From 17th November 2023 to 6th January 2024
Visit Edinburgh Christmas Market, one of the Best Christmas Markets in the United Kingdom.
Situated across Edinburgh’s historic city centre, Edinburgh’s Christmas is the ultimate destination for festive family fun this winter!
Running for seven magical weeks from Friday 17November 2023 to Saturday 6 January 2024, Edinburgh’s Christmas transforms the city centre with fun for all the family, including traditional Christmas Markets, classic funfair rides, live events, delicious food and drink, and so much more... so start dreaming of hot chocolate and mulled wine, and get ready to join in the festivities in Edinburgh.
Last year Edinburgh’s Christmas over 2.5M locals and visitors to Christmas attractions throughout the Scotland’s Capital.
East Princes Street Gardens Christmas Market
Friday 17 November 2023 – Saturday 6 January 2024
Nestled in the heart of Edinburgh’s historic city centre, with stunning views of Edinburgh Castle, the Scott Monument, and the city’s iconic skyline, East Princes Street Gardens hosts the free to enter traditional Christmas Market with around 70 stalls featuring some of the best local and international producers selling everything from handmade gifts, bespoke products, to tasty treats and delicious drinks.
East Princes Street Gardens will also be home to the Big Wheel, Scotland’s largest ferris-wheel standing at 46m tall giving passengers a unique perspective of the city; the magical Santa Train travelling through an illuminated winter wonderland, and an exciting selection of rides including a Helter Skelter and the Starflyer for thrill seekers.
West Princes Street Gardens Family Funfair
Saturday 18th November 2023 – Saturday 6th January 2024
West Princes Street Gardens will be a free to enter family-friendly zone this year, complete with funfair rides and attractions, as well as festive food and beverage stalls and numerous warming zones where patrons can warm up with a decadent hot chocolate or seasonal mulled wine. Travel along the illuminated walk and enjoy the view across to Edinburgh Castle and Old Town. Installations and stop-off points along this illuminated path will include Edinburgh’s Nativity Scene and Gardeners’ Cottage, with Christmas-themed photo opportunities along the way.
The Ross Bandstand will host a programme of community focused, family-friendly events across the four weekends between Saturday 18 November and Sunday 10 December. The programme, with four key themes of LIGHT, MUSIC, DANCE & SANTA, will include live concerts, ceilidhean, silent discos, a Nativity Carols concert, When you Wish Upon a Star’s Santa Fun Run, and the Diwali Festival of Light.
St Andrew Square Winter Garden
Saturday 18 November – Sunday 24 December 2023
Santa Claus is back in town with Edinburgh's Christmas! Santa and some very helpful elves will be tucked away in St Andrew Square ready to welcome children and families and provide a magical Christmas experience. Santa’s Stories is a magical storytelling experience where each child gets the opportunity to meet Santa, learn the importance of giving, as well as receiving a gift of their own. Santa’s elves will also be on hand in the square at the special Post-Box & Letter Writing Station where children will be able to send their Christmas requests to the North Pole.
The spirit of giving continues with Social Bite’s Festival of Kindness, with the 10m tall Kindness Tree and Gift Donation point, dedicated to spreading goodwill to those who need it most. Donations can be made to help provide thousands of Christmas dinners, food packs and gifts to homeless and vulnerable families, children, and individuals, or for shelter to those without a roof over their heads this winter.
George Street West & Castle Street
Saturday 18th November 2023 – Saturday 6th January 2024
George Street will be home to the spectacular Edinburgh’s Christmas Ice Rink, a vital part of any Christmas visit. This year’s rink will be even bigger than last year and will once again be undercover, allowing more visitors than ever to enjoy the majestic Georgian skyline of Edinburgh’s New Town from the ice.
After the rink, skaters can warm up with a hot drink or treat from food stalls in George Street warming zones, take a ride on one of the traditional fairground rides including a double carousel, wander through the Artisan Christmas Market, or get those essential Christmas items from Edinburgh’s New Town shopping street. Local producers Local Motive will also bring their Ethical & Scottish Christmas Fair to Castle Street from 18 November to 24 December.
During your stay do not miss to visit the Most Beautiful Christmas Markets in the United Kingdom, Best Hidden Gems in Scotland, Most Amazing Castles in Scotland and Best Places to Visit in Scotland.
Hotels and Apartments
Motel One Edinburgh ★★★
The Christmas market is 700m away
This hotel has an excellent location score of 9.9
Le Monde Hotel ★★★★
The Christmas market is 600m away
Impressive and unique rooms
Tours & Activities
Christmas in Edinburgh
Top things to do
for Christmas in Edinburgh
Explore and enjoy Princes Street Gardens
Once again East Princes Street Gardens hosts one of the UK’s most stunning Christmas Markets, offering a range of craft and food and drink stalls as well as rides and attractions, all against the backdrop of the iconic Edinburgh Castle.
The Market’s rides include, among others, the famous 60m high Star Flyer with spectacular 360° views of the city centre, equally not-for-the-faint-hearted Forth 1 Big Wheel, the most Instagrammable Christmas spot in Edinburgh the Christmas Tree Maze, fairground staple – Helter Skelter and, for the keen little travellers, Santa Train!
Hosted by Forth 1’s Arlene Stuart, Light Night will take place between 3.30pm and 5pm on Sunday 17 November. There will be spectacular performances on the Royal Mile from local choirs and youth groups as well as a special appearance from Ama-zing Harmonies, a choir created through the work of Transit into Confidence, a charity supported by OneCity Trust, Edinburgh’s Christmas official charity partner. Audiences up and down the Mile will be able to enjoy the event thanks to three giant screens located in key spots on the street. At 5pm a spectacular pyrotechnics display will mark the official switch on of Edinburgh’s Christmas lights with Santa’s “flying” visit.
Brand new this season is Community Christmas, a wonderful, free, fun celebration which brings local Edinburgh communities together to spread festive cheer across the whole city! Presented in collaboration with Double Take Projections, Underbelly’s partners on Message from the Skies in 2018 and 2019, Community Christmas sees 12 locally significant buildings, across all four of Edinburgh’s localities, come alive with festive projections over 12 consecutive nights, a new building every night. Each event also features a different local choir performing some of the best-loved festive tunes alongside the projection.
Best in Europe.
For an enchanted Christmas in Europe