Don't Miss 2011 Edinburgh Military Tattoo

How to Get to the Royal Military Tattoo in Edinburgh Castle

5-27 August 2011 (except Sundays) - Unmissable Edinburgh Event

Few other outdoor events in Scotland are set in a venue as stunning as the Esplanade of Edinburgh Castle and no other event sells out as far in advance as the Edinburgh Military Tattoo. But what is the Edinburgh Military Tattoo?

Essential Edinburgh Military Tattoo ticket guide

July Update! Official Tattoo Tickets are now sold out!
Find last minute Tattoo tickets or book Tattoo packages (hotel and tickets)

Taking place on most nights in August, the Tattoo is one of the many events in the Edinburgh International Festival but for many, it is synonymous with the August festival.

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What is the Tattoo in Edinburgh?

The Edinburgh Tattoo is a world-famous military parade showcasing music, dance and marching, an unmissable event if you're in Scotland's Capital for the first time. It's also ideal as a reason for a short break in Edinburgh. There are many Edinburgh Tattoo packages put together by various travel agents.

The Tattoo does have a strong Scottish focus, the Pipes and Drums (military pipe bands) from the Scottish regiments being the most popular feature of the show (nothing quite matches the sound and look of not one, but several pipe bands) but the Military Tattoo traditionally features international military bands and performers from all over the world, as well, making it a truly varied entertainment spectacle. In other words, it's not all about bagpipes!

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Highlights of the Edinburgh Military Tattoo include:

  • Colorful light display throughout the show
  • Fireworks display at the end of the Edinburgh Tattoo on Saturdays (selected dates)
  • Lone Piper playing a haunting lament from the Castle ramparts (Last Post)
  • Massed pipes and drums from the Scottish regiments playing famous tunes such as Auld Lang Syne, Scotland the Brave and The Black Bear
  • The Top Secret Swiss Drum Corps, one of the most popular Tattoo acts who are regularly invited to take part.

Tickets for the Edinburgh Military Tatoo

Which are the best tickets for the Edinburgh Tattoo? Seats cost between £14.00 on the North and South stands and £46.00 for the East stand (which has the best view of the show and castle). An extra £3.00 is added to Saturday performances which are followed by fireworks displays.

Tattoo tickets usually go on sale on December 1st of each year but by April, the best seats are usually sold out. As a result, there is limited ticket availability for those deciding to attend the Edinburgh Tattoo at the last minute.

Half-Price tickets

The first Tattoo performance is on 5th August 2011 and the last one is on 27th August 2011. What most people don't know is that there is a Edinburgh Tattoo preview on 4th August 2011. The preview is a good opportunity to get half-price tickets (although only a limited number is available) and to get regular-priced tickets if there is no availability for other dates.

While the Tattoo preview is exactly the same as the regular performances in terms of programme and quality, there is usually press down on the esplanade photographing the event, which can be quite annoying for those in the stands keen to take pictures of the Tattoo as there is little chance of not getting the photographers in the frame as well.

Which Edinburgh Tattoo dates to go on?

Being an outdoor event, there is always the risk of rain when the show is on. Because you need to book Tattoo tickets so far in advance, it's impossible to predict what the weather will be like. The refund policy clearly states that in the event that a performance is cancelled, there is no refund and no exchange on the tickets. But then it goes on to say that no Edinburgh Tattoo performance has ever been cancelled.

Given the chance, I would avoid getting tickets for any of the 4 Tatoo dates when a TV recording of the event is taking place because the camera gear and crew are very likely to obstruct your view depending on where your seats are, at least to some extent.

The Edinburgh Tattoo performance on 27th August 2011 is ideal if you're in Scotland for a week or more and are likely to be in Edinburgh on the 4th of September as well. The Fireworks Concert which marks the end of the Edinburgh Festival takes place on September 4th 2011 and it is well worth seeing if you can fit both events in as neither is to be missed.

July Update: Official Tattoo Tickets are now sold out! - Find last minute tickets for the Edinburgh Tattoo 2011 on GetMeIn, two online ticket exchange brokers.

Fireworks Display at Edinburgh Tattoo

All Saturday Tatoo performances are followed by fireworks display.

Edinburgh Military Tattoo - Weblinks

Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo: Wikipedia Page
Detailed history and information on the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, including performers and producers.

Edinburgh Festivals
Official site for Edinburgh Festivals. Find news, features, events, and purchase tickets.

Undiscovered Scotland: Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo
History of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, participants, pictures, and descriptions of the various events.

TripAdvidsor: Edinburgh Military Tattoo
Highlights and information on the Edinburgh Military Tattoo including highlights, planning considerations, and celebration options.

Music Scotland
Listen to and purchase music from The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo held in 2011.

The Royal Edinburgh Tattoo Ticket Site
Browse through program information, learn about the venue, get travel information, and buy tickets.

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Also see:

  • Christmas in Edinburgh Information on Edinburgh's Christmas celebrations, part of the Capital's winter festival.
  • Edinburgh Hogmanay Guide to the biggest New Year celebrations in Britain and continental Europe with four days of events.
  • Accommodation in Edinburgh Tourist information on quality accommodation schemes, hotels and how to choose accommodation in Edinburgh.

Also see accommodation near Edinburgh Old Town

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