How To Navigate Edinburgh During The Fringe Festival

The Edinburgh Fringe Festival is one of the planet’s most recognised and talked about arts and culture festivals – and for good reason. Just last year, 3,334 shows were put on between the 5th and 29th of August, with an average of around 400,000 attendees. 

If you’re hiring a motorhome in Scotland during late summer, this might be one of the events on your list. But we should warn you: it’s not going to be easy. 

The Fringe Festival is one of the greatest festivals in the world, which subsequently makes Edinburgh one of the most popular cities in the world for its duration. 

Navigating your way around a city like Edinburgh can be difficult anyway, let alone with a crowd of people around every corner. Even if you’ve visited Edinburgh before, the city is different during this festival. For this reason, you need to be prepared. 

But never fear! Below are our official Ariescape pointers about how to navigate Edinburgh during Fringe and what you need to do to have the best time possible:

Experience Fringe Before Or After Your Motorhome Holiday

First, we suggest experiencing a festival like this before or after your motorhome adventure. That’s because driving through Edinburgh – or into Edinburgh – will get very difficult. Imagine a bad day on the M1 and then multiply it by 5. It’s perfectly doable, of course, but it might be a better idea to stay in the city during the festivities and then pick up your motorhome once you’re all done! 

Pinpoint The Shows You Want To See

Secondly, it’s essential to pinpoint the shows that you want to see before you actually get here. As mentioned, Edinburgh is buzzing during the Fringe Festival, with everyone going one way or the other, so it’s pretty easy to get disorientated. To avoid this, it’s a good idea to pinpoint your events, map them out and keep to your schedule. 

But Don’t Pinpoint All Of Them!

But! Don’t pinpoint all of the events. That is to say, don’t fill up your calendar to the point where you can’t be spontaneous. One of the best things about the Fringe Festival is the variety of events, and it’s quite often that you’re handed a leaflet that looks precisely like your cup of tea. It would be a shame to throw away that leaflet because you’ve already booked something. Make sure to keep a few hours free to follow your gut, take a wander, and see where the city takes you.

Have A Friend

Of course, if you’re renting one of our motorhomes for a Scotland adventure, it’s likely that you have someone with you. But we’ll mention this point anyway! It’s always helpful to be with someone during Fringe, if only to share in the buzz and enjoyment of such a prestigious festival. It’s not necessary, of course, but having someone alongside you can really elevate your enjoyment of the events and be a great help when navigating the crowd. 

Google Maps Is Your Friend

If you’ve been to Edinburgh before, don’t rely on your past, hazy knowledge of the city to get you around. Edinburgh is a maze of city streets, closes, parks, and castles; in short, it’s complicated! And during the Fringe Festival, it only feels more complex, so make sure you utilise Google Maps or Apple Maps – or go old school with an actual map – and always know exactly where you are going.

When In Doubt, Ask!

If you do get lost during the Fringe Festival or you’re running late for something, don’t be afraid to ask someone. Thousands of people are doing the same thing as you, and it’s likely that one of them has a good sense of direction. So, ask them! Not all Scots people are angry men in kilts; we’re actually rather friendly. There are many things Edinburgh is known for, but one of the things that should be talked about more is its friendly and communal atmosphere, so take advantage! 

It’s Not Just About The Shows

The Fringe Festival is one of the best things about summer in Scotland, but it isn’t just about the festival. It’s about the city. In this way, you should not only experience the shows but experience as much of the city as you can. It’s easier to explain if you’ve gone to Fringe Festival, but even if you’re not watching a show or participating in an event, you still feel like you’re a part of the festival. Don’t be afraid to take some time off to simply experience the city as you would if the festival wasn’t happening.