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City of Edinburgh Tours Does the Fringe

Some people make the trip to Edinburgh just to experience it, while others unknowingly book an August holiday only to be thrown in the whirlwind that is Edinburgh Festival Fringe. With over 3,000 shows to choose from, there is surely something for everyone, be it a comedy night, a concert or a theatrical performance. Regardless of what you go for, there are a few useful things to know about this Scottish cultural phenomenon.
The Fringe, as it is known for short, was first established in 1947 as an alternative to the Edinburgh International Festival. This is, in fact, the origin of its name: this other festival was on the outside, on the outskirts – the “fringe” – of the official one. It started with just eight theatre companies showing off their best work in smaller, alternative venues. Over the years, it grew into a month-long, world-famous celebration of the arts, one that attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every time.

In fact, the population of Edinburgh is said to double during August – so don’t be offended if you encounter some grumbling locals! The Old Town in particular, a hub of activity throughout the year, is even busier for the whole festival period. The Royal Mile is the place to be for street performances, arts and crafts vendors, and emerging artists eager to offer you a flyer for their show. But what to do if you want to escape all the hubbub? Why, descend into the underground vaults, of course. Since access is limited to guides tours, it will just be you, your knowledgeable guide…and perhaps the spirits.

City of Edinburgh Tours is a proud participant in the yearly Festival celebrations. For the month of August, our old and trusted Police Box doubles as Venue 157, the starting point of all the old favourites along with Fringe specials. From the children’s show running every day at 12 and 1, to the Real Fear scare fest at 8:45, you are bound to find a tour suitable for your taste. Check out the full offer here, and please drop by to say hi!