Here are 4 reasons why Edinburgh is the best city to visit at Christmas

Say the phrase ‘I’m planning a trip to Edinburgh’ and we can pretty much bet someone will reply ‘you have to go at Christmas’ – and they are absolutely right. People from all over the world flock here over the festive period for a trip they’ll never forget. But why exactly is it the best city to visit at this time of year? Let us explain…

Edinburgh’s Christmas Markets

We’ll start with the obvious. Nearly everyone has heard about the markets dotted around the city centre (they are pretty famous after all). Just a two-minute walk from Edinburgh’s Waverley train station, East Princes Street Gardens hosts the biggest market of them all and when it hits the city, you will definitely know about it.

At the top is the big wheel (which gives you an insane lit-up view of Edinburgh’s skyline) and bars where you can wrap your hands around a delicious mulled wine (it would be rude not too, right?). Stroll down a level and you’ll find a whole load of stalls which sell everything from fancy crafts to amazing foodie treats. It’s the ideal place to pick up a few Christmas presents for family and friends and you know, maybe a few for yourself too. We won’t tell if you don’t…

Added bonus: The market’s backdrop is the iconic Edinburgh Castle – did someone say ‘the perfect Insta shot?

If you fancy a festive adrenaline rush, the gardens are also home to Winter Wonderland and it’s unmissable during your trip here. From the double carousel to the Star Flyer, there’s something for any ride lover and it’s guaranteed to get your adrenaline pumping.

Once you’ve dragged yourself away from buying gifts and perhaps made yourself go dizzy from the rides, we recommend you head along to George St to get a photo near the amazing festive lights. You could maybe even stop at one of the outdoor bars dotted along the street and try a traditional Scottish hand-crafted liqueur (you know, just to keep hydrated…).

Tip: If you have some extra savings, pop into The Dome – Edinburgh’s famous bar which is transformed with thousands of fairy lights and baubles and is arguably home to the city’s most famous Christmas tree. Be sure to book way in advance though as it’s a super popular spot.

The Jenners Christmas Tree

A trip here over the festive period isn’t complete without popping into Jenners for a bite to eat and some Christmas shopping. If you just can’t get enough of the Christmas trees dotted around the city, you won’t want to miss this one at the city’s favourite department store –  it even competes against The Dome for being awarded the city’s number one.

Cosy pubs on the Royal Mile

Deep in the heart of Old Edinburgh is the Royal Mile (where our brand new hostel, The CoURT is located). This famous street is – you guessed it – a mile long and at the end of it, you will find the Edinburgh Castle. A visit here is a must-do at any time of year but during the Christmas period, it’s extra special.

As the famous saying goes, it’s ‘often about the journey and not the destination’ so make your way up the street and be sure to drop into all the local pubs on your way. Known for being cosy and full of traditional Scottish cheer, the pubs will welcome you with open arms and happily provide you with Christmas spirit (and mulled wine, did we mention the mulled wine?).

Top tip: If you find yourself in Greyfriars Bobby, make sure you ask a staff member about the story behind the name. It involves a dog and will tug at the heartstrings.

Winter walks

From climbing up an extinct volcano to a stroll along a 12-mile water walkway, there’s a route for everyone in Edinburgh. They do say one of the best ways to see a city is on foot so wrap up warm, blow away the cobwebs and get out exploring.

Offering insanely good views of the city centre, we couldn’t recommend heading out on a winter walk in the city without mentioning Arthur’s Seat.  The hike to the top of Arthur’s Seat is three miles long and takes approximately two and half hours to complete so be sure to leave plenty of time at the top to fully take in the cityscape in before making your way back down.

It may be chilly time of year to be outdoors but our amazing nature and stunning architecture make the views totally worth it (even better when the city is decorated in pretty Christmas lights).

Is Edinburgh’s Christmas sounding like your dram? Book via our website for 10% off your stay with us.

Image sources: Photo 1,Photo 2, Photo 3, Photo 4.