Things To Do In Edinburgh At Christmas

Edinburgh Christmas market sign

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Edinburgh is known for their incredible Christmas market, and it really is magnificent which I’d recommend visiting at least once in your life. But amongst the markets, there are also so many other Christmassy things to do.

So, here is my list of things to do in Edinburgh at Christmas

Visit The Christmas Markets By Day & Night

Is there anything better than a Christmas market?! The great food, mulled cider and incredible atmosphere mean Christmas markets pop up all over the world. But Edinburgh’s has been voted one of the best to visit and was one of the main reasons we wanted to visit Edinburgh. 

Edinburgh Christmas market during the day

You’ll find that Christmas markets don’t tend to open for long at all, maybe like three weeks. But Edinburgh’s runs from November to January, meaning you have longer to explore! 

It’s a must to visit the market by day and night! Why not jump on a ride too? We went on the big wheel which was around £10 each for a few times around, but the views were beautiful! 

Edinburgh Christmas market by night

Eat At The Christmas Markets

Probably the best thing about all Christmas markets are all the food stalls! We visited Edinburgh over a weekend, and one of our evenings rather than go for a meal, we opted to try lots of food from the stalls.

Mac n cheese, burgers, hot dogs, hog roast, the list could go on, here is what we ended up having!

Cheese In A Bread Bowl

First up, we had cheese in a bread bowl, delicious and one I’d highly recommend getting if you do visit and love cheese as much as us! It cost us around £8, and was shared between three. 

Cheese in a bread bowl - food as Edinburgh Christmas market

Potato On A Stick

Secondly, we had potato on a stick! There were many different varieties available, this was a Cajun one! It also cost between £5 and £8 I believe.  

Potato on a stick - food at Edinburgh Christmas market

Cheesy Chips

Thirdly, some cheesy chips! These were dirty fries, and were topped with bacon, cheese and jalapenos, and cost around £7 I think! Which was followed by a hot dog, which was also around £5!

Cheesy chips at Edinburgh Christmas market

Dive Into Dessert

Unfortunately, I didn’t get a picture of the brownie I took back to devour in the hotel room later that night! For dessert they had brownies, chocolate fountains, ice cream, waffles and the list goes on!

I’d highly recommend taking the opportunity to eat as much as you can at the markets, we did this over an evening but alternatively, you could do this over lunch! 

Have A Drink At Johnny Walker’s Bar

It gets very crowded, but it’s worth it for these views! We did have to wait a little while to grab a good spot for a photo, but totally worth it, it’s so peaceful looking out to this! You enter Johnny Walkers Bar in the Christmas Markets. 

Johnny walkers bar at Edinburgh Christmas market view

Visit The Royal Botanical For Christmas Lights

I’ve visited quite a few places which put on light shows, however, The Royal Botanical was SO much better than any I’ve been to before. There was so much to see and do, and as you’re spread out, we got a lot of time to explore without crowds of people. 

The Royal Botanical christmas lights in Edinburgh

Roast Marshmallows

One of the best touches was that you could pick up a marshmallow for £1 and heat it on the open fire! I had a salted caramel marshmallow and it was one of the best things I’ve ever tasted! 

Roasting marshmallows at The Royal Botanical Gardens in Edinburgh at Christmas

One of the main reasons I wanted to visit was seeing this incredible arch of lights on Instagram (I get all my inspo from Instagram!).

The Royal Botanical Gardens in Edinburgh at Christmas

Head To The Dome For The Christmas Decor

There was nowhere to sit (it was packed!) and they did double charge me for my drinks (but it was sorted once I’d called the hotel up when I got home). The Dome is known for their incredible Christmas decorations, look at that tree!

The Dome in Edinburgh christmas tree

We had to queue to get in, but the lights outside were also great. I’d recommend visiting to get a peek of the lights, but if you want to make an evening out of it either book a table for food, or visit early, we couldn’t find a place to sit, so we only went for one. 

The Dome in Edinburgh christmas lights outside

Drink Mulled Cider

I mean, it’s Christmas after all! If a mulled cider is available, I will most definitely be grabbing one. When you go abroad, there is usually only the option for mulled wine, so it’s nice that they offer cider in the UK! 

You’ll find a lot of places will offer mulled drinks during the winter months, but I grabbed this one from the Christmas Market. Just across from the markets is a larger bar, where you are able to sit and find more mulled goods, like mulled gin!

Mulled cider at Edinburgh christmas market

And there we have it! There is SO much more to do in Edinburgh at Christmas, but as we only visited over a weekend, we wanted to squeeze in the typical Edinburgh sightseeing bits too. 

I thoroughly enjoyed visiting Edinburgh and would highly recommend anyone visit during Christmas time if possible, as it really is beautiful! If you’re visiting, why not check out my three day Edinburgh itinerary here.

Have you been to Edinburgh during the Christmas period before? I’d love to know if you have any other recommendations! 


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