What to do in Edinburgh this Christmas

If you’ve been to Edinburgh over the festive period before we are sure you’ve seen the sprawling expanses of the city’s Christmas attractions. This year promises to be no different with George Street upping the ante on food, drink and stomach churning rides, and the markets getting even bigger than before. Here are some recommendations for what to get up to this Christmas from Scotch Whisky Experience visitor assistant Jacqui Taylor…

Looking for the Christmas Market? Follow your nose…

EdXmas_credit_Lloyd Smith Photography and Film
Christmas Markets in Edinburgh – image via Edinburgh’s Christmas, credit: Lloyd Smith Photography and Film

The markets getting bigger only means there’s more to see, do, and most importantly, eat. As my previous contribution to this blog will show, I’m a little bit of a foodie so obviously my favourite thing to do at the market is wander around and try all of the amazing food on offer. From the classic German Bratwurst to the slightly more conspicuous “tornado fried potato”, your savoury cravings will definitely be catered for here. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, then there are more variations of crepes and waffles than I care to count, with all manner of weird and wonderful toppings! Even if you’ve only just eaten, I can guarantee a trip to the markets will leave your belly fuller and your wallet a little emptier than before!

Got the kids with you?

Santaland in Princes Street Gardens credit Eoin Carey (3)
Santaland in Princes Street Gardens. Image via Edinburgh’s Christmas, credit: Eoin Carey

Edinburgh at Christmas has plenty to offer the little ones. Santa Land in Princes Street Gardens is full to the brim of family-friendly activities like the Christmas Tree Maze and Santa Train as well as my personal favourite, the helter skelter. And for the big kids amongst you, all the rides permit adults too! There’s also a huge range of shows on around the city over the holidays like Cinderella, Brave MacBeth and a festive Baby Loves Disco which promises a “unique dayclubbing experience” for those with little ones.

A little bit of excitement, you say?

Light Night 2017 credit Eoin Carey
Light Night 2017. Image via Edinburgh’s Christmas, credit: Eoin Carey

If all this talk of fairground rides has awoken your inner thrill-seeker, be sure to try out the Drop Tower which is part of the George Street festivities. This new ride will take you up a dizzying 80m in the air for some incredible views over Edinburgh before dropping you back down to earth – while you’re up there you could even try and spot the Scotch Whisky Experience! My advice would be to save the food until AFTER the ride though…

So you’re looking for something a bit different?

Ice Adventure credit Roberto Riciutti (21)
Ice Adventure. Image via Edinburgh’s Christmas, credit: Roberto Riciutti

Why not try the Ice Adventure over on George Street. This was the first thing to catch my eye back at the start of November when the programme for Edinburgh’s Christmas was released. The Ice Adventure is a walk-through experience of ice sculptures featuring mythical beasts, historical figures and a few whisky barrels too! There’s also an ice bar where you can warm up with a hot toddy (or three) as the whole event is sponsored by Whyte and Mackay, makers of new blended malt release, Shackleton.

If you’re looking for something a little less typical, there’s also the Giant Lanterns of China event happening over at the zoo until February. This incredible display allows you to enjoy the zoo at night and take in over 450 giant Chinese lanterns as well as traditional Chinese performers. You can enjoy a few festive drinks and wander around their Christmas market too!

Information for all of the Edinburgh Christmas rides, attractions and events can be found on their website along with booking information.

Tickets for the Giant Lanterns of China event can be booked through the Edinburgh Zoo website.

Looking for more things to do in Edinburgh, or want to know what’s on in Edinburgh throughout the year? Take a look at the Scotch Whisky Experience website.

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