Edinburgh Christmas Market: How to avoid crowds and have best time at Edinburgh's Christmas Market 2022

Edinburgh’s Christmas market is here and our reporter decided to look around to help guide visitors for when and where are the best places to go

The Christmas market opened on Princes Street on Friday (November 25) filling Edinburgh’s New Town with festive sights and sounds, but also a bit of queuing mayhem. As thousands descended on one of the most popular Christmas markets in Europe, people were forced to wait for over an hour just to enter the market – with the line looping around Princes Street towards Waverley station.

While the market is bound to put you in the festive mood, the experience itself was more hectic due to the vast amount of people squished together like a tin of sardines. The queuing was nothing but insanity, and somewhat disappointing when you enter without being able to move with all the people.

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As an alternative, we visited the seemingly less popular Santaland, which can be found by the Ross Fountain in West Princes Street gardens. People weren’t queuing, and could fully immerse themselves into the festive atmosphere without feeling claustrophobic. There were beautiful food stalls serving all sorts of treats from hot dogs to candy floss, and fairground rides for children and adults to enjoy.

We visited Edinburgh Christmas Market 2022

The park also offers the opportunity to meet Santa in his grotto, and enjoy a hot chocolate whilst walking round the Christmas tree maze next door. This Christmas experience isn’t of the same amplitude as the main market on East Princes Street – but, until the crowds lessen, then it is definitely a more worthwhile trip. Rather than queuing for hours for the main attraction, we recommend people to visit Ross Fountain for a smaller winter wonderland.

If you were keen to visit the market on East Princes Street Gardens, then going in the morning is expected to not be as busy, however late afternoon to early evening has been packed so far.

People queuing for hours to enter the Princes Street Christmas market.
Ross Fountain in Princes Street gardens