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Edinburgh Festivals Budget Accommodation And Guide


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Ilene Waldman



Welcome to the enchanting city of Edinburgh, where culture, history, and festivities come alive during its world-renowned festivals. From the vibrant Edinburgh Festival Fringe to the awe-inspiring Edinburgh International Festival, this Scottish city offers a plethora of exciting events that attract visitors from around the globe.


While attending these festivals can be an unforgettable experience, it is essential to plan your trip in a way that doesn’t break the bank. That’s why we’re here to guide you on how to enjoy the Edinburgh festivals on a budget, including finding affordable accommodation options, navigating the city, and making the most of the festivities.


Edinburgh’s festivals provide a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of Scotland. From theatrical performances and live music concerts to art exhibitions and street performances, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned festival-goer, you’ll discover that Edinburgh’s lively atmosphere during these events is truly infectious.


But attending these festivals can also be costly, especially when it comes to accommodation. However, with careful planning and some insider tips, you can find affordable places to stay without compromising on comfort or convenience.


In this comprehensive guide, we will explore various budget accommodation options in Edinburgh, including hostels, guesthouses, Airbnb rentals, camping and caravan parks, and budget-friendly hotels. We will also provide insights into getting around the city during the festivals and showcase some of the key events that you wouldn’t want to miss.


So, without further ado, let’s embark on an adventure in Edinburgh as we uncover the secrets to enjoying the festivals on a budget!


Overview of Edinburgh Festivals

Edinburgh is renowned for hosting a wide array of festivals throughout the year, attracting millions of visitors from near and far. These festivals showcase the city’s rich cultural heritage, artistic talent, and vibrant atmosphere. Here is an overview of some of the most popular festivals in Edinburgh:

  • Edinburgh Festival Fringe: Known as the world’s largest arts festival, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe takes place every August for three weeks. It features thousands of performances in various genres, including comedy, theater, dance, music, and more. The festival embraces innovation and encourages emerging artists to showcase their talents.
  • Edinburgh International Festival: Running alongside the Fringe, the Edinburgh International Festival was established in 1947 with the aim of celebrating classical music, opera, dance, and theater. It attracts renowned artists and ensembles from around the world and offers a diverse program of performances.
  • Edinburgh International Book Festival: Held in August, the Edinburgh International Book Festival is a haven for book lovers. It features author discussions, book signings, storytelling events, and workshops. Visitors have the opportunity to engage with their favorite authors and discover new literary works.
  • Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival: Music enthusiasts flock to Edinburgh in July for the Jazz & Blues Festival. From traditional jazz to contemporary sounds, this festival offers a vibrant lineup of concerts by renowned artists, as well as free outdoor performances that bring the streets of Edinburgh to life.
  • Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo: Held on the esplanade of Edinburgh Castle, the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is a spectacle of music, dance, and military performances. It showcases the talent of military bands from around the world and provides a captivating and memorable experience.
  • Edinburgh Art Festival: Celebrating visual art, the Edinburgh Art Festival takes place throughout the month of August. It features exhibitions, installations, and events across various galleries and public spaces in the city, providing an opportunity to explore and appreciate a wide range of artistic expressions.

These are just a few examples of the many festivals that Edinburgh hosts throughout the year. Each festival brings its own unique charm, atmosphere, and cultural significance to the city, making it a vibrant hub for arts and culture.


Now that you have an overview of the Edinburgh festivals, let’s delve into the world of budget accommodation options that will allow you to fully enjoy these exciting events without breaking the bank.


Choosing Budget Accommodation in Edinburgh

When attending the festivals in Edinburgh, finding affordable accommodation is key to maximizing your budget and ensuring a comfortable stay. Fortunately, the city offers a range of budget-friendly options to suit different preferences and needs. Here are some tips to help you choose the right budget accommodation in Edinburgh:

  1. Location: Consider staying in areas outside the city center, where accommodation prices tend to be higher. Look for neighborhoods like Leith, Portobello, or Haymarket, which offer good connections to the city center through public transportation.
  2. Research and Compare: Take the time to research and compare prices, amenities, and reviews of different accommodation options. Websites like Booking.com, Hostelworld, and Airbnb can provide valuable insights and help you find the best deals.
  3. Hostels: Hostels are a popular choice for budget travelers, offering affordable dormitory-style rooms or private rooms at a lower cost. They often provide communal spaces, kitchens, and social activities, making them a great option for meeting fellow festival-goers.
  4. Guesthouses: Guesthouses are small establishments with private rooms and shared facilities. They offer a more intimate and homely atmosphere, and some may include breakfast in the room rate.
  5. Airbnb: Renting a room or an entire apartment through Airbnb can be a cost-effective option, especially if you are traveling with a group of friends or family. You can find a variety of accommodations at different price points and choose one that suits your budget and preferences.
  6. Camping and Caravan Parks: For those who enjoy the outdoors, there are camping and caravan parks available in and around Edinburgh. This option allows you to experience nature while keeping costs low. Just be sure to check if the park offers facilities like showers and toilets.
  7. Budget-Friendly Hotels: Some hotels in Edinburgh offer budget-friendly rates, especially during non-peak seasons. Look for hotels that are slightly further from the city center or choose those that offer basic amenities without the added luxury.

Remember to book your accommodation well in advance, especially during festival seasons, as prices tend to increase and availability becomes limited closer to the event dates. Additionally, keep an eye out for any special promotions or discounts that may be available, as this can significantly reduce your accommodation costs.


By considering these tips and exploring the various budget accommodation options in Edinburgh, you can find a place to stay that fits your budget and allows you to fully enjoy the festivals without worrying about excessive expenses.


Hostels in Edinburgh

If you’re looking for budget-friendly accommodation during your visit to the Edinburgh festivals, hostels are a fantastic option. Not only are they affordable, but they also provide a social and vibrant atmosphere that is perfect for meeting fellow travelers and festival-goers. Here are some of the top hostels in Edinburgh:

  1. Haggis Hostels: Located in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town, Haggis Hostels offers a range of dormitory-style rooms and private rooms at competitive prices. The hostel features a common area, kitchen facilities, and organizes social events, making it an excellent choice for solo travelers or those seeking a lively atmosphere.
  2. Castle Rock Hostel: As the name suggests, Castle Rock Hostel boasts stunning views of Edinburgh Castle. This hostel offers both dormitory-style rooms and private rooms, and its central location allows for easy access to the festivals and other major attractions in the city. With a cozy lounge area and a welcoming atmosphere, it’s a favorite among budget-conscious travelers.
  3. Safestay Edinburgh: Safestay Edinburgh is housed in a beautiful Georgian building just a stone’s throw away from the Royal Mile. The hostel offers a variety of room options, from dormitories to private rooms, all at affordable rates. With its stylish interiors and modern amenities, Safestay provides comfort at a budget-friendly price.
  4. High Street Hostel: Situated on Edinburgh’s historic Royal Mile, High Street Hostel provides easy access to the festivals, as well as many popular tourist sites. The hostel offers a range of room types, including female-only dorms, and provides a cozy lounge area and a fully equipped kitchen for guests to use.
  5. The Hostel: Conveniently located near Haymarket Station, The Hostel offers a mix of dormitory-style rooms and private rooms. This budget-friendly accommodation features a spacious lounge, a communal kitchen, and a BBQ terrace, ideal for socializing with fellow travelers.

When choosing a hostel, be sure to check amenities such as Wi-Fi availability, lockers for personal belongings, and any additional services offered. Reading reviews from previous guests can also provide valuable insights into the overall atmosphere and cleanliness of the hostel.


Hostels in Edinburgh tend to book up quickly, especially during festival seasons. So, it is advisable to make your reservation well in advance to secure your spot at the hostel of your choice.


By opting for a hostel in Edinburgh, not only will you save money on accommodation, but you’ll also have the opportunity to connect with like-minded travelers and fully immerse yourself in the festival experience.


Guesthouses in Edinburgh

If you’re looking for affordable accommodation in Edinburgh with a more intimate and homely atmosphere, guesthouses are an excellent choice. Guesthouses typically offer private rooms with shared facilities, allowing you to have your own space while still enjoying a cozy and welcoming environment. Here are some recommended guesthouses in Edinburgh:

  1. Ben Cruachan Guest House: Situated in the charming Bruntsfield neighborhood, Ben Cruachan Guest House is known for its warm hospitality and comfortable rooms. The guest house offers a variety of room options, some with en-suite bathrooms, as well as a delicious breakfast to kickstart your day.
  2. The Victorian Town House: Located in the trendy Newington area, The Victorian Town House is housed in a beautifully restored Georgian building. The guesthouse features elegantly furnished rooms and a friendly atmosphere, making it a popular choice among budget travelers.
  3. Valentine City Centre Guest House: Perfectly situated near Princes Street and the Edinburgh Festival venues, Valentine City Centre Guest House offers cozy and well-appointed rooms with shared facilities. With its central location, this guesthouse provides easy access to all the festival action.
  4. Thrums Edinburgh: Nestled in the vibrant Marchmont area, Thrums Edinburgh offers comfortable and affordable rooms with shared facilities. The guesthouse is known for its friendly hosts, who are always ready to provide local recommendations and ensure a pleasant stay.
  5. Arden Guest House: Located in the picturesque Morningside neighborhood, Arden Guest House offers cozy rooms with shared bathrooms and a welcoming atmosphere. The guesthouse is surrounded by charming cafes, boutiques, and parks, providing a peaceful retreat after a day of festival exploration.

Guesthouses in Edinburgh often provide a personal touch, with hosts who are knowledgeable about the city and can offer insights into local attractions and festival events. Many guesthouses also offer complimentary breakfast, allowing you to start your day on a delicious note without breaking your budget.


When selecting a guesthouse, consider the location and proximity to the festival venues. Additionally, read reviews from previous guests to get a sense of the overall quality and hospitality of the guesthouse.


Guesthouses in Edinburgh tend to have limited availability, especially during festival seasons. It is advisable to book your room well in advance to secure your preferred dates and avoid disappointment.


Choosing a guesthouse in Edinburgh allows you to enjoy the comfort and privacy of your own room while experiencing the warm hospitality and personal touch that sets guesthouses apart.


Airbnb Options in Edinburgh

For travelers seeking a more independent and home-like experience while attending the festivals in Edinburgh, Airbnb offers a vast selection of accommodation options. With Airbnb, you can choose from entire apartments, private rooms, or unique stays, all while staying within your budget. Here are some Airbnb options in Edinburgh:

  1. Cosy Apartment in the City Centre: This centrally located apartment provides a cozy and comfortable space for solo travelers or couples. With its convenient location, you’ll have easy access to the festival venues, as well as the city’s attractions and amenities.
  2. Charming Georgian Flat in New Town: Immerse yourself in the charm of Edinburgh with a stay in a beautifully restored Georgian flat. Enjoy the period features, high ceilings, and elegant furnishings, all while being within walking distance of the festival action.
  3. Modern Studio near Holyrood Park: This contemporary studio apartment offers convenience and style. Located near Holyrood Park, you’ll have access to stunning views, walking trails, and a tranquil environment, perfect for unwinding after a day of festival festivities.
  4. Quirky Converted Warehouse in Leith: If you’re looking for a unique stay, consider a converted warehouse in the vibrant neighborhood of Leith. This spacious and eclectic accommodation offers a taste of Edinburgh’s creative energy and is in close proximity to many festival venues.
  5. Traditional Cottage in the Countryside: For a peaceful retreat outside the city center, opt for a traditional cottage in the countryside surrounding Edinburgh. Enjoy the tranquility, fresh air, and scenic beauty, and take advantage of public transportation to reach the festival events.

When booking an Airbnb in Edinburgh, take note of the amenities and facilities offered, such as Wi-Fi access, kitchen facilities, and laundry services. Read the reviews and description carefully to ensure that the accommodation meets your expectations.


Keep in mind that availability and pricing of Airbnb options can vary, especially during peak festival seasons. It’s advisable to book well in advance to secure the ideal accommodation that suits both your budget and preferences.


Choosing an Airbnb in Edinburgh allows you to have a personalized and comfortable space to retreat to after a day of festival exploration, providing the freedom to create your own experience in this lively Scottish city.


Camping and Caravan Parks in Edinburgh

For nature lovers and budget-conscious travelers, camping and caravan parks can offer a unique and cost-effective accommodation option during the Edinburgh festivals. These parks provide a chance to enjoy the great outdoors while still being within reach of the festival venues and attractions. Here are some camping and caravan parks in and around Edinburgh:

  1. Mortonhall Caravan and Camping Park: Located just a few miles from the city center, Mortonhall offers a range of camping and caravan options. With ample facilities, including showers, laundry, and electric hook-ups, this park allows you to have a comfortable stay close to the festivals.
  2. Drummohr Holiday Park: Situated on the outskirts of Edinburgh, Drummohr Holiday Park is surrounded by beautiful countryside. The park offers spacious camping pitches, as well as static caravans for rent. It provides various amenities, including a play area, a shop, and free Wi-Fi.
  3. Roseview Caravan Park: Located in the picturesque village of Port Seton, Roseview Caravan Park is ideal for those seeking a seaside retreat. The park offers caravan pitches, wooden camping pods, and camping spaces, all with modern facilities and stunning views of the Firth of Forth.
  4. Bonaly Country Park: Situated on the outskirts of Edinburgh, Bonaly Country Park offers a peaceful and natural setting for camping. With access to hiking trails and stunning views of the Pentland Hills, this park is perfect for nature enthusiasts looking for a tranquil escape.

When camping or staying in a caravan park, it’s essential to check the facilities provided, such as showers, toilets, and electricity points. Some parks may also offer additional amenities like on-site shops, cafes, or recreational activities.


It’s important to note that camping and caravan parks have specific rules and regulations that guests must follow. These may include restrictions on noise, campfire usage, and recycling practices. Always be respectful of these rules to ensure a pleasant experience for both yourself and other campers.


Booking in advance is highly recommended, especially during festival seasons when camping and caravan parks can be in high demand. Secure your spot to enjoy the unique experience of being close to nature while still being within reach of the festival excitement in Edinburgh.


Budget-Friendly Hotels in Edinburgh

If you prefer the convenience and comfort of a hotel stay during the Edinburgh festivals, there are several budget-friendly options available. These hotels provide affordable accommodation without compromising on quality or location. Here are some budget-friendly hotels in Edinburgh:

  1. EasyHotel Edinburgh: Located on Princes Street, EasyHotel offers compact and affordable rooms right in the heart of the city. With its central location, you’ll have easy access to the festival venues and major attractions.
  2. Motel One Edinburgh-Royal: Situated near Waverley Station, Motel One Edinburgh-Royal provides modern and stylish rooms at an affordable price. The hotel’s central location makes it a convenient base for exploring the festivals and the city’s landmarks.
  3. Stay Central Hotel: Nestled in the vibrant Cowgate area, Stay Central Hotel offers budget-friendly accommodation with a trendy and contemporary design. The hotel is within walking distance of many festival venues, as well as popular nightlife spots.
  4. Haymarket Hub Hotel: Located near Haymarket Station, Haymarket Hub Hotel offers compact yet comfortable rooms at affordable rates. With excellent transport links, this hotel allows for easy access to the festival events and other attractions in the city.
  5. Ibis Budget Edinburgh Park: Situated in the Edinburgh Park area, Ibis Budget provides affordable accommodation with modern amenities. Although slightly further from the city center, the hotel offers excellent transport connections, making it a practical choice for festival-goers.

When selecting a budget-friendly hotel, consider the location and its proximity to the festival venues, as well as any additional services or amenities, such as complimentary Wi-Fi, breakfast options, and parking facilities. Reading reviews from previous guests can give you insights into the overall quality and value of the hotel.


During peak festival seasons, it’s advisable to book your hotel well in advance to secure the best rates and availability. Keep an eye out for special promotions or discounts that hotels may offer during these periods.


By choosing a budget-friendly hotel in Edinburgh, you can enjoy a comfortable and convenient stay while keeping your expenses in check, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the festival experience.


Getting Around Edinburgh during Festivals

Exploring the various festival venues and navigating the city of Edinburgh during the festivals is made easy by the city’s efficient public transportation system. Here are some tips for getting around Edinburgh:

  • Walking: Edinburgh’s compact size makes it a walkable city, especially during the festivals. Many festival venues and attractions are within close proximity, allowing you to enjoy the lively atmosphere while strolling from one event to another.
  • Bus: The Lothian Buses network covers the city comprehensively, providing an affordable and convenient way to travel. Festival-goers can purchase day tickets or multi-day passes to save money and enjoy unlimited travel within the city.
  • Tram: Edinburgh’s tram system offers a quick and efficient way to travel between the city center and areas like Leith and the airport. Trams run frequently and provide a comfortable mode of transportation for festival attendees.
  • Taxi and Uber: Taxis and ride-hailing services like Uber are available in Edinburgh and can be a convenient option, especially when traveling in a group or with heavy bags. Just be aware that during busy festival periods, availability may be limited and prices may be higher.
  • Bicycle: Edinburgh is a bike-friendly city with dedicated cycling lanes and rental services. Consider renting a bicycle to explore the city and cycle between festival venues while enjoying the fresh air and scenic views.

When planning your festival itinerary, familiarize yourself with the festival venues and their locations in relation to one another. This will help you optimize your travel routes and plan your time accordingly.


During peak festival periods, such as the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, it’s advisable to allow extra time for travel, as the city can get busy with increased foot traffic and public transportation demand. Plan accordingly to ensure you don’t miss out on any festival events or performances.


Lastly, consider using mobile apps or online journey planners to navigate around the city. These tools provide real-time information on bus and tram schedules, routes, and disruptions, making it easier to plan your travel during the festivals.


By utilizing Edinburgh’s excellent public transportation system and embracing alternative modes of travel, you can easily navigate the city and make the most of your time during the festivals.


Key Edinburgh Festivals and Events

Edinburgh is known as the Festival City for a reason, as it hosts numerous festivals and events throughout the year. Immerse yourself in the vibrant cultural scene by attending some of these key festivals during your visit:

  1. Edinburgh Festival Fringe: The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the world’s largest arts festival, attracting thousands of artists and performers from around the globe. With a diverse program of comedy, theater, dance, music, and more, the Fringe offers something for everyone. Explore the streets of Edinburgh as they come alive with street performances, pop-up venues, and outdoor events.
  2. Edinburgh International Festival: Established in 1947, the Edinburgh International Festival is a celebration of classical music, opera, theater, and dance. Renowned artists and ensembles from around the world come together to present captivating performances in iconic venues such as the Edinburgh Festival Theatre and Usher Hall.
  3. Edinburgh International Book Festival: Book lovers will delight in the Edinburgh International Book Festival, a literary event featuring discussions, readings, and book signings by acclaimed authors. With a diverse lineup of events, this festival celebrates the written word and fosters a love for literature.
  4. Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival: Jazz enthusiasts shouldn’t miss the Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival, showcasing a wide range of jazz and blues styles. From intimate club gigs to large-scale concerts, this festival offers an electrifying lineup of performances by talented musicians from around the world.
  5. Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo: Held on the esplanade of Edinburgh Castle, the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is a spectacular showcase of military bands, dancers, and performers. Against the backdrop of the iconic castle, enjoy the stirring music, precision performances, and breathtaking fireworks.
  6. Edinburgh Art Festival: Celebrating visual art, the Edinburgh Art Festival brings together curated exhibitions, installations, and public art projects. Discover contemporary artwork, classic masterpieces, and innovative installations in galleries, museums, and public spaces throughout the city.

In addition to these major festivals, Edinburgh also hosts a wide range of other cultural events, including the Edinburgh International Film Festival, the Edinburgh Festival of Cycling, the Edinburgh Festival of Science, and the Edinburgh International Storytelling Festival, among many others. These events contribute to the city’s vibrant cultural landscape and provide endless opportunities to indulge in various art forms.


When planning your visit, be sure to check the festival schedules and program details to pick the events that align with your interests. With such a rich and diverse festival scene, there’s always something exciting happening in Edinburgh.


Tips for a Budget-Friendly Edinburgh Festivals Experience

Attending the festivals in Edinburgh doesn’t have to break the bank. With careful planning and smart choices, you can have a memorable and budget-friendly experience. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your Edinburgh festivals trip:

  • Book accommodation in advance: Prices tend to rise as festival dates approach, so book your accommodation well in advance to secure the best rates. Consider staying in budget options such as hostels, guesthouses, or Airbnb rentals.
  • Take advantage of free and discounted events: Many festival events offer free, discounted, or pay-what-you-can admission. Look for these opportunities to enjoy performances, exhibitions, and shows without breaking your budget.
  • Plan your schedule: With so many events happening simultaneously, planning your festival schedule can help you maximize your time and make sure you don’t miss out on the highlights. Check program schedules and create a personalized itinerary.
  • Explore free attractions: Edinburgh is home to several free attractions, including museums, galleries, and parks. Take advantage of these to immerse yourself in the city’s culture and history without spending a dime.
  • Sample street food and local markets: Instead of dining at expensive restaurants, indulge in the vibrant street food scene and visit local markets. This allows you to savor delicious food at reasonable prices while supporting local vendors.
  • Bring reusable water bottles and snacks: Stay hydrated and keep hunger at bay by carrying a reusable water bottle and some snacks with you. This saves money on purchasing bottled drinks and snacks throughout the day.
  • Utilize public transportation: Edinburgh has an efficient public transportation system, including buses and trams, which is much more affordable than relying on taxis or private vehicles. Invest in a day ticket or multi-day pass to save on travel costs.
  • Look out for happy hour specials: Many bars and restaurants in Edinburgh offer happy hour specials with discounted drinks and food. Take advantage of these to enjoy a night out without overspending.
  • Consider shared meals or cooking: If you’re traveling with a group, organize shared meals where each person contributes. Alternatively, if you have access to kitchen facilities, cook some of your meals to save on dining costs.
  • Take advantage of early bird tickets: Some festival events offer early bird ticket prices, providing a significant discount. Keep an eye out for these deals and book your tickets in advance to save money.

By implementing these budget-friendly tips, you can manage your expenses while enjoying the incredible atmosphere and thrilling performances of the Edinburgh festivals. Remember, it’s the experiences and memories that truly matter, and you don’t have to spend a fortune to create lasting moments in this captivating city.



As you embark on your journey to experience the festivals in Edinburgh, it’s important to remember that a budget-friendly adventure doesn’t mean compromising on the excitement and joy that these events bring. With the right approach and a little planning, you can make the most of your time in this vibrant city while staying within your budget.


From the world-famous Edinburgh Festival Fringe and the Edinburgh International Festival to the Edinburgh International Book Festival and the Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival, there is a festival to suit every interest and artistic passion. By choosing budget accommodation options such as hostels, guesthouses, Airbnb rentals, or camping and caravan parks, you can save money without compromising on comfort or convenience.


During your visit, take advantage of the city’s excellent public transportation system, including buses, trams, and walking, to navigate between festival venues and explore the city. Be sure to plan your schedule in advance, making note of free and discounted events, as well as the city’s free attractions to make the most of your time.


By sampling street food, dining at local markets, and taking advantage of happy hour specials, you can indulge in delicious cuisine without overspending. Consider shared meals or cooking if you’re traveling with a group, and make use of reusable water bottles and snacks to save on expenses during the day.


As you soak up the energy and cultural richness of Edinburgh’s festivals, remember to embrace the unique experiences and moments that unfold around you. Whether it’s enjoying a street performance, discovering a new artist, or simply taking in the vibrant atmosphere of the city, the memories you create during your budget-friendly Edinburgh festivals adventure will be priceless.


So, go ahead and immerse yourself in the mesmerizing world of Edinburgh’s festivals. With these tips and tricks, you can witness the magic of the events, connect with artists and fellow festival-goers, and create unforgettable memories that will stay with you long after the curtains close.