Looking for the Best Christmas Market in Europe? Look No Further Than Edinburgh!

During my first December in Edinburgh, a local friend invited me to “sain” the house and join the torchlit procession for an unforgettable Hogmanay experience. I realised then this was no ordinary Christmas market town.

In this post, we’ll dive into the history, sights, tastes and traditions that make Edinburgh’s Christmas festivals so extraordinarily Scottish. From centuries-old legends to modern-day magic, you’ll soon discover why this market is a must-visit.

Origins of Edinburgh’s Historic Christmas Festivals

Edinburgh’s festive winter season has ancient roots extending back before Christmas was even celebrated here. Ancient Celtic winter solstice traditions morphed into Viking Yule festivals, which were later adapted into Christmas as we know it, and Hogmanay more recently.
The first official Edinburgh Christmas market arrived in 2000 but this was just the modern revival of ancient traditions…

Unique Scottish Sights, Sounds and Experiences

As you weave through the bustling stalls, you can see Edinburgh Castle nearby and hear local bands giving spirited performances on the outdoor stage. On any given night you may be treated to the sounds of Celtic folk, bagpipes, fiddle players and choirs – all in keeping with Edinburgh’s musical roots…

Dig into Centuries-Old Scottish Holiday Foods

While you’ll find Christmas market favourites like bratwurst and mulled wine, be sure to try some of Scotland’s trademark holiday foods and drinks:

  • Black bun – a rich fruit cake made with whiskey.
  • Hot toddy – whiskey, honey, spices. The perfect way to warm up!
  • Atholl brose – A blend of whiskey, honey, cream.

The history of these Scottish treats date back generations…

Hogmanay: Edinburgh’s Famous New Year’s Celebration

Edinburgh hosts one of the biggest New Year’s Eve parties in the world for Hogmanay. The torchlit procession, bonfires, live music and fireworks create an energy you just have to experience yourself.

While Hogmanay celebrations take place across all of Scotland, the size and history make Edinburgh’s exceptionally special. Traditions that harken back to the winter solstice…

Home for the Holidays

From the centuries-old setting to modern festivities, Edinburgh’s Christmas market and Hogmanay celebrations offer an unforgettable immersion into Scottish festive magic. At the end of a busy day experiencing the Christmas market delights, rest your head in your very own Serviced Apartments in Edinburgh. Sip hot cocoa in your own private living room or cook up a traditional Scottish feast in your fully-equipped kitchen. Come experience the history, stories, tastes, and cheer this season for a one-of-a-kind Christmas visit.

Lang may yer lum reek!

clock icon October 31, 2023


As autumn sweeps through the historic alleys and cobblestone streets of Edinburgh, the Scottish capital awakens to a different kind of magic. Halloween in Edinburgh is not just a day; it’s an entire season, and it’s full of eerie tales, mysterious history, and spooky activities. From chilling ghost walks through dark alleyways to mysterious explorations of ancient cemeteries, Edinburgh’s Halloween tours promise an unforgettable journey.

Edinburgh’s Gothic architecture and eerie ambiance make it an ideal setting for Halloween. The historic streets, alleys, and closes take on an otherworldly appearance as they are illuminated by flickering lanterns and the warm glow of pumpkin-laden windows.

In this article we’ll give you some suggestions on Halloween tours and activities that transport you through centuries of haunting stories and supernatural legends. We’ve ranked them from least spooky to the most spooky so book what you dare!

Ghostly Underground Vaults Tour in Edinburgh

Unearth Edinburgh’s haunted history on a daytime ghost tour. Delve into the eerie past with an intimate exploration of the renowned Blair Street Underground Vaults. Join a small group for a personalized encounter with the city’s spectral secrets. Book the tour here.

2-Hour Night-time Ghost Tour 

Explore hidden cemeteries and shadowy alleys on our tour, where legends and scientific inquiries unravel Edinburgh’s mysteries. The city’s history, marred by bloodshed, murders, and witch burnings, lingers in the very places we’ll visit after dark. Escape the tourist crowds, journey back to an era when life dared not venture beyond the city walls, and let our guide paint a vivid picture of Edinburgh’s former inhabitants through stories and visual projections. This tour may challenge your beliefs but is an essential aspect of your Edinburgh stay, as history often transcends even the most captivating legends. Book the tour here.

Edinburgh – Dark History

Edinburgh, known as “The Jekyll & Hyde City,” reveals two distinct personas. By day, it exudes respectability, flaunting its magnificent architecture and rich history. Yet, as the sun sets, it unearths a darker tale…

Discover Edinburgh’s ominous past – murderers, thieves, cannibals, hangings, decapitations, witches, the Plague, and unsanitary conditions. Delve into the city’s most notorious figures and the origins of its haunting legends.

This isn’t your typical ghost tour with costumes and jump scares. Edinburgh’s Dark History, in all its macabre reality, is spine-chilling enough. We take pleasure in sharing these grim tales with our visitors. Book the tour here.

Extreme Paranormal Ghost Tour

Join your charismatic guide outside our Royal Mile ticket office, where they’ll assume the role of a historical character, setting the stage for an immersive journey. As you traverse the Old Town’s historic squares, wynds, and closes, the guide will unravel chilling tales linked to these sites.

Cross George IV Bridge’s threshold to enter the enigmatic Greyfriars Kirkyard, renowned as the world’s most haunted cemetery. After dark, you’ll hear of the infamous poltergeist, grave robbers who unearthed more than they bargained for, and the notorious serial killers Burke and Hare.

With midnight approaching, leave modern Edinburgh behind and descend beneath South Bridge into ancient underground vaults. Here, eighteenth-century bridge arches and seventeenth-century stonework merge beneath skylights where people walk, whispering of lingering souls. What happens underground, stays underground. After 80 spine-tingling minutes, your guide will bid farewell and safely guide you back to the ticket office, provided you survive the experience!. Book the tour here.

Edinburgh’s Halloween celebration is a unique and enchanting experience that combines the city’s rich history with modern festivities. The juxtaposition of ancient Celtic traditions and contemporary Halloween fun creates a celebration that appeals to all ages and interests. From ghost tours and fire festivals to haunted locations, culinary delights, and costume parties, Edinburgh offers a bewitch

clock icon October 20, 2023
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