What to do in Edinburgh this Christmas!

A neon sign saying Edinburgh's Christmas. VisitScotland/Kenny Lam

Christmas in Edinburgh, where better to get into the festive spirit! With the most wonderful time of the year almost upon us, we are ready to start filling our diaries with all that Edinburgh has to offer. Read on for our guide for the best Christmas activities in Edinburgh this December.

Christmas at the Botanics

With a record for holding beautiful Christmas light shows, the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is back again this year with their famous light trail featuring over a million lights. The event is complete with a fire garden and stunning illuminations, trees bathed in jewel-like colour.

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VisitScotland/Kenny Lam

Adventures in the city centre

Now quite a tradition, Edinburgh’s city centre festivities will return once more from 25 November to 3 January. See Edinburgh from up high on the big wheel, devour sweet and savoury delights and pick up those all-important presents at the markets, and skate to your heart's content at the new ice rink. For all those good boys and girls, Santa himself will even be in town so you can let him know what’s on their list this year.

See Edinburgh's Christmas


Four Seasons by Candlelight

For a refined evening, hear Vivaldi’s Four Seasons by Candlelight, performed by Piccadilly Sinfonietta across four dates in the glorious surroundings of St Mary's Episcopal Cathedral, St Giles' Cathedral and St Andrew and St George's West. The group play over 100 concerts a year and focuses on the virtuoso concerto repertoire of the baroque, classical and early romantic periods.

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Christmas Week Aboard Britannia

Of course, we can’t forget our own celebrations aboard Britannia! The State Apartments will be adorned with stunning decorations during the festive season and from 10-18 December, we will hold our special Christmas Week with free mulled wine and buttery shortbread for visitors to enjoy. 

Explore all five decks and hear about Royal life on board. Head up to the Royal Deck Tea Room to choose from our menu of freshly baked cakes and scones, made on board, whilst looking out to waterfront views. Get all your Christmas shopping organised with a visit to the Britannia Gift Shop.

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