Official Guide to Edinburgh

Edinburgh's Christmas

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

Botanics Christmas Lights 2020

Christmas in Edinburgh will be a little different this year, with the usual city centre Christmas celebrations cancelled. But fear not, as there are still plenty of activities to keep all the family amused. Read on to find out what to expect in Edinburgh this Christmastime.

Please check opening times and booking requirements with venues directly before you travel. For the latest advice please visit the Scottish Government website and follow current social distancing and NHS guidance to minimise the spread of the virus.

Events for all the Family

Magic Festival Performance With Girl Watching

While a lot of the traditional family favourites are postponed this year, there’s still a wide variety of activities available to keep all the family happy, even the big kids! Whether it’s pantomime or a festive film in the car, an after-dark trail light with a warming hot chocolate, or a private Zoom session from the man himself, read on to discover how all the family can have a merry little Christmas!

Check out Events for all the Family this Christmas> 


Edinburgh’s Markets

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 in one of Edinburgh's many markets. Showcasing the best in local produce, crafts and gifts, not only will you find an array of unique products, you’ll also be supporting local businesses. Have a look at our top recommendations: 

Castle Street Christmas Market

Castle Street Christmas Market Localmotive Markets

Image by LocalMotive Markets

Looking up to Edinburgh Castle, Castle Street Christmas Market enjoys stunning views of Edinburgh’s skyline. Taking place from 26 November 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.

Ocean Terminal Christmas Market

Held indoors on the ground floor of Ocean Terminal from 25 November - 23 December 2020, this festive market will be filled with local and Scottish gifts, food, and drinks – from delicious range of bread, cakes, fudge, honey, jams and chutneys, to live art, calligraphy, quality handmade jewellery, woodworks, glass, homeware, soaps and candles, and much-much more.

Edinburgh Farmers' Market

Fresh, seasonal produce awaits you at this all year-round market, open from 9am-2pm each Saturday in the shadow of the castle ramparts in Castle Terrace. Delicious smells and flavours will thrill your tastebuds as stall holders tempt you with their wares.  Juicy jams, chutneys, chillies and cheese along with crusty bread, handmade chocolates, organic beer and meats and seasonal fruit and vegetables ensure you leave the market with a bag full of goodies.

Stockbridge Market

Open every Sunday all year round 10am to 4pm, artisan breads, cheese, smoked salmon and even handmade dog treats sit alongside handmade soaps, jewellery and carefully created crafts.

Grassmarket Market

Open each Saturday from 10am – 5pm. Popular with residents, this market bustles with as shoppers sample home grown produce including seasonal fruit and vegetables, freshly baked breads, sweet treats and handcrafted gifts from local craftmakers.

Leith Market

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.

Leith Market Bread 500X210 Credit At The Market

Image by At the Market

The Joy of Giving

The saying goes, it’s better to give than receive, but what do you give that person that is tricky to buy for (every family has one!). 

Cuckoos Bakery Christmas Cup Cakes

If you’re struggling with ideas, check out our gift voucher guide, which has everything from dining out suggestions to ghost tours. With many of us unsure when we will be able to travel, vouchers allow you to take advantage of the gift at a time to suit you, as well as supporting local businesses – a real win, win situation!

Delight them with a Gift Voucher this Christmas>

Relax with a Festive Afternoon Tea

Christmas can be a busy time of year, more so this year, so it’s good to take some time out, relax with friends, indulge in some tasty festive treats and enjoy a glass of something bubbly.

The Dome Christmas Lights

Many of Edinburgh’s restaurants, hotels and venues are offering festive afternoon teas throughout the Christmas season. So, while you can never have too many mince pies, the only problem is deciding where to book. Don’t despair – we’ve done the hard work and have rounded up the top places in the city to enjoy a festive treat! Ding dong merrily on high!

Indulge in a Festive Afternoon Tea this Christmas>


Edinburgh's Hogmanay

A time for signing Auld Lang Sang, Ceilidh dancing, first footing and sitting down to a steak pie on New Year's Day.

Read on to discover more about this special time of year in Scotland >