Ah, June in Edinburgh. The days are the longest of the year, it never really gets dark (yes, you can see the sun just under the horizon at 2am), it’s beer garden weather and the great Scottish outdoors is calling our name. Whether you want to make the most out of the long days or just have more energy to do stuff than you did during the winter, we have you covered: we have put together a list of the very best things to do in Edinburgh this June.
1. Participate in the light-hearted ridiculousness that is Bongo’s Bingo
Most people have heard of the infamous Bongo’s Bingo nights travelling around the UK by now. As of now, four shows at Edinburgh’s 02 Academy are taking place this June. If you haven’t witnessed a bingo rave before, it’s as mental as it sounds, where chaos meets organised raves, all of which are during an old-school game of bingo. What is more, players can be found dancing on tables and winning ridiculous prizes such as Henry Hoover or a mobility scooter during one of the most bizarrely elated nights ever.
2. Enchant yourself with melodic covers from fantasy films and series in this candlelight concert
Historic venue? Check. Mysterious lighting? Check. A string quartet ready to play fantasy film scores? Also, check. Edinburgh’s iconic St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral will be hosting a fantastic candlelight concert filled with soundtracks from films and series such as Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, The Hobbit, House of the Dragon and Rings of Power, all performed by a string quartet. Candlelight: Rings and Dragons on June 14 will take visitors on an adventure through the otherworldly realms, comforting fantasy lovers with familiar melodies such as The Passing of the Elves, Winter is Coming, Bear McCreary – Númenor and The Shire.
3. Pay a visit to this theatre festival with gorgeous castle views
Whether you’re a fan of Shakespeare or prefer something a bit more modern, StagEHd Festival, Edinburgh’s newest open-access and free-to-attend community theatre festival has got you covered. During two days on June 10 & 11, Ross Bandstand in Princes Street Gardens West will welcome a cultured weekend of theatre, with 100% of the donations going directly to the performers. The festival will kick off with the students of Momentum Performing Arts with their Musical Mania, an iconic mash-up of musicals, and it will only get better from there. 2023’s StagEHd Festival will close with an adaptation of one of Molière’s famous comedies, The Bourgeois Gentleman. Presented by The Mirror of Stage | Lustro SCENY, an Edinburgh-based bilingual English and Polish theatre company, Molière’s Garden Party is a funny yet thoughtful play that explores the ridiculousness of human nature. While the festival is free and is one of the best things to do this June, guests will still need to book tickets through the event’s website.
4. Celebrate diversity at the Edinburgh Pride 2023
June is Pride month, and Edinburgh is loud and proud, ready to commence the festivities. Pride Edinburgh is the longest-running Scottish celebration of diversity and inclusion and will take place on June 24 this year. As usual, Pride goers can expect the annual march, which commences at the Scottish Parliament at 1pm, making its way up the Royal Mile and finishing at The Pride Edinburgh Festival Village in the EUSA Complex.
5. Check out the freshest brunch spots in town
On Saturdays, we brunch. Sure, our bank accounts might not love it, but it’s not just food for the tummy – brunch is food for the soul. Okay, we might be getting a wee bit dramatic here: can you tell we love brunch? From delicious pancake stacks to a classic Eggs Benedict, Edinburghers can indulge in some divine scran and cocktails while catching up with their best pals. So, why not check out our guide to the best brunch spots in Edinburgh.
6. Visit Swanston Village and the Pentland Hills
As the Summer is upon us, the great outdoors is calling. Edinburghers do not have to venture out too far away from the city, as our wee Pentland Hills boast awe-inspiring vistas and a decent challenge of hill walking. The trail near Swanston Village and Swanston Golf Course is not only easily accessible via public transport, but also offers views of the city and the sea on one side, and The Pentlands on the other. The hike is a little bit steep and takes around two hours to complete, great to bring dogs along and visitors might even spot some Highland coos hiding from the wind in the bushes. Okay, maybe this very specific scenario only happens to us when we visit, but the cows are adorable to watch regardless.
7. Attend a vintage fair
Saint Stephen’s Comely Bank Church will transform into a vintage fair on June 10 between 11am and 4pm, offering guests the chance to rummage and get their hands on some pre-loved vintage and mid-century goods. A Spoonful of Vintage will feature a DJ and a cafe with baked goods and hot drinks, as well as mid-century furniture, homewares, ceramics, collectables, vintage clothing, accessories and jewellery from hand-picked traders. Keep in mind that some traders do prefer cash, so it’s best to come prepared to shop the old-school way.