Edinburgh Christmas market 2019: dates, opening times, food and drink and things to do

Edinburgh's cobbled pathways, hidden alleys and rolling hills make it the perfect backdrop for a Christmas-time wander.

Tuesday, 22nd October 2019, 1:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 22nd October 2019, 5:44 pm
Picture: Edinburgh Christmas Market

Once the frost hits the air, ideally accompanied by a little snow, Scotland's capital becomes a veritable winter wonderland.

It's no surprise then that Christmas has quickly become one of Edinburgh's busiest periods.

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Picture: Edinburgh Christmas Market

One of the highlights of the city's seasonal offerings is its Christmas Market – the ideal place to do a little gift shopping, revive yourself with a hot drink or to just stroll through on a calm winter's eve.

When is the market happening?

The market will open for the first time this year on Saturday 16 November.

Picture: Edinburgh Christmas Market

It will then be open between 10am and 10pm every day until Christmas Eve, when it will close two hours earlier than usual.

After that, it will re-open twice more - at 12pm on Boxing Day and again on New Year's Day - before packing up for good.

Where will it be?

The market will be setting up shop at East Princess Street Gardens, right by Waverley Station.

What does it cost?

Entrance to the full marketplace is completely free!

What’s there to do at the market?

The market's huge selection of stalls sell all kinds of unique products – from home-baked goods to hand-crafted jewellery.

There’s a wide array of street food stalls, serving up comfort food from across the globe. The Mac Shack boasts some of the best mac and cheese in town while Alandas' fish and chips are pretty much unrivalled. For those whose of a more socially-conscious appetite, The Caravan of Courage is fit to burst with vegan junk food of every description.

To wash it all down, the bars are stocked with seasonal mulled drinks, boozy hot chocolates and a wide selection of other beverages. This year, Johnnie Walker Bothy Bar will once again provide a glittering retreat from the hustle and bustle of the marketplace, while Edinburgh's Pickering gin and Aelder, the Scottish elderberry liqueur, will also be available.

The cosy two-floored bar will boast a range of whisky cocktails and hot toddies – just the thing to defrost you after braving the winter cold.

For those too young to be tucking into the single malts – and those still young in spirit – there will also be several rides, including the ever-popular Big Wheel, the 60 meter-high Star Flyer and, of course, the Helter Skelter. Tinier ones might also enjoy a ride on the Santa Train.

Anybody struggling with their Christmas shopping would be well advised to look to Loch Ness Leather's stall, which will be back with a new range of hand-crafted wares.

The Christmas Tree Maze is sure to be amazing again and, this year, it will also help to raise money for planting trees in Edinburgh thanks to Greenspace Trust's the Tree Time project.

Finally, if you’ve got a sweet tooth, there are all kinds of sweet treats to be picked up – ideal for spreading Christmas cheer. In the past, this has included freshly-made churros, macaroons and an eclectic range of flavoured fudge.