If you’re planning a trip to Edinburgh, you might be wondering when is the best time to visit. In terms of weather, the best time to go is during the summer months when the weather is warmer, days are long and there’s less rain (although this is Scotland, so don’t bank on it). The other drawcard of visiting in summer is the Fringe Festival which attracts people from all over the world. The downside is the bigger crowds which drive prices up for accommodation and makes it harder to get into tourist attractions and restaurants. If you’re from a hot place that sees mild weather all year round, you might find that ‘summer’ in Edinburgh is a little ambiguous. That said, it can sometimes reach up to 31°C in July and August.

On the flip side, the colder months can be a great time to experience the medieval charm of the city and the cosiness of the pubs (especially if you live somewhere that doesn’t have a ‘proper’ winter).  

What is the weather like in Edinburgh?

Below are the average high and low temperatures in Edinburgh throughout the year:

MONTH

AVERAGE HIGH (°C)  

AVERAGE LOW (°C)  

January 

6

1

February

7

1

March

9

2

April

11

4

May 14 6
June  17 9
July 19 11
August  18 11
September 16 9
October  13 6
November  9 3
December  7 1

Spring (March to June)

Best for: fewer tourists, lower prices, spring colours, Edinburgh Children’s Festival

Spring is usually one of the drier months with bright, crisp and breezy days. There can still be a sharp nip in the air, especially at the beginning of spring, so bring plenty of layers and a coat to keep you warm if it’s on the chillier side. It’s an amazing time to walk around the city’s parks, squares and gardens as the trees start to blossom and flowers bloom and brighten up the city. Late spring is also a great time to visit with the 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 great time for the whole family.

Summer (June to September)

Best for: good weather, the Fringe Festival 

Weather-wise, June to August is the best time to visit with long days and lots of sunlight. It’s also the best time to visit if you love the arts. The Edinburgh Fringe is a three-week festival held in August and is the largest arts festival in the world. It’s a fantastic celebration of art and culture featuring artists, comedians and performers from all over the world. As you can imagine, it’s the busiest time of the year and there are large crowds left, right and centre. Accommodation prices can skyrocket and it can be hard to get a table for some scran. If you’re visiting in summer, it’s worth booking accommodation a couple of months in advance. 

Autumn (September to December)

Best for: International Storytelling Festival, smaller crowds, autumn colours 

Autumn is surprisingly lovely with long hours of daylight and clear skies. The temperature drops slightly as the summer dwindles out and it can be a bit wetter than other times of the year, but the days and evenings are generally mild and pleasant. By the end of October, the temperature drops quite dramatically and you’ll definitely need a winter coat to keep you warm. Autumn can also be a more peaceful time to visit as the throngs of tourists who visit for the Fringe Festival have been and gone. 

Winter (December to March)

Best for: Burns Night, Hogmanay (New Year’s Eve)

Winter days are long, cold and dark. Although you might get the occasional sunny day which makes you appreciate the crisp winter air, there’s not much daylight and it can seem quite grey. 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 getting cosy with a mulled wine or a whiskey around a log fire and listening to live music that little bit better. 

The Edinburgh Christmas Market is pretty special with six weeks of festive spirit in the heart of the city centre. Now one does New Year’s Eve (Hogmanay) quite like the Scots and Edinburgh puts on quite the party 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 January 25th you might also get to experience a Burns Night supper to celebrate the life of the famous Scottish poet, Robert Burns. Think haggis, poetry, a whiskey (or three) and belting your heart out to Auld Lang Syne. It’s a hoot.

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