Christmas In Edinburgh
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Edinburgh's medieval charm seems taken directly from a fairytale at any time throughout the year. But once the days get shorter, the weather colder, and the lights are turned on, the atmosphere in Edinburgh reaches new heights of magic and coziness. A visit to the city during the holiday season is sure to be an unforgettable experience - so don't hesitate to step into the winter wonderland that is Scotland's capital.

Good to Know:

  • Getting There: Fly directly into Edinburgh International Airport or take the train from any other major city in the UK.
  • Getting Around: The medieval center of Edinburgh is easily explored on foot. For longer distances, use the well-developed public transportation system.
  • Where to Stay: Stay in the Old Town to be as close to all events as possible. To save money, you can also stay at the edge of town, as long as there is a train station nearby.
  • Best Time to Visit: In early December, the entire city has already turned on its holiday charm, and everyone is getting into the Christmas spirit.
  • More: Check out our Edinburgh trip to learn about the city's year-round highlights and our Christmas in New York City trip for more holiday inspiration!


Princes Street Gardens Christmas Market:

This massive Christmas Market is frequently high in the rankings for Europe's best Christmas markets. All of Princes Gardens is barely enough to fit the densely-packed attractions and the many visitors meandering around the market. Move from hut to hut to taste various holiday delicacies from around the world, from comforting mulled wine to chocolate-dipped fruits and everything in between. In addition to food and beverages, the Christmas Market offers some more exhilarating attractions: catch the views from the Ferris wheel or get a rush from the Star Flyer if you dare!

Christmas at the Botanics:

Experience over a million bright lights sparkling in different colors and formations on a magical stroll through the Royal Botanic Gardens. Everything, from trees to lakes to buildings, is lit up in every color of the rainbow in a truly fantastic spectacle for kids and adults alike. Walk through a giant tunnel of fairy lights or fields flooded with radiating flowers and forget about the outside world for a few hours.

Ice Skating in St. Andrews Square:

Rent some skates, take your favorite people by the hands and head out onto the ice skating rink of St. Andrews Square. Here you will glide on an oval track around Melville Monument, surrounded by glistening lights, music, and cheerful families, friends, and couples.

Cocktails at The Dome:

The Dome restaurant and bar is a staple destination at Christmas. It gets its name from its building, a former bank in neoclassical design: large Greco-roman columns line the entrance, and a large, intricate dome forms the roof. Each Christmas, The Dome sets up a gigantic Christmas tree, extravagantly decorated, which almost reaches the ceiling! Many people have made it a tradition to toast the holidays with a delicious cocktail under the Christmas tree.

Pantomime Shows:

Follow a long-standing Scottish tradition and see a Christmas Panto, a joyful theatrical production of beloved children's stories. Whether you bring kids or not, a day at the panto will surely be a blast!