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Experience the enchanting side of Edinburgh this winter season. Immerse yourself in the capital’s iconic Christmas Market and Winter Festivals.

Edinburgh during Christmas is nothing short of magical! Year after year, Edinburgh’s Christmas and Edinburgh’s Hogmanay present a captivating array of festivities to ignite the holiday spirit. While Scotland’s capital is a fantastic destination year-round, there’s an undeniable allure that comes alive during the festive season.

What’s Happening This Christmas Season?

From November 17, 2023, to January 6, 2024, Edinburgh’s Christmas will captivate visitors for a splendid seven weeks. Expect a diverse array of events, celebrations, markets, shows, and more, all designed to infuse the city with the joy of the most wonderful time of the year.


The Castle of Light

From late November to early January, The Castle of Light returns to Scotland’s most beloved attraction, illuminating your winter nights with stunning light displays across the walls of Edinburgh Castle. It’s a spectacle for the whole family to enjoy.


The Torchlight Procession

The celebrations are back in full swing this Hogmanay, marking the 30th anniversary of the Torchlight Procession. On December 29, the procession commences at the Meadows and winds its way through the historic Old Town. The streets come to life with street theatre, fire performers, pipe bands, drummers, and even the Vikings from Shetland’s South Mainland Up Helly Aa’ Jarl Squad.


Night Afore Disco Party

Bid farewell to the year with a grand party beneath the enchanting Edinburgh Castle on December 30. The Night Afore Disco Party returns for an entertaining evening you won’t want to miss.


East Princes Street Gardens Christmas Market

Nestled in the heart of Edinburgh’s historic city centre, East Princes Street Gardens hosts a traditional Christmas Market with stunning views of Edinburgh Castle, the Scott Monument, and the iconic city skyline. With approximately 70 stalls featuring the best local and international products, this market offers handmade gifts, bespoke items, delicious treats, and more. Don’t forget to enjoy the Big Wheel, Scotland’s tallest Ferris wheel, and the magical Santa Train, along with thrilling rides like the Helter Skelter and the Starflyer.


West Princes Street Gardens Family Funfair

West Princes Street Gardens is a family-friendly zone with funfair rides, festive food and drink stalls, and cosy warming zones where you can savour hot chocolate or mulled wine. Take a stroll along the illuminated path and enjoy views of Edinburgh Castle and the Old Town, featuring festive installations and photo opportunities, including Edinburgh’s Nativity Scene and Gardeners’ Cottage.


St Andrew Square Winter Garden

Santa Claus is back in town this Christmas! In St Andrew Square, Santa and his helpful elves are ready to create a magical Christmas experience. Santa’s Stories offers a special storytelling experience where children get to meet Santa, learn the spirit of giving, and receive a gift. Santa’s elves are also available at the Post-Box & Letter Writing Station, where kids can send their Christmas wishes to the North Pole. The Festival of Kindness by Social Bite, with a 10-meter Kindness Tree and Gift Donation point, spreads goodwill to those in need.


George Street West & Castle Street

George Street is home to Edinburgh’s Christmas Ice Rink, an essential part of any Christmas visit. This year’s rink is even bigger and still undercover, providing visitors with a chance to admire the majestic Georgian skyline of Edinburgh’s New Town while ice skating. Afterwards, warm up with a hot drink from the George Street warming zone or explore the traditional fairground rides, the Artisan Christmas Market, or Edinburgh’s shopping scene. Local Motive brings their Ethical & Scottish Christmas Fair to Castle Street from November 18 to December 24.


Explore George Street Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Street Party

On December 31, the festivities kick off at Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Street Party. Dance the night away at the Concert in the Gardens, where prominent artists take centre stage. This year, PULP headlines this spectacular event, with more artists and musicians to be announced. The Tartan Zone on Waverley Bridge features foot-stomping music from across Scotland, and the Disco Zone, hosted by Silent Adventures, presents a giant outdoor Silent Disco with tunes spanning 30 years of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay.

On New Year’s Day, enjoy a packed program of free events, including First Footin’, a live music culture trail in landmark pubs, cafes, and venues throughout the city centre. Sprogmanay returns with fun activities for the little ones, including a family ceilidh.

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