Top Christmas Attractions in Edinburgh

It’s that time of the year again! The whole family comes together to enjoy weeks of festivity and joy, and the city of Edinburgh has got you covered for entertainment.

After a reduced scene in 2020, the attractions are back with a bang and we’ve chosen some of the best for you to explore:


HOGMANAY: 28/12/21 – 01/01/22

It’s a world-famous New Year’s celebration and it’s THREE days long!

The festivities get underway with the torchlight procession before a spectacular fireworks display on December 30th. On New Year’s Eve, you can find one of the biggest street parties of the year on Princes Street – over 160,000 people attended last year – which will be headlined by Marc Almond, Idlewild, The Snuts, and Arielle Free to mention just a few.

The Concert in the Gardens is hosted by DJ Mark Ronson with Edinburgh Castle as a picturesque backdrop. The Ceilidh under the Castle, or the candlelight concert in St Giles Cathedral are other options before the events continue with “the Bells” which will include one of the world’s largest fireworks displays to welcome 2022.

Anyone still (somehow) standing can take part in the “Final Fling” ceilidh at 5.30pm on New Year’s Day.



The elegant nineteenth century theatre is situated next to Usher Hall. Here, you can enjoy high-quality productions of modern plays – many by regional playwrights – as well as Shakespeare productions and plays by the likes of Miller and Chekhov. A variety of ballet performances and children’s shows are also held here, so there are performances for all the family. The three-tier auditorium features a marvellous chandelier an array of red velvet, and ornate decorations. Seating 650 people, there are three bars to keep glasses full. Function rooms can also be hired out.



This annual event never gets old. Princes Street Gardens is transformed into Santa Land from 16th November to January 4th. The Christmas tree maze is awash with stalls, not least the Elves Workshop where the kids’ faces light up when they receive a little treat from Santa’s helpers. Santa’s train, Candy Cane Bungees, Reindeer Ride, Waltzers, Chair-o-plane, and Race-o-Rama make up the rest of the Christmas maze.

More than enough to keep the little – and big – kids happy! The beautiful, traditional revolving Carousel is a nostalgic treat and the Helter Skelter offers great views of the city, not to mention a thrilling ride. Finally, who could resist a visit to Santa’s grotto to meet St Nick himself!



The centre of Edinburgh hosts a collection of wonderful Christmas markets, open 10am-10pm every year. The European Market stretches from the National Gallery on the Mound all the way along Princes Street Gardens and right up to St. Andrew’s Square, featuring German artisan delicacies including sausages and gingerbread, and a wide range of arts and crafts stalls.

The Children’s Market in St. Andrew’s Square sells beautiful hand-crafted toys and holds arts and craft and gingerbread decorating workshops which children love to get stuck into. The Scottish Market can also be found in St. Andrew’s Square with a plethora of Scottish goodies, including craft beers, local delicacies, clothing and jewellery. This is great for last-minute shopping and perusing these markets is a fine way to get into the festive spirit, or keep it going into the new year.



For more information on all the best Christmas events in the country, head to Visit Scotland.

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