21st March 2018
10 Ways to Prepare for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival
Although August is 5 months away, now is the time to get organised for your trip to the Capital for this world-famous festival. Those who descend upon the city are already sorting out their accommodation and travel, so avoid disappointment and take a look at our 10 Ways to Prepare for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
1. Plan Your Steps
It’s easy to get carried away catching all the best shows across the city, however although some Fringe venues are run by the same group they might not be that close in proximity to each another. For example, the Assembly Group have a few venues across the city, from Assembly George Square to the Assembly Rooms on George Street, which are actually a 20 minute walk from each other (in ‘off-Fringe’ season). Therefore it’s important to factor in that even if you pride yourself as a power walker, the jam-packed pavements add on significant transit time and even a taxi might not save you from missing a show.
2. Be An Early Bird
Although the brochure doesn’t launch until later in the year, there are already some shows available to book online. What’s more, if you are looking to experience the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, Hotel Connexions are proud to announce our most popular Tattoo See & Stay Package. Book now and you can get an amazing rate on city centre accommodation and tickets on either a weekday or weekend so you can sit back, relax and enjoy the shows.
3. City-Wide Click & Collect
During the Fringe, it’s a common misconception the only place you can collect your tickets is from the box office on the bustling High Street, which is not for the faint-hearted. The Royal Mile is the spot to see entertainers, be littered with leaflets, which quite often leave you feeling flustered in the clusters of people. Fret not as there are actually many ticket collection kiosks scattered around the city, which you can find here. My favourite is the one in Edinburgh Waverley Station – completely queue free and means you can enjoy the fest at ease. There are also a list of venues where you can collect you tickets before seeing your show, which you can find here.
4. Book Your Bed Now
With the ever-increasing international popularity of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in recent years, the city has seen a surge in demand for accommodation as crowds flock to the city. This means top accommodation sells out quickly and prices rise to reflect the demand so now is the time to get prepared, plan ahead and book your accommodation. You can find all our Edinburgh accommodation here, where you can filter by star rating, facilities and hotel type. Many of our hotels only require a 15% deposit to secure your dates so you can plan your trip without breaking the bank.
5. Don’t Overcook it and Overbook It
“How many shows should I see in a day?” is a question I am often asked, as a born and bred Edinburger. If you are new to the city and would like to see shows as well as the sights, I would recommend booking one show you really want to see ahead of time, a wild card and if you are feeling like going rogue, turn up for a free show on the day. There is so much more to the city than seeing shows. The atmosphere alone is worth visiting the city for. Enjoy many a beer garden, street performers, and also the top permanent attractions in Edinburgh such as the Castle, Arthur’s Seat and Calton Hill – which is a great spot to get Instagram-worthy pics of the skyline.
6. Avoid the Crowds
If you aren’t a fan of big crowds then make for the city midweek. Although there will still be plenty of revellers roaming the streets, it will be a much calmer atmosphere. Luckily for you, you can save even more on your Tattoo tickets with Hotel Connexions when you opt for a midweek show. There will also be better deals in restaurants and more time to explore the city with clearer roads and pavements.
7. Be Prepared
As crowds descend upon Auld Reekie, the streets, cafes, restaurants and shops become incredibly busy and it’s likely you’ll end up queuing for a queue so be prepared and bring a backpack loaded with the essentials to keep you going through this fantastic city-wide festival. Bringing your own bottled water, snacks and even a hot drink flask means you won’t have to spend precious time trying to find the nearest newsagent or wait in line at the coffee shop. Note the bus ticket prices here and bring coins as they don’t give you change. Have somewhere in particular you’d like to eat? Make sure you book a table before you go.
8. Travel Smart
Whether you are staying in the city or travelling through from another town, make sure you check your train times. Often the last train back to popular places such as Glasgow will be jam-packed with revellers so it might be an idea to aim for the second last train. Travelling in a group? Take advantage of GroupSave for Smaller Groups with ScotRail. Enjoy a third off your ticket price when traveling with three to five people. This can be used at weekends and off-peak in the week. Click here for more details.
9. Go West
If you are looking to enjoy everything Edinburgh has to offer but needing a little escape from the hustle and bustle at the end of the day, then go Glasgow. It’s becoming ever more popular to go West for the Fest as you can enjoy all the entertainment but stay in great places at a better price. We have many hotels near both Glasgow Queen Street and Central Station and with a 50 minute journey, you’ll be in the belly of the beast in no time. Why not take a picnic for the train as you can also bring your own alcoholic beverage to enjoy from 10am and 9pm. Find all out Glasgow accommodation here.
10. Prepare for the weather
Although August would be considered a sunny month in Edinburgh, it is possible you’ll experience all 4 seasons in the day. It’s all about layers. Pack everything from your cagoule to your sunglasses and a cosy jumper inbetween. An umbrella is also a good shout for those summer showers. However, you can always enjoy the alfresco atmosphere in the beer gardens as most have a shelter available. So make like a good cub scout and always ‘Be Prepared’.