Christmas market and festive lights in Princes Street Gardens
Credit: Edinburgh's Christmas | Iain Cameron

Christmas in Edinburgh 2018

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Christmas 2018, Various Venues.

Light Night

Sun 18 Nov, 15.00 – 17.00. Each year, Edinburgh’s Christmas Lights are switched on at the Light Night ceremony on George Street. Radio Forth One’s Arlene Stuart will host the evening. Performers will sing and dance on stages all along George Street. And they’ll light the giant Christmas Tree on The Mound as part of the celebrations. Then finally, a stunning fireworks display will light up the sky. Light Night is free and unticketed and attracts many thousands of visitors each year, so we advise you to get there early.

Silent Light

Mon 19 Nov – Sat 29 Dec, evenings. New for 2018, this is a silent disco like no other! Grab some headphones and get your festive groove on, under the archways of a spectacular light installation. There are three different themes to choose from. Santa’s Sparkles for families, Christmas Crackers for festive tunes and Disco Delights for party tunes. Silent Light takes place up to 5 times a day from 4.45 pm. Book your 20 minute slot from £4.50 per ticket.

Winter Wonderland

Fri 16 Nov – Sat 5 Jan. East Princes Street Gardens, George Street and St Andrew Square are transformed into a winter wonderland with ice rinks, colourful fairground attractions and festive markets. Take a spin on the Big Wheel or brave the thrilling Star Flyer for amazing views of the city. Explore the magical European Market with a cup of mulled wine in hand, for unique handmade gifts and delicious hot food and snacks. Also, the kids can visit Santa Land for a whole host of family-friendly rides and activities including the Christmas Tree Maze, Santa Train, Carousel and Reindeer Ride.

Santa’s Grotto

Nov – Mon 24 Dec. Santa is a busy man! He has several grottos to get around this Christmas in Edinburgh. Check out our list of Santa’s Grottos and book your slot in advance.

Botanic Lights Christmas

Fri 25 Nov – Sat 29 Dec. A stunning festive event taking place at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. Visitors can explore the illuminated gardens after dark and experience the festive spirit. Attractions include a scented fire garden, cathedral of light and seasonal food and gifts. Plus, look out for Santa and his elves! Book now.

Giant Lanterns of China

Fri 16 Nov  – Sun 17 Feb. Light up your winter at Edinburgh Zoo with the Giant Lanterns of China. Follow a trail around the zoo of over 450 colourful lanterns. This year’s theme is folklore and legends, with mythical creatures from Scottish and Chinese tales. Including unicorns, giants, kelpies and animals past and present. Book now.

Christmas Shopping

Each year shoppers can take advantage of the late night Christmas shopping hours and enjoy the festive atmosphere on Princes Street, one of the most famous shopping streets in the world.

Shows and Events

From Christmas Concerts to the annual Festive Pantomime, check out the Event Calendar for the best shows and events on in Edinburgh this December.

Enjoy Christmas in Edinburgh

With so much to do, Edinburgh is the perfect place to enjoy the build up to Christmas. The Christmas festival programme for 2018-19 is available now on the website, with more events to come.