If you’re into Christmas and everything that comes with it, I am sure you are familiar with Edinburgh. If you didn’t know that Edinburgh is a city that takes the festive season very seriously, let us educate you. In our eyes, Edinburgh is the unofficial capital of Christmas… like it is Christmassy to an extent that even Mr Claus thought of relocating to Scotland from the North Pole.
The Christmas season officially arrives in Auld Reekie on Light Night with grand fireworks, carols and the opening of the Christmas markets. From the 20th of November right until the 4th January one can ice-skate romantically around the Melville Monument on St Andrew Square, take a stroll over the European Market next to the Scottish National Gallery or see the city from a new perspective from the Star Flyer next to Scott Monument.
Besides all these activities, which are part of Edinburgh Christmas, the city also hosts numerous events – all to get you into the festive spirit. But no more rambling on about it! Let’s get into it… our awesome list of recommended events in Edinburgh this Christmas season below.
West End of George Street, 21st – 24th December, free
The Street of Light is an architectural installation of over 60,000 lights along George Street synchronised to the music of local musicians like DJs and choirs. The event is free, but tickets need to be reserved online. Be quick as some nights are sold out already.
West Princess Street Gardens, Sunday 11th December, £10
Christmas time does not necessarily have to mean laying on the couch and stuffing your face with cookies until it looks like a cookie, because in Edinburgh during the run-up to Christmas you can quite literally take a run (pun intended). On 11th December, British charity When You Wish Upon A Star hosts a Santa Run in West Princess Street Gardens, in which the whole family dressed up as big and little Santas can take part running or simply walking a 2.5km (1.55 miles) circuit. The proceeds of this event will go to charity granting the wishes of children living with life-threatening illnesses. And even if you do not want to take part, still come down and watch hundreds of Santas run in circles.
Summerhall, Sunday 11th December, £2
If you enjoy shopping for some out-of-the-ordinary Christmas presents with a glass of hot Gluhwein in hand, Summerhall on 11th December is the place to go. Plenty of gift ideas, carols and general merriness await.
Edinburgh Festival Theatre, 10th – 31st December, £14.50-£43.50
Scottish Ballet’s Hansel & Gretel is a fairy-tale story turned into a gorgeous piece of ballet. Described as “a tasty Christmas treat”, it takes the whole family along into a magical forest filled with sweets and a beautiful woman who is not who she seems. Not to miss!
St Giles’ Cathedral, Tuesday 13th December, £10
St Giles’ Cathedral on the Royal Mile has a magical atmosphere throughout the year, but the yearly Christmas Carol Concert is always an extraordinary delight. With beautiful acoustics, the grand building unfolds its true magic in candle light – perfect to get you in the festive mood.
Usher Hall, Edinburgh, Sunday 18th December, £17-£35
It doesn’t always take a big orchestra to raise the Christmas spirits, but it certainly doesn’t hurt! Enjoy a family-friendly concert with Christmassy carols and tunes including a screening of the 1982 film The Snowman.
Until 22nd December
If you’re thinking of joining us in the magical capital, why not take advantage of our fabulous Christmas Offer?! From £85 for two people, you can stay at our beautiful Royal Garden, Stewart or Braid Apartments just a 2-minute walk away from all the Christmas markets. Book now!