Xmas and New Year in Edinburgh

Today’s guest post on spending Christmas and New Year in Edinburgh was put together in partnership with Joe. I love Edinburgh, and have visited on multiple occasions, – it is one of my all time favourite UK cities. Hitting up Edinburgh at Hogmanay, or New Year, is way up there on my to-do list!

Festive travellers are bound to be spoiled for choice when they hit the picturesque and quintessentially Scottish streets of Edinburgh over Xmas and New Year. So what has the city got going on that you should check out?

Christmas Market

Much like many of Britain’s larger cities, Edinburgh hosts a Christmas Market that offers fun for all the family, day and night. With fairground rides, speciality continental food stalls, gift stalls, a beer hall and the incredible Edinburgh Wheel, offering stunning views of the cities iconic landmarks, Edinburgh’s Christmas market is unparalleled. 

Not only this, but if you like to ice skate around Christmas, the market is in close proximity to one of the largest ice rinks in Europe!


The streets of Edinburgh play host to an immense street party every single year on New Year’s Eve and truly are a sight to be seen. A torchlight procession creates the illusion of a river of fire through the city, and there's live music from some of the biggest and most influential artists around.

Hogmanay street party Edinburgh

This year, Edinburgh’s partygoers will be Primal Scream, Mark Ronson, Friendly Fires and The Vaccines, who will all play against the backdrop of Edinburgh Castle. More details on the Hogmanay celebrations and how to get tickets can be found here.


The Old Town in Edinburgh is a fascinating place to enjoy a spot of retail therapy and to grab a few trinkets and bargains while you’re there. Lined with all manner of quirky boutique shops and independent eateries, the maze of streets that makes up the Old Town area really is unique.

The Sights

The Royal Observatory, Nelson's Monument and the National Museum of Scotland are all essential sights. Top of the list though, should be a trip to Edinburgh Castle.

Edinburgh Castle

This imposing building is perched on an edifice in the centre of Edinburgh, and is a magnificent castle to explore. There’s also a daily gun salute at 1pm from an actual cannon - not to be missed!

Princes Street

The main shopping street in Edinburgh, Princes Street provides the milieu for a wide-ranging programme of multi-cultural events between now and the end of December, from street artists to live music and even the Scottish Snowsports Festival!

Climb a hill

Edinburgh is a wonderful city to explore by foot. If you’re looking for a great view, you should consider taking a walk to the top of Calton Hill, which is right in the middle of Edinburgh. As well as having an amazing view, it is also home to the “National Monument”, an acropolis built in 1816.

arthurs seat view

If you’re looking for more hills to climb, then a walk to Arthur’s Seat, situated around a mile from Edinburgh castle, is another must. Looming 250m above the city, this hill offers incredible views across the city and surrounding area.

And that is that for Edinburgh! Thanks to Joe for helping put this one together. Have you been to Edinburgh for Hogmanay? Got any stories to share, or places you recommend to visit in Edinburgh? Do share them in the comments below!

Despite having been to Edinburgh many times, for some reason I have no decent photos of this marvellous city. So today’s photo credits go to DecoByDesign for Edinburgh Castle, Katy-Mac for the Hogmanay street shot, phault for the shot across Edinburgh to Arthur’s Seat, and hockadilly for the firework shot at the beginning!

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