3 reasons to celebrate Christmas in Edinburgh

Edinburgh is a wonderful city to visit all year round, but once the Christmas decorations and lights go up, the Scottish capital becomes truly magical. The city has so much to offer visitors in December, but we’ve picked out three not to be missed experiences which make Edinburgh an enchanting Christmas destination, guaranteed to make this festive season one to remember.

Edinburgh’s Christmas

No list of Christmas activities in Edinburgh would be complete without mentioning Edinburgh’s Christmas; running from 20th November until 4th January, Edinburgh’s Christmas is a brilliant six-week season of festive entertainment for everyone.

Edinburgh's Christmas

Enjoy panoramic views of Edinburgh from the top of the Big Wheel, spin around on the charming carousel or brave a twirl on the 60-metre-high Star Flyer. Alternatively, get wrapped up and take to one of the two glittering ice rinks in either Princes Street Gardens or St. Andrew Square. Or, if you’re not the active type, head along to the festive markets in the city centre to soak up the seasonal atmosphere. Enjoy delicious food and drink plus traditional crafts at the Scottish Market in St Andrew Square; pick up unique gifts and goods at the European Market on the Mound, or choose gifts for your wee ones at the Children’s Market. The markets are open every day from 10am until 10pm.

Street of Light

The Virgin Money Street of Light is a breathtaking new event set to light up Edinburgh’s Old Town this festive season. From 30th November to 24th December, an installation of over 60,000 lights will run along the Royal Mile, from the City Chambers to the Tron Kirk, creating a stunning canopy of light which will rise into the wintery skies. Running twice per evening, the experience is accompanied by music and songs from a variety of Edinburgh choirs, all of which will be synchronised to the lights.

Street of Light

To celebrate this exciting new event, there are a number of festive events taking place along the Royal Mile before and after the performances, so you can really make an evening out of it. Why not enjoy a taste of Scotland and learn about whisky on the Whisky Enlightenment tour at The Scotch Whisky Experience, or indulge your senses with a Festive Afternoon Tea at Colonnades in The Signet Library, followed by a warming hot chocolate or mulled wine – Christmas heaven!

Attend a Christmas concert

Who can resist a good choir at Christmas? This year you’ll be spoilt for choice. Edinburgh is host to a variety of Christmas concerts – in some truly historic and spectacular buildings – that will bring festive cheer to your visit. So, whether you’re enjoying the Edinburgh University Renaissance Singers on Sunday 6th December at the National Museum, the Edinburgh University Music Society Orchestra on Monday 7th December at Reid Concert Hall, or the Edinburgh Singers on 12 December at Greyfriars Kirk, you’ll be guaranteed to come away filled with Christmas spirit and joy.

Edinburgh Choir

Douglas Walker is Chair of Unique Venues of Edinburgh.

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