Last updated on October 3rd, 2017
This post is all about Edinburgh Christmas Market experience – what you can expect from one of the most beautiful Christmas Markets in Europe.
I am extremely lucky to have visited Edinburgh Christmas Market 3 years in a row – in 2014, 2015 and 2016. In 2014 I used to live and study in Edinburgh: I remember the excitement to see the market for the first time in my life. I must say, that I was very impressed. Even though I basically saw it being constructed (because I was walking to the city centre almost every day.
In 2014, the Edinburgh Christmas Market was divided into 2 big parts: Princes Street Gardens and St. Andrews Square. Both places had various stalls, an ice skating rink, and some other attractions. In 2015 they added an impressive light tunnel on Royal Mile.
However, in 2016 some changes were introduced – the Princes Street gardens part was extended almost to the Balmoral hotel, while St. Andrews square only got an ice skating ring. The light tunnel plus a light show and some more stalls were moved to the end of the George Street and once temporary theatre was constructed in front of the Usher Hall. Even though the Edinburgh Christmas Market is now spread all around the city, the major and most impressive part is still located in Princes Street Gardens. However, this year everything is just crazy – there are so many people in the Christmas Market, that they actually don’t fit!
So well, what do you need to know about the Edinburgh Christmas Market?
It usually starts around the middle of November (17-20th) and finishes around the beginning of January (5-8th). It is less crowded in the beginning and then, just before the Christmas the crowds become unbearable!
The main Edinburgh Christmas Market attractions include Big Wheel, Ice Rink, and Star Flyer. There are a couple of carousels and one Helter Skelter (the slide) and some rides for kids e.g. Santa Train, Christmas Tree Maze or Rollercoaster.
The prices are a bit high: a ride in a Big Wheel would cost you £9 (£6 if you’re a student or have an Edinburgh postcode) and a Star Flyer is also around 8 pounds. The rides for kids are cheaper, they fit in the 2.5-5 pound range.
Want to know about 10 absolutely best attractions in Edinburgh? We tried them all and shared our honest opinions with you HERE!
What else can you do at the Christmas Market?
Well, of course, you can go there with your family, significant other or a group of friends and just walk around, enjoy the atmosphere and visit some stalls. Edinburgh Christmas Market is famous for its delicious German Sausages (Bratwurst) and Spanish churros. Moreover, you can grab a burger or even a haggis there. A total must try is a hot chocolate or hot toddy with whipped cream and marshmallows – it’s awesome!
Go to the George Street and watch the free light show at 6 or 8 pm. There you can find a hot drink, too. Note, that the market closes at 10 pm (quite early in my opinion), so you have to leave it before this time.
Tip: Avoid going to Edinburgh Christmas Market during the weekend – it’s really crowded and you won’t enjoy the experience.
P.S.: I filmed a video about Edinburgh Christmas Market (including a ride in Star Flyer) to you see how it is in the reality.
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