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It’s no secret that Edinburgh has two main annual tourism spikes when the restaurants and bars are full and the stream of happy faces adorn our cobbled streets and beautiful terraces. We know these seasons as “The Fringe” and “The Christmas Markets”.  But what are they about?


During August the summer reaches its peak as the comedic, bizarre and artsy stream into Edinburgh for the Fringe Festival as well as the Edinburgh International Festival, Edinburgh International Book Festival, The Royal Military Tattoo and the Edinburgh Art Festival. It’s a place of hidden venues and pop up bars where you can feel the energy in the air as the entire city celebrates almost non-stop for a month.


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Christmas Markets

Then when the cold weather rolls around and the days get to their shortest, Edinburgh finds another way to keep you entertained with the annual Christmas Markets and world famous Hogmanay. Walking down Princes Street the smell of mulled cider floats in the air, Christmas lights hang from every possible surface and Edinburgh transforms into a winter wonderland before one of the world’s biggest street parties to ring in the New Year which is of course Hogmanay!

Low Season Benefits

Edinburgh sure knows how to entertain, but what happens the rest of the year? Well with every up there must come a down and Edinburgh definitely slows down. But what if I told you this is the best time to see the “Athens of the North”; and here’s why!


Deals on the Essentials

You wouldn’t be on a site called Scotland’s Top Hostels if you weren’t a budget savvy traveler and the “Low Season” offers some great deals on trips to Bonnie Scotland that you wouldn’t find any other time of year. Flight deals on SkyScanner can get you to our beautiful city for a fraction of what it’d cost in August. While you’ll be pleased to know other essentials like accommodation and beer (yes, an essential) are significantly cheaper year round than the high seasons of August and December.

The Weather

While August is a summer playground and December has everyone wrapped up, the “Low Season” is your only real chance to see one of the UK’s most magical sights: Scotland in the Snow. Seeing a snow covered Edinburgh Castle Esplanade or feeling the snowflakes melt on your hand while strolling down the Royal Mile is one of the greatest experiences Edinburgh has to offer. Afterwards, retreat into one of our many whisky bars and huddle around a fire to try what the Scots lovingly call ‘The Water of Life”. Check out our Beginners Guide to Whisky here. 

Snow in Edinburgh
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There’s never a bad time to visit

Edinburgh is a city set up with so much to do and see that even we discover new things to check out every day, but with such an influx of tourists for such short periods it’s not a guarantee you’ll even tick off the big attractions you want to see if you only visit us during the High Season. So do yourself a favor and make Edinburgh your destination of choice in the “Low Season” to see everything this stunning city has to offer. Check out our three Edinburgh hostels here and book direct to save money!

Bonus: Heading out of the City

While we’re on the subject of travel deals, a trip to the Highlands or Isles of Scotland is never cheaper than our slower months of the year. We regularly have MacBackpackers tours leaving from our Castle Rock Hostel doors and if you check out the website or sign up to our mailing list here, you’ll be able to pick up 10%, 15% or even 20% off on our regular tours to the Isle of SkyeLoch Ness and the rest of the Scottish Highlands. Even better, you can book them during the winter and see the splendour of the heather blooming in the Highlands as spring begins plus save your money for the more important things on your trip. Check out our tours here.

Check out MacBackpackers on Instagram
  • Who's up to exploring beautiful Scotland this summer?😍 🙌 On our tours we do so much more than just look at the stunning scenery from the bus window, we go to explore castles, climb to the top of a mountain or swim in the legendary Loch Ness, we like to get up close and personal with our country. We take you to all the hidden gems that you won’t find in the guidebooks to give you a feel of the real Scotland.🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🥃
  • Fancy a wee trip to the Scottish islands this summer?⛵ Besides all our fantastic tours we also have ten amazing hostels around Bonnie Scotland.🏘️ One of them is situated in idyllic Oban, the famous "Gateway to the Isles". You can stay at @obanbackpackers and take the ferry to several beautiful islands around the west coast, like Mull, Iona and Staffa.🙌 @obanbackpackers opens its doors on the April 3rd.
  • The Three Sisters looking seriously dramatic covered in snow.🏔️🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿
📸: Our magnificent guide @markmacb
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