Visit Edinburgh in October

Visiting Edinburgh: October 2023

October is a great time to visit our beautiful city. As autumn gets into full swing, the warm autumnal colours engulf the landscape. The nights draw in and Samhuinn marks the transition from summer to winter. Things get spooky as we celebrate Halloween. And we get a taste of Bavarian culture as Oktoberfest comes to town!

October festivals and events

The month begins with Oktoberfest in Princes Steet Gardens from 5th to 8th October. This is a weekend of authentic German food and drink, complete with lederhosen and giant beers! The clocks go back on 29th October, meaning the sun sets earlier and the evenings get darker. Just in time for Halloween on the 31st – the spookiest night of the year. Get into the spirit, with the Edinburgh Horror Festival from 26th to 31st October and its programme of creepy events. On the same night as Halloween, the Samhuinn Fire Parade takes place in the Old Town. Inspired by Celtic tradition, the parade welcomes in the winter with performance, music and dance.

Theatre breaks in Edinburgh

Edinburgh Playhouse (just around the corner from our hotel) will be filled with Disney magic as the Broadway and West End musical Aladdin hits the stage. The show will run from 24th October to 18th November and is sure to make your wishes come true! See full listings here.

Attraction of the month: The Real Mary King’s Close

For October, our attraction of the month is The Real Mary King’s Close. As it’s Halloween this month, we thought it fitting to highlight one of the most haunted places in Edinburgh. The Real Mary King’s Close is a hidden network of streets below the Royal Mile, sealed off in the 18th century and frozen in time. This is a fascinating historical place to visit, where you’ll learn about the close’s past residents. But there are also a few ghost stories lurking. View more Edinburgh attractions.

Offer of the month: Edinburgh’s Underground City

Stay with us for two nights in a twin or double room, with breakfast included, and get a pair of tickets to a historical or ghost tour with our Edinburgh’s Underground City offer. Choose from a selection of tours by The Real Mary King’s Close or Mercat Tours. Available to book this October at Parliament House Hotel. Full details and T&Cs.

An old and spooky underground street

Day trip of the month: Scottish Borders

Edinburgh is a great base to explore the rest of Scotland too. With convenient transport links by train and bus, and hire car options available, it’s so easy to get around. This October, why not visit the Scottish Borders? This is a truly beautiful part of Scotland within an hour’s reach of Edinburgh. Castles, abbeys, gardens and breweries … there’s much to see here on a day trip from Edinburgh. See our guide to places to visit in the Scottish Borders.

Ancient ruins of Melrose Abbey in the Scottish Borders

Our top October blogs

Our Edinburgh Blog features news, guides and travel information to help you plan your visit. Check out our top 5 posts for October:

  1. Things to look forward to in Edinburgh this autumn
  2. The best walks in Edinburgh this autumn
  3. Haunted Edinburgh: Spook-tacular pubs
  4. Haunted places in Edinburgh to give you the chills
  5. Ghost stories: The Great Lafayette
Two park benches in the Autumn overlooking Edinburgh City

Visiting us this October

So, book your stay at Parliament House Hotel in Edinburgh and start planning your adventures. Remember, we have further information on attractions, shopping, itineraries, road trips and more in our Edinburgh Guide. And we are always here, should you need any help planning activities during your stay.