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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
4.6 / 5
based on 6,846 reviews

Must see if you love the Scottish history

Absolute iconic building located in Old Edinburgh, few minutes walk from Edinburgh Waverley Station following market street. A truly lovely destination knowing how the Scottish struggle to keep the castle fight with the English. The castle is divided into three parts : Upper Ward, Hawk Hill and lower ward. Main attractions are Prison of War, Royal Scots Dragoon Guard, Royal Scots Museum and Queen Jewels. Keep an easy 3-4 hours to visit the castle. It can get very busy at times, we went on a long weekend August Holiday. You can enjoy the best view from the top which gives you history on how the new Edinburgh was build up. Don’t forget to walk on the royal mile as it is worth going with lot of things happening. We were lucky enough as they had a fringe festival. Can’t wait to go back. Love you Edinburgh, a beautiful and lively city.

Edinburgh Castle Ticket Reviewed by

An excellent and a must see place for anyone who is visiting Scotland.

I liked the one oclock artillery gun fire. It was a great treat to see how land was ruled and controlled by the rulers in the old days. Wars were fought for land, money and women. The dress codes and the weapons used during wars were astonishing. Justice and fairness were never the number one goal may it be in the past or in the present. Achievements were always measured with wealth that got acquired at the end of wars. It is also great to see how records were kept in those days and how those records were safe guarded against enemies. Hats off to those Who had the foresight and the determination to safe guard all those remaining wealth. Thank you once again. Rajah

Edinburgh Castle Ticket Reviewed by

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

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

Things to do near Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

Cover photo: Susan McNaughton, CC BY 2.0