In the summer, Edinburgh is buzzing with activity. There are several events taking place, including fireworks, festivals, concerts, and street performers.
While many tourists go to Edinburgh throughout the summer to attend the Fringe, the festival craziness might wear you out after a few days. Thankfully, it’s simple to get away from the throng without leaving the city.
In this guide, I outline some of my favourite summertime activities in Edinburgh, including going to well-liked summertime destinations and relaxing in scenic, secluded locations.
Edinburgh summertime climate
The summertime climate in Edinburgh is often pleasant, with average highs of 12 to 18 degrees. You should bring a waterproof jacket just in case because there is always a potential for rain in Scotland.
Although temperatures in the city rarely get beyond 30 degrees in the summer, the city occasionally experiences heat waves.
Even though Edinburgh’s summer weather might be a little unpredictable, it’s still a fantastic time to come and take advantage of all this magnificent city has to offer. Just make sure you have a variety of clothes so you can prepare for everything!
best summer activities in Edinburgh
Summertime in Edinburgh is a time of festivals and festivities. On practically every corner, there are street performers, musicians, and comedians, and the energy is high.
In addition, the city offers a variety of outdoor activities. So let’s look at some of the top summer activities in Edinburgh.
1. Immerse yourself in the bizarre world of the Fringe Festival
The renowned Fringe Festival in Edinburgh is renowned for its improvisation. The festival features hundreds of acts, including concerts, artistic performances, and stand-up comedy, and is held at several locations across the city.
There are a number of free events you may attend if you want to take advantage of the Fringe without spending a lot of money (many acts cost between £10 and £20). Additionally, the Royal Mile hosts live street entertainment every single day.
You might be able to snag some free tickets to some of the performances if you’re in Edinburgh during the first weekend of the Fringe. Since many performances are subject to reviews by critics and journalists the first weekend, many artists offer free tickets to their debut performances in an effort to fill the theatre.
To have a chance of receiving free tickets, simply go to George Square and Bristo Place (on the University of Edinburgh campus).
2. Consider going to the Edinburgh Military Tattoo
The Edinburgh Military Tattoo brings together dancing schools and military bands from several nations. A unique ethnic edge is added to the bagpipe melodies in each performance.
The performance is held on the castle esplanade, where animated projections and vibrant lighting are used.
When the weather permits, the presentation usually concludes with a fireworks display. Since the concert frequently sells out, try to purchase tickets as soon as they become available.
3. Swim in the ocean at Portobello Beach.
Can you swim in Edinburgh? It is indeed feasible!
A broad, sandy beach can be seen from the row of lovely Victorian homes in Portobello, a charming coastal neighbourhood. You may take a leisurely stroll down the promenade or have a refreshing swim in the water on a wonderful summer day.
Edinburgh’s main centre may be reached by bus from Portobello in roughly 20 to 30 minutes. A further option is to travel to Musselburgh, another charming coastal community, and then stroll along the coastline to Portobello Beach.
4. Enjoy a barbecue in The Meadows.
The Meadows is a well-liked gathering place for residents.
This lovely park is the perfect location for a barbecue or picnic. There are a lot of people who like to sunbathe on hot days.
During the festival season, you may purchase food from the booths in nearby George Square and have lunch in The Meadows if you’re in Edinburgh.
To find a more sedate picnic area, cross the street and proceed up the hill to Bruntsfield Links.
5. Travel the Union Canal by bicycle
Like to bicycle?
If you want to ride a bike through Edinburgh’s less touristic neighbourhoods, the Union Canal trail is perfect.
Beautiful Edinburgh neighbourhoods, like Polwarth, are traversed by the canal. In Fountainbridge, there are independent cafés where you may get something to eat or stop for a little break in Harrison Park.
If you don’t enjoy cycling, you may take pictures of the colourful boats while enjoying a pleasant evening stroll along the canal.
6. with South Queensferry, indulge in ice cream.
Travel to South Queensferry if you feel the urge to escape the chaos of the Fringe.
This lovely town, which looks out over an estuary, is home to the Forth Bridge, a wonder of engineering from the 19th century and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
A number of pastel-coloured homes, wonderful restaurants (try the fish and chips! ), and ice-cream shops with a range of flavours can be found in the town centre.
7. Enjoy the sunshine in Princes Street Gardens
Summertime sunbathing is common at Princes Street Gardens. On a nice day, picnickers, sunbathers, and ravenous seagulls may all be seen on the verdant slopes.
Find a cozy little corner in the gardens if all you want to do is relax in the summer heat for the day.
In West Princes Street Gardens, there is a charming kiosk and cafe where delectable ice cream is sold. From here, you can also see Ross Fountain and the castle in a pleasing manner.
8. Eat in Leith
The culinary scene is growing in an Edinburgh neighbourhood that isn’t very touristic. You may eat outside at one of the eateries on the Leith waterfront (also known as The Shore) on a pleasant summer evening.
Commercial Quay, a contemporary office and retail complex, is another fantastic eating location in Leith. There are a variety of oddball cafés, bars, and restaurants with outside seating in this neighbourhood.
9. Paddle a kayak or a canoe.
Want to escape the bustling city centre? Take a ride in a kayak or canoe!
You may rent a canoe or kayak and paddle all the way to Glasgow along the Union Canal.
The Union Canal runs through some of Edinburgh’s most scenic neighbourhoods after beginning at Fountainbridge.
10. Spend some time at the botanical garden.
One of my favourite places in Edinburgh is the Royal Botanic Garden, especially in the spring and summer.
This area, which is made up of many landscapes including the Rock Garden, Woodland Garden, and Chinese Hillside, is reminiscent of a labyrinth.
Ten glasshouses, each hosting exotic plants from various climate zones, including dry deserts and tropical rainforests, are also located within the botanic garden.
A hot summer day is the perfect time to explore this location. While admission to the garden is free, a ticket is required to enter the glasshouses.
There are several lovely places where you may relax with a book while obtaining some vitamin D.
The Terrace Cafe, which is located on a small hill and offers breathtaking views of Edinburgh, is another place where you may get a wonderful meal.