Christmas is just around the corner, and you will be hard pressed to find a better city to spend it in. So whether you’ll be in town for the big holiday itself or just in the days leading up to it, here’s a list of things to do and see in Edinburgh that will really put you in a festive spirit:
- Take a scenic stroll along Princes Street and its gardens to marvel at the city’s holiday lights. On the mound, feast your eyes on the city’s iconic Christmas tree, which has been given to Edinburgh yearly for the past 25 years by the people of Hordaland, Norway.
- The mound also hosts the annual German Market, which sells delicious German pastries, hand-crafted toys and unique souvenirs to bring home to the family. Peruse the rows of nutcrackers while sipping on a mug of glühwein. On Christmas Eve, the German Market is open until 6pm.
- Make your way to the Winter Wonderland funfair, also located on Princes Street, where your kiddies can shout and scream on a number of rides. The fair’s centerpiece is the Edinburgh Wheel, which will be turning and giving lifts on Christmas Eve. Afterward, hire a pair of skates and go for a spin around the ice rink.
- Purchase tickets for the Edinburgh Christmas Panto, an irreverent musical comedy production that is always a winner with kids and adults alike. The King’s Theatre production this year is Jack and the Beanstalk.
- Visit the Edinburgh Zoo to watch the penguins play in the snow. It’s even open on Christmas Day!
- On Dec. 23, listen to melodic carols at Usher Hall at the Carols By Candlelight concert, which begins at 7:30pm. Featuring the music of Vivaldi, Mozart and more, the performers will even be dressed in full 18th century garb.
- Watch a movie: The Filmhouse will show Raymond Brigg’s classic children’s holiday film trilogy The Snowman, Father Christmas and The Bear only on Christmas Eve.
- Lastly, dine on a delicious Christmas meal in the Queen Anne room at Edinburgh Castle. Lunch costs £35 per person but it includes free entrance into the castle (to book call: 0131 220 4833).
[Photo credits: Nutcrackers by chatirygirl; Snowman courtesy of the Filmhouse]