Edinburgh Christmas 2023: Christmas market opens for the festive season

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Here’s what’s on offer – with a first look at the map of all festive events in the city centre.

Edinburgh’s Christmas market is back for another year, marking the official start of the festive season in the Capital.

East Princes Street Gardens has been transformed and is ready for the market to open later today after 5pm. The iconic traditional market marks the start of a calendar of activities and events in Edinburgh and will remain open until early January.

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Thousands are expected to flock to the popular attraction to enjoy mulled wine, ride on the big wheel and sample the bratwurst and other gourmet foods on offer.

Christmas market opens today, Friday 17 NovemberChristmas market opens today, Friday 17 November
Christmas market opens today, Friday 17 November

For seven magical weeks the Capital will see a whole host of events, festivities, markets, shows and more, bringing the city some festive sparkle for the most wonderful time of the year.

An official new site map revealed first on the Evening News today shows the packed programme has lots in store for locals and visitors, nestled across four corners of the city centre.

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From today East Princes Street Gardens will come alive with dozens of market stalls, gourmet food and festive drinks and thrilling fairground rides like the Starflyer. And for something a bit different this year market goers can grab a mulled beer, with Innes and Gunn offering their whisky barrelled IPA with a festive twist.


There will be opportunities to step into Christmas at the family funfair in West Princes Street Gardens, the ice rink on George Street along with vintage rides and market stalls on Castle Street.

From Saturday, 18 November St Andrew’s Square will be home to Santa’s stories and letter writing station, and the festival of kindness tree with Social Bite. Art work will also be on display from local school children, in the ‘Winter Windows’ advent display.

And to make the festivities affordable, residents with EH postcodes get 20 per cent off ticketed attractions, including the ice rink, Forth 1 Big Wheel and Santa Stories.

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Dani Rae, co-director Edinburgh's Christmas said: "There's so much to discover at Edinburgh's Christmas 2023; from funfairs to thrill rides, ice skating to ceilidh dancing, and of course enjoying something warm and mulled while watching family and friends on the ice. Christmas really is the most wonderful time of year and we're excited for everyone to come and experience a little bit of Christmas magic with us here in Edinburgh."

Map of Edinburgh's Christmas markets and eventsMap of Edinburgh's Christmas markets and events
Map of Edinburgh's Christmas markets and events

Culture and Communities Convener, Councillor Val Walker said: “It’s fantastic that Edinburgh’s Christmas is opening to the public this week, and I can’t wait to experience the magic alongside our residents and visitors. For six weeks our city is transformed into a true winter wonderland with a wide range of activities for people of all ages. From the Ice Rink on George Street, to the Botanical Gardens being lit up, the amazing Christmas market in Princes Street Gardens and so much more we’re truly spoilt for choice.

“We’re exceptionally proud of the internationally stellar reputation that our Winter Festivals command and I’m sure this year will be every bit as special.”

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