The Edinburgh Festival Theatre, situated on Nicolson Street, was known previously as the Empire Palace Theatre which first opened in 1892. After several closures, once in 1911 due to a terrible fire, and some time later as a bingo hall, the newly re-furbished theatre opened as the Edinburgh Festival Theatre in 1994, with a seating capacity of 1,915.
Some of the most prominent names in show business, such as Laurel and Hardy, Margot Fonteyn, Morecambe and Wise, have performed there. Now it is predominantly used for opera, ballet and musical events.
The Festival Theatre is at 13-29 Nicolson Street which is a continuation of South Bridge, coming from North Bridge and the east end of Princes Street. It is easily accessible by train, bus and car.
By train and tube: the nearest station is Waverley Street, and the theatre is about a fifteen-minute walk from there following the North Bridge.
By bus: you can reach The Festival Theatre by many bus routes. Lothian Buses that go there are, 3, 3A, 5, 7, 8, 14, 29,30, 31, 33, 37, 47 and 49. First Buses going there are 86 and 86A.
By car: follow the A7 route in the city centre direction and the theatre will be on your left.
International: Edinburgh is well-served by the airport, about 8 miles from the city centre. You can catch a train or a bus right at the terminal exit.
There is very limited street parking in the area, but you may be lucky to find a parking place in the nearest small car park on Niddry Street, about five minutes walk from the theatre. It is open from 7 am to 11 pm, every day. The park is equipped with disabled posts, too.
Accessibility for people with special needs
The theatre has excellent facilities for people with special needs, covering almost every eventuality. It includes wheelchair access and lifts to all levels, as well as services for the visually and hearing impaired. Please contact the venue for further details.