Hot spot: Edinburgh

Artists of all descriptions push the boundaries at the world's biggest arts festival.
Jeff J Mitchell

Artists of all descriptions push the boundaries at the world's biggest arts festival.

Always a lively destination, Edinburgh cranks thinks up to a whole other level in August, when it hosts three major arts festivals. 

The largest, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, features big-name and up-and-coming performing artists and entertainers from around the world. 

With hundreds of venues citywide, you can take in the sites as you check out the latest in theatre, dance, musicals, circus, cabaret, comedy and just about any other performing art form you can think of. 

While many events are ticketed, there are always hundreds of free shows in bars and clubs, while The Mound and Royal Mile become hubs for street performers. 

The Edinburgh International and Edinburgh Art festivals take place simultaneously, as does the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo - an extravaganza of music, entertainment, theatre and fireworks set against the dramatic backdrop of Edinburgh Castle. 

With so much going on - last year's Fringe featured more than 50,000 performances of 3269 shows - it's important to either have a plan or be content to go with the flow. 

Book early for the biggest shows or be spontaneous and allow fliers, reviews, word of mouth and the best bargains at the half-price ticket hut to guide you to hidden gems. 

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 - Stuff

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