When to go to Edinburgh

Edinburgh's weather, festivals, events and public holidays

By Will Fulford-Jones

There isn’t really a best or a worst time to visit Edinburgh: it all depends on what you want from your visit

Weather

Scottish weather is legendary for being changeable. Winters can be quite chilly and summers are generally pleasant, but the rain is a constant threat all year round. There's no guarantee of good weather at any time, but between the months of May and October, when the days get longer and you can finally get your thermals off, the city is probably at its best.

Average temperature and rainfall

Jan  1-6°C / 34-43°F – 64mm / 2.5in
Feb  1-7°C / 34-45°F – 45mm / 1.8in
Mar  2-9°C / 36-48°F  – 52mm / 2.0in
Apr  3-11°C / 37-52°F – 43mm / 1.7in
May  6-14°C / 43-57°F – 49mm / 1.9in
June 9-17°C / 48-63°F – 53mm / 2.1in
July  11-19°C / 52-66°F – 58mm / 2.3in
Aug  10-19°C / 50-66°F – 53mm / 2.1in
Sept  9-16°C / 48-61°F – 62mm / 2.4in
Oct   6-13°C / 43-55°F – 70mm / 2.8in
Nov  3-9°C / 37-48°F – 61mm / 2.4in
Dec  1-7°C / 34-45°F – 67mm / 2.6in

Festivals & events

The slew of cultural festivals means August is the liveliest and most interesting month of the year. However, it's also the busiest: the pavements are awash with tourists and street performers, and there are queues virtually everywhere. Similarly, the new Year's Hogmanay celebrations draw hordes each year, but aren't to everyone's taste.

See all festivals & events in Edinburgh

Public holidays

Edinburgh shares some public holidays with the whole of the UK and others with only the rest of Scotland, and even has one holiday of its own. Many shops remain open on public holidays, but public transport services are less frequent. Virtually everything is closed on Christmas Day, and most businesses are shut on New Year's Day.

New Year’s Day Jan 1 (or following Mon if it falls on a weekend)
January 2 Holiday Jan 2 (or first non-holiday weekday if it falls on a weekend)
Good Friday varies
Early May Bank Holiday first Mon in May
Spring Bank Holiday last Mon in May
Victoria Day (Edinburgh only) Mon before May 24
Summer Bank Holiday first Mon in Aug
St Andrew’s Day Nov 30 (or following Mon if it falls on a weekend)
Christmas Day Dec 25 (or following Mon if it falls on a weekend)
Boxing Day Dec 26 (or first non-holiday weekday if it falls on a weekend)

More travel information

Getting to Edinburgh
Getting around Edinburgh
Fast facts A-Z

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