The best time to visit Edinburgh is during the summer (June to August) when the weather is warmer, there's less rain (although this is Scotland, so don’t bank on it!), and the days are longer.
There's also the renowned Fringe Festival held every August, which attracts thousands of people from all over the world. The colder months are still a great time to visit Edinburgh as long as you bring an umbrella and a warm coat – plus, the moody Scottish weather lends itself to the city's ancient castles and cosy pubs.
What's the weather like in Edinburgh?
Below are the average monthly temperatures in Edinburgh:
Average high (°C)
Average low (°C)
Best for: fewer tourists, spring colours, Edinburgh Children’s Festival
Spring brings brighter days after a long winter. The days are crisp and breezy so you'll need a warm coat and a beanie, especially for the mornings. It's a pretty time to walk around the city’s parks, squares and gardens as the trees and flowers start to blossom. Late spring is a great time to travel with kids as the Edinburgh International Children’s Festival is on. This nine-day festival celebrates the best of children’s dance and theatre and promises a memorable time for the whole family.
Best for: good weather, the Fringe Festival
If you’re from a hot place, you might find that ‘summer’ in Edinburgh is slightly ambiguous! July and August are usually the warmest, sunniest months, but highs rarely exceed the low to mid-20s. The Edinburgh Fringe in August is the highlight of summer — this three-week event is the largest arts festival in the world, featuring acts from up-and-coming and world-class performers. As you can imagine, it's also the busiest time of year so accommodation prices can skyrocket. It's worth booking your accommodation months in advance to avoid missing out.
Best for: International Storytelling Festival, smaller crowds, autumn colours
Autumn, or at least the beginning of the season, is generally mild and pleasant. The temperature drops in late September and rainfall can be heavier, but crowds dwindle so you'll have better photo ops at all popular sites. By the end of October, the mornings and evenings can be quite crisp so you'll need a winter coat to keep warm.
Best for: Christmas markets, Burns Night, Hogmanay
Winter days in Scotland are long, cold and dark. But it’s not all doom and gloom. Winter is an excellent time to eat, drink and be merry inside Edinburgh’s abundant pubs. There’s something about cold weather that makes drinking mulled wine around a log fire even more enjoyable.
If you're around at Christmas, the Edinburgh Christmas Market is a great place to embrace the festive cheer. And, if you're around for New Year, even better! No one does New Year’s Eve (Hogmanay) quite like the Scots, and Edinburgh puts on quite the show with street parties, firework displays and lively ceilidh dancing in Princes Street Gardens.
Never tried ceilidh dancing? No worries. The only requirement is enthusiasm and a sense of humour. If you’re in Edinburgh (or anywhere in Scotland) on 25th January, you might also get to experience a Burns Night supper, which celebrates the life of the famous Scottish poet, Robert Burns. Think haggis, poetry, a whisky (or two) and belting your heart out to Auld Lang Syne. It’s a hoot.
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