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Edinburgh's Christmas Market, Princes St Gardens


Edinburgh Christmas Markets and Winter Festivals

Edinburgh at Christmas time is truly magical! Each year Edinburgh's Christmas and Edinburgh's Hogmanay come up with an exciting array of events to get everyone in the mood for the holiday season.

Please note, Edinburgh's Hogmanay has been cancelled for 2021.

Between November 2021 and January 2022, Edinburgh transforms into a winter paradise, complete with Christmas markets, ice skating, festive experiences and much more.

Edinburgh's Christmas Markets and Winter Festivals

The countdown to Christmas is well and truly on!

Whether you're looking for high-tech gadgets from leading department stores or a designer outfit from the boutiques in Multrees Walk, you'll find that Edinburgh's city centre is a great place for shopping. You can also take time to search for the perfect gift thanks to extended festive opening hours, with many stores opening until 8pm or later.

What to look forward to in 2021

Edinburgh's Christmas and Winter Wonderland

Tumble into a magical winter wonderland in the centre of a fairytale city. Edinburgh's Winter Festivals bring Edinburgh's Christmas brings a magical explosion of twinkling lights, enchanting sounds, mouth-watering flavours and lots of fun and laughter. 

Edinburgh's Christmas Market

The festive markets in the city centre are a popular highlight during Edinburgh's Christmas. Enjoy delicious food and drink and traditional crafts at the heart of East Princes Street Gardens, a perfect place to pick up unique gifts and goods. For the first time, the markets will be stretching out to various locations across the city including West Princes Street Gardens and George Street between Castle Street and Charlotte Square.

Edinburgh's Winter Wonderland 2021

Running from November to January, Edinburgh's Christmas offers no shortage of things to see and do this winter. Enjoy panoramic views of the capital from the top of the Big Wheel, spin around on the waltzers or get ready for a bumpy ride on the bumper cars.

Younger kids will love Santa Land in West Princes Street Gardens, a festive fairground with lots of family friendly rides. Try to find the Elves' Workshop hidden in the Christmas Tree Maze, or visit Santa's Grotto to meet the man himself!

Ice Skating at Edinburgh's Christmas

Edinburgh's ice rink has a new home for 2022. This year, the ice rink will be making its debut over a large portion of George Street between Charlotte Square and Castle Street. Hire a pair of skates and spin across the ice behind a gorgeous backdrop of the glittering city. Get your skates on though, tickets are selling fast so book now to avoid disappointment!

Other Things to do and Places to Visit in Edinburgh

Of course, it's not all about the Christmas markets. There are plenty of other places to visit in Edinburgh during winter to help bring some much-needed festive cheer. Here is just a selection of exciting events and activities to add to your winter bucket list.

  • Go Christmas Shopping - with the arrival of St James Quarter in 2021, Christmas shopping has just been made easier. You'll find a fantastic selection of brands including Calvin Klein, Kurt Geiger, Kate Spade and much more. Christmas may be a time for giving but sometimes its nice to treat yourself. Head to Hotel Chocolat for a post-shopping hot chocolate. If you're on the hunt for designer goods, Multrees Walk is a gold mine when it comes to exclusive fashion brands. From Burberry, Louis Vuitton and BOSS, your loved ones will no doubt be amazed with your impressive taste.
  • Castle of Light Hidden Treasures, 19 November 2021 - 9 January 2022 - explore the wonders of Edinburgh Castle after hours. Rex, the famous red lion, is back with an almighty roar and he's got a few new friends to help you uncover the hidden treasures of the castle. Each landmark has a story to tell, watch them illuminate and come to life with stunning visuals in this night-time spectacle.
  • Christmas at the Botanics, 25 November 2021 - 2 January 2022 - The Royal Botanic Gardens certainly doesn't do Christmas by halves. Take a magical stroll along its festive illuminated trail with highlights including the fire garden and light tunnel, a perfect backdrop for taking pictures. At the end of the trail, warm up with a hot chocolate or mulled wine, or toast some marshmallows by the fire pit.

Edinburgh's Hogmanay

Calton Hill son et lumiere show hogmanay

When it comes to Hogmanay, Edinburgh certainly knows how to put on a show whether it's the enchanting torchlight procession, the famous Hogmanay street party and spectacular firework display or a toe-tapping ceilidh and concert in Princes Street Gardens.

When the clock strikes midnight, gather your friends and family virtually to raise a toast to a much brighter 2022!