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Free Fringe: Your Guide to Saving Money This August

So you’ve arrived in Edinburgh, checked into your hostel and you’re ready to hit the town for your first show of the day. But after a few hours of gallivanting around you’re in need of something not so heavy on the pocket. So without further ado, we give you the best free and cheap things to do this August in Edinburgh.

PBH’s Free Fringe

Founded by Peter Buckley Hill (PBH), the Free Fringe is the OG of free shows in Edinburgh. Giving performers the chance to use a venue for free on the condition that they do not charge their audience. The audience is then invited to pay what they think the performance deserves. The Free Fringe is credited with bringing back an “idealistic spirit to the Fringe” (B Dessau May 2015). Whether you spend an entire day trying your luck at these smaller shows or just catch one on the way back from the pub one night, we’re sure you won’t be disappointed by the talent on offer and how relatively little it will set you back.

Courtesy of PBH's Free Fringe

Daily Ceilidh – Stramash

The Cowgate hosts a huge amount of shows and is truly an epicentre for excitement during August. But with many of the venues focusing exclusively on comedy, it can get a bit repetitive if you’re looking for more than a few laughs. Luckily, the largest live music bar in Edinburgh has just the remedy with their craftily named Daily Ceilidh (that rhymes just so you know). Every day the air will be filled with celtic music and you’ll be talked through the basics of Scotland’s national dance: The Ceilidh! Entry is free, the bar is fully stocked with everything needed to get you in that dancing mood and they even serve food until 11:45. Check out their schedule here!

Stramash Logo - Cheap Fringe
Courtesy of Stramash

Sandeman’s Free Walking Tours

Sandeman’s is the original gratuity based walking tour company and operates all over Europe. Their helpful, knowledgeable guides will be able to show you the best of our fair city in their 2.5 hour free walking tours. Explore the Royal Mile, Greyfriar’s Kirk, the Grassmarket and much more as you get a taste of what Edinburgh is all about without spending a fortune. You can find them outside the Starbucks near Tron Kirk on the Royal Mile or if you stay at one of our Edinburgh hostels they’ll come collect you right from our reception!

Sandemans New Edinburgh Tour - Cheap Fringe
Courtesy of Sandemans

Ride a Bike – Just Eat Cycles

Sometimes the busy city streets and masses of people can get a bit much and you just want to escape for a bit. Well you’re in luck! Edinburgh has over 75km of bike tracks throughout the city which cut under, over and around the major roads so you can ride quietly out of the city without seeing a car all day. Routes from Edinburgh along the Union Canal (from Fountainbridge) and the Water of Leith are easy to reach from the Old Town, but the highlight is surely the Innocent Railway which runs under part of Arthur’s Seat and then onto another track that reaches Portobello Beach. All this will cost you just ¬£3 for 24 hours worth of 1 hour rides and is a great way to see parts of the city many tourists never get to explore. You can find out where to get a bike, how to sign up and more at their website here.

Just Eat Cycles - Cheap Fringe
Courtesy of Just Eat Cycles

Hostel Card Deals

Each of our 3 Edinburgh hostels has partnered with a bunch of the city’s bars and restaurants to help you save a few Pounds so you can see that one comedian you’ve always dreamt of seeing. Ask your receptionists for a run down of the best deals in town and you could save up to 25% at some great Edinburgh eateries and pubs!

There’s plenty to do in Edinburgh this August that won’t break the bank and we’re sure you’ll find plenty more to keep you entertained on a budget. Edinburgh may be an expensive place to visit during Fringe, but keep your eyes peeled and you may just find it can exceed your expectations without depleting your bank balance.

Still looking for a place to stay? Then check out our 3 Edinburgh hostels here! Or head out into the Highlands at one of our 6 Hostels spread out across the stunning Highlands and Isles of Scotland.

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