CHRISTMAS IN EDINBURGH: 5 WAYS TO ENJOY THE HOLIDAY SEASON
This festive season is here! Edinburgh Castle is festooned with lights, the Christmas market is in full force, we’ve had a small dusting of snow, and there’s an unmistakable feeling that something festive is in the air. After a bit of a quiet Christmas last year, it’s evident that the city is making up for lost time. Twinkly lights and Christmas trees line the streets, and there are so many ways celebrate the upcoming holidays in the city.
Christmas is always a magical time in Europe, and Edinburgh is no exception. And whether you’re interested in soaking up all the lights and music in the city centre or avoiding the crowds with a cozy treat and hot cocoa, there are so many things to do in the city this time of year!
Keep scrolling for 5 ways to enjoy the holiday season in Edinburgh!
1. Edinburgh Christmas Market
Six weeks of fun and festivities in the heart of the city all start with the main event: Edinburgh’s Christmas Market. Because who doesn’t love mulled wine, festive music, and wandering the cozy Christmas stalls?
Taking up a sizeable part of the city centre, the market runs through East and West Princes Street Gardens as well as the west end of George Street. And whether you’re interested in shopping, eating, ice skating, or meeting Santa – this market has it all.
Not interested in the busy market? Try walking along George Street, just a few streets over. It’s less busy, and you’ll still be able to experience beautiful lights without the massive crowd 🙂
2. Festive tea at The Dome
There’s nothing quite like getting dressed up for an afternoon of tea, tiny sandwiches, and cakes, especially at Christmas. Many restaurants and bakeries across the city have started putting out holiday menus, and The Dome is no exception. Formerly a bank, The Dome is now an award-winning bar and restaurant, particularly famous for how all-out they go with decorations each winter. With twinkly lights, wreathes and holly in every corner, not to mention the mother of all Christmas trees towering over the entry hall, the decorations of The Dome are a can’t-miss. And if the decorations aren’t enough to get you in the door, the food definitely will. This year The Dome is doing a festive morning tea, complete with gingerbread parfaits, croissants, artisan breakfast sandwiches, and more. Interested in something else? The Dome offers amazing lunch/dinner options as well as a fantastic assortment of drinks from their beautiful bar. Note: it’s best to book in advance, especially around the holiday season!
Fun fact: it takes nearly half a million lights and hundreds of hours of work to give The Dome its Christmas sparkle!
[Image: The Dome Edinburgh]
3. Shop local
This year, I’m making an effort to buy most of my Christmas gifts locally. Lucky for me, there are so many amazing locally-owned shops in Edinburgh! This time of year almost every shop window is adorned with twinkly lights, stars, and snowflakes, which makes for the coziest and most festive shopping experience.
A few of my favourite shops to stop by:
Travelling Basket: One of the most beautiful shops in Edinburgh, Travelling Basket brings the simplicity and beauty of Scandinavian design to the city. I’m loving all of the stunning Christmas decor they have at the moment!
Golden Hare Books: Stockbridge’s cutest independent bookshop with a wood-burning stove and an endless supply of books. Check out their PostBooks reading subscription for a surprise hand-picked book every month!
Grow Urban: One of the city’s loveliest plant shops. Order a coffee, browse the amazing selection, and be prepared to take home a plant (or 10)
4. Try all the festive treats
And speaking of local, Edinburgh is absolutely filled with an abundance of bakeries and cafes perfect for those of us who can’t resist a holiday treat. From traditional mince pies to the funky Christmas cruffin, these are a few of my favourite spots to treat myself:
Sugar Daddy’s Bakery: Their brownies and cookie pies are e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g!
Twelve Triangles: Mince pies, buns, and sourdough for days!
Black Rabbit: The yummiest cruffins, most inventive cakes, and everything is vegan!
5. Christmas at the botanics
Is there anything better than wandering a botanical garden? How about wondering a botanical garden at night? The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is one of my favourite places to visit, and it’s even more magical around the holidays. Tunnels of light, festooned trees, dancing flames, and atmospheric music make this holiday light experience one you won’t want to miss!