10 Best Things To Do In Edinburgh This Christmas

things to do at christmas in edinburgh

The beautiful, hilly capital of Scotland, Edinburgh, is an enchanting holiday destination visited by numerous travelers every year. This marvelous city is not only a center of arts and culture, but it is also world-famous for celebrating various festivals. And it hosts grand celebrations for Christmas every year that attracts families and visitors worldwide. From the elegant Edinburgh Christmas Market, interesting 24 Doors of Advent, wonderful Santa’s Grotto, and the magical Christmas attractions at Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh to the thrilling Star Flyer, Edinburgh offers you countless incredible attractions and festive events to make your Christmas holidays extra special. So, if you are planning to spend your upcoming winter vacation in this magnificent European city, learning about some outstanding Christmas festivities will make your stay more charming. Scroll down to find the best things to do in Edinburgh this Christmas.

1. Get your favorite goodies at Edinburgh Christmas Market

The Christmas Markets are open this year from 22 November - 5 January. For the past 20 years in the heart of Edinburgh,...

Posted by Edinburgh's Christmas on Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Do you long to shop while exploring Edinburgh during your Christmas vacation? Then make sure you visit Edinburgh Christmas Market, located at the East Princes Street Gardens in the heart of Scotland’s capital city. The traditional market has something for everyone. Enhance your shopping experience by buying some local crafts, Christmas tree ornaments, baked goodies, and other products from the stalls here. You can also purchase bespoke items and wonderful gifts for your loved ones back home. Don’t forget to please your taste buds by sampling the delicious treats on offer.

Edinburgh Christmas Market - East Princes Street Gardens

Address: East Princes St, Edinburgh EH2 2HG, United Kingdom

Website: Edinburgh’s Christmas

Takes place: November to January

2. Participate in Santa Fun Run and Walk

Posted by This is Edinburgh on Sunday, 13 December 2015

Take part in Santa Fun Run & Walk this Christmas and help raise funds for When You Wish Upon A Star, a charity for kids who are suffering from life-threatening ailments. Hundreds of people in Santa costumes run or walk over a circuit of 2.5 kilometers (1.55 miles). This is a great way to spend time with family and friends while contributing to a good cause. No matter even if you are not a runner, you can still take part in this festive and charitable event.

Santa Fun Run and Walk - West Princes Street Gardens

Address: West Princes St, Edinburgh EH2 2HG, United Kingdom

Website: Santa Fun Run and Walk

Takes place: December

3. Enjoy ice skating at Murrayfield Ice Rink

Enhance your winter holiday experience in Edinburgh by going ice skating at the famous Murrayfield Ice Rink this Christmas. This venue also hosts Racers Christmas Cracker, a hockey event, during the holiday season. Buying the event’s ticket lets you watch the Racers’ home games. If you’d rather be on the rink, you can put on your skating gear and have fun gliding on the ice.

Murrayfield Ice Rink

Address: Riversdale Cres, Edinburgh EH12 5XN, United Kingdom

Website: Murrayfield Ice Rink

4. Soar at Star Flyer Edinburgh

If you have an adventurous spirit, soar up in the sky and get a view above the rooftops by booking a ticket to Star Flyer Edinburgh when vacationing in Scotland this Christmas. This thrilling ride located at East Princes Street Gardens takes you about 60 meters (196.85 feet) high and gives you jaw-dropping views of the city. If you can’t get enough of heights, you can also view the nearby Scott Monument, which is 200 feet and 6 inches (60.96 meters and 15.24 centimeters) tall.

Star Flyer Edinburgh

Address: East Princes St Gardens, Edinburgh EH2 2HG, United Kingdom

Website: Star Flyer Edinburgh

Takes place: November to January

5. Discover great destinations at 24 Doors of Advent

Have fun exploring the hidden gems of the capital of Scotland during your Christmas holidays with 24 Doors of Advent. In this 24-day event, a particular location in bustling Edinburgh opens its doors to the public. Discover these 24 locations and have a great time sightseeing and learning about the city. Anatomical Museum, Bookmarket by The Fruitmarket Gallery, Mansfield Traquair, Riddles Court, and National Library of Scotland are some of the locations you will be visiting. Be sure to check the schedule, as some changes may occur and other venues require advanced booking.

24 Doors of Advent

Address: Edinburgh, Scotland

Website: 24 Doors of Advent

Takes place: December

6. Relish a delicious dinner at The Dome

The Dome Edinburgh
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Jonathan Oldenbuck used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Are you a foodie who’s holidaying in Edinburgh this Christmas? If you are, you should not miss the opportunity to enjoy a festive meal at The Dome, an outstanding restaurant in the city. Please your taste buds by eating traditional Christmas pudding, Scottish salmon fillet, butternut squash and sage linguine, mushroom and hazelnut Wellington, poached pear, and other delicious dishes.

The Dome

Address: 14 George St, Edinburgh EH2 2PF, United Kingdom

Website: The Dome

Takes place: November to January

7. Join traditional caroling at The Mound

If you are looking forward to listening to carolers during your winter break in Edinburgh, attend the annual Nativity Carol Concert at The Mound this yuletide season. Begin your evening with traditional caroling and enjoy singing classic Christmas tunes with the performing choir. Enjoy the Christmas spirit at this event on the first day of December.

Nativity Carol Concert

Address: The Mound, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

Takes place: December

8. Immerse in the festive spirit at Christmas at Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas from everyone at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh The Garden is closed...

Posted by Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh on Tuesday, 25 December 2018

Explore one of the most spectacular and magical places in Edinburgh by visiting Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh this Christmas. Tour through awe-inspiring attractions, such as Laser Garden, Scented Fire Garden, Tunnel of Light, and Festive Finale. Be amazed to see beams of light hop across the tree branches at Laser Garden. Watch brightly-hued projections dance to the tunes of Christmas classics at Festive Finale. Experience the holiday spirit with these incredible, illuminated displays.

Christmas at the Botanics

Address: Arboretum Pl, Edinburgh EH3 5NZ, United Kingdom

Website: Christmas at the Botanics

Takes place: November to January

9. Visit Santa's Grotto

Your Christmas in Edinburgh won’t be complete without paying a visit to Santa’s Grotto. Meet Santa Claus, listen to his interesting, magical tales, experience the festive spirit, and receive a gift. Enjoy a ride on Helter Skelter and sip on some delicious hot chocolate. A ticket will buy you a visit that lasts for 25 minutes.

Santa's Grotto

Address: West Princes Street Gardens, Princes Street, Edinburgh, UK

Website: Santa’s Grotto

Takes place: November to December

10. Marvel at the magnificent Christmas Tree at Jenners [CLOSED]

The Christmas Tree at Jenners

Posted by This is Edinburgh on Friday, 21 December 2018

House of Fraser Jenners Edinburgh is a posh and grand department store located in Edinburgh, selling a variety of items such as designer outfits and cosmetics. It is famous for lighting a huge and splendid Christmas tree each year. The sight of this gigantic tree will surely amaze you, so plan to visit this amazing store to shop and to view the spectacular, impressively decorated Christmas tree during your winter break in Edinburgh.

House of Fraser Jenners Edinburgh

Address: 48 Princes St, Edinburgh EH2 2YJ, United Kingdom


Experience the festive spirit in Edinburgh

Edinburgh S Christmas Fair 2012
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Laura Suarez used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Edinburgh is full of attractions and exciting activities to enjoy at any time of the year, but Christmas is undoubtedly more special here. So plan to visit this marvelous capital during your upcoming winter holidays. Admire beautiful decorations and have fun enjoying these best things to do in Edinburgh this Christmas with your family and create wonderful memories to treasure for a lifetime.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

Get Trip101 in your inbox

Unsubscribe in one click. See our privacy policy for more information on how we use your data

Manjiri Kochrekar is a travel blogger from India. She loves exploring and learning various destinations, their history, culture, and peculiarities. Writing is her passion, which means she enjoys...Read more

 Want to contribute as a Local Expert?
Explore Edinburgh
Good things are meant to be shared!