Top 5 Things to do in Edinburgh this Christmas

08 December 2020

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. Read on to discover all the things you need to get you in to the festive mood!

Buy presents at the market

While the Christmas Markets in Princes Street Gardens are not taking place this year, there are several markets throughout the city that offer a fantastic selection of artisan gifts and delicious food. Whether you're looking for a gift for a loved one, a decorative ornament for your home, or a foodie treat for yourself, you're bound to find something special. Not only will you find an array of unique products, you’ll also be supporting local businesses.

 Castle Street Market Stall

Looking up to Edinburgh Castle, Castle Street Christmas Market enjoys stunning views of Edinburgh’s skyline. Taking place from 3 to 23 December 2020, stalls will be filled with an abundance of quality gifts and delicious food choices – ideal for those last-minute Christmas presents.

Located on the ground floor, Ocean Terminal Christmas Market is open daily from 25 November through to 23 December 2020 and offers a wide variety of artisan food and handcrafted gifts from local Scottish traders.  New for this year is a winter photo competition in partnership with The Leith Collective offering all photography enthusiasts the chance to appear in Ocean Terminal’s Winter Landscape Photo Exhibition.

Fresh, seasonal produce awaits you at the award-winning Edinburgh Farmers' Market. This all year-round market is open from 9am-2pm each Saturday in the shadow of the castle ramparts in Castle Terrace.

Open every Sunday from 10am-4pm in Jubilee Gardens, the Stockbridge Sunday Market is a big hit with local Edinburgh residents.  Artisan breads, cheese, smoked salmon and even handmade dog treats sit alongside handmade soaps, jewellery and carefully created crafts.  

A short walk from the Royal Mile, Grassmarket is one of Edinburgh’s most vibrant and colourful areas. Steeped in history, visitors flock to view the architecture and landmarks including the nearby Greyfriar’s Bobby.  The Grassmarket Market is held each Saturday from 10am – 5pm and is a hive of activity as it bustles with residents keen to sample home grown produce including seasonal fruit and vegetables, freshly baked breads, sweet treats and handcrafted gifts from local craftmakers.

Taking place every Saturday from 10am to 4pm on Dock Place, Leith Market is full of foodie delights and unique items from local makers and designers. On the first Saturday of the month Leith Market is home to a Vegan Quarter where, alongside their usual line-up of traders, the Market is filled with delicious variety of Vegan treats from cupcakes to Vegan Meat.

Taking a picture of the Dome lights

The Dome Christmas Lights

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 your 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.

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. So, gather the family, don your festive jumpers, grab your favourite snacks, and snuggle down for a few hours of pure indulgence. 

Winter walks

Holyrood Park

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!

In need of some inspiration, check out our guide to some of the best walks in Edinburgh, guaranteed to blow away the cobwebs> 

Add some sparkle with a Night Light event

Christmas At The Botanic Gardens

Both Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and Edinburgh Zoo are brightening up the dark nights this festive season with illuminated trails – candy canes glitter, tress sparkle and festive music spreads through the air, and if you keep your eyes open, you may just see a certain jolly man in a red suit!

Santa Image At Edinburgh Zoo Christmas Nights

 Find out more about Edinburgh at Christmastime>