Official Guide to Edinburgh
  • 11°C

Things you must do in Edinburgh at Christmastime

16 December 2015

It’s Christmas time in Edinburgh! What better way to celebrate the festive season than by checking out all the must-do things in the capital this Christmas. Make the season bright by mixing up your routine and venturing out among the merry makers to experience Christmas in Edinburgh. Who knows, maybe going along to see the panto is just what you need to get you in to the festive mood (oh no it won't! oh yes it will!)

Having a mulled wine in Princes Street Gardens

Best enjoyed on cold winter nights at the European Christmas market is “Glühwein” or mulled wine. We guarantee scents of cinnamon and fruity wine will get even the biggest humbugs into the Christmas spirit! There's also fantasically festive drinks on offer including indulgent hot chocolate and other European specialities. While you're at it, why not grab a waffle smothered in chocolate or a tasty bratwurst to enjoy with your Christmassy drink.

Skating around St Andrew Square

Ice Rink Credit Edinburgh Christmas

[Image credit: Edinburgh's Christmas]  

Feeling confident and fleet of foot? Grab a pal and a pair of skates and hit the St Andrew Square ice rink to glide around the Melville Monument. While you might not be able to take your eyes off your skates for fear of ending up on the ice, there's a range of Christmas shops and rides to take in as you whiz round the rink. Prices start from £5 and can be booked directly through the Edinburgh Christmas' website> 

Taking a picture of the Dome lights

The Dome With People Crfacebook

[Image Credit: The Dome Edinburgh Facebook]

Christmas just isn’t Christmas without a visit to The Dome and taking a picture with the glittering columns and a forest of miniature pine trees sparkle their welcome, while inside garlands, baubles, decorations and the most impressive tree in the Capital ensure that a visit to The Dome is akin to walking into the most enchanting wonderland imaginable. If you do choose to venture in, you'll be treated to a winter wonderland where you can enjoy a glass of fizz, a festive bite or simply a cuppa. 

Buying presents in the Christmas Market

Market Credit Fraser Cameron 600

[Image Credit: Edinburgh's Christmas]

The traditional and romantic European Christmas Market in the heart of the City offers a unique shopping experience for every visitor with its fair of crafters, artists, gift shops and gastronomic surprises. Cross Princes Street over to St. Andrews square and you'll find the Scottish Market, a winter showcase of some of the best craft, food and drink that the country has to offer. At your leisure you can peruse locally produced food and drink like hand crafted chocolates, cupcakes, gin and craft beer as well as fresh Scottish seafood and meat. Hand crafted jewellery, woodwork and some of the finest Scottish accessories are also all waiting to be discovered.

Seeing the King’s pantomime

Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs

Fancy a chuckle this Christmas? Take in a traditional fairytale story come to life in a fun family show filled with jokes, songs, dancing and more than a hint of innuendo that passes over children’s heads and leaves adults chuckling with glee. Look out for famous faces putting on silly costumes and acting out some thinly disguised fairytale for the benefit of their rapturous audience.

Visit Santa's Grotto

Santas Grotto 500X210 

What could make Christmas more magical than an encounter with the one and only Father Christmas? The grotto isn't exclusively reserved for kids either, as fully grown adults are very welcome to pop in and check if they've been naughty or nice. Come along to make a wish or indulge a festive story from Santa to really get into the spirit this year. 

Find out what Santa loves most about Edinburgh>

Catch a festive film

Its A Wonderful Life Credit Film House Website

[Image credit: Filmhouse Edinburgh]

One thing almost everyone loves at Christmas is a good film - be it a tear jerking romance, or an off the wall slapstick comedy - there's nothing like a good festive movie to get you in the spirit. The filmhouse have a great selection of go-to favourites including the iconic Christmas films It's A Wonderful Life and the Muppets Christmas Carol. So grab a box of mince pies and book a ticket for one of these seasonal cinematic treats.

Winter walks

Winter Skyline

The holiday season always brings with it a bit of downtime, and a chance to take a nice wintry stroll around Edinburgh.  Whether you take a frosty walk along the Water of Leith or visit the Royal Botanic Gardens, you're bound to discover something new. So wrap up warm and take a jolly walk this winter to see what nature has to offer. It's also a good excuse to work off the Christmas pudding, or maybe it's just an excuse to warm up with a hot chocolate when you get home!

Find out more about Edinburgh at Christmastime >