27 November 2019
Edinburgh sits upon a fjord, atop extinct volcanoes, as far north as Copenhagen and Moscow. That surely adds a gritty note to the city’s streets.
But ‘Auld Greekie’ – the Athens of the North – is full of charm. A deliciously dark, cathartic aura encircles the city. Beneath the shadow the city crackles. It has become something of a magnet to electric discoveries, and light bursts of joy. Where else could Hogwarts have been written?
As the darkness deepens, the city gathers to greet midwinter with Advent, the Solstice, Christmas, Hogmanay, and much more. Here are our top picks for Christmastime in Edinburgh…
24 Doors of Advent – From 1 December
Explore some of Edinburgh’s hidden gems through the doors of our real-life Advent Calendar. Each day of Advent, a city location will open its doors to the public. From world-class sport…to Georgian opulence.
Princes Street Christmas Market– From 16 November
Traditions evolve with time. The nineteenth century brought Christmas trees to our isle; the twenty first brought Bavarian-style Christmas markets. Danke schön. They’re like doing your Christmas shopping in a cosy, festive bar. With snacks.
The wild north naturally makes a perfect place for alpine log cabins and steaming mulled wine. This winter wonderland in the heart of the city is well worth a visit.
Open 10am – 10pm, with some exceptions. See Here.
Lion King – From 5 December
Hakuna Matata; it means no worries, for the rest of your days. If Disney's multi award-winning musical cannot promise this entirely, it is guaranteed to delight the child in you. Set against the majesty of the Serengeti Plains and to the evocative beat of Africa, it’s a unique theatrical experience you’ll be singing about forever.
An Edinburgh Christmas Carol – From 6 December
About as close to the Spirit of Christmas as theatre gets. This affectionate tribute to Charles Dickens’ classic brings our favourite city to life. Edinburgh folklore tells us that when Dickens was visiting on a reading tour, a stroll through a kirkyard brought him to the tombstone of one Ebenezer Scroggie. Inspiration struck andA Christmas Carolwas born. Writer and Director Tony Cownie brings the festive tale to the city of its birth, with a guest appearance from Edinburgh’s best loved Victorian - Greyfriars Bobby! At The Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh.
Christmas at the Botanics – From 22 November
The Royal Botanic Gardenin Edinburgh has been around since the days of enlightenment and is one of the most important ecological research centres in the world. With its wonderland of strange plants and creepers, it’s an ideal backdrop from some remarkably creative light displays.
This year you’ll be able to experience a striking laser garden, an illuminated flotilla of tiny boats, a towering tunnel of light, and scented fire garden. Each distinct part of the Christmas trail is sure to give you a unique memory.
The Snow Queen Ballet – From 7 December
The fairy tales ofHans Christian Andersenare so ingrained in our consciousness we sometimes forget that a person sat down and wrote them. Like folklore, or Greek myths they seem to simply exist. Amongst the most famous of his 3381 literary works are The Ugly Duckling, The Emperor’s New Clothes, The Princess and The Pea, and of course—The Snow Queen.
To close its 50th anniversary year theScottish Balletis putting on a spectacular production of the much loved Snow Queen. Choreographed by Christopher Hampson, designed by award-winning Lez Brotherston, and set to the enchanting music of Rimsky-Korsakov—this is a show not to be missed.
Community Christmas – From 11 December
Love Actually is, all around. Yes Hugh. This December communities across Edinburgh are opening their doors, to spread warmth and Christmassy cheer among neighbours. The Community Christmas will visit twelve buildings across twelve nights, setting each alight with magical projections, accompanied by local choirs performing the best festive tunes. We’re not sure if there will be a giant red lobster, but you have more than enough time to rustle one up…
The 1872 Cup – 28 December
Celebrate the oldest inter-district rugby series in the world at BT Murrayfield Stadium on Saturday 28 December, for the second leg of the 1872 Cup. Glasgow will make the journey as Edinburgh seek to retain the 1872 Cup for the third year in a row…
Last year over 25,000 fans watched the derby; this year promises to be bigger and better.
Hogmanay – From 30 December
Bring in the New Year at Edinburgh's world-famous Hogmanay celebrations. 2019 will go out with a bang to numerous events across the city, including a Ceilidh Under the Castle, an atmospheric Torchlit Procession, and a Street Party overflowing with Johnnie Walker. Have a bonnie auld blast, then herald the dawn of a new decade with the evocative tune Auld Lang Syne.
Refuel at The Tower
The Tower is right in the thick of the city, but our relative height provides much-needed peace and quiet from the hustle and bustle of the streets. Come to us to rest and recharge between the city’s attractions. Sit back with a glass of something and a tasty plate or two. Soak up the stunning views across Edinburgh, from an atmospheric vantage point.