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Edinburgh | Courtesy Of The City Of Edinburgh Council
Edinburgh | Courtesy Of The City Of Edinburgh Council

18 Things to Do in Edinburgh This Spring

Picture of Tori Chalmers
Updated: 2 May 2017
Screw spring cleaning — eat all the chocolate eggs, take advantage of those lighter nights, and enjoy the tempting concoction of brand new openings, exhibitions, festivals and fun things to do in Edinburgh over this spritely season.


Learn cool facts at the Edinburgh International Science Festival

📅 Saturday, 1st April – Sunday, 16th April

Located in 29 exciting city venues, the Edinburgh International Science Festival, which happens to be the largest science fest in Europe, is a chance to truly explore what it means to live in an information-infused age. Choose from a wondrous potion of talks, debates, workshops and screenings and discover fascinating science facts relating to topics like food, space, society, environment, health, sustainability and communications. Making science cool one event at a time!

Tickets: Varied

📍 Edinburgh, Scotland

Turn those fingers green at Gardening The Earth

📅 Saturday, 8th April – Sunday, 9th April 

Just one example of the enticing array of fun-filled activities at the Edinburgh International Science Festival, Gardening The Earth explores ways society can make food production friendlier to the environment. Perfect for the whole family, swing by the Botanics and take the food plant ID test before designing your own crop. Who knows? You could be onto something!

Tickets: Free

📍Royal Botanic Garden, Arboretum Place, Edinburgh, Scotland

Get your vegan on at the Scottish Vegan Festival

📅 Sunday, 9th April

A celebration of all things vegan, the Scottish Vegan Festival, held at the Corn Exchange, is a family-friendly charitable event jam-packed with multiple stalls, talks, gastronomic delights, music, a bar, kids zone and more. Run by Farplace Animal Rescue Ltd, this outreach festival is a perfect chance to discover new fair trade, cruelty free products and learn more about vegan living with likeminded folk.

Tickets: £3

📍Edinburgh Corn Exchange, 10 New Market Road, Edinburgh, Scotland

Fulfill all foodie desires at The Old Town Street Food Fest

📅 Sunday, 16th April (and every spring and summer bank holiday)

Traverse through tasty uncharted territory with The Old Town Street Food Fest, a culinary adventure of new heights held at the Three Sisters. This delicious festival will feature the crème de la crème of pop-up foodie treats and vendors — think fancy pizzas, indulgent desserts and Afro-Caribbean concoctions — all from the comfort of the courtyard. The cherry on top is the menu of cool bands set to play while you satiate all culinary desires.

Tickets: Free

📍The Three Sisters, 139 Cowgate, Edinburgh, Scotland

Stretch those legs at the Simplyhealth Great Edinburgh Run

📅 Sunday, 23rd April

Not to be missed, the Great Edinburgh Run is the perfect Sunday activity for fitness lovers and those up for a challenge. As the only official run to meander through the city centre, this event takes runners on a speedy sightseeing tour of all the main Edinburgh landmarks. Starting at Holyrood Park, participants can choose between five or 10 miles. Go on — we dare you.

Tickets: £30

📍Holyrood Park, Queen’s Drive, Edinburgh, Scotland

Experience Scottish traditional arts at TradFest Dùn Èideann

📅 Wednesday, 26th April – Sunday, 7th May

A true discerning nod to Scotland’s deep-rooted heritage and ingrained traditions, TradFest Dùn Èideann is 12 days of non-stop traditional arts. Between the 131 events and 34 venues, people have a chance to dive head first into this resplendent showcase of arts and culture in the capital. 2017 welcomes two new categories — ‘local cultures’ and ‘The People’s Heritage’— destined to pay homage to this year’s status as ‘Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology’.

Tickets: Varied

📍 Edinburgh, Scotland



Have a dram a day for World Whisky Month!

📅 Monday, 1st May – Wednesday, 31st May

For some, May is a month to carry out spring cleaning. For the Scots, it’s Whisky Month! Fulfill all boozy desires like never before and celebrate whisky, Scotland’s national drink, with a plethora of whisky activities. From the World Whisky Day Gold Tour at the Scotch Whisky Experience (anticipate unusual single malts paired perfectly with chocolate), and a whisky adorned after-party at Angel’s Share to the Whisky Stramash, a spectacular event suited to whisky aficionados, there’s a whole lotta love for the water of life.

Tickets: Varied

📍 Edinburgh, Scotland

Soar to new electronic heights at Fly Open Air Festival

📅 Saturday, 20th May

Following a most successful debut, Fly Open Air is back and raring to go. This festival, which will take place at Hopetoun House, is set to welcome some of the best names in electronic music. Line up highlights include Bicep, Midland, Denis Sulta, Hunee, Artwork, and La La, to name a few. Music lovers can take advantage of the bespoke bars and street food market before a bouncing after party at Liquid Rooms.

Tickets: £42+

📍Hopetoun House, Queensferry, Edinburgh, Scotland

Dance to impress at the Edinburgh International Tango Festival

📅 Friday, 26th May – Monday, 29th May

Whether seasoned tango twirler or new to the groove, the Edinburgh International Tango Festival welcomes all. Partake in classes and workshops hosted by top tango teachers and hone in on those hypnotic dancing skills. Live music and DJs will add that extra pizzazz, whereas the two special evenings in Greyfriars Kirk are sure to make tango enthusiasts swoon. Don’t miss the milongas or tango café.

Tickets: £4+

📍 Edinburgh, Scotland

Get all hoppy and happy at the Edinburgh Craft Beer Festival

📅 Friday, 26th May – Sunday, 28th May

The Edinburgh Craft Beer Festival is a true tasting playground for those with a penchant for crafty brews. Located in the cool, urban Biscuit Factory, beer lovers can sample hoppy elixirs from 25 top breweries hailing from the likes of Scandinavia, mainland Europe, America and the UK. Naturally, the best of the Scots craft breweries will also be on hand to enchant with every sip. To top it off, guests can lap up culinary delights from The Pitt Street Food Market’s specially designed menu and groove out to tunes from live bands and guest DJs. And the best part — you only need one ticket for the lot!

Tickets: £38+

📍 The Biscuit Factory, 4 – 6 Anderson Place, Edinburgh, Scotland

Run like never before at the Edinburgh Marathon Festival

📅 Saturday, 27th May

Perhaps one of the biggest yearly events for avid runners, the Edinburgh Marathon is praised as one of the best road races out there, not to mention the fastest. Sprint past all the main city sights before legging it out to East Lothian, checking off important cultural landmarks as you go. Ready, steady, GO!

Tickets: Varied

📍 Edinburgh, Scotland

Relive those glory days through the songs at Spring Fest

📅 Saturday, 27th May – Sunday, 28th May

There’s no better way to celebrate the bank holiday weekend than Spring Fest, a two-day music festival in the Corn Exchange. Relive those glory days with top hits from girl band All Saints, rock out over songs from AC/DC band member Phil Rudd (who will be performing with his New Zealand band), and channel your inner teenage dirt bag with Wheatus.

Tickets: £49+

📍 Corn Exchange, 10 New Market Rd, Edinburgh, Scotland



Become a garden design goddess at the Gardening Scotland show

📅 Friday, 2nd June – Sunday, 4th June

If hashtags like #jungalow and #urbangarden feature in your feed on a daily basis, then consider the Gardening Scotland show a dream come true! Join over 400 exhibitors and like-minded green-fingered folk for a flower power plant extravaganza. As Scotland’s largest plant fair, this sweet-scented show will host leading garden designers, an abundance of plants and bunches of inspiration.

Tickets: £14

📍 Royal Highland Centre, Ingliston, Edinburgh, Scotland

Aim high and accept The Seven Hills Of Edinburgh challenge

📅 Sunday, 18th June

A mighty mission for the bold and determined, The Seven Hills Of Edinburgh is a running event with a Scottish twist. As if road running isn’t enough of a challenge, this event requires an array of cross country, road running, hill running and urban orienteering. Over the 14.3-mile route, runners will push their strength, sharpen those skills and reach an ascent and descent of 2200 feet, while traversing Edinburgh’s majestic hills as quickly as possible.

Tickets: Varied

📍Calton Hill, Edinburgh, Scotland

Drink gin by the gallon at Edinburgh Juniper Festival 2017

📅 Friday, 2nd June – Sunday, 4th June

Celebrate the joys of gin and make a toast to the Edinburgh Juniper Festival by savouring every sample in sight! Discover the hottest new gins from those in the know, stock up on your favourites, taste the most sumptuous tonics and wash it all down with more gin — and the first-class selection of street food. Make sure to catch any of the gin-related talks and visit each stall. It’s gin o’clock everywhere in Scotland!

Tickets: £21.50

📍Summerhall, 1 Summerhall, Edinburgh, Scotland

Embrace the community spirit at Leith Festival

📅 Saturday, 10th June – Sunday, 18th June

Overflowing with community spirit and city charm, Leith Festival showcases a splendid assortment of family-friendly events, all of which are curated by the good folk of Leith. Check out the schedule for activities relating to food, comedy, theatre, dance, performance art and so much more. You’ve gotta love Leith.

Tickets: Check Schedule

📍Leith, Edinburgh, Scotland

Laugh away at Ricky Gervais: Humanity Overview

📅 Thursday, 8th June – Friday, 9th June

Cheekier than most and witty beyond belief, Ricky is back with his 2017 stand-up extravaganza Ricky Gervais: Humanity Overview. Head on over to the Playhouse and laugh until you can do so no more at his observations, oversights and general amusing comments. Referred to as ‘one of the most influential British comedians since Charlie Chaplin’, experiencing this man’s incorrigible ways and razor-sharp sense of humour live cannot be surpassed.

Tickets: £35+

📍Edinburgh Playhouse, 18-22 Greenside Ln, Edinburgh, Scotland

Channel your inner film buff at the Edinburgh International Film Festival

📅 Wednesday, 21st June – Sunday, 2nd July

Expect to be glued to the silver screen during the entire length of the Edinburgh International Film Festival. Through an epic exploration of fiction and documentary work, EIFF promotes and dabbles with new cinematic concepts made to enchant audiences across the globe. Whether film buff or screenplay writing specialist, there’s so much talent squeezed into one city.

Tickets: See EIFF Schedule

📍 Edinburgh, Scotland