Military Tattoo, Edinburgh

5 out of 5 stars 19 Reviews

32 Market St., Edinburgh EH1 1QB, United Kingdom +44 131 225 1188

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  • Military Tattoo
    by Emmjai
  • Before it all starts
    Before it all starts
    by gordonilla
  • The VIPs having a whisky
    The VIPs having a whisky
    by gordonilla
  • Dabs's Profile Photo

    Edinburgh Military Tattoo

    by Dabs Updated Sep 2, 2014

    3 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Military Tattoo is one of the many events that happens in August in Edinburgh, there are nightly performances at 9pm and on Saturdays there are two performances at 7:30pm and 10:30pm. I imagine every year it's a little different, this year they were celebrating some of the countries that were/are associated with the Scots with music and dance and of course there is plenty of bagpipes! We even saw a marriage proposal of one of the military personnel and one of the highland dancers. Who could say no to that?

    While reading up on the Tattoo, a lot of people were saying that the tickets sell out, in fact some said as early as February so once I figured out how to make IE11 compatible with their site, I bought myself a ticket. The best viewing spots varied depending on who was giving the advice, some said sections 4 and 13 on the sides, others said the best seats were the priciest ones facing the castle. I opted for section 6, a bit of a splurge at 50£ but after all it was my birthday trip!

    After seeing the Tattoo, I would say any ticket between section 4 and 13 would be fine, the seats in section 6-11 get a full view from the front, the ones in 4-5 and 12-13 are more on top of the acts but from the side. Sections 1-3 and 14-17 start to get behind the acts, you can still see but you would never really have the castle as a backdrop.

    The website below is the official website, there are other sites reselling tickets if they are sold out there.

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  • Emmjai's Profile Photo

    Edinburgh Military Tattoo

    by Emmjai Written Apr 11, 2013

    Held July-Aug each year, and usually a sell out, so book tickets in advance (unlike us who got returns and couldn't sit together!) but wrap up warm and be prepared for wet weather, it is often cold and frequently wet. I spent a lot of time wondering how they got those Kilts dry before the next performance!

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  • gordonilla's Profile Photo

    Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

    by gordonilla Written Aug 26, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This was a very spur of the moment treat. It is often difficult to get tickets as the tattoo seems to be sold out for every performance - luckily we obtained some resale tickets.

    It was an enjoyable evening even if there was a little rain off and on throughout the evening.

    Totally excellent and well worth getting tickets if you can!

    Castle and Cast (1) Castle Before it all starts The VIPs having a whisky filling up stands 1-8

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  • rexvaughan's Profile Photo

    The Tattoo - a fabulous show!

    by rexvaughan Written Jan 4, 2011

    We planned our trip to Edinburgh so that we would be there during the Edinburgh Festival and the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo as I especially wanted to see the Tattoo. I was not disappointed and would include this as a “must see” in Edinburgh. It is a spectacular event with bands from literally around the world. This year’s (2010) included not only Scottish and British bands, but a wonderful show-stealer from New Zealand, a Gurkha band, and bands from Poland, South Africa, Canada and the United States. Not all the bands are bagpipes so there is a wide variety and the use of lighting effects on the façade of the castle is breathtaking. The event is held on the esplanade of the castle and the stands seat only about 8600 people. It is a good idea, maybe even necessary, to purchase tickets in advance as, even though it runs virtually all of the month of August, it is almost always sold out.
    Take at least a jacket. Even in August, Scotland can be very chilly in the evening, and the show starts at 9:00 p.m. We had jackets but were still cold.

    Related to:
    • Festivals
    • Music

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  • Manara's Profile Photo

    Come and enjoy the music!

    by Manara Updated Apr 9, 2010

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    My partner in life is very fond of the sound of bagpipes, so it had always been in his wish list to see a Military Tattoo in Edinburgh. In fact, we have seen three. The first time I was just curious, but I liked it so much that I wanted to repeat the experience.
    Each Tattoo is unique because in addition to the traditional bands of pipes and drums and other military bands there are guests from all the world, so I have seen at the Tattoo martial arts and drum dancing from North East India, Polynesian dancing, Cossack dancing, Irish dancing and much more.
    It is very spectacular and can be enjoyed also by those who are not particularly fond of band music.
    The Military Tattoo is held every year, for four weeks in August, in the esplanade in front of the Castle. In my picture you can see part of the temporary arena that every year is built for the event.

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  • Suet's Profile Photo

    The Tattoo

    by Suet Written Sep 24, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    It uses Edinburgh Castle as its backdrop for maximum effect. It's a display of military precision with pipes, bands, excellent choreograpy and a sense of stirring in your soul as you watch the bands march in and perform. It's booked out from the end of this year's performance, so, if you really want an experience, book your accommodation and tickets NOW. I am not kidding, it is sold out about two months after this years performance.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

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  • beritkreutz's Profile Photo

    Edinburgh Military Tattoo

    by beritkreutz Written May 18, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    If you want to go to the Edinburgh Military Tattoo the best way to get tickets is online. They always go on sales on December 1st for the following year and are normally sold out within a month or 2. So plan ahead because it's always sold out. It's worth it! The program is different every year and with the Edinburgh castle in the background and fireworks at night it's a real treat!

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Festivals
    • Castles and Palaces

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  • uglyscot's Profile Photo

    The Tattoo

    by uglyscot Updated Sep 29, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Even if military matters leave you cold, there is something about the Tattoo that stirs the blood- soldiers in their kilts, bagpipes, marching bands, motorbike acrobatics.... so macho.The entertainment ends with a wonderful firework display, with the castle as backdrop.

    The tattoo comes at the end of the Edinburgh Festival in August.

    The Tattoo Pipe Band
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    • Historical Travel

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  • awladhassan's Profile Photo

    Military tattoo

    by awladhassan Written Sep 23, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    At the end of the Edinburgh Festival there is the Edinburgh Military Tattoo. Tourists from all over the world love to see the performance of the Scottish regiments and the pipe bands. The tattoo ends with a firework display.

    The Festival ends in August.

    tattoo military tattoo
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  • tvor's Profile Photo

    Tattoo you

    by tvor Written Oct 15, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Now, you have to like Bagpipes first and foremost because there are an overabundance of them at the Military Tattoo. I personally love them! There are mainly military and musical displays and acts but you can get all sorts from teams putting together a jeep to acrobatics. You are on the esplanade of the Castle in high bleachers. If you go to a nighttime performance, the sky is black and the castle is lit up with coloured spotlights. The bands and acts file in and out of the castle gates. The pipe and drum bands fill the air with the howl of the pipes and the beat of the drums thrums in your chest. AT the end, when the lone piper plays Amazing Grace from the top of the castle, you may be moved to tears. The rest of the pipe and drum bands joining in will have you gasping for breath.

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  • traveltemptress's Profile Photo

    The Edinburgh Tattoo

    by traveltemptress Written Mar 6, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Of course, if you’re in Edinburgh over the festival, you can’t miss the Tattoo. Mike and I went on a very cold, very rainy night. Luckily though, although the rain was torrential either side of the show, it actually stopped for the performance itself. A great experience, not to be missed if you ever have the opportunity to go. Although tickets usually sell out a long time ahead of the festival, it’s worth dropping into the Tattoo Office in the morning (around 10am) of the day you want to go to the show as there are often returned tickets. This is how we got our tickets, so it really is worth a try!

    Bang on the drum...
    Related to:
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    • Theater Travel

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  • hevbell's Profile Photo

    EDINBURGH MILITARY TATTOO

    by hevbell Updated Feb 17, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This annual event takes place for about 3 weeks in August on the castle esplanade. Its a spectacle of marching pipe bands, infantry and other performers from all over the world. This year was the first time I had seen it live rather than on TV and I wasn't disappointed at all, even though it rained!

    Edinburgh Castle during the Tattoo
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    • Festivals

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  • Jennyjump79's Profile Photo

    Tattoo venue

    by Jennyjump79 Updated Dec 6, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    If you want to see the Tattoo (and trust me, you do,) get tickets well in advance of your trip. I was reduced to walking through past the bright blue stands in the morning and imagining how cool it would've been to have tickets to the show that night.

    Before the Tattoo
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    • Castles and Palaces
    • Music
    • Festivals

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  • mardaska's Profile Photo

    Military Tattoo

    by mardaska Written Oct 20, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The most spectacular performance of music, dance and drama! The performance takes place in the castle.
    I was there when it was the celebration of the 50 years of the festival. The fireworks and the music made the whole thing unforgettable.

    Military Tattoo

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  • JennJenn's Profile Photo

    Military Tattoo

    by JennJenn Written May 6, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Every night in August the castle grounds are host to dozens of military bands from all over the world. Colored lights add to the spectacle. You can see anything from a US marine band, to a Dutch band on bicycles, to a Scottish pipe band. There will never be a shortage of bagpipes in Scotland!

    I've heard it is often sold out...book early!

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