Festive Edinburgh

During the festive season Edinburgh becomes a sparkling winter wonderland. Whether you want to embrace all things traditional, or seek new ways of celebrating the holidays, there’s no shortage of things to do to keep all the family merry and bright. Discover your own festive fairy tale this Christmas with Edinburgh’s magical winter programme!

Edinburgh Christmas Credit Roberto Ricciuti

(Image Credit: Roberto Ricciuti) 

Edinburgh Christmas Market

Art And Craft Fair Assembly Rooms Dec 2019

The festive season officially begins with the opening of the Edinburgh Christmas Market. But have you ever wondered where the tradition of the Christmas market originates from? One of the first Christmas markets was held in the 14th century in the German city of Dresden where local craftspeople sold toys, confectionary and food. Over time the markets got bigger, with seasonal products such as roasted chestnuts on sale. It was also at this time that nativity scenes were set up for people to admire whilst shopping the stalls.

Edinburgh’s first Christmas market took place in 1999 as the German Market, selling German sausages, waffles and pretzels. Since then it has grown to become of the UK’s most popular Christmas markets. With a wide of delicious food stalls, craft and gift stalls, as well as rides & attractions and Santa Land, it’s offers something for all the family.

Discover more about Edinburgh’s Christmas>


Festive Workshops in Edinburgh

Unleash your creative side

Wreath Making Image

Show your door some love this Christmas with a festive wreath.

Let the creative juices flow by taking part in a Christmas Craft Workshop where you’ll learn the skills to produce some unique Christmas decorations to adorn your home or gift to loved ones this festive season.

Discover more in our guide to Christmas Craft Workshops in Edinburgh


Cosy bars in Edinburgh

Curl up this festive season in one of Edinburgh’s warmest bars

Sheeps Heid Inn(Image credit: The Sheep Heid Inn)

The nights may be getting longer, but that just makes the perfect excuse to curl up in one of Edinburgh's warm and welcoming bars.

Read on to discover our guide to the Cosiest Bars in Edinburgh


Find your new festive family tradition

Santa At Edinburgh Zoo

Whether it’s a sparkling light trail, a visit to Santa or a browse round Edinburgh’s Christmas markets, what better way to celebrate with family and friends than by checking out all the must-do things in the capital this Christmas.

Find fun for all the family in our guide to Family-friendly Winter Days Out in Edinburgh >


Santa Grotto Trails in Edinburgh

Visit a jolly man dressed in red

Santa At Edinburgh Zoo

Santa Claus is coming to town!

This may be his busiest time of the year, but Santa has still managed to squeeze in some time to fly round Edinburgh & the Lothians and set up his grottos all across the land.

Find out more in our guide to Santa’s Edinburgh Grotto Trail


Theatres Shows in Edinburgh

Have a night at the theatre

Phil Cunningham Credit Sean Purser(Image Credit: Sean Purser)

With shows making a welcome return to theatres, this festive season there’s an array of exciting performances taking place at Edinburgh’s world-renowned theatres, from the traditional panto to the majestic beauty of ballet.

Read more in our guide to The Best Shows in Edinburgh this Christmas


Dine in a historic building

Cannonball Exterior Restaurant

Meeting up with family & friends for a meal is for many of us is a staple part of the Christmas holidays.

If you’re looking for a stunning historic dining spot in Edinburg, we have some suggestions!

Discover more in our guide to the Top Historic Places to Dine in Edinburgh