Official Guide to Edinburgh
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Edinburgh International Book Festival

Visit the Edinburgh International Book Festival and browse your favourite titles, listen to top authors and enjoy al fresco refreshments.

10-26 August 2019
Charlotte Square

Without a doubt, the Edinburgh International Book Festival is a key event on the calendar for literary lovers of all ages appealing to both Edinburgh residents and visitors.

Charlotte Square on the West of George Street becomes a haven of literary treats with visitors exploring a village of white marquees in which you might find a world famous author reading a chapter of their latest book, an illustrator demonstrating their individual technique or even a Nobel and Booker prize-winner.  There are also rows upon rows of books to be explored, read and purchased.

Each year during the Edinburgh Book Festival over 800 writers from across the globe share their experiences, visions and skills at over 700 events which are designed to inspire, entertain, educate and delight us.

About the Edinburgh International Book Festival 

Edinburgh International Book Festival Reading Cr Book Festival

[Image credit: Edinburgh International Book Festival]

Founded in 1983, the Edinburgh International Book Festival began as a small collection of "meet the author" events in Charlotte Square. Even though the festival has grown considerably since then to over 700 events, the Festival still takes place in the same square and has run every year since 1997. 

Charlotte Square in the West End is a perfectly picturesque location for the festival, which welcomes around 220,000 book lovers each year. The leafy green gardens is the perfect place to grab a blanket and curl up with a good book. 

Book festival highlights

Edinburgh International Book Festival Happy Family Cr Edinburgh Book Festival

[Image credit: Edinburgh International Book Festival]

The Edinburgh Book Festival offers an ideal family-friendly environment to read your favourite books or play.  There are workshops, free craft activities and imaginative author events.  There’s even a large bookshop featuring children’s books only. There is also an excellent variety of inventive and appealing events and subjects designed for teens.

With the opportunity to delve deeper into some of their favourite books, this is a great day out for both families and school pupils. With so many events bringing together authors and their young readers, this is arguably one of the world's best books and reading event for young people.

Another major draw of the Edinburgh Book Festival are the debates and discussions, where writers from all around the world come to Edinburgh to have perceptive conversations about key issues affecting the world today.

Food and Drink

Edinburgh International Book Festival Charlotte Sq Cr Book Festival

[Image credit: Edinburgh International Book Festival]

Visitors are well catered for with three cafes, two bars and an ice-cream trike!

The Signing Tent Café Bar offers a superb selection of local, seasonal and Scottish produce including light meals and freshly baked cakes. Enjoy a relaxing coffee or glass of wine whilst reading your book on the decking. Open from 9.30am-late

The Spiegeltent Café Bar travels back in time to a 1930’s travelling ballroom and boasts a full bar and self-service café.  The Spiegelbar also plays hosts to events, daily debates and Jura Unbound evenings. Open from 9.30am–late.

The lively Bookshop café serves speciality teas and Fair Trade coffee along with chilled soft drinks and wine. Diners can choose from a selection of fresh sandwiches, salads and delicious hand baked cakes.  Relax with coffee and cake surrounded by a library of books or why not take your refreshments outside and soak up the great atmosphere in the gardens.

The Di Rollo of Musselburgh Ice Cream Trike is a huge hit with all ages. This locally made ice cream, offers a gorgeous selection of our favourite ice-cream flavours and tastes good whatever the weather. 11am-6pm. 

Discover more of Edinburgh's Festivals >