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Celebrate Christmas the Scottish Way in Edinburgh

It is easy to understand why Edinburgh is one of the UK’s most visited cities. It is a beautiful city renowned for its history and culture. Edinburgh is at its most crowded during the run of the Edinburgh Festival in August but there is plenty to enjoy here at other times of the year. What better time to visit the city than around the festive season? Hogmanay in Scotland is unique and so Christmas and New Year are becoming extremely popular times to visit. Thanks to its experience of dealing with large numbers of tourists, the city has some great accommodation such as a plentiful array of hotels in Edinburgh – and the advantage of these is that it provides options for any budget. So, once you get there, what is there to do?

From my experience, Edinburgh during Christmas has always captured the appeal of people, particularly due to the various activities available – this combined with the spectacular street lights which are turned on during the last week of November offers visitors ample opportunity to enjoy shopping in Princes Street with all its festive cheer and Christmas markets littered throughout the city.

Do it like the Germans

The German Market on the Mound brings a taste of Germany to Scotland. Alongside the German food and drink, there are many stalls showcasing arts and crafts, giving visitors the chance to buy some interesting gifts. The German Market opened at the end of November and remains open into the New Year. If it is Scottish fare you’re after, the Highland Village Christmas Market in East Princes Street Gardens is for you. A fun market, it sells some traditional food as well as gifts, jewellery and clothes. Not only is the market entertaining but it is also in a great location near the ice rink and under the Edinburgh Wheel.

Lively & Eventful – The Memories

Another fun, yet alternative market is the Dreaming of a Noir Christmas: Street Market and Cabaret on the corner of Leith Street and York Place. This has the feel of a festival, with circus sideshows and live music. There is also a pedal-powered cinema in a heated tent. With food, drink and local vendors selling all kinds of gifts, it is an atmospheric market to visit.

In fact, the whole city is alive to Christmas. Princes Street is holding a huge number of events through to Christmas Eve. There will be choirs, buskers, lots of outdoor eateries, live reindeer, the Santa Express and plenty of live music. All of these activities are free too.

There is also the Edinburgh Ice Rink, which is by the Scott Monument and opens through to the New Year; everyone is welcome. There are a number of sessions with varying prices. Also in the same vicinity is the Edinburgh Wheel. It has a span of 33 metres and gives fabulous views over the city.

Of course, we mustn’t forget Hogmanay. The party lasts for three days and includes a Torchlight Procession culminating in a fireworks display on the 30th and a huge street party on the 31st with stages throughout the city providing all kinds of live music. There are also lots of events going on at different sites in the city. Spending Christmas and Hogmanay in Edinburgh is the ideal way to get you into the festive spirit.

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