Travel Postcard: 48 hours at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Fri Aug 12, 2011 6:30am EDT
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EDINBURGH (Reuters) - The Edinburgh Festival Fringe offers everything from street buskers and mimes to top-class singers, actors, comedians and cabaret stars at hundreds of venues around the Scottish capital and that's in addition to the international book, art, jazz festivals and the Military Tattoo, which are all part of the cultural cornucopia that is Edinburgh in August.

Reuters correspondents with local knowledge provide some helpful hints for enjoying 48 hours of crowds, comedy, theater, dance and art on the hilly, cobblestoned streets.

First Day

6 p.m. Book into your hotel and then hit the streets, probably after arriving at Edinburgh Waverley train station, which lies at the center of the city under the brooding shadow of Edinburgh Castle. Top tip: You can order a Fringe program before you go, online at

The Fringe website also advises you where and how to book tickets, so it is well worth consulting before you come to Edinburgh - and after you arrive.

Wander over to the Royal Mile and take in the sights and sounds in a city where more than 21,000 performers are ready to entertain you with over 2,500 shows.

One of the great spectacles of the Festival is the Military Tattoo, which caters for 220,000 spectators over its three-week run to August 27.

The Tattoo, with over 1,000 military and civilian performers, is sold out early in the year. But you can try your luck at the ticket office 33-34 Market Street, just round the corner from Waverley Station - or you can check at your hotel desk if any are available.

8 p.m. Head for some food and drink. Try the Royal McGregor pub at the heart of the Royal Mile. ( The pub is run by the McGregor family and boasts of its links to the MacGregor clan. Have a pint of local ale to slake your thirst and order from the traditional and modern food menu.   Continued...

<p>Performers from "The Gift of the Gorgon" walk along the Royal Mile to promote their show during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Scotland August 25, 2010. REUTERS/David Moir</p>