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Edinburgh Fringe Festival

The UK's slightly nutty festival!

Edinburgh Fringe Festival

[ When ]Month of August

[ City ]Edinburgh

[ Good For ]Music, comedy, dance, art, theatre and cabaret lovers. There‚Äôs something for just about everyone!

[ Weather ]Mild

[ Crowd ]50,000 +

[ Cost ]$$

[ Sex Work ]

Sex work is legal but pimping and kerb crawling is illegal.

[ Sexy Score ]  

Edinburgh Fringe Festival is the world's largest arts festival. Running for 25 days in August it showcases big name acts from the worlds of comedy, dance, theatre, art and cabaret, as well as up and coming performers. Shows, performances and exhibitions are held all across the city, in small and large venues. During the festival the whole city comes alive, full of performers, visitors and locals alike, who all come out to see the shows and experience the nightlife this gathering of so many different people creates. The street fair held along the Royal Mile is a great way to explore the festival and watch the street performers display their crafts.

Getting There

Flying is the easiest way to get to Edinburgh from an international perspective. However if your coming from another city in Scotland or even the UK, catching the train is probably the cheapest and easiest way of getting there since the railway network is so well connected. Driving is another option, but remember to think ahead about where you will park your car. Bus services like Mega Bus and National Express also offer cheap tickets from cities across the country.
Getting around Edinburgh is easy. The easiest way to get around is by foot, but public transport buses are also plentiful and are a great option for those with sore feet, or a trip across the city.

Where to Stay

Edinburgh has a wide range of accommodation available to visitors ranging from backpackers hostels to 5 start hotels, so you aren't short of choices of places to stay. Remember to book early though, as room's book out extremely quickly!

Sexy Score

While it is not the main purpose of the festival, the nightlife during the festival and the atmosphere it creates can lead to some late night romances.

Sex in other Cities Tipsheet
  • Explore the city! Edinburgh is a great walking city, so get out, get yourself a walking map and explore. This is the best way to see the city, especially the 'old' part of town. During the day you'll see all the street performers out and about and feel like a part of the festival.
  • Buy tickets early. There are so many performances and shows during the Fringe, it can be a bit overwhelming flicking through the program. If there is something you definitely want to see, book it early, don't hope tickets will still be available on the day, because they most likely won't be, especially if it's a well known performer.
  • Be spontaneous. Leave plenty of free time to do whatever comes up. Sometimes the things you did or saw because you bought tickets on the day because 'why not?!' are the ones you remember most!
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What could go wrong

With the huge numbers of people who flock to the city for the festival each year, the risk of pick-pockets increases sharply. Remember to keep all your valuables safe and close at hand and don't leave valuables unattended for any amount of time.

With the festival not being centralised to a specific area, if you need help in an emergency, the best way to go about it is to call the emergency services. The number for this in the UK and Scotland is 112.

Where to get help

SamedayDoctor Edinburgh is open 7 days a week and offers instant HIV tests and HDUO HIV tests as well as full STD/STI screens and sexual health advice and treatment. All services are provided by appointment as well as on a walk in basis.

Contact details:
Waterside House
19 Hawthornbank Lane
Phone: 0131 220 9416

Lothian Sexual Health clinics offer a range of services including STI/STD testing, free condoms, HIV testing and pregnancy tests. There are clinics located across the city of Edinburgh at the following addresses:

10A Union Street
(Service for Gay and bi-sexual men only)
10a Union Street Edinburgh EH1 3LU EH1 3LU
Phone: 0131 537 8300
Tuesday 5.30pm - 7.30pm (Walk-In Only)

Chalmers Sexual Health Clinic
2a Chalmers Street, Edinburgh EH3 9ES
Phone: 0131 536 1070
Walk-in clinic M-F 8.30-10am. For general booked appointments phone 0131 563 1070 on a Wednesday after 2pm

For more clinics in Edinburgh that provide sexual health services visit:®ion=3fa5cc9e-4744-4da1-9a87-bbbc5fc64e4c,


Main image: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Thumbnail: Chris Smith

Want to know more?

Sex on holiday happens.

Whether planned or not, away from home we lose at least some of our inhibitions
and may take more risks than we would at home. 

This is ok, it’s what makes travelling so exciting.
Accepting this before we go is the first step to planning.

To help you get home with no more than a bruised bank account
and awesome memories, here are some useful tips:

  • Carry condoms. Pack condoms before you leave home. Condoms aren’t always readily available or good quality so grab some before you leave and carry a supply in your handbag or wallet. Holidays and a sense of freedom doesn’t make you less susceptible to STIs so take care every time you have sex.
  • Have an STI test before you go and after you get back. Click here for testing locations.
  • Sex workers in other countries are not always in a safe environment or hold the same standards of safer sex and STI testing as they do in Australia. Use condoms and insist on using them.
  • Holidays can encourage us to try drugs and drink more alcohol than we might at home. Your body is still your body, regardless of where you are – know your limits and keep to them. Drugs and alcohol can impair our ability to keep our wits about us and recognise dangers – in a foreign place this becomes even more important. 

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  • Comment Link anonymous Tuesday, 02 December 2014 03:25 posted by anonymous

    ah Scotland is just magical all round! Edinburgh is SO cool, and the arts and culture really come alive with the fringe festival! I didn't plan ahead last time I visited, and only caught one cabaret show - but will definitely book in advance next time I go!