Colourful buildings and bunting on Victoria Street in Edinburgh

When is the best time to visit Edinburgh?

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Is there a Best Time to Visit Edinburgh?

Edinburgh is beautiful and amazing all year round. Each season brings something new. And, although there is no best time to visit Edinburgh, here’s a breakdown of each season, so you can choose the best time for you.

The weather in Scotland is notoriously changeable, no matter the season. It’s always advisable to pack layers of clothing, so you are prepared for all possibilities.

Winter

December, January & February

Winter is the coldest season in Edinburgh. The average temperature is 4°C, with lows of 1°C and highs of 7°C. It dips below zero at times, so you’re most likely to see ice, frost and snow at this time of year.

Edinburgh Castle on a snowy day

Edinburgh sparkles over the festive period. A wonderful time to enjoy our stunning Christmas and Hogmanay (New Year) celebrations. January and February are quieter months, which means you’ll usually find the best value accommodation and travel deals during this period.

Check out Edinburgh Tourist’s monthly guides to December, January and February for event highlights.

Spring

March, April & May

Spring is a fairly mild season in Edinburgh. The average temperature is 8°C, with lows of 2°C and highs of 14°C. It is the driest season of the year, although you should still expect some rain.

Pink blossom trees in The Meadows EdinburghIt’s a lovely time to visit as the weather warms up and the hours of sunlight increase. Event highlights include Six Nations Rugby, Edinburgh International Science Festival and Whisky Month.

Find more event suggestions with Edinburgh Tourist’s guides to March, April and May.

Summer

June, July & August

Summer is the warmest and sunniest season to visit. The average temperature is 14°C, with lows of 9°C and highs of 19°C.

View of Edinburgh with fireworks above CastleThis is peak tourist season in Edinburgh. There is always a festival happening and no shortage of weird and wonderful things to see. August is extremely busy as the International Festival and Fringe Festival quite literally take over the city. It’s difficult to describe the festival atmosphere, an incredible thing to experience.

For a full list of festivals and events, see Edinburgh Tourist’s guides to June, July and August.

Autumn

September, October & November

Autumn is a fairly mild time of year. The average temperature is 10°C, with lows of 3°C and highs of 16°C. It’s the rainiest season to visit.

Princes Street Gardens Edinburgh in AutumnAs the hustle and bustle of the summer festivals ends, the nights draw in and gorgeous autumnal colours transform the city. There is still so much to do at this time of year and the crowds disperse a little, making it easier to explore.

See Edinburgh Tourist’s monthly guides to September, October and November for event highlights.