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Edinburgh Capital of the Scenic Arts

Edinburgh, one of the most charming cities in Europe, the cradle of literary scholars and the setting for many novels, has been hosting the Edinburgh International Festival (EIF), one of the most celebrated in the scenic arts, since 1947. During the festival, dance, opera, music and theatre don their finest raiment and reveal their myriad facets, from classical to innovative, turning the Scottish capital into a veritable crucible of inspiration and creativity that acts as a magnet, drawing huge audiences eager to try out new sensations and get carried away by the sheer size and variety of events on offer.

Like some “high feast of culture”, in addition to filling the major theatres and concert halls, the festival programme encompasses the whole city, so that even bars, shops, streets and any venue worth its salt is turned into yet another stage. A stroll along the Royal Mile, for instance, can end up becoming an adventure in itself, buzzing as it is with performances, concerts and shows of all kinds.

This year, the Edinburgh Festival runs from 5 to 29 August. On account of the large number of visitors concentrated in the city during that period, it is advisable to book accommodation some months in advance, to avoid having nowhere to sleep or ending up forking out a fortune for it. As for getting tickets for the host of different events – which first went on sale in January – you can buy them online on the festival website.

And There’s More Too!

While it might seem incredible, Edinburgh’s festival offerings go far beyond the big event itself. Indeed, it extends through the whole summer.  So, for those of you who haven’t had enough with the Edinburgh Festival proper, here are some of the other festivals where you can quench your thirst for more culture and more events:

- Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival. The ideal run-up to the Edinburgh Festival is a jazz festival! Make sure you don’t miss the street performances and celebrations which take place at the start of the festival and which, for one day, turn the Grassmarket area into a sort of New Orleans at the height of the Mardi Gras. From 15 to 24 July 2016.

- Edinburgh Art Festival. Local emerging art and new international art trends are the major draws at this event which is held in museums, art galleries and art studios around the city. From 28 July to 28 August 2016.

- Edinburgh Festival Fringe. An alternative version of the Edinburgh Festival which showcases new talent in the scenic arts. From 5 to 29 August 2016.

- Edinburgh International Book Festival. In a city of literary figures like Edinburgh – it was the first to be designated City of Literature by UNESCO – a festival dedicated to books would not be out of place. Charlotte Square is the main meeting point, the spot where exhibitors gather and numerous activities are held (talks, public lectures, book signings, etc.) From 13 to 29 August 2016.

- Edinburgh Mela Festival. All kinds of music and dance are hosted at this festival, organised by Edinburgh’s ethnic minorities. Held in Leith Links park, it is full of colour and good vibes. From 27 to 28 August 2016.

- Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. Parades by military bands, bagpipe concerts and spectacular firework displays, held against the scenic backdrop of Edinburgh Castle. What more could you ask for? From 5 to 27 August 2016.

Come and discover Edinburgh and revel in its magnificent festivals – book your Vueling here!

Text by Los Viajes de ISABELYLUIS