The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo
5
10:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 4:30 PM
About
The Royal Edinburgh Military tattoo is an annual series of Military tattoos performed at the Esplanade of Edinburgh Castle by British Armed Forces, Commonwealth and International military bands and display teams. This is held during the month of August each year which coincides with the Fringe Festival and International Festival. This really is a must when visiting Edinburgh and really provides for the experience of a lifetime. Dress warmly for the outdoors as the seating in the esplanade is uncovered.
Duration: 2-3 hours
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The area

Address
Neighborhood: Old Town
Few Edinburghers live in the Old Town, but its labyrinth of dank alleys and steep streets suggests this was not always the case. Today, it’s mostly visitors, tartan-flavored souvenir shops, and pipers that you’ll find on its cobbled streets. This is the place to get a feel for Auld Reekie (Old Smelly), as the town was once nicknamed, and stroll the Royal Mile, the thoroughfare that links the castle with the royal palace – two of Edinburgh’s great set-piece attractions. But there’s lots more exploring to do here down dozens of little alleys, or wynds, while at night the city’s busiest clubs erupt along the Cowgate which is closed to traffic for this purpose.
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See what travelers are saying

  • plfara
    Ware, United Kingdom540 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Fantastic!
    Wow! What an experience that will raise the hairs on the back of your neck. From the precision of the military bands, to the Scottish dancers, projection show on the castle and the fireworks, it’s one wonderful display after another. One of the best shows we have ever been to. Everyone should experience this spectacular show at least once. We left the arena buzzing. Fantastic!
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written August 6, 2023
  • Brightoncardinal
    Lancing, United Kingdom299 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Magical experience
    The light rain abated as we took our seats. The wind dropped to nothing. And from the moment ghe pipes and drums entered the arena, we were spellbound. This is a magical experience. It's not cheap. But it's absolutely worth it. We plan to go again. It was brilliant. (The alcohol is positively expensive. I'll take a hip flask next time.)
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written August 7, 2023
  • Sam44London
    Beckenham, United Kingdom103 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Wonderful evening of entertainment
    A spectacular evening of entertainment with Military bands, dancing and music. An hour and half of colour, noise and excellent evening finished with fireworks. Cannot recommend highly enough. Starts at 9.30pm as waiting for dusk so may not be suitable for those not wanting a late night.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written August 9, 2023
  • Usefulness
    Gold Coast, Australia52 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Amazing performance by all.
    What an amazing night! Everyone who performed did a spectacular job and I’m so privileged to have been given the opportunity to travel 16000km to see this. Every country that contributed to the performance did so with pride and perfection. The musicians didn’t miss a beat and well done to those that were performing with the Bass Tuba. I can’t imagine that would be to easy to walk/March/dance while playing one of those. 😅 I also enjoyed the interactive beats/rhythmic percussions performed by the non-traditional instruments; angle grinder, banging an oil drum etc. What I would like to see in the future is Australia and/or NZ perform too.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written August 10, 2023
  • Megan S
    2 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    The highlight of our trip
    This is an event everyone should have on their bucket list. As a family of 8 (2 seniors, 4adults, 1child and 18month old) we thoroughly enjoyed this show. The staff managed a large crowd of people really well and were all very pleasant and helpful. The variety of performances was fantastic and the show was the perfect length of time. Would love to come again.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written August 10, 2023
  • Markc66647
    San Francisco, California53 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Get your tickets a year in advance
    If you’re going to Edinburgh this is a must see at least once in your life. It happens when the Fringe and Festival are on so expect crowds and increased prices. That being said, this defines “well oiled machine.” Get a seat high up and towards the middle, bring a jacket because you never know about the weather. Get a program so you know what’s going on. It’s easy to compare it to the past but things evolve, it’s been on for 70 years. It’s 90 minutes of constant entertainment, go before you go…
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written August 10, 2023
  • Edinburgh
    Edinburgh, United Kingdom70 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Brilliant acts. Questionable production team.
    As an Edinburgh resident have been several times to the tattoo. It is undoubtedly a spectacle and it you haven't been before then almost certainly go. The acts are excellent - particularly the massed pipes & drums. So this review is in no way anything but a glowing review of the performers. BUT. As many reviewers have indicated over the last couple of years the Tattoo has taken a strange turn in terms of the overall production. No announcer between acts leaves many wondering what exactly they are watching. The assumption being that the "production team" want to maximise sales of the £10 programmes in order that you might know who's coming on. But at a more fundamental level - this whole concept of branding it "Stories", "Voices" , "Journeys" etc looks to be the work of a team that doesn't really understand mass events & entertainment. Just saying "stories" every 10 minutes doesn't create a coherent theme. It comes across as a bit "6th form marketing project". It's the "Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo 2023", it doesn't need to be sub-branded "Stories". Please put someone at the helm who really knows about major entertainment productions.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written August 12, 2023
  • Virgred
    Lome, Togo56 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A must do while passing by Edinburg
    What an experience! combined with the Cannonball House restaurant for diner, we spent a memorable moment. A surprising mixture of modern musics and art performances with military well synchronized parades with the mandatory bagpipes! A special comment for the staff which contributes to an enjoyable moment!
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written August 12, 2023
  • Andrew M
    6 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Military Tattoo queuing not Military standard
    As always an amazing visual and musical experience. Unfortunately, the same could not be said for the queuing system. We queued for an hour and missed the RAF flyover that started the performance , as did hundreds of others. Really disappointing and needs to be better for the future.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written August 12, 2023
  • Susieq965
    Dublin, Ireland155 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Absolutely amazing experience
    OMG, such an amazing experience with minute after minute entertainment. This years Tattoo was called stories. It’s very hard to explain it without actually experiencing it, the Red Arrows fly over, the fireworks, the pipers etc. just wonderful It’s a must do for the whole family
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written August 14, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles6,809 reviews
Excellent
5,801
Very good
643
Average
214
Poor
95
Terrible
57

truview
england54 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022
Well what a disappointing show. If you have never been before you might think the 2022 performance was good. If you have been before you will be bitterly disappointed.
For a start there were no programs available to buy once you were in the castle. We were told to buy one online what good is that when you want to see who is performing.
Then there was no commentary. Previously the commentator would begin by engaging the audience and asking which area or country they were from. They would then introduce each performance and say a little about the performers themselves.
Now this year marked the 70th anniversary of the military tattoo but you would never have guessed it. It is also the Queens jubilee year but again no mention of that.
Then at 10.20 it was over and no auld Lang syne.
Apparently this year the title of the show was voices but three large ladies singing something no one could understand has nothing to do with a military tattoo.
I think they would have been better off down the road performing in the fringe.
People travel large distances to see the magic of the tattoo and it is not cheap.
We have waited two years to get back to Edinburgh for this and it appears it’s been run on a shoestring budget by a set of amateurs. Don’t waste your money it’s not worth it we certainly will not be coming back.
Written August 9, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mike O
Roanoke, VA1,333 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022
We need a list of superlatives to properly address the situation. Best. Biggest. Loudest. Largest. Most impressive/enjoyable/unusual. These terms all apply to our reaction to the Royal Military Tattoo show performed on the esplanade of Edinburgh Castle. Well, add one more term, unbelievable.

We stamped and cheered to the sounds of innumerable military bagpipes and drums, clapped to the Highland Dancers, marveled at the over-the-top lighting of the performers and the castle facade itself, watched in awe at intricate marching formations, and oohed at the closing fireworks. We are talking about 1,000 performers in a high-end professionally produced event.

This is a hugely popular event; we booked many months in advance. Also expensive; worth every penny. 200,000 attend during the month of shows, with another 100 million watching on TV. It is the number one show in Edinburgh; has been for many years.
Written August 14, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sandra D
London, UK4 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023 • Friends

Every year for years my husband , my bother and his wife , attend the military tattoo and last year we decided to attend the gallery reception
We were very impressed and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves so much so we recommend it to our another two friends who had never attended the tattoo before
So this year our friends or our recommendations decided to come with us so I purchased 6 tickets £450 each £1800k for an evening which should have been very special but instead we we treated appallingly !
When we arrived we received a glass of wine and the men received a very small glass of whisky after the tattoo at the ‘gala reception’ no one came around with canapés we had to look for a waitress and they were extremely disappointing only we only had two canapés each
We were give a drink and when we went to get another we were told we couldn’t and they were told we weren’t allowed anymore ( we only had one) and they POURED all the glasses of the Prosecco and gin away rather than give us one.
I went to complain to a ‘manager’ named Kate but she also didn’t care however I noticed they didn’t pour the whisky away but wouldn’t give my brother and husband another one
I was totally embarrassed in front of our guests the military men were having drinks
As you are aware these tickets are not cheap
I will NEVER attend another gallery reception or indeed recommend it to anyone if fact the complete opposite and to be honest the way I feel now I don’t think I will attend another military tattoo

This is with a heavy heart I am writing this but you needed to know don’t waste you money on this ‘experience ‘

Written August 19, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

finellaUnitedKingdom
United Kingdom18 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022
The Edinburgh Military Tattoo was absolutely fantastic and l would recommend to anyone visiting Edinburgh. We had the most wonderful weather which was a bonus. The bands from all over the world played and displayed top class performance. Just a word of caution, book you tickets before you go as it is fully booked out most nights.
DO NOT buy the Wallace package. We were hanging around in this room full of bottles of Whisky with a young man that gave a bit of a speech, which was 2/3 floors up. My husband needed the lift but it was never offered, and we did not know it was there. Some people in there 80's struggled to walk/stand for the time in the first room.
Then we went on this child like ride (Tea Cups) and was entertained by a gost from the past. I could go on, but please don't do this trip.
Written August 16, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Liz C
1 contribution
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022 • Couples
It having been many years since last attending the tattoo I was very much looking forward to it.

The performers were very good but there were some things which were not so good.
Sadly missed the announcer as we didn't know who was performing.
Most (not all) of the performances were situated half way along the arena and seemed to be playing purely to the VIP and more expensive seating end. We were seated in the second section from the castle entrance and spent a good part of the night staring at the back of the performers.
Also missed some of the more military aspects like the motorcycle display team.

Overall a good nights entertainment but with a tweak could have been fantastic.
Written August 29, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

tabelmabel
Kinross, UK181 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022
This is one you just have to see live - on the tv, on somone's filmed footage is never going to give the atmosphere and experience of being there at a live performance.

Exceptionally lucky with weather on 5th August. Bone dry, not too chilly and a lovely moon in the sky all helped us fully enjoy what can only be described as an incredible spectacle.

The sheer mass of colour and co ordination was a sight to behold!

It is expensive and the weather can be awful in Edin. I would recommend a warm blanket to cover your knees, lots of layers and a waterproof head covering since umbrellas are not allowed.

A big rain poncho might be handy. Also take a small towel or kitchen roll to dry your seat if it has been raining. Seats are plastic but comfortable.

Also bear in mind it's a fair climb to higher row seats so you do need to be fit and mobile to get up there. There are rails to hold but steps are steep.
Written August 6, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Max Redhall
8 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022
First time trying the Tattoo and we had the BEST time. Everything is organised and runs like clockwork. The views from the seating areas are brilliant and offered a great view of the show. With lighting shows projected onto the castle, great performances and amazing singing and dancing this is a recommended spectacle. As the sun set it did get a bit cooler so remember to bring a blanket for your knees if you feel the cold and maybe a cushion for your seat! Would definitely recommend a visit and we will definitely be back!
Written August 12, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

James B
Okehampton, UK257 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022
This was our fourth visit and definitely the last as the Tattoo is now mainly a collection of isolated entertainment acts and definitely not a military extravaganza that it used to be. On a positive note, the queues were well managed and there was hardly any waiting around due to the staff involved -well done.
The pre-ordered refreshments in the arena indicated a more commercial approach at the expense of traditional military values and was reflected throughout. The biggest omission was the absence of the "callout" to the multi national visitors , birthdays, special visitors and a general involvement of the attendees. This was compounded by the absence of someone identifying the various performers and an initial background to their performance (weight of rifles,bayonets, precision drills, etc for the American contingent, etc).
No one clearly had measured and experienced the unnecessarily loud amplification system that resulted in two children holding their hands over their ears and crying, and the distorted sounds into noise.
In this the Queen's Platinum year, where were the tributes flashed onto the castle, why was the lone piper not spotlighted and where was the traditional closing "auld lang syne"?
I will definitely not attend another of these shows and the organisers need to think again.
Written August 29, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

matthew p
Edinburgh, UK104 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022 • Solo
I wouldn't call this a military tattoo anymore due to there only being so many military bands and such, mostly it's just dancers and others that aren't related in anyway shape or form. Also if it rains there is no place that you can get to cover you just have to get drenched and you pay alot of money for the privilege. Also the queues and the wait time to enter venue can be quite lengthy
Written August 16, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

BertRJr
Lawrenceville, NJ39 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022
This is a difficult review to write because the Tattoo experience is so unique and special I can't really describe it.
Tickets were hard to come by, but we got lucky and a friend gave us some they could not use. I am so glad we were able to make it.
The pomp and performance were outstanding and truly moving. Not at all what you would expect from a "military performance" event, but it did give goose-bumps. This is Edinburgh, so plan for cool temps and wind, but the energy of the various performances will help you stay warm.
Written August 11, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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