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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.


  • A month ago today we were all waking up with vivid memories of the stunning #Hogmanay Fireworks, oh how time has flown by since 😮 thanks to @snapsbyshirin for this amazing shot, will you be here for Hogmanay in 2019? 🎆🎇🏰🏰🎇🎆
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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
  • It's getting mighty chilly in Edinburgh, hopefully soon we'll be treated to sights like this from Calton Hill 😍😍 thanks @jhgraphy for the amazing photo! ❄️🌨️🥶🌨️❄️
If you have a great photo from your stay with us then tag #CastleRockHostel and your pic might be up next!

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.

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  • It's World Bee Day!🐝 Did you know that in addition to being one of the primary pollinators, thus ensuring food and food security, sustainable agriculture and biodiversity, bees significantly contribute to the mitigation of climate change and environmental conservation? In the long-term, the protection of bees and the beekeeping sector can help reduce poverty and hunger, as well as preserve a healthy environment and biodiversity. Scientific studies have proven that bees have become increasingly endangered.  It is only through joint efforts that we can ensure the protection of bees and their habitats.

You can help to keep the bees happy by planting bee-friendly flowers, creating bee baths, avoiding harmful pesticides and protecting their habitat. 🐝❤️
  • Neat, on the rocks, or with a splash of water...no matter how you drink it, today's the day to celebrate whisky. Happy World Whisky Day! Slàinte mhath! 🥃
  • You make our world go round.😍 📸: @neilymclennan
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