The best time to visit Edinburgh | A Locals Guide

I get asked this question a lot, and there’s no right or wrong answer. Edinburgh has so many beautiful things to see no matter the season, sometimes you get to see them all in one day if you are lucky and I always suggest a waterproof in your bag, even in the summer.

It’s getting close to Autumn and it’s by far my favourite time of year here (or anywhere) in Scotland, so its the perfect time to start planning a visit.


September – November:
This is my favourite time in the city. It hands down beats any other season here. It’s everything and the time I would most recommend for a visit over all other seasons. The tree’s turn delightful shades of burnt oranges and deep reds and the whole city feels like it has a magic warm glow in the evenings.

It’s the perfect weather for layering up with jumpers and a cosy scarf and walking the city on cool night, or people watching from a cafe or quaint bookstore window with a hot chocolate and a warm bun.


December – March:
You would think this would be the quietest time to visit the city, it’s often filled with the stragglers from the end of the festival, and some newcomers for the Christmas market. It doesn’t often snow in December but it’s always good to be prepared just incase.

The quietest time to visit the city is February – April. The peak of winter and our coldest months, and you can often get caught in a snow storm in Edinburgh early April. The snow doesn’t settle in the city all too often but it looks beautiful all the same. You have the Christmas market and the New Years celebrations with fireworks, and you can go round the best spots and see the Christmas lights on show!


April – June:
A little busier than the previous months, but Spring is still some of Edinburgh quietest. Late April to mid May you’ll find yourself surrounded by blossom tree’s and magnolias, it’s when the city starts flourish and rows of pink and white blossoms fill the streets and gardens. Hidden down lanes and framing church entrances, Blossom Watch begins!

You’ve also got the Beltane fire festival which celebrates the return of the summer!


June – August:
(And sometimes September) These are by far Edinburghs warmest months, you should still have a sneaky waterproof in your bag just incase because when it rains it pours at an unexpected moment and before you know it you are soaked through. Summer, not only brings ‘sunshine’ but it brings the Edinburgh festival and Edinburgh can have around 2.4m extra visitors over a few weeks and is the busiest season we have.

Booking in advance is a general requirement these days but especially in the summer months when its busier, and the schools are on their summer break too.

But no matter the month you visit or the season, Edinburgh is always bustling with something fun to do. Pick a season and get packing!

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