Edinburgh’s Christmas Market

Edinburgh the capital city of Scotland is a hive of activity on the run up to Christmas, this year is no different.

History of the Christmas Markets

Did you know that the origin of the Christmas Markets dates back to Germany in the late middle ages. The oldest Market is still held in Vienna dating back to 1294, called the December Market or Nikolo- und Weihnachtsmarkt .

Edinburgh Christmas Market: Experience the wonder of Christmas in Edinburgh. ©MDHarding
Experience the wonder of Christmas in Edinburgh. ©MDHarding

The first UK Christmas Market took place in Lincoln in 1982.  Then in 1997 the Frankfurt Christmas Market was established in Edinburgh.  The markets today are a huge success with over 3.6 million people visiting the Edinburgh Christmas attractions in 2014. Today, Edinburgh Christmas Market is operated by Underbelly Limited a UK based entertainment company.

Edinburgh Christmas Market: Not for the faint hearted! The Star Flyer, Princes Street Gardens. ©MDHarding
Not for the faint hearted! The Star Flyer, Princes Street Gardens. ©MDHarding

Experience the Edinburgh Christmas Market

There is lots to see and do from live shows to a walk around the Christmas tree maze. A visit would not be the same without seeing Santa and his Reindeer. A great opportunity for young and old alike to see Rudolf and friends up close!  For thrill seekers check out the rides and attractions such as the Star Flyer or the Ice Skating Rink located in Princes Street Gardens.

Edinburgh Christmas Market: Gingerbread sweets, Christmas Market, Edinburgh. ©MDHarding
Gingerbread sweets, European Christmas Market, Edinburgh. ©MDHarding

A stroll through the market is a highlight for all the senses especially during the evening with the twinkling of fairy lights, the sounds of laugher, the sweet powerful aroma of mulled wine filling the air and not forgetting the many delicious nibble’s to be tasted including all flavours of coffee beans, cakes, traditional gingerbread sweets and roasted chestnuts to name but a few.   Whether its a romantic date night or family outing there is something for everyone.

Edinburgh Christmas Market: Nutcrackers of all characters and sizes, Edinburgh. ©MDHarding
Nutcrackers of all characters and sizes, Edinburgh. ©MDHarding


There are many traditional gifts for sale including that of the delightful Nutcracker. Did you know they were first produced in 1870, Germany. Old German folklore says that these colourful characters present good luck, what a lovely present and a novel way to crack a nut! There are also candles, angel chime holders, hand crafted wooden houses (nativity scene), decorative Russian dolls and much much more.

Edinburgh Christmas Market: Late one evening inside Edinburgh's European Christmas Market. ©MDHarding
Late one evening inside Edinburgh’s European Christmas Market. ©MDHarding

When to visit

The Christmas Markets are open for 6 weeks from November 20th – 4th January 2016. Opening everyday from 10am till 10pm (Excluding Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Years Eve and New Years Day). More details can be found at Edinburgh’s Christmas.

The weekends and evenings are very popular times to visit, for a quieter and more relaxed experience a daytime visit is recommended.

Edinburgh Christmas Market: Inside the European Market, Princes Street, Edinburgh. ©MDHarding
Inside the European Market, Princes Street, Edinburgh. ©MDHarding

Where to stay

There is a wide variety of accommodation to suit all budgets in Edinburgh and the surrounding areas. Everything from 5 star hotels located on Princes Street to budget hostels located in the Old Town. Due to availability I highly recommend booking in advance to avoid disappointment.

However you decide to spend the holidays, I wish you a Joyful Merry Christmas. Happy travels:) x

About MichelleDeansHarding

Website: http://WWW.MDHardingTravelPhotography.com

 Michelle has a love of travel and photography, which has currently taken her to six continents. Experiencing other cultures/history and food both independently and while working on-board luxury cruise ships. Discover more about Michelle, her enthusiasm for travel and photography via: www.MDHardingTravelPhotography.com

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