A Christmas itinerary in Edinburgh

Christmas, Romantic breaks

There is no better location in the UK than the romantic honey coloured city of Edinburgh to celebrate your annual festivities! Bright lights sparkle above the cobbled streets and white snow glistens upon castle turrets and rolling hills.

The magic really comes alive in Edinburgh during December and must be experienced at least once in your lifetime. There are a whole host of events, markets, pantomimes and activities to sample, making it difficult to decide just how best to spend your treasured time in the city – we provide the perfect solution with a short-break Christmas itinerary, highlighting the very best the capital of Scotland has to offer at Christmas time.

Day 1

Morning

Waking up in Edinburgh on a cold, frosty morning will leave you wanting something nice and warming to eat, make Café Marlayne your first stop. This romantic, intimate bistro serves up a delicious breakfast with a French influence. From flaky breakfast croissants and pain au chocolat to the more traditional fry-up or black pudding butty, you can find the perfect indulgence to begin your Christmas break.

Afternoon

The next stop should have you feeling festive from head to toe! The Scottish Christmas Market on George Street is a great place to give you a taste of what’s to come from the rest of your holiday. Enjoy a leisurely stroll around, taking in the festive atmosphere and twinkling lights whilst browsing some of the best craft, food and drink that Scotland has to offer. Expect sausages, seafood, chocolate, cupcakes, gin, jewellery and much, much more. It's the perfect opportunity to stock up your holiday cottage or apartment with treats and goodies.

Image: Underbelly/Lloyd Smith

Evening

Scotland’s festivities continue well into the early hours of the morning. For your first evening in the city, why not don your skates and take a turn around the glittering outdoor ice rink on East Princes Street Gardenswith Edinburgh’s famous skyline as an unrivalled backdrop. Night slots are available between 5pm-9pm so you can enjoy an after-dinner glide under the sparkling Christmas lights. There's also a festive fairground packed with rides if you're after more thrills - a real winter wonderland experience!

Day 2

Morning

After cooking up a fine breakfast using the local market produce you purchased the day before, you will be all set for a day exploring Edinburgh’s fantastic shopping scene. The city centre is a shopaholic’s haven with both branded outlets and quirky independent boutiques – a great time to purchase those last minute stocking fillers. You will also pass by the European Market in the Mound Precinct, a great place to browse for Christmas gifts with a unique selection of products.

Afternoon

After a morning of shopping you are bound to have worked up a ravenous appetite - an afternoon tea calls. The Dome in Edinburgh’s centre is a gorgeous venue designed by celebrated architect James Craig in 1775. It boasts a luxurious Georgian tea room complete with plush décor and crystal chandeliers, which during the Christmas months gets transformed into the most spectacular sight, bedecked with Christmas trees, garlands, poinsettia displays, holly and cinnamon sticks. It's the ultimate location from which to enjoy your quintessential high tea and champagne cocktails.

Image: Vanessa

Evening

New to Edinburgh for this year is the Giant Advent Calendar, which will be projected onto the General Register House every day throughout December during the lead up to Christmas. Each day a new window will be opened, showcasing a winter in Edinburgh from years gone by. Be sure to take a look from 5.30pm onwards for a truly unique night-time sight.

Day 3

Morning

Enjoy the comforts of your holiday property on your last day in Edinburgh, curl up with some blankets, a hot chocolate and put on your favourite Christmas films before getting ready to go out for a mid-morning brunch. The Caffeine Drip is a great choice for a mouth-watering snack; whether you’re after a scrambled egg and halloumi tortilla or spinach and smoked bacon on toast, this delightful little eatery has you covered.

Afternoon

After a leisurely morning it’s time for a day filled with festive activities. A trip to Santa Land in East Princes Street Gardens will provide endless fun. Scale the Ice Wall and see if you can climb right to the top, try and navigate your way around the Christmas Tree Maze, or, if you’re feeling extra brave take a journey around the Big Wheel or up the Star Flyer, both sure to provide a hair-raising experience.

Image: Underbelly/Lloyd Smith

Evening

End your short break in Edinburgh in style with a sophisticated evening of dinner and theatre. Over the Christmas months you can enjoy an exemplary Christmas feast at Harvey Nichols Forth Floor Brasserie, with its indulgent menu including turkey roulade stuffed with haggis and cherry and walnut brownies. Round it off with a dazzling show put on by La Clique, featuring a myriad of performances spanning circus, comedy, cabaret, magic and more.

Image: Denna Jones

Christmas in Edinburgh

With what to do during your Christmas break in Edinburgh now all planned out, all that's left to decide is where to stay! Whether you're seeking a cosy couple's break or a festive family getaway, we have a variety of places to stay in Edinburgh perfect for the Christmas season.

Posted by Hayley on 12th October 2017