Edinburgh is an easy place to get into the Christmas spirit. It has cold weather, hearty food, and a very Dickens-esque vibe…this is the UNESCO City of Literature, after all.
But truly one of the best ways to celebrate the holidays in Europe is at the Christmas markets. Luckily for us, Edinburgh has a great one. If you are in town for the holidays, be sure not to miss it!
Located off of Princes Street (with stunning views of the castle) the Edinburgh Christmas market runs from the end of November until the beginning of January. Charming stalls sell everything from furs, to fudge, to nutcrackers. It’s a good place to pick up gifts for friends and family…don’t forget to treat yourself too! Food stalls are everywhere, and most of them have a Bavarian theme. You can find bratwurst, streusel, gluhwein, mulled cider, and soft pretzels. You heard me right: soft pretzels (these are very elusive here)! If Bavarian food isn’t to your taste, it’s easy to find fish and chips, burgers, and crepes.
The market is also extremely family-friendly. There’s an ice skating rink, a Ferris wheel, a Christmas tree maze, train rides, and visits with Santa Claus. For brave souls, there is also a terrifying giant swing. I just might build up the courage to go on it next time 😛
For those over 18, the market has some interesting and unique drink stands. We really loved the Carousel Bar, which is near the National Gallery, and the Hot Toddy Bar, which overlooks the skating rink (above the “SKATE” sign in the picture).
All of the bars have similar menus, and for a £2 deposit, you’ll get a ceramic souvenir mug which can either be taken home or returned. You can order various types of drinks, including hot toddies, gluhwein, and mulled cider. They have non-alcoholic beverages available too, of course!
Most importantly, the Christmas market can be a wonderful place to enjoy the company of good friends 🙂