Official Guide to Edinburgh

Edinburgh's Christmas

Make sure your Christmas is a real cracker - celebrate it in Edinburgh.

Edinburgh truly sparkles during the festive season. From late November until early January each year, the city centre comes alive with bustling markets, thrilling rides and unforgettable shows. Read on to find out what to expect in Edinburgh at Christmastime.

Christmas Markets

Edinburghs Christmas European Market

Whether you're looking for gifts from near or afar, you're bound to find something unique in one of Edinburgh's many markets. This year’s markets will have a big focus on Edinburgh makers and producers, so you can find lots of lovely local businesses to support through your Christmas shopping alongside sellers from the rest of Scotland and further afield.

The markets are moving from their traditional spot in East Princes Street Garden, so you’ll be able to find a range of stalls on the Mound, in George Street and round the corner in Castle Street. The number of people allowed into each market area will be limited, to help keep everyone safe and social distanced.

Of course, there are some great markets all year round that are perfect for picking up that ideal Christmas gift. The Stockbridge Market is a local favourite which is open every Sunday 10am - 5pm and showcases the best in local produce, crafts and gifts. For even more foodie treats, head down to Castle Terrace every Saturday from 9am to 2pm for the Edinburgh Farmers Market, where the stallholders often grow or rear what they sell. 

See more Edinburgh Markets > 

Light Night

Light Night 2015 Fireworks

On a selected Sunday evening every late November the city comes together to celebrate the switch on of the Christmas lights. Dozens of local schools and community groups come together to perform before the lights are turned on by a very special guest, followed by a breathtaking fireworks display. 

It's a must-do for anyone who wants to soak up Edinburgh's warm community atmosphere. 

Christmas Shows in Edinburgh

Circa Beyond

While Edinburgh locals love spending the festive season coming together to spend a night at the theatre, Covid-19 restrictions mean most traditional pantos and shows won’t be running this year.

Instead, have a look out for drive-in, outdoor and live-streamed performance to get you in the festive spirit.

See What's On in December >

All the fun of the fair

Edinburghs Christmas 2015 Princes St Gdns

Having a go on Edinburgh's Christmas rides is the highlight of the festive season for many of Edinburgh's residents. Get your skates on and have a whirl around the ice rink at its new home in George Street. Don't fancy the chill? You can always spectate clutching a warm hot toddy from the comfort of the nearby cabin bar. 

Take in breathtaking festive views of the city from the spectacular heights of the Big Wheel. A unmistakable landmark and a steadfast symbol of Christmas for everyone in Edinburgh, you can take in fantastic panoramas of the Old and New Town and admire the city in all its sparkling glory.

Or, if you're feeling really brave, take a trip on the thrilling Star Flyer. Thrill seekers will be rewarded with spectacular views of the city on this sensational ride but be warned - it is not for the faint of heart! 

Edinburgh's Christmas for Kids

Santa And The Elves At The Grotto 2015

There is always plenty for kids to see and do during Christmastime in Edinburgh. You'll find plenty of family friendly rides in Santa Land, including the Christmas Tree Maze and Santa Train.

Father Christmas takes time out of his busy schedule to visit the children of Edinburgh too, and you can find him every year in his grotto. Don't visit Santa Land without popping in to tell him your Christmas wish list! Read our interview with Santa > 

Find out what else is happening in Edinburgh all year round >