Edinburgh Fringe Festival

What To Do At The Edinburgh Fringe

Culture /

The world's largest arts festivals is in full swing until 29 August

This post may contain affiliate links. Learn more

It’s time for the Edinburgh Fringe. Whether you’re a veteran of dodging flyers on the Mile, or this will be your first experience of the fantastically eclectic festival, this is a guide to help you with exactly what to do at the Edinburgh Fringe.

Every August, the world flocks to Edinburgh to watch, perform and wander the dreamy streets of the Scottish capital. There’s an incredible volume and variety of shows to discover; but to cut through the noise, here’s everything you need to know. 


Edinburgh might be the capital of comedy, but sheer amount of shows on offer is no joke! Watch anything from Apollo-headliners to university cabaret troupes. For the thesps, perhaps Beckett Satire ‘Godot is a Woman’ will appeal, or maybe ‘Unfortunate’, a sassy lampoon of the Little Mermaid à la Wicked. Of course, the Fringe is probably best known for its comedy: you’d be remiss to miss the big names, like the ever-funny Ed Gamble and Tim Vine – hang around long enough and you might even bump into some of your favourite comedians buying chips post-curtain call (as this writer did). But the real joy of the Fringe isn’t the big tickets, but the up-and-comers – ones to watch include TikTok’s Horatio Gould and Amsterdam-based Mexican comic Lara Ricote. Look further and be sure to seek out the weird and wonderful acts, such as beatbox-surrealist-comedy-duo, 2 Mouthed Men. Who knows, they might be the next big thing. 

Whether it’s the next smash-hit musical or play (both Six and Fleabag saw their breakthrough runs at the Fringe), or being hypnotised in front of family and friends, there really is something for everyone…

Photo 1 of
'Unfortunate' show poster


Show bio: From multi-award-winning Fat Rascal Theatre and fresh from complete sell out runs around the UK comes this critically acclaimed hit parody musical.

Join everyone’s favourite Disney Diva, Ursula, as she gives her take on what really happened all those years ago under the sea.

Cruella told her side, and Maleficent’s had her moment. Now the legendary queer queen is ready to spill, in this tell-all tale of sex, sorcery and suckers. Tickets here.

2 Mouthed Men - beatboxing comedy duo

2 Mouthed Men

Show bio: Two men. Two mics. Too many sick beats. Imagine the best pub gig you’ve ever been to; then add a healthy amount of beatboxing, a bowlful of comedy, and a big dollop of funky beats. Whether through their beat-centric sketches or contagious cheer, these boys won’t stop until you’re moving, grooving and laughing along. Join 2 Mouthed Men on their musical comedy odyssey, with plenty of sketches and songs to keep you toe-tapping and leg slapping. Tickets here.

Comedian Lara Ricote - what to do at the Edinburgh Fringe

Lara Ricote

Show bio: Lara’s a small Latin American girl (woman?) who won the Funny Women 2021 (right, “woman”) Stage Award and is now doing her first hour about what it’s like to be Latin and deaf and a girl who’s now a woman at the same time. You know, minority jokes for majority crowds. If you read this and you don’t come, what’s that say about you? Huh? You hate disabled people? Maybe come and prove you don’t! Love you. As seen on E4, Comedy Central and Dave. Tickets here. 

Comedian Horatio Gould - what to do at the edinburgh fringe

Horatio Gould

Show bio: Join South Coast Comedian of the Year finalist and viral sensation Horatio Gould, for a bold hour of high-octane stand-up about everything from hyper-reality to pegging. Star of the viral podcast Boys Gone Wild, Horatio has gained 30 million views this year alone on social media as well as writing and directing hit web series Fin vs The Internet. With his subversive and off-beat style this work in progress hour is a must watch. ‘Will be this country’s Judd Apatow’ (- Seann Walsh). Tickets here.

Godot Is A Woman show at the Edinburgh Fringe

Godot is a Woman

Show bio: In 1953 a man wrote a play about waiting. In 1988 he sued five women for trying to perform it. In 2001 Madonna released What It Feels Like for a Girl. It’s 2022 and we’re still waiting. Since Waiting For Godot was written, non-men across the world have wanted to fill the boots of Didi and Gogo. Nearly 70 years later, the playwright is dead, but his estate still says no. Samuel Beckett? …Thank u, next. Tickets here.

Ed Gamble Electric Poster

Ed Gamble

Show bio: He’s been on the road since February, played three sold-out nights at London’s iconic Hackney Empire and now Ol’ Broken Pancreas is charged up and ready to flick the switch on even more nights of attention seeking. Co-host of the award-winning mega-hit podcast Off Menu with James Acaster, judge on Great British Menu, Taskmaster champion and host of Taskmaster the Podcast, with his own special Blood Sugar available worldwide on Amazon Prime. Also seen/heard on Mock the Week, Live at the Apollo, QI, Would I Lie to You and on Radio X alongside Matthew Crosby. Tickets here. 


Don’t worry too much – a number of hotels are still taking bookings. For the cosmopolitan traveller, the Balmoral and its iconic clock by Waverley Station will strike a chord with you, or for a stylish family-run boutique stay look no further than the Dunstane Houses. A new opening might be the one for you, with the Gleneagles Townhouse in St. Andrew Square. Or why not try another city entirely – Glasgow is less than an hour away by train, and offers a plethora of options. 

Edinburgh Festival Fringe: The Best Hotels in Edinburgh


Dulse, new restaurant opening in Edinburgh

Maybe now is a good time to test run the recently opened Dulse restaurant, by chef Dean Bank, which focuses on Scottish seafood dishes with a modern twist (think: lobster crumpets served up with yuzu brown butter).

Alternatively, for lunch, book a table at Wedgwood the Restaurant, which offers a speedy set menu to satiate EdFringers between shows and exploration, featuring a constantly changing selection of seasonal Scottish game (August is grouse season, after all) and locally foraged ingredients.

And finally, for dinner, The Heron offers relaxed fine dining with views of Edinburgh’s picturesque Water of Leith. Tomas Gormley and Sam Yorke are the duo behind this new opening and it’s already received rave reviews for its masterclass in how to use Scotland’s seasonal produce (not to mention heritage breed meat).

Keep It Green

Famously, performers at the Fringe will hand you enough flyers to wallpaper your living room. Not all flyers are created equal in terms of eco credentials, either, so be sure to recycle where possible – but be aware not all can be recycled due to their plastic coating. 

To keep your carbon footprint down, C&TH recommends taking a train to the Fringe instead of flying. Less stress, and it allows you time to plan a packed itinerary of first-class entertainment. 

Edinburgh Festival Fringe: Edinburgh in 48 Hours – The WeekenderBest Bars in Edinburgh