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Christmas Events in Edinburgh

It's the most wonderful time of the year, and Edinburgh offers plenty of reasons for you to spend it in one of the most wonderful cities in the UK. We've rounded up our favourite Christmas events for you to enjoy there - just know we have plenty of great deals that'll grant you incredible stays in the Scottish capital!

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Edinburgh's Christmas Market

After being cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic, Edinburgh's Christmas Market is back for 2021. The city transforms into a fairy-tale-like village offering delicious food and drinks and a great chance for some exciting Christmas shopping. Enjoy a wide selection of market stalls, wrapped in beautiful twinkly lights, and a magical atmosphere that attracts both tourists and locals every year. The Christmas fair runs from November 20th until January 4th, and traditionally takes place in East Princes Street Gardens. To make up for last year, reports say the festivities will expand into West Princes Street Gardens and George Street between Castle Street and Charlotte Square. Just follow the iconic Forth Big 1 Wheel to enter Edinburgh's unmissable winter wonderland.

Botanic Gardens Christmas Lights

With Edinburgh transforming into an enchanting location during the festive season, the city's Royal Botanic Gardens are no exception. 'Christmas at the Botanics' returns in 2021 starting from November 25th - and it's set to come back big! A one mile illuminated trail will transport you into a charming reality made of fascinating flickering lights. This year's installations include Digital Rain, an array of LED pixels creating a shimmering shower of light, Fireflies in the Woods, with 100 points of light twisting through the trees, and Sea of Light, an enchanting mix of sound and light technology, flowing across the landscape in waves. A great experience to enjoy with both family and friends, and that is sure to leave everyone mesmerised.

Ice Skating at George Street

It's not Christmas time without a nice glide on the ice under the city's festive lights and decorations. Edinburgh's Ice Rink is back for 2021 and for the first time in three years! A portion of the famous George Street will be transformed to give space for the alpine-style ice rink as well as to a number of festive food and drink stalls. The 'Lidl on Ice' attraction, named after the sponsorship deal with the company that'll help Edinburgh have its much-loved ice rink back, will stay on for the whole duration of the Christmas Market, set to end on January 4th. Food and ice skating lovers - you're welcome.

Meet Santa in one of Edinburgh's Grottos

Of course writing a letter to Santa is a magical moment, and an exceptionally important one too! We wouldn't want to take that away from any child! After listing their infinite requests, what's better than meeting Santa in his grotto and telling him their wishes? Edinburgh offers a range of opportunities to do so. All the way from Lapland, the most popular location to meet Santa is surely at the Edinburgh Christmas Market, where he'll be reading kids a magical tale before gifting them a special present. We hope you've been nice!

Castle of Light at Edinburgh Castle

2021 is the year of comebacks, and we couldn't be more glad about it. The stunning Edinburgh Castle will once again be home to a spectacle of colour as the 'Castle of Light'' is set to make its grand return, running from November 19th until January 9th. Amazing visuals and lighting installations will enthrall you while you explore the castle's hidden treasures and immerse yourself in captivating storytelling. This beautifully-designed interactive experience brings together an array of the finest digital and visual talents in Scotland, so you and your family are sure to have a dazzling time in one of Edinburgh's most iconic locations.

Christmas Concerts at the Usher Hall

Nothing gets you in the festive spirit like a good Christmas carol, especially if it's one that takes your mind right back to your childhood. This year, Edinburgh is the place to be if you want to enjoy a great festive concert alongside two of the most popular Christmas shows. At the stunning Usher Hall, on December 2nd, a screening of The Muppet Christmas Carol will be accompanied by the Novello Orchestra, which will be performing the music to the film. Two weeks later, on December 19th, it'll be the time for the Royal Scottish National Orchestra to amaze the audience, playing the music from The Snowman, including the classic 'Walking in the Air'. If it's an enchanting night out with the family you're after, don't miss these events!