It is difficult to describe Edinburgh during August. It's a stunning city all year round with its medieval Old Town and Royal Mile running up to the Castle, and the clear, clean layout of the Georgian New Town. In August it is more, so much more, and even more besides!
The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is just one of the many summer festivals going on in the Scottish capital but probably the biggest now with more than 2000 acts including stand-up comedians, theatre, dance, singers and musicians, circus acts, children's performances, comedy, cabaret and buskers. If you can't find something to see or do you're not alive.
The city is very welcoming to everyone, supermarkets and restaurants keep extended hours, the locals are all extremely helpful and welcoming, and this year the weather has been so incredibly kind with relatively dry, warm days and crisp evenings. (2011 by contrast was the wettest year on record).
If I have to find a negative it is the lack of affordable accommodation. The thousands of performers, venue crews and volunteers, largely comprising poor actors and university students, snap up the affordable flats pretty quickly and hotel prices in the city are at their most expensive from the end of July to the beginning of September. But it is the high season, being summer, and they know they will be booked solid.
All-in-all the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and the summer of festivals in general, is something anyone even remotely interested in the arts must attend at least once in their life.