How to enjoy the Edinburgh Fringe without spending much money

Visitors can enjoy free shows, street entertainment and budget-friendly bites.

The Edinburgh festivals are back and bigger than ever, with shows from all over the world. Despite the cost-of-living squeeze, a trip to the Fringe doesn’t have to be a luxury you can’t afford.

Visitors can enjoy everything the city has to offer this summer with free shows, street entertainment and budget-friendly bites.

If you’re heading into the capital with your family for this much-anticipated annual event, here are a few money-saving tips to ensure your trip doesn’t break the bank.

Free shows

Firstly, there are more than 400 free shows in the Fringe programme, so you’re bound to find something that suits your tastes and budget.

They cost nothing to enter, although you can book tickets and donate money at the end of the performance if you are able to.

The Pear Tree is the city’s largest Free Fringe venue.

The Pear Tree in the city centre is the biggest Free Fringe venue.

“We try and make it accessible for everybody,” says manager Brian Dobie.

“Whether you’ve got a lot of money or no money at all, Free Fringe is exactly that. You don’t need to put anything in the bucket.

“It’s nice if you want to and if you’re able to. If you’re not able to, this is still giving you the opportunity to see comedy.”

Street theatre

Street events are another great way to enjoy the Fringe for free.

They are spectacular – from the Royal Mile you can see acrobats, stunts, fire-breathers, magicians, comedians, musicians and many more. If you enjoy what you see, you can leave a donation at the end.

Street events are a great, cost-effective way to enjoy what the Fringe has to offer.

“A lot of the festival happens behind closed doors,” says street artist Hazel Anderson.

“It’s integral to the Fringe because it creates this big atmosphere, people come and see a show outside and it might even encourage them to see a show inside.

“We’re a gateway to the Fringe.”

Family friendly fun

Comedian Jay Lafferty took time out of her busy schedule to share her top tips for taking your family on a cheap day out.

“Pack your sandwiches, pack your fruit shoots,” she said. “We’ve got wonderful parks here as well.

Jay Lafferty is performing a kids show at the Gilded Balloon this year.

“Quite often on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday’s there are two-for-one ticket deals to be had, so if you meet a flyerer, ask if there are any ticket deals on.

“We have family tickets too, which are cheaper.”

Cheap eats

And if you’ve worked up an appetite after a busy day out, get down to the Mosque Kitchen and get dinner for as little as £5.

A volunteer said: “Maybe they can’t afford much, so we are trying to make the customer happy and everyone happy.”

The Mosque Kitchen offers healthy, delicious and cheap curry.
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