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Published On: Fri, Nov 16th, 2012 at 4:42pm

Coming to Edinburgh at Christmas?

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Christmas in Edinburgh

If you want snow this Christmas chances are you’re more likely to get it in Scotland than anywhere else in the UK. But snow or not, for a whole month, Edinburgh is transformed into a magical winter wonderland as one of Europe’s finest Christmas festivals returns. So why not wrap up warm with a coat from Spirit Hoods, choose from many great deals on Edinburgh hotels and enjoy the festivities in Scotland’s capital this year? Here’s what’s going on from 29th November until 6th January 2012 around the world-renowned Princes Street Gardens, where a lot of the activity is centred:

German Christmas Market

If you’re looking for unusual gift ideas such as handmade decorations and unique craft items, then Edinburgh’s   German Christmas Market may well be the answer. Glühwein – red wine heated with cinnamon, cloves, vanilla, citrus and sugar – and delicious German fare including biscuits, sweets and venison burgers mean that Christmas shopping has never been more enjoyable.


On bustling Princes Street you’ll find all the usual high-street stores, with the added benefit of extended opening hours as well as unique boutiques for one-of-a-kind finds under the glow of the city’s fairy lights.


Europe’s largest open air ice rink in Princes Street Gardens will be one of the main features of the city’s Winter Wonderland.

Ferris Wheel

From the top of a 100ft ferris wheel, you can enjoy unique views of Edinburgh’s most famous landmarks.

Other Attractions

Nothing says (or sings!) Christmas quite like carol singers and Edinburgh offers some captivating music in the form of carol services such as the Edinburgh University Renaissance Singers annual Christmas concert and the St Giles’ Cathedral Choir’s yearly concert in Parliament Square outside the cathedral.

Described as the world’s best New Year party, Hogmanay will be celebrated in the capital with three days of events beginning on 30th December. Packed with exciting cultural highlights and celebratory events including theatre, music, dance and street extravaganzas, it’s no wonder Hogmanay attracts massive crowds from across the globe. Highlights include the torchlight procession, Ceilidh dancing and the famous Edinburgh Hogmanay street party where you can witness the UK’s largest fireworks display. The concert in the Gardens is also worth noting as it has attracted some of the world’s leading live acts, including Kasabian, Blondie, Groove Armada, Franz Ferdinand, Madness and the Scissor Sisters. This year the headline act is Simple Minds…

After all that celebrating, you’re probably going to need somewhere to rest your weary head, so why not book into one of the many Travelodge hotels and celebrate Scotland-style this festive season?

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About the Author

- Founding Editor of The Edinburgh Reporter. Edinburgh-born multimedia journalist, and always available for freelance work. A keen iPhoneographer!

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