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Many people know Edinburgh as the capital city of Scotland, and as the capital city of such an old country, it stands to reason that the city itself is steeped in a rich history of culture. Well, not many people know that a large part of Edinburgh’s history is in its festival culture. In fact, the city’s festival history stems back to World War II, when Edinburgh started the Edinburgh International Festival in order to bring out the best in the human spirit. Several festivals followed shortly after. And now, the city is known the world over for its diverse and engaging festival culture.

With that being said, it can be exciting to visit Edinburgh to interact with like-minded individuals, but the sheer amount of people and energy can be a bit daunting at first. That’s why I’ve created this handy guide to get you through your trip.

Know the layout

Whenever you’re venturing out into the unknown territory of a foreign country, you need to come prepared. One of the best ways to prepare yourself is to learn the layout. Read as many travel guides and maps as possible. Have your locations picked out well before you even begin your journey. Additionally, even if you have a good idea of the city’s layout, visit the official tourist office. They’ll provide you with the information you need.

Don’t Stretch Yourself Too Thin

Again, it can be very easy to get over excited and try to visit as many of the festivals as you can, but that can actually detract from your experience. Pick out a few of the ones that you truly want to see, and stick to those. Or, if you’re the spontaneous type, visit a few of the festivals on a whim. It’s up to you, but just don’t try to do too much. You’ll tire yourself quickly and end up regretting the trip in the first place.

Plan Accordingly

The Edinburgh Fringe Festival requires a bit of walking. Period. So you’ll need to dress accordingly. It doesn’t make much sense to wear uncomfortable or brand new shoes. Instead, wear what you’re comfortable in. Additionally, prepare for the elements. Scotland tends to receive a great deal of rain, so you’ll need to pack an umbrella or a hat of some sort. You’ll also want to bring light snacks and drinks. Nothing too over cumbersome, but make sure that you will be able to hydrate yourself and stay energized. It’ll be a long day.

Edinburgh Fringe Festival is one of the greatest experiences that Scotland can offer, but it can also be very intimidating to first-timers and foreigners. Make sure to come prepared and read this guide to make the most of your stay in Edinburgh.