On my way home from Iceland at the weekend, I made the quickest visit to Edinburgh’s Christmas markets of my entire life. I had never really been to the markets before I lived in Edinburgh for university, but I think I have been pretty much every year since. A visit to the markets has become almost a tradition for me. I like to walk around, soak in the atmosphere and look at all the pretty decorations for sale.
Since Edinburgh’s Christmas – which includes the markets as well as a number of other festive events – has just relaunched for 2019 I thought this would be the perfect time to give any of you who are thinking of going for the first time a bit of an insight into Edinburgh’s iconic Christmas markets…
When can I visit?
Edinburgh’s Christmas runs from mid-November right through until early January, so there’s plenty time to join the festivities! The markets are open until 10pm, and I’d recommend visiting twice if you can- once during the day and once in the hours of darkness.
What’s on offer?
Edinburgh’s Christmas markets offer a range of gifts, decorations and food. There are also a selection of fair rides for all ages, including a big wheel, a carousel and a tree maze.
What kind of gifts?
There are quite a wide range of gift items on offer at the markets, catering to a range of tastes and budgets. There are handmade items, and not-so-handmade items. There’s clothing, models, jewellery, ornaments, lanterns, home ware, artwork, food, personalised decorations… and that’s just off the top of my head!
Is it expensive?
The Christmas markets are free to enter, so you can wander around and spend nothing. If you want to buy things though, you’re going to need some money. I’ve only ever been on the big wheel (you get a stunning view from the top in the day time!) and it is pretty expensive, I’m not sure about the other fair rides but I assume they are probably the same. The food and drinks isn’t cheap, but I’d say it’s not really extortionate for this kind of event. The gifts vary vastly, some things are super affordable, some things are definitely not affordable for the average human – it is also very important to remember that a lot of the items on offer are handmade when considering their price.
Are there crowds?
Unfortunately, yes. A big part of the festive atmosphere is the unpleasant level of crowding. They have rearranged things this year so that there is more space, however, and it’s not quite so claustrophobic which was definitely better! My top tip is, if you can, go during the week. I went on a Saturday night which is probably the worst possible time I could have set foot into the markets.
Have you ever been to Edinburgh at Christmas? Where are your favourite festive events? Let me know in the comments below!
For other posts I have on Edinburgh, check out: