Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo
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The History of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, once a wonderful military parade and show, has now grown into a globally televised cultural festival. Drawing music and performances from all around the world, it is a great event to see if you're in Scotland's capital.

Pipe bands
Photo: Graham Campbell@flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Pipe bands

Of course the most historic and authentic part of the Tattoo is the music. You'll never forget the iconic sounds of Scottish drums and bagpipes ringing through Edinburgh Castle.

Edinburgh Festival
Photo: Susan McNaughton@flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Edinburgh Festival

The Tattoo takes place during the Edinburgh International Festival, and you can see the military parade every weekday evening and twice on Saturdays throughout August.

Sell out shows
Photo: Steffen Zahn@flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Sell out shows

Tickets to see the main final performance tend to sell out each year, with a great deal of national and international interest. So makes sure to book tickets in advance!

Photo: Ben Snooks@flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)


As the Tattoo has developed, it has drawn in lots of different pipe bands, not just from various Scottish regiments, but also from England, and army bands from over seas.

Fireworks displays

On Saturdays, alongside the music, you'll get to see dazzling fireworks displays, which are a definite highlight!

Our insider tips

When to visit?

The Tattoo takes place during the Edinburgh International Festival, and you can see the military parade every weekday evening and twice on Saturdays throughout August.

Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo Tickets

Tickets must be bought in advance, and sell out fast, so make sure to visit the website and purchase before you go!

Good to know

  • When should I visit?
    Dates and times vary but are generally weekday and Saturday evenings in August.
  • Is it expensive?
    Tickets to the Tattoo range from £25.00 to £120.00.
  • Will I need a guide?
    A guide is not necessary, but check out our best-selling tours that include Tattoo tickets.
  • How to get there
    The Tattoo, which takes place at Edinburgh Castle, is within walking distance from most hotels in city center!
  • Additional information
    ** Flash photography is not allowed. | Umbrellas are not allowed, so be prepared to buy a poncho if it rains!*

What people are saying about Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

Overall rating
4.8 / 5
based on 5,642 reviews

The visit to the castle is not to be missed!

The castle of Edinburgh is really beautiful and interesting to visit, the entrance ticket we bought brought us directly inside the walls without waiting at the ticket offices. Even if the guide in the ticket price was not included, every 20 minutes a free guide starts from the inner courtyard and gathers groups of people who wish to hear the history of the castle. All very well organized, don't miss it!

Edinburgh Castle Ticket Reviewed by

The tour groups were overwhelming, but what a great castle!

We used the audio guides which greatly assisted us in understanding the castle and its importance to Scottish history. Staff directed us to buy tickets online to avoid the same day ticket lines. Very helpful!! We chatted with several of the guides as we went along who provided us with additional information and stories. We felt welcomed

Edinburgh Castle Ticket Reviewed by

It was great to visit Scotland again, the land of my Ancestors.

I enjoyed the History of Edinburgh Castle and at the War Museum I sighted my Grandfathers name in one of the large red books to Commemorate him being killed in France on the 15th November 1916 in the 1st World War. I also continued my Genealogy research at Scotlands People.

Edinburgh Castle Ticket Reviewed by

Need to introduce History Live type displays - make realistic - make £

Improve crowd control similar to Disney World in USA - History live would addnemploymrnt opportunities - Improve ladies toilets facility to avoid long queues - Disabled visitors limitations.- Improve & speed up & simplify entrance procedure

Edinburgh Castle Ticket Reviewed by

Breathtaking castle with five star staff

I am a wheelchair user and cannot thank enough your thoughtful arrangements and your wonderful caring staff. The gentlemen who used a car to help me were so kind. The greeters at your entrance, too, could not have been kinder.

Edinburgh Castle Ticket Reviewed by

Things to do near Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

Cover photo: Susan McNaughton, CC BY 2.0