Where to stay during the Edinburgh Festival

This article is from 2020

Where to stay during Edinburgh Festivals

Save money with festival camping

Don't be a Fringe novice, book your Edinburgh Festival accommodation like a pro

Organising travel accommodation can be a minefield at the best of times. Finding accommodation for Edinburgh Festivals is a royal pain if you're not clever about it. The good news is, there are loads of options and still time to book. So if this is your first trip to Edinburgh during festival season and you're not sorted yet, don't worry, we're here to help with our guide of places to stay during the Fringe and where to find them. If it's not your first time, well here is that advice anyway.

The 2020 Edinburgh Festival runs from Fri 7–Mon 31 Aug and it's advised that you book Fringe accommodation and tickets to the hottest shows you really don't want to miss as far in advance as possible.


If you're looking for a place to stay that is quintessentially Edinburgh, AirBnB is a great bet for local digs with plenty of character. There's all manner of apartments, townhouses, rooms and mansions to choose depending on your budget. We found this affordable entire flats, private rooms for £60 or under. Or if you feel like it, you could even stay in this 'Quaint historic gate house' for £195 a night. There are loads of options still available during the Fringe period and more and more people open up their homes year on year meaning you're spoilt for choice.


It used to be the case that booking a hotel meant spending the most money but in Edinburgh you can find a small handful of budget hotels priced from £41. They sell out fast however, so book well in advance. But don't panic; there are over 3338 hotels in the city, so you're sure to find one to suit your budget.

If you're not looking to budget and would prefer to drop serious coin for a couple of nights' luxury accommodation during the festival, win over your loved one and generally make like a festival A-lister, Edinburgh has plenty of five star hotels with men in tartan waiting to open the foyer doors for you. The Waldorf Astoria, The Balmoral, Radisson Collection Hotel all come with the kind of trappings you'd expect from a world class establishment. Here's to champagne breakfasts every day of the fest.
Find more at booking.com

Where to stay during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

image: The Balmoral

Secret Escapes

For hotel deals that are most often not listed elsewhere you can turn to Secret Escapes. The secret stays are kept under wraps and revealed only to those who sign up, but it's free and boasts up to 60% off luxury hotels and stays. Deals change all the time so it's worth keeping an eye out, and when it comes to hotels for the Fringe, don't rule out Glasgow as an option, it's just 48 minutes away on the express train.


Edinburgh has long been a backpacker favourite. And where the backpackers go, there will always be hostels. If you are cool with bunk beds, snoring roommates, a shared kitchen, developing your pool game and an all-round great communal atmosphere, hostels are where it's at. Oh, and cheap… how could we forget? Beds run from around a tenner to £65 per night plus any extras, like a continental breakfast. We've checked in the heat of August and there's still loads of availability come Fringe time. Check out any of the following: The Hostel, CoDE Pod Hostel, Castle Rock and Scottish YHA – all good options among a long list of others.
Find more at hostelworld.com/Edinburgh


Didn't know you could camp for Edinburgh Festivals? You can, and we don't mean by rocking over to Arthur's Seat and pitching up by St Anthony's Chapel. The Edinburgh Festival campsite is open throughout Thu 6– Mon 31 Aug, and is just a short shuttle ride from town at The Royal Highland Centre. Open year after year, they know what they're doing with regards to facilities (like electric hook up pitches), activities and services.

Options begin at £16 per adult per night on a 'Bring Your Own Tent' pitch, while a pre-pitched option starts at £27, so this is perfect for anyone operating on a small budget. And of course, there's glamping too in the form of pre-pitched Bell Tents.


With 13,443 hosts in Edinburgh, there's plenty of opportunity to bag yourself a free tour guide within a highly active community of people who understand the meaning of 'travel karma'. Stays are of the short-term variety and couchsurfing is definitely for the more adventurous and sociable types. Be sure to read all the reviews first and vet your host ahead of your stay.