Edinburgh Festival 2012 Guide

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This year, as always, the Edinburgh Festival is the place to go for a truly cultural experience. But what you may not know is that the Edinburgh Festival is a generic term. Summer in this city is truly a collision of culture and chaos with not one but nine festivals to choose from between April and early September. There's the Film Festival, the International Festival, Festival Fringe, Book Festival, Military Tattoo, Jazz Festival, Art Festival, Edinburgh Mela and even the Festival of Politics. During the festival season the city’s population swells in ranks thanks to the visiting artists and tourists. Performers mill the streets in costume, street entertainers stake out the Royal Mile and a very cosmopolitan crowd enjoys the carnival atmosphere and the hospitality of the city replete café culture, cosy pubs, exciting nightlife and of course, great shopping and sight seeing.

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There is a lot to take in, including music performances from jazz to classical; contemporary dance and ballet; cutting edge and traditional theatre, as well as sparkling wit and alternative comedy. For film or book buffs there is the chance to see new films and to hear internationally renowned authors read from and discuss their latest work with a live audience. We've created a round up of hotels, restaurants and must see sights for you to take your pick of when you're in town. Where to stay For our full range of Edinburgh Festival hotels check our our hotels section. If you're hunting for a bargain stay while at the fringe, here's our top 3 Edinburgh Hotels under £100. The King James by Thistle 4*, Edinburgh fr £59 The George Hotel 4*, Edinburgh fr £79 Sheraton Grand Hotel and Spa 5*, Edinburgh fr £99 Where to eat If you've laughed yourself silly at all the stand up comedy and worked up an appetite. We've also picked out some restaurants for you. Metro West End Brasserie and Café Bar, Edinburgh Try some sophisticated a la carte dining in a fun and relaxed environment. The Courtyard Bar & Brasserie More a la carte dining in Leith, Edinburgh and an extensive wine list to choose from. Raj on the shore Restaurant, Edinburgh - a la carte dining Indian and Bangladeshi food with a great view of the historic Leith seaport. Bisque Bar & Brasserie, Edinburgh This place has an AA Rosette and the bar serves food from morning to night with a la carte dining in the brassierie. Getting there Here's your guide to getting around Edinburgh where you'll find information on getting around, to and from plus you can download maps. What to see Edinburgh Castle is the No 1 tourist attraction in Scotland. There are great panoramic views of Edinburgh as well as lots of nooks and crannies to explore.

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Grassmarket Edinburgh is the place to find unique artisan shops and vibrant pubs and restaurants. Housed in a medieval setting, a great atmosphere is guaranteed. Mary King's Close is a spooky place and supposedly home to more than the odd ghost or two, in fact it is the most haunted place in Scotland! Roslin Glen is one of Edinburgh's great walks - make sure you take the detour to Rosslyn Chapel and check out the 100 Green Man drawings. For news on the Edinburgh Fringe festival, you can check out this blog too - A Local's Guide to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.