane Fire Festival Edinburgh
Image provided by: Beltane Fire Society

Meadows Festival

3 – 4 June 2023

The Meadows Festival takes place on the first weekend of June every summer. The community gala features live music, market stalls and fun activities. Held in The Meadows large public park in Edinburgh, this is a great space to relax and enjoy the festival atmosphere.

Leith Festival

10 – 18 June 2023

Head to the streets of Leith for the only festival in Edinburgh for the people by the people. The annual Leith Festival is a 9-day extravaganza of Leith’s vibrant community. From music and theatre to arts, pageants and galas, Leith Festival is pretty much a celebration of all things Leith. With a number of free events, it is always one of our favourite summer festivals in Edinburgh.

View from behind audience in a theatre

Edinburgh Canal Festival and Raft Race

17 – 18 June 2023

This year, the Canal Festival will be held on the 17th, and the Raft Race on the 18th June. This festival includes community performances and a range of activities around the Union Canal. The Raft Race is great fun to watch, as participants show off their creative raft designs.

The Royal Highland Show

22 – 25 June 2023

Channel your inner farm-girl or guy with the Royal Highland Show! A popular annual spectacular, this event promises four days of action-packed entertainment. Attending an Equestrian show, or maybe a cattle and sheep ring or two! 

Livestock at the Royal Highland Show

Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival

14 – 23 July 2023

If summer in Edinburgh is music to your ears, then make sure you don’t miss all that Edinburgh Jazz at the Jazz & Blues Festival this July. With concerts on throughout the city over 10 days, it is one of our all-time favourite festivals in July. With some of the best jazz musicians in the world gracing the stage, a trip to Edinburgh during the festival is sure to jazz July up.

Musicians on stage at a Jazz Festival

Edinburgh Art Festival

11 – 27 August 2023

The Edinburgh Art Festival is the largest celebration of visual art in the UK. Working with local and international partners to present its ambitious programme, with a colourful display of leading galleries, great museums and spectacular artists. This festival truly is a work of art!

Woman taking photos in an art gallery

Edinburgh International Festival

4 – 27 August 2023

The International Festival is renowned for its eclectic mix of dance, music, comedy and arts performances. Here, you’ll find everything from opera concerts to street performances. So for three weeks in August, you can enjoy an array of performances from international artists. Shows are hosted in venues across the city, from theatres to cafes, and Edinburgh comes alive with performing arts.

Fireworks over Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Fringe Festival

4 – 28 August 2023

Known as the largest arts festival in the world, Edinburgh Fringe hosts a plethora of performances from creative artists. There’s something to suit all ages, from comedy, dance, theatre and opera, to circus, cabaret, and children’s shows. Held in venues across the city, the festival is also a platform for unknown talent and there are plenty of free performances. And, over the years, it has been the launch of the road to stardom for many famous faces

Princes Street Gardens Edinburgh in the summer, with the Festival Wheel and Scott Monument

Edinburgh Military Tattoo

4 – 26 August 2023

The annual Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is a favourite for locals and visitors alike. Held on the esplanade of the beautiful Edinburgh Castle the event celebrates military and civilian music from across the world. With performances from teams from the British Armed Forces, the Commonwealth and military teams from across the globe, this family-friendly event is a must-see. Furthermore, you’ll see Highland dancers, pipers, drummers and marching formations.

Military performers at Edinburgh Tattoo on Castle Esplanade

Edinburgh International Book Festival

12 – 28 August 2023

Book lovers will be in heaven at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. Held, beneath a huge canvas tent, there are books that will delight all ages. The festival hosts talks, readings, book signings and workshops. Also, there’s plenty of entertainment from stand-up comedy to live music.

Person browsing books in a shop

Visit Edinburgh for the Summer Festivals

There’s no better time to visit Edinburgh than during the summer festivals, when our city comes alive with shows, music, theatre and comedy. So, take a look at our fantastic special offers and plan your festival stay with us at Parliament House this summer. And if you’re looking for more, check out our winter festivals too!